She is always there:
statuesque and bare
near Lake Michigan
where the winds whip your past
her presence is close to my pen
So I leave for Long Island
Where his mirror reflects bound-feet memories
A half century past
Women whispering submissively
in Ho Chi Minh City
kimonos and buns pushed back
And I play dominoes with my nephew
while you dream of Paris.
I know it never worked for me.
When I was twenty:
I wandered the Seine alone
thought of joining lovers at the Louvre
even entering a painting would do
especially Le Dejeuner sur L’Herbe
with its nude.
LE Pyramide went the way of the rose.
I am not sure I ever had a rose-garden.
The men I chose were taken:
By other men
By their own lives
Does it really make a difference?
Professor of literature and creative writing at Hofstra and Suffolk Community College, many publishing credits
A goddess mounts
bare through Cheshire, Canterbury, Cardiff
her hair floats through the years
eyes olive green
the fruit of Tuscan trees
slanted like Asian Oranges
in the lost markets
of her unconscious
on a ripe summer morning
the cornucopia of life
Be her host
let her ride you
through undersea tunnels
share orgiastic promises
primitive reed-covered thrusts
sharp and unforgiving
as purgatorial pirates
sail past orbs
All the flowers are evil
in the rose-gardens
of sacred ladies
dance to your cadence
prostrate at the feet of your poems’
strophes and meters
Worst Fears Realized
Huge grey boulders of my very worst fears
have been unleashed by some wild circumstance.
Held up by sheer luck, they hung there for years
now down the mountain they gleefully dance.
‘Cause luck runneth out if you play too long,
the bastards were sure to come a-sliding.
I still don’t know what it is I did wrong,
but it’s this day from which I’ve been hiding.
Naked alone at the foot of the hill,
it’s a pity those rocks could not hold.
Nowhere to run, they come in for the kill,
I mumble a prayer as I watch it unfold.
Some say the mind is a powerful thing
by thought alone good or ill can it bring.
Andrew M. Echel
PPA accountant, formalist poet (sonnets)
Sonnet for Scott Joplin
The King of Ragtime toiled in the sunlight
way down south at the mercy of the breeze.
Tunes, like vines on the side of the upright;
notes sprang from his hand and sweat blessed the keys.
Like many great men, a life filled with grief
inspired some of his awesome creations.
Sugar Cane, Cascades, and then Maple Leaf
left them blue or in total elation.
His marches, two-steps and toe-tappin’ rags
rang throughout saloons in nineteen-o-five.
Glorious waltzes and mellow slow drags,
wild syncopations, they all came alive.
Though scorned at the time as music impure,
now we are certain his works will endure.
Andrew M. Echel
In a cozy cafe
of soft repose
I write a harmony
And aesthetic masterpieces
In rhythm with the rain
Poetry journal publisher, many credits
The Tree Poem
We are like trees.
Some of us are as steady as tree trunks,
others as delicate as the leaves,
and like the leaves,
we are constantly changing
making resolutions every New Year
to start again, anew.
Many of us are like the tree's branches
exploring different paths
in this labyrinth we cal life.
As we grow older
we are even more similar to the tree,
each wrinkle representing
another year of life
like every ring on a tree stump.
If I can even live a fraction
a tree has, I will know
I've lived life to its fullest potential.
For Stephen Dunn
Students line oblong sides
of a plush parlor
front a fireplace.
the years die away
as my poet
reads about love:
wives and ex-wives --
the places we have all been.
His beret covers
what the decades cannot
but I can see
what I have always seen:
neat hair and beard
I can hear
an erudite speech
that has always been there
as I close my pupils
sit among my school children
feel my mortality and grieve
Lynn E. Cohen
Performance Poets Association®
• Annual Literary Reviews •
available at all events
All rights revert to the individuals published. These works may not be reproduced without permission of the author. These pages may not be reproduced without the express written permission of Performance Poets Association, and may not be stored in any electronic data retrieval system.