Wednesday, April 26, 2017

"Because God's grace has spilled over into our lives..." By Mark W. Ó Brien

"Because God's grace has spilled over into our lives..." 
© Mark W. Ó Brien 2015/2017

I dreamed I found the Seanchaithe's buried treasure and hoarded bequests in my mind brimming with the light of great stories. Inside my head I stood beside Ononta'kahrhon as nightfall arose from an expanding afternoon. Suddenly, I knew I must pour this light out like a bucket of sunset upon the heads of my children's children. The light, of memories of a future far away place in June. The light of an unexpected fire that I drew on a chalkboard, as an apprehensive child, when I looked out the window 'til the window disappeared...

It was a good dream,
I saw my dark haired grandchild
climbing up your hill!


© Mark W. Ó Brien 2015/2017

Monday, April 24, 2017

"Into Great Silence" by Tom Corrado

"as I sat before the cliff..." 
© Mark W. Ó Brien 2015

9 PM. Snow. I’m in the woods feeding my outdoor wood boiler. I do this twice a day during the colder months. I live out here in the mountains 30 miles southwest of Albany. My property abuts a 5500 acre preserve. I’m pretty isolated. The woods. Something about them. Something enigmatic. Intimidating. Daunting. Humbling. Indeed, as Frost reminds us, they are lovely, dark, and deep. But they are as well refreshingly invigorating. They spellbind me. Renew my sense of something. Hope, perhaps? I stand before them. They envelop me. Captivate me. I listen to the woods. I listen to the life of the woods. Their silence deafening.

the trees talk to me
as I enter their kingdom
at peace with the world


Tom Corrado, a musician, visual artist, and poet, coordinates the poetry group at the Rensselaerville Library, and blogs at

Monday, April 17, 2017

WASHTUB SPRING by Alan Casline.

In his later years and right before the cross-country trip he made, “destination” changed meaning so no longer were the mileposts counted off but instead “circle” replaced all the steps one in front of another in the way he used to carry maps and had to constantly check his pockets for the tickets he knew somewhere ahead he would need, not fresh and unfolded but crumbled and stuck with pocket debris, new dirt and fuzz of old laundry why he might be johnny appleseeding it with collected and broken flowerheads as old as just after the last time his jacket had been washed and time on from that, which he casually let fly from the pocket, he hoped held his ticket these seeds which as he plucked from where they were held in his palm pausing with a pinch between thumb and index finger and then brushing his hands together cleaning off all that were left and then taking the same two fingers and displaying to his eyes the ticket he was once again worried about missing his connection and it became time to speak about the silence even though to speak of silence was to end the silence he felt that yes it was time here at the beginning of the old path to a named spring to cycle the voice of his own silence to nature breathing as warm animals hid and his words were gone though you could say hid also and perhaps because there was no destination even his inner voice was silent and language in words was gone but there was the weak feeling of absence remembering words and unable to find even one just a nothing mind gone animal carcass dancing till he was there at the spring but couldn’t form his being just the black dark of silence which stirred a longing, a need which retrieved him except then his eyes blinked out and he could barely feel the wind as he fell into the mystery of time uncharted and so his hands reached out and moved in time indeterminate no longer were the breaths counted out how long unknown even the memory of movement had no word and he drank water from his cupped hands at that he again touched the world as if it were real.

He woke to the path which answered his riddle, saw middle clouds and heard Cloudpeople thrill-ride their soapbox derby cars made of tiny suspended water droplets straight into the green hillface, which called wind to wipe them off the hill’s forest chin like Shepard’s pie for lunch or vanilla ice cream on a hot day. Sheets, wisps & patches, rolls, ripples, heaps and tuffs, towers. Loggerhead came back with a new protest sign and the same hairy feet. Lumbering up and down a little switchback excuse me slipping by his rumble tale. What is the difference between memories and ghosts?  Everyone I knew walking with me on the trail again when I’m alone and want them all to shut-up. In a deep hole in the ground there is still snow, a last place to melt.

guess you don’t think the
world will end
  when you die
the little world
the perfect world
   with your life in it


© Alan Casline 2017


Alan Casline is the editor of Rootdrinker a long standing magazine of watershed poetics, art and nonfiction. He lives with his wife, Jennifer Pearce, in a suburban neighborhood outside of Albany, New York. 

You may order his most recent book here:

Monday, April 10, 2017

"...from the end of the earth to the end of the sky.” by Philip Good.

"...from the end of the earth to the end of the sky.”(Color.)
© Mark W. O Brian  2017

A poet takes a photograph of a mountain and the mountain wonders why. “What is all the fuss about?” said the mountain. “You make me feel closer to speaking with the angels,” replied the poet. And somewhere near the top of that mountain a lady slipper grew where no one ever saw it. One cool evening before the stars came out, a deer found that orchid and had a lovely meal. As the ridge line was defined by the glowing sky, a red tail fox ate a little rabbit.

The mountain was very proud of itself for providing a space for all this activity. Even though, the mountain wished not to be praised, it laughed with glee when the poet felt inspired to write about it. And then one day a nasty little greedy mining man came along and wanted to stick explosives in the mountain’s head. Lucky for the mountain a big black bear pawed and bit that man to death.

If a mountain touches the sky
and no one is there to see it
does it smile or scowl?


© Philip Good 2017

"...from the end of the earth to the end of the sky.” (Albumen print.)
© Mark W. O Brian  2017

Philip Good is included in Infiltration, An Anthology of Innovative Poetry from the Hudson River Valley andHelix Syntax, the 41st Summer Writing Program Magazine, Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, Naropa University. You can listen to Philip Good on POET RAY'D YO — 

Monday, April 3, 2017

“Last Train to Clarksville” by Dan Wilcox

"Just earlier that evening."
© MarkW. Ó Brien 2015

It was a text, “Take the last train to Clarksville & I’ll meet you at the station; be there by 4:30, I’ve made your reservation.”  

Which Clarksville?  There are 22 in the U.S.  No Clarksville train station here.

I didn’t recognize the number & tried calling it.  There was a lot of noise on the other end.  I think the woman said, “I’m leaving in the morning & I must see you again.  One more night together until my train in the morning, coffee-flavored kisses, & talk.”  Then she hung up.

Perhaps I was wrong.  I got in my car & drove up into the hills to the nearest Clarksville.  I was right, no train station.  No bus station.  Just narrow, deserted country roads leading to empty fields, crumbling stone fences, old houses.  No people, except in cars on the state road.  I realized that there’s nothing you can expect to happen in any town named Clarksville.

     There is no train to
Clarksville, last or otherwise —
      Fucking lost again.
© Dan Wilcox 2017
Dan Wilcox is the host of the Third Thursday Poetry Night at the Social Justice Center in Albany, N.Y.   
You can may read his Blog at and you can purchase his books @ apdbooks.