Steve Klepetar

Winter’s Ghost

Maybe that was what I couldn’t see:
a kind of transcendence long ago, two girls

on a sofa, holding fire in their palms,
waiting for winter’s ghost to finally arrive.


Steve Klepetar once ran 70 yards for a touchdown, but there was no videotape back then and he can’t prove it.*


*The editors of One Sentence Poems are sure Steve is telling the truth.

John Grey

A Conspiracy Theorist
Sits Beside Me on the Bus

Someday, maybe
the FBI will watch
his every movement,
listen in to his every thought
but, for now,
the crazy guy who sits next to me
on the bus
will have to be
content with
my apathetic hearing,
my incurious observations,
my undisguised impatience
to get to my own stop.


John Grey is an Australian born, US resident poet.


 

Vivian Wagner

Pre-Op

You’re on a gurney,
prepped, feet under a blanket
warmed with energy that
might or might not be
the sun’s, and through
you I see my mother,
also on a hospital bed,
feet beneath blanket,
waiting, as we all are,
to wheel away.


Vivian Wagner lives in New Concord, Ohio, where she’s an associate professor of English at Muskingum University.


 

Vivian Wagner

Small Talk

“It snowed earlier,”
I say to my neighbor,
and he nods, says,
“Yeah, I saw that,”
as we both look up
at the grey sky,
our dogs straining
on leashes
toward spring.


Vivian Wagner lives in New Concord, Ohio, where she’s an associate professor of English at Muskingum University.


 

3 poems for a new year

Anastasia Vassos

Gratitude for a Hell of a Year

Thanks a lot, 2018, for the kick in the teeth
for the lapse in my memory,
and for the last day in the life of my mother,
for the end of my consciousness as I presently know it,
for the grief that won’t go away,
for the waiting for the other side
of the coin to flip and bring me joy
wherever it may find me, for the wallowing
in sorrow or laughing at whatever
it is I cannot control,
and for the crap-fest that life can be
before it gets better, for the fresh crabmeat we ate
on the beach while the sun shone, for the Lake Erie
waves coughing into shore, for the beach glass,
for the wind, for the rutted roads of Kenya,
for the Maasai Villages inhabited by the happiest
people in the world, for the huts
made of cow dung and mud,
and for the ice cream,
and for haircuts, and for manicures, and for my sister,
for my life, thank you for my breath,
for the first gasp of fresh air in 2019.

Anastasia Vassos was born in Cleveland, Ohio and currently lives and writes in Boston, Massachusetts, where she writes lots of poems that will never see the light of day, and occasionally something worth something.


Corey Mesler

New Year

The year turns like a rusty
key and I am older, older,
as the birds flock together to
stay warm, all heading in one
direction, out of here and
into the future, where, surely,
the next year and the next will
seem like ferocious plenitude.

Corey Mesler has published novels, short stories and poems and, with his wife, runs one of the oldest bookstores in the country.


Laura M Kaminski

How to Begin

Now I want for nothing,
want for less,
want the space that’s buried
underneath the mess.

Laura M Kaminski is ambivalent about receiving packages during the holidays.

Alan Toltzis (series)

Goldfish

They grew waddling fat—
orange and white globes
gliding through green waters
to feast on insects and algae,
flakes and pellets tossed into the pond,
their own eggs and fry.


Beggars

Habit taught them greed
gulping at food’s satisfying promise
whenever I neared
sending shadows across the surface
that drew their pleading lips
into the alien air asking
more, more, more.


Binge

Where I saw thin and yellowing locust leaves
skittering through air like celebration,
they saw something that might be gorged upon—
swallow, spit, swallow again.


63.8 Degrees North

Earth angled into its inhospitable orbit
tilting farther from the sun
the water stiffened
as its molecules expanded, aligned, slowed,
crystallizing from the rocky edged shore
inward towards its core,
zeroing past zero.


Deep Winter

Locked below a thickening block of ice,
the fish
slowed
too,
drifting
downward
to wait, weightless
in watery space,
amid cold blankets of sludge and debris,
the rotten remnants of their waste,
time rotating forward all around them.


Alan Toltzis (alantoltzis.com), the author of 49 Aspects of Human Emotions and The Last Commandment, had a lovely goldfish pond once upon a time.

5 of 5 in a series

Alan Toltzis 

Deep Winter

Locked below a thickening block of ice,
the fish
slowed
too,
drifting
downward
to wait, weightless
in watery space,
amid cold blankets of sludge and debris,
the rotten remnants of their waste,
time rotating forward all around them.


Alan Toltzis (alantoltzis.com), the author of 49 Aspects of Human Emotions and The Last Commandment, had a lovely goldfish pond once upon a time.