Hang tight…

We regret to inform you that Word Fountain will be taking a recess. Due to some shifting in the Editors’ lives, the future of our magazine is uncertain. Please keep us in mind, though. Thanks for all the support over the years!

 

If you have any questions, please contact us at wordfountain@osterhout.lib.pa.us 

 

Thanks,

 

Your Friendly Neighborhood Word Fountain Editors

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Spring 2014 Issue

word fountain

cover

 

Spring 2014, Issue no. 10

 

CONTENTS
 “when” John Yamrus
Library TANKA Kim Loomis-Bennett
There, Their, and They’re Steven Flannery
Six-Word Memoir Posts:  A Collection of Life Struggles and Triumphs Rachael Goetzke
Forgotten Country Carl Albright
Is That a Monster at the End? Sylvia Olley
Hem Edward Zimmerman
Stacks Josephine Campbell
Going to the Library Louise Edwards
sublime Iris Johnston
 An American Novella Bailey Bloyd
Contributors
Meet the Editors
 
 
 
 
 
   
   

by John Yamrus

 

 

when

 

i

sent

the magazine

 

a

poem

that was

one word long,

 

he

said

what the

hell is this?

 

i

said

 

art.

 

 

***

 

Library TANKA     by Kim Loomis-Bennett

 

Don’