PoetryIssue 21 | October 2014

on a wrought iron bench in Bristol

by Jamie Donohoe

petite cars tug-tug
down streets too small for hefty
worries; heels clack on

cobblestone, billowing foul
smelling smoke from cigarettes

held in curled fingers
of luncheoners in dapper
postures; things are red and brown,

the bricks, the leather purses,
the toupees; the sharpened sound

of gull-calls float here,
un-musical notes; useful
iron tools clunking

on an anchored boat; laughing
fog-horns mix their gray echoes

with the mumbling bridge
traffic, puffy faced strollers,
unmanicured chums,

a pale stolidness that can’t
be bombed out, purged, or forgot,

like stone; the sun grips
the noontime sky with a light
padding of old palms;

there is a sleek patience here;
the hours peel back, unnoticed;

a young blue-capped man
with a missing tooth asking
for 10p; there’s none

of the rudeness of lost nights
in his voice, only the need

to use the public
phone; he takes what I offer:
nothing.  But he leaves

a cheerio that jingles,
a lilting song,
          still singing.

About the author

Jamie Donohoe was born in the Midwest, then moved to Northern California where he was soon trapped in a couch. He escaped, and fled to warmer climates. He has published in The Aurorean, The Cape Rock, and FreeFall, and is currently serving a term of many years as an English teacher; please send tonic and weapons.

Read our current issue:

Poetry

Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok