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Currently Featuring the Autumn/Winter 2014 Edition

Review Submission/Guidelines for year round submissions

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"Feeding Time in Winter" by Scott McPherson

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Lilly Press

River Poets Journal

A Journal of Poetry/Prose

Art & Photography


Below - Sampling of  Poetry and Art from the Autumn/Winter 2014 Edition

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Poems by River Poets Journal Contributors
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"Rebirth"
This page was last updated: December 1, 2014
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Womb

There is a kind of slow nightmare
that goes on for so long
the monotonous series of defeats
calls itself a victory. Perhaps it makes the assertion
because you do not feel certain fears or pains
but in truth you are protected
in a madwoman’s womb
where the placenta is the heavily accented voice
of a bicycle. It can last longer than nine months
or less than nine days
but you will never know
attached to such umbilical boredom. Inside her belly,
apart from God and time,
you create a routine out of discarded materials like
tragedies, depravities, seashells, or nightcrawlers. 
I fashioned mine 
from G.I. Joe action figures
and the caring rage
of a breakdown. Later I was born
in the aisles of an anarchist bookstore
surrounded by cynical clerks
in a city I have never known. An old poet
was talking to a young poet about modern sex toys,
the young poet answered in dactylic hexameter. 

                                            ©Benjamin Schmitt

Baby in the Womb by Dan Lacey

How Events Conspire

Because your face opened like a field
to the first of morning
in my mind late last night
I want to climb you like a blush
as though scaling a wall
and dropping into a garden
to capture your silence and your laughter
for use in the design
of a dazzling coincidence
whereby you occupy
the exact same space as the sun
at the instant it was born
then return to your earthly form
in a flash of intoxicated light
shocking me awake
That's okay I can always find you
by falling back to sleep
It's as easy as walking through the sky
to hunt for our supper
Scholars differ some believe the Hebrew alphabet
is a clever forgery of your body
others just repair to the library and weep
I know that your sympathies extend
all the way to the shivering of stones
and I can feel your heart beat in my tongue before I speak
warm as my hand upon an old radio
strong as an eyelid
which can lift a whole day on its wing
So yes I want to climb you like a blush
and breathe through all your buttonholes at once

                                                   ©Michael Larrain

Singing the Blues by Donna Shortt

Go Forth & Multiply

Like it or not, wanted or not, 
every species feels compelled
to replicate its kind.

Florida’s pesky tassel flower, Emilia fosbergii,
straggles the landscape everywhere, 
common, undesired and vexing to the eye.

From the garden’s weeding yesterday
I saved some purple tassel flowerets 
and set them in a jar,
their tufted headdresses 
spoking from their stems, seducing, 
as asked of any butterfly or bee, 
and begging for my care.

But safe in perfidy and silence,
they dropped their camouflage last night
and morphed to downy seed heads 
rigged up and twirled to fly.

Astonished and betrayed, 
I watch this winded morning
as they leap their tilting flower crafts
and parachute their germen--
brazen, wantonly and free--
across the frowning lawns.

                                       ©Carmine Giordano

A Rose in Winter by Rosie Sanders
Emilia fosbergii

Mariposas

Mexicans believe
these are the ancient souls
of the dead
trembling
translucent glass mosaics.
The monarchs’ orange wings
quiver in warming sunlight
hang
in oyamel
fir trees in Michoacan.
Seamed with black-edged
velvet
millions enfolded
sun-awakened fluttering
undulations of wings
wing-stretching feather-light
orange black
velvet
whispering among themselves
sweet spirits know the way home.

                                        ©Marianne Werner     
Tea

A kettle whistled, the teapot waited.

A turf fire glowed, a dog barked.

An old woman weeped

on the rags of history.

A chair left idle, a worn laced cloth.

An empty mug, a broken biscuit.

A kettle died, a teapot mourned.

                                             ©Jennifer McGouran

Tea Break by Judith A. Lawrence
September Journal: Friday, September 6, 2013  

Sunset hides behind a quilt of clouds.
The warm steady drizzle radiates 
copper tinted light out across the 
yard and through the evening trees. The wet 
air glows. A stroll to the shallow stream 
and plank bridge, then back to the back porch 
deck, wears kelpy wet hair and a gauze 
scrim on the glasses. The airy glow 
sweats into the limp t-shirt. Along 
the rim of the deck table hangs, like 
miniature Chinese lanterns, a ring
of flawless teardrop pendants. At the 
door, a shudder, like a shaking dog, runs 
down and up the spine. A small spray falls.

                                                  ©Don Mager