Our website is dedicated to promoting
 the creative talents of poets, writers, 
artists, and photographers all over the world.

Currently Featuring the 2017 
Seasonal Issue

Review Submission/Guidelines 
for year round submissions


Lilly Press
River Poets Journal
in its 11th Year 
of Publication

A Journal of Poetry/Prose/
Art & Photography

Below - Sampling of  Poetry and Art from

The 2017 Seasonal Edition

To view the entire Journal - Select "River Poets Journal PDF" from the menu above.

On that page click on  River Poets Journal  - 2017 Seasonal Issue.pdf"

To purchase the Printed Bound Journal through Paypal, click on the  "Buy This" button

Poems by River Poets Journal Contributors
All future rights to material published on this web site are retained
 by the individual Authors and Artists/Photographers

Musical Composition by Sandy Bender
"Half Sleep"

To listen to musical composition 
click  below
This page was last updated: December 23, 2017
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Even the night was made from wood
has sheets, a gown, the kind
brides wear only once

though you pace in front the bed
the way mathematicians mull over chalk
scraping it against something black

that could be pulling the room apart
with the faint sound from dust
coming by for what’s left

and the corners –vaguely you can hear
her lips breathing into yours
setting on fire the stars

that would sweeten your mouth
with the never ending hum
emptied from wells and springs

for smoke, no longer knows how to talk
how to glow when side by side
as planks and weeds and this pillow.

                            ©Simon Perchik

A Lamp in the Window

lonely as
a serenade in snow

Two pair of eyes 
converge upon a page

Voyeurs peek
through the cool night air 
as stars shift 

A couple reaches for
a glass of red wine,
warmth of fire, wordless talk,
eloquent touches, 

the fever of escape 
into an untitled book 
without a cover

            ©Rosemary Ybarra-Garcia

Visit the Reading Room for a new Flash Fiction story
 '​Parma the Godmother,"  by Carole Longo Harris
The Bedroom at Arles
Life with absinthe, Paris ​
Two Lovers
Temperate Love

Sleep not in sunlight too intense
Nor in the forest grimly dense
But in the shadow of a tree
With dark, warm, gentle light on thee
And all with no philosophy
But love and sad mortality.
And I shall lie with thee my friend
If thou dost want it til the end
Of daylight. Know the night with me
In sleep and gentle ecstasy.
Our passing thoughts we shall exchange.
No trait in thee will seem more strange
To me than those that are mine own.
And safer love we've never known.

                             ©Joseph Hart 

The Siesta 
Portrait of Age and Death

On his back in the empty, starlit field
the bursts of tyrian-purple and red-violet
smeared across the western sky
stretch his eyelids wide,
leaving space for the salty ocean breeze
to dry the small ponds of water forming in his eyes. 

He thinks about the boxes
and suitcases crammed in his trunk,
his mother’s farm in Monterey, 
and the phone call that brought him back to California. 
“How sad it is to be seeing the sky not
as it is tonight, but as it was thousands of years ago.”

His palm clenches a clump of brittle grass
and he wishes the tears rolling down
the bent blades behind his earlobe
could bring health to this field
and permanence to the lanterns hanging in the sky.

In their light, the only thing he sees 
is the dirt-covered van parked between two oaks,
their split, contorted branches 
growing around the spare tire  
and through the broken glass windows. 

Zigzagging spirals of chipped, painted flowers
that merge into burgundy and harvest gold leaves
create a mosaic of rust and nature, of death and life
collapsing the contours that distinguish the forms 
and the contrasts our concepts cling to. 

His breath slows again
and his facial muscles pull his dimples high
creating a small slope for 
the last few tears running down his face. 

For a moment, he sees his mother’s eyes,
the bus, and each strand of dying grass
as they were, and as they are tonight. 
Like layers of acrylic on an artist’s canvas,
merging into the wet paint 
of new brushstrokes, but never disappearing.

                                         ©Adam Szetela

Old Man in Sorrow
All Paintings on this page by Vincent van Gogh
Cafe Terrace at Night
The Dance

Deep within, deep within there’s a mystery
Deep within we are drawn to a dream
Deep within, deep within we are pulled to a purpose
And a yearning to dance to the dream

Like the rivers that rage through the countryside
Unrelenting in their reach for the sea
Where the waters then ride and collide with the tide
And the tide heeds the push of the sea

And this learning to know of our mystery
And this knowing to learn of our dream
Is the bringing forth of the pull to our purpose
And the learning to dance to our dreams

Bring forth, bring forth that within you
Bring forth, bring forth to redeem
If you fail to bring forth that within you, my friend 
You’re confined to another man’s dreams

Make haste, make haste to your Jerusalem
Make haste, make haste to the scene
Where the Holy Ghost ran and descended to man
With the orders to dance to his dream

So the poet turns phrases and the potter turns pots
And their passion turns the heads of the fold
While the lady of the night turns tricks into straw
And the wizard turns lead into gold

Bring forth, bring forth that within you
Bring forth, bring forth to redeem
If you fail to bring forth that within you, my friend 
You’re confined to another man’s dreams

                                    ©Jesse Sam Owens