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Meditations on And Then Volume 16

front and back covers Shelley Haven


Shrouded
mysteries
firmly planted
and
ethereal
guardians
And Then
between
these
forbidding
ends
the fruit
full-borne
promise
Revealed

p. 1 Tracy Phillips
seduction without conquest
being in touch
at long last
p. 2 Eva Qin
body fear
hungry spirits demand repossession
p. 3 Ahmed Abdullah
the dream is no less real
in the cold light of loss,
but neither is it boundless
p. 4 Johannah Segers
dancing into the night
p. 5 Luis Benitez
coup de grace:
the power to kill
without judgment
p. 6 Rosalie Calabrese
where was I?
only Robert remembers

p. 7 Walter Bateman
love poem:
before words were processed,
mounting intensity
in the scrawled revisions
p. 8 Safiya Bandele
in the life that is not being restrained
is all life
and in that life, the pain,
fresh loss
of what is missing
p. 11 Anonymous
and so the nightmare ends
the power to forget,
paying tribute
to cruelty
p. 13 Pramila Venkateswaran
seek shock without awe
reclaiming dignity,
a rueful necessity
p. 14 Donald Lev
severed members
lost connections
phantom pain:
nostalgia

p. 15 Arnold Sachar
kaleidoscope shards turn
against our will:
sharp-edged clarity
in patterns not of choice
not revolution
but revulsion
propels soul into alternative space
p. 16 Dorothy August
the fierce modesty of now,
and then, fire
p. 17 George Jochnowitz
obesity: repression and rebellion internalized
third rail of American politics
watch out Michelle, Barack's triangulating,
eating grease in Iowa
see:
http://weaselzippers.us/2011/06/28/obama-orders-ninemountains-of-greasy-food-during-lunch-stop-in-iowa/

p. 18 Carletta Joy Walker


soul space
seeking
free vastness
letting go
falling
to the stars
attracted
by the force
of levity
finding
the point:
no return
p. 19 Noah Baen
In the beginning was the picture.
without words
forlorn
like fugitive stalks
gathering
to form
meaning
p. 20 Howard Pflanzer
predators:
behind their soulless staring eyes
real eyes
well trained
on joy stick video games
families proud
of their skill
and their service

p. 21 Marlene Nadle
there is no release
without remorse
no scale of just deserts
comes natural
to set right the balance
for wrongs inflicted / suffered
in mutual violations
only attending
to all the cries
can rest the vengeful crow
in mourning's peace
p. 22 Eleni Begetis Anastos
visions not to be seen:
need
far away
and unaddressed
p. 23 George Snedeker
bereft of grief
the unseen child
looks on
outside the circle
of self-destroying
life

p. 24 M. S. Voros
young life:
nourished
receptive
innocence rewarded
must find a container
absorbing abundance
the container:
avoidance
banishing confusion
unwanted reception
forming the adult:
the person bound
by limits
which cannot
be seen
yet still:
innocent wonder
awakens
to marvel
in new connections
p. 27 Kato Laszlo Roth, and photo Bill Cofone
self-knowledge:
irrepressible
secret of black humor,
elixir of life
p. 27 Ashley Roth
(without reflection)
straight up terrific!

p. 28 Patricia Dahlman
hanging
out in
self reflection
p. 29 Gerald Williams
odors' ascent
unbidden
exposes
penetrable
subject
of being:
wants and fears
p. 30 Eli Cohen
I sing
of bodies
electric
charged by
induction
into an army
seeking
self-mastery
solo performers
conspiring
as one
kinetic-harmonic choir

p. 31 Nancy Ross
child the watcher
leaking tears
clouds
your clear crystal vision,
you will not show
disappointment
p. 32 Rafael Colon Morales
the prince of whales cavorts
p. 33 Myrna Nieves
dream power
bubbles
into being
alternative universes
richer than our own,
mysteries
the source
of understanding
p. 34 Jess Amortell
A tatter of tangled towels
careworn.
For life:
One more cycle

p. 35 Peter Wolff
"Embracing in the darkness"
"Hoping for nothing"
"And learn to love your fright"
holding onto each other
withholding nothing
as we let go,
an act of faith
the only way through
p. 36-1 Margaret Yard
and in us all
a cosmic jest
gestating deity
perfect blossom
bursting confinement
needing us
bearers
suffering creation
to see
in ourselves
God's missing
attribute:
omnisentience
all we know
is pain and imperfection
naissance interruptus

p. 36-2 Margaret Yard


thinking of Arnie
within ourselves
the better world
where re-born
Arnie belongs
p. 37 Peter N. Nevraumont
neither dreams nor art,
archetypes happen:
thanks for the memories
p. 39 Fredy Roncalla
vivid connections
memory-musculature of artists
makes happy accidents
happen
p. 40-1 Raluca Soreanu
OK, no magic wings
but dreams
keep us flying
against
the infirmities and niceties

p. 40-2 Rula Kaliroi


lounging,
yet springing taut
alive in every direction
pivoting points
of self sculpted
inflection
p. 42 D. H. Melhem
in rushing sprays
a fledgling
leaps
to fly or die:
Iguazu falls
p. 43 Ralph Nazareth
Hear, O Israel
the sounds
of Silence
p. 45 Michael Szpakowski and Christopher McHugh
What I know about art and its use:
art is the presence
that draws me in
conjures image
in me for me
moving, surprising
and changing "me"
an active tool
generating meaning and motive
I am appreciated by art
I know I need art
and (unlike stuff)
the more the better

blessed be the source


Reflections on Colchis:
-- And Then image:
I see
mud and stone
becoming wall
made in place
to confine
to protect
to control
-- Online image:
I see
just what I was looking for:
my new screensaver
p. 47 Michael Malinowitz
long apart
still connecting
p. 48-1 Veronica Jones
rap roun' world
'cause people fight
dead power

p. 48-2 Rosario Casatellanos


longing: a palm tree
p. 49 Stephanie Hart
innocence,
life's phoenix
many times burnt
resurrects unnoticed
breathing in life
its very presence
only revealed
when
once again
all is lost
the cycle repeats
p. 51-1 Robert Roth
a wicked tease
love's surest intimacy

p. 51-2 Renee E. Neely


two women
withering as gods
blow smoke rings
sit !
rooted on their front porch
a pale mist hovers
then falls
plotting their escape
on gulls facing west
two haikus
reconstruct
p. 52 William Gordon
(and worst
of the tortures
the unanswered question:
how could people let this all happen?)
Enforcers of discipline:
prison guards
tyrants
and raters
of bonds
Act without mercy
in defense of the credo:
Domination Brings Order
Just Power Prevails
Evil in context:
Society's Bulwark
Well worth
the Price
For the
Sake of
the Children

(rebellious
in spirit,
the first
to be crushed)
Outside of these
safe walls
No one is living
Disrupting
the quiet means
Crossing the Line
Order beats chaos
No matter the cost
(for you to decide:
which side are you on?)
p. 54 Martha Globus-Rodriguez
we are all whole
who share one now
separated by
avoidance
giving up
to the
not free to be
all of the space
to which we are
entitled

p. 55 Paidemoyo Chideya
now is not the time
now is the only time
both are true
every moment
a choice
self-respect
in the balance
attend
intend
and release
to be
alive
appreciate
becoming
whole
Now

p. 56 Michael Henry
bare trees
branches extend,
respectfully interlacing
til spring
bursts forth,
leaves jostling
for light's sustenance,
crowding out the sun
p. 57 Maricella Vera Sanabria
and from the terror
a need for order
words of the father
compelling respect
see us through
the raging storm
p. 58 Diana Festa
will,
the maker of meaning,
remembers past treasures
ploughs on
through seas
of loss

p. 59 Eli Cohen
and suddenly
there is no line
and boundless being
fills all voids
no other side,
just belief
in time
(a moment)
shaken
to earth,
quaking
belief
(the suspension
of disbelief)
collapses
back into terror
firma
p. 59 Helen Rosen
you can't know who you are
til you find out who you miss
p. 60-1 Arlene King
ego moves
projecting ahead
without perspective
the wake
is someone else's
problem
p. 60-2 Carletta Joy Walker
collage:
the aftermath

