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PPA Staff



The year is thin and brittle

As the skin on Grandma’s shins

That cracks and bleeds for ninety years of reasons.


Late autumn air so thinly stretched

Over the remnants of this aging year

Can no longer contain the pulsing sun;

It spurts like ruptured plumbing,

An aortal embolism of glare

Splintering window glass with the end-on impact

Of an ingot furious from the furnace—

Hammer-strumming roadside trees, the sun

Plays blind man’s bluff, elbows us in the eye,

Dares us to keep our footing.


Wraps us in scarves of blazing blackness,

Spins us three times around, pulls us

Into the dark alcove underneath the staircase

Creaking with the footsteps of the exiting year,

And gropes us with the urgent, clumsy lust

Of the almost dead.


Jane Lawliss Murphy

Singer and published composer of five albums of songs, essayist and licensed Jin Shin Jutsyu practicioner, book ‘Sugar on Snow A Memoir’

Performance Poets Association®

Breakfast With My Father


In our house on the bay,

It was breakfast time.

My father was attired in his camel’s hair robe

And I had a pink terry-cloth one.

As he rinsed out his cereal bowl in the sink,

Something caught his attention.

His eyes traveled through the window above the sink.

“Follow me,” is what he said, though no words left his mouth.

So follow him I did.

Through the parched grass, in my bare feet,

Walking like the Indians on my mother’s family tree.

Never making a sound

Not a crackle

Not a crunch

Until- - - -

At the end of our hunt

I stood centimeters away

From a very small

Very brown

Baby rabbit.


Linda McGuiness

The Morning I Left Leningrad


The morning I left Leningrad

The snow bloomed pink and red with sun,

And frozen Neva waters flared

Like fire from a signal gun.


The bridges etched dark silhouettes

Linking streets over rosy ice.

A seagull arced and swooped in flight

And cried his morning greeting twice.


I breathed in air soaked through with salt

It almost froze my lungs with cold.

I wished I had more time to spend

And watch the springtime’s warmth unfold.


But planes must leave on scheduled time,

My bags are packed and I must go.

I hope someday I will return

To watch the Neva waters flow.


Linda McGuiness

founding member of “Poets for Peace–Long Island Chapter”, job coaching program coordinator, one chapbook published