Spun Threads

There was only beauty in the words
That they used to compose plots
They spun threadsÍ
Smouldering gold
Plaited through skies that reflected
A light to ease one in ...

The Language of Frost by Bill West

He drifis
across frozen fields to the house beside the tarn -- watches her from
the garden as she sits motionless at a Christmas table set for two,
her plate untouched.

He strokes the
window with phantom fingers and in the fractal language of frost he
writes "love" on every pane

Dyer, West, Strait and Allen

Jack Pines

The Language of Frost

Sweet Talk

Be Sure Your Sins

The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees. The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas. The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor, And the highwayman came riding--
Riding -- riding --
The highwayman came riding, ...

A Rasher of Poems for Snarky Children by Russell Bittner

Little Miss Muffet

Four(teen)-letter Words

Nolens Volens

What Warmth Is There in One Old Tree?

This Rain That Wears No Raincoat

View Link

Sherri by Elsie O'Day

She could neither move nor speak. But those forget-me-not blue eyes, locked on mine, spoke her pain and fear more piercingly than a scream. Her heart raced, the frantic beating visible from anywhere in the room. Her room. She had selected the delicate pansy wallpaper over a year ago and we had laughed together, having such fun choosing the filmy white curtains and eyelet lace comforter. Sofi lamps that were never turned at? lighted the room now and the stainless steel hospital bed looked so alien in this feminine place. I had hidden the red biohazard container out of sight days ago. My rocker, pulled close to her bed, made no sound and I held her hand through the side rails of the bed.

Renal failure had dropped her gently into a deep coma days ago, a blessed reprieve from relentless pain, and it seemed death would be kind and deal tenderly with this daughter who had suffered such agony. It took two years for the ravaging cancer to defeat her. But all through radiation, chemotherapy, cesium implants, a portacath in her chest to protect collapsing blood vessels, nephrostomy tubes and foley bags when her kidneys failed, her courage had remained high and true. I will not die! But from 120 pounds of vibrant young womanhood, she went to, now, less than 60 pounds of skin drawn over a fragile skeleton. I had used a draw sheet to move her the last few weeks, but even that didn't muffle the grating crepitus of fragile, calcium depleted bones.

Tonight, body-wracking seizures wrenched her out of the cradling depths of near-death coma to unwilling consciousnessÍ powerless to move or speak except once, a pleading half articulated “Mom." Soul sick, I broke our tacit promise that she would die at home, and called the ambulance. During the twentyÂÁ minute ride, I battered the gates of Heaven itself, imploring, demanding, “Oh, please! Oh, please! Not this, not this, not this!" A litany of anguish for a beloved daughter.

In the Emergency Room, surrounded by the ringed curtains, nurses, and her doctor, I spoke firmly, “You may not separate us!" I stood beside the narrow white table, under the brilliant, impersonal, allÂÁ seeing lights, holding her in my arms. A double shot of Dilantin had slowed the seizures enough so that I could slip my fingers through the soft short hair that had managed to grow back, and croon to her the lullabies from her childhood. I felt her relax against me, her eyes losing the terror and smiling her love into mine for my comfort. Beloved, there is no comfort.

Twin match-flares in her eyes and cyanotic blue fingers, and my terse command, “Suction! Now! She is choking!"

For so long I held her closely, molding her unresponsive body to mine, refusing to leave her. But at last I allowed myself to be led away, turning at the last moment to plead with her doctor,

“Please. . .the nephrostomy tubes "

He understood at once, and replied compassionately, “I won’t hurt her. I promise."

There is a rent in the fabric of my universe Sherri-shaped.

Elsie 0' Day 2008

Writers, Poets and Artists

Bill West
Padraic Colum (Classic)
Nick Allen
Lauran Strait
Neil Dyer
Sean Farragher
Elsie O'Day
Marie Shields
John C. Mannone
Cheryl Chambers

Tree Art by Lisa Marie Peaslee

A Rasher of Poems for Snarky Children


Illustration from by Jack B Years, RHA, used with permission from Longford County Library Source: "A Boy in Eireann" published by JM Dent and Sons Ltd., London.


Marie Fitzpatrick Yvette Managan

Yvette Managan Ramon Collins

Peter Gilkes

Marie Fitzpatrick

Ramon Collins Russell Bittner David Coyote

Lisa Marie Peaslee

Dromod, Co. Leitrim, Ireland

Dromod, Co Leitrim, Ireland

Online for This Issue Zoetrope Virtual Studio

All Rights Reserved--2007-2024