p. 61 Kihyun Lee
I know who I am
my core is not hidden
the purpose of being
is ceaselessly working
carrying family
forward and upward
mother knows her own worth
by success of the children
fulfilling the task:
the rise of the family
there's only one path
so easy to fail
to fall out of grace
in a life of devotion
my pain is unhidden
with sorrow-resolve
again I am climbing
my failure behind me
I carry my mother
I carry my purpose
forward and upward
my pride is unbroken

p. 62 Robert Roth
Proudly I labor
bear my own being
expel my self
from an unchosen
womb
Ripped loose
unattached
unhealed
I tremble
Nothing
we came from
has ever
departed
p. 63-1 Jim Story
entangling knot
no sword could cut through
from mother to son
cord strengthens its will
p. 63-2 Kasim Omar Jerome
the wish
is
the fulfillment

p. 64 Carol Jochnowitz
in a restaurant
drunk creep
wants a fight
with big man
passes
mocking sex slur
note
to man's wife
adrenaline pumps
not his pussy
can't get away with it
kill him / break him / scream rage!
make a scene
or, just get up and leave
What should he do?
What should she do?
How would you
rise to the occasion?

p. 65 Louis Servedio-Morales
experience
cannot drown
innocence
it floats
surfaces
through pools
of awareness
in life
we trust
our only
attraction
p. 66-1 Richard Kostelanetz
life
smarts
sting
p. 66-2 Tom Savage
life
used
well enough
for wry
remembrance
no need
for do-overs
no time
for repeats

p. 66-3 Mike Vozick


Is this a joke?
Who decides?
And Then?
p. 68-1 David Mills
how they hypnotize
p. 68-2 Gene Brown
environmentalists lament
the fruit of unconstrained growth
sour grapes
see:Sour grapes mean vine needs a drastic pruning
http://www.thenownews.com/Sour+grapes+mean+vine+need
s+drastic+pruning/5070094/story.html#ixzz1Ro9tcmm8
p. 68 Milton E. Polsky
buses full of
eco-tourists
endangering
the species

p. 68 Oliver Ogulnick
and where did they move
when they got old?
(remember, old people
really don't like winter)
p. 69 Anthony Thomas de la Puente
I moved to 89 Christopher St. in 1966 after returning from
grad school in Chicago. I had grown up in Coney Island. And
Christopher St. felt like I was living directly on the Midway
(minus the Wonder Wheel and other rides). My apartment
was up one flight in the back. My neighbor with the front
apartment was Marie, whose Italian family had lived in the
Village since she was born. She was probably in her mid-70's
-- a little older than I am now. She had lived in her present
tiny apartment for more than fifty years, and raised children
there. I was envious: she was paying less than $50 a month,
while my sublet was costing me over $90. On nice days Marie
would sit outside on the street, watching a changed world
passing her by without notice. One day her apartment door
broke at the hinge. The exposed iron was stamped with a
date in the 1860s.
I remember in my legendary Village the rise of the psychedelic
counter-culture (Flower Power), equal in its intense energy to
the rising heat of pre-Stonewall gay life.
There was a store whose name was A Fly Can't Bird, But a
Bird Can Fly. I believe that I saw Timothy Leary once give a
talk there. (If not there, it was close-by.)
I have just tried to find a trace of this early venture in hippie
capitalism, without success. But Google revealed to me the
source of the name:
Cottleston, cottleston, cottleston pie,
A fly can't bird, but a bird can fly.
Ask me a riddle and I reply,
Cottleston, cottleston, cottleston pie.
- Winnie the Pooh

p. 70-1 David Gurin


speeding in our service
metered hurt,
untended
wounds
release
resentful rage
those within hearing
will not be spared
p. 70-2 Marvin W. Schwartz
as cavity widens
rot deepens
troubles

p. 71 Jens O. Magnussen
acrobats of complexity
in promiscuous
disequilibrium
tumble through
common space
ignored and observed
you are the show
p. 75 William Seaton
Does fancy rise
in avian mimicry
to fly and dive,
and then,
in reprise,
sing possession
of dawn's
memories?
"The truth's required
to make a warp and woof
with which the mind
may weave
a high-borne tale
to lift itself and
all the world
besides."

p. 76 Suzanne Ironbiter
letting go
what you want
and need
to hold
in mirrored stillness
reflecting not desire
but "choice":
what is left
absent the option
of having
everlasting
present
the scathing
sweetness etching
loss
imprint mirrored
on two souls
p. 77 Barbara Habenstreit
on the edge
before tide
reclaims
water's domain:
a question

p. 78 Mariano Del Rosario


Where I'm coming from:
Art is the answer to:
"What is the question?"
the path of escape
from certainty
defying
closure (the refuge
offered by every system)
the question
germinating
yet another
new inside
(underside)
from where
we grasp
ourselves
as we were
surrounding limits
now contained
yet know
we cannot know
the unexpressed
being
(still)
to be
born
and then
... release
life-promise:
an emergency
waiting to happen
as art

The Art Scene:


shopping
for what I need
in the fashion-mart
not impossible
not promising
p. 79 Victor Wallis
in common voice
spirits unite
to break the chains
lift every voice and sing
we shall overcome
(but, never forget:
the horst wessel song)
In solidarity
yes
but also hear
new strains:
critical voices
In differing note and key
resounds a greater music
beyond harmony

p. 81 Alma Karmina Eidus Kastan


money
fizzing
bubbles
up
(you can see
bubbles in the picture
replace the dot
over each i)
and
away!
p. 82-1 Rosemary Drescher
nightmare's lullaby:
the cradle will rock
p. 82-2Jasper Aquino
sick of waiting
the cure is you
p. 82-3 David Mills
Middle Earth Transit Authority
meet you
at the last stop
META-euphoria

p. 83-1 Tatiana Susol


sometimes
you lose what you want
so you can have
what you can't imagine
p. 83-2 Robert Roth
know
thyself
both
wisely
and
too well
p. 84 Robert Roth
Complacent Humor,
muse of aggression
never innocent
and rarely
fully conscious
acts out
unexamined
underpinnings
-- the template
of conventional
discourse.
Revealing
the props:
a spoiler.
Unamused,
the empire
strikes back:
Can't you take a joke?

p. 85 Robert Roth
we forget
what we cannot use,
deny
what we need
not to know
and then
it happens
worlds
collapse,
drown us
blow us away
and what remains
self-medicates
joy the fix
sings off
madness and pain
and tells all
we need to know
to go on

p. 86 Vincent J. Tomeo
giving up
not even a choice
core being
missing nothing
down
in darkness
working with
what works
the poet
howls
p. 87 Andrea Cauthen
each name
a boundary
that must be
trespassed
to own
one self

p. 88 Art Gatti
aligned
with the
universe
purpose
propelled
self
reaches
and finds
the
vanishing
point

p. 89 Ana Lopez-Betancourt
how much is life worth
to suffer pain
and disfigurement
loss after loss
and know that others
close others
must give and give and give
for your life to go on?
how much is life
without an outside Meaning,
a program
to save the world,
to carry forth the word,
worth?
simple repetitive
normal life
how much is it worth?
that spirit-force
which will not suffer
indignity
of comforting
departure
but blindly
holds self
in place
how much?
everything

p. 91 The Sticker Dude


for the win
fuck the world
lickety split
in no time
like
the present
before
you know
it
is no more
p. 92 David Neiditch
thorny
fingers
groping
for the light of

life

p. 93 Joel Shatzky
walls are monuments
to hopelessness
vanity as security
closed within walls
pressure builds
fear-aggression
cannot be contained
the enemies outside
are found within
and must be
eliminated
and cannot be
eliminated
to breathe,
spirits rebel
however long
until death grip,
the encroaching wall,
weakens and
crumbles
the question is:
how will we live
in its ruins?

p. 96 Marlene Terwilliger
in place of place
born again
in acceptance
owning
one's own
prior orders
trusting
gut wit
to knit balance
anew
but knowing
to embrace
once more
unarm,
loosening
hold
unfold
nets widening
sentience
and in play
in each other's
renewal
discover grace
suffusing
all densities
becoming
the way

inside back cover Marvin W. Schwartz


determined
to own
himself
in a world
that seeks
to possess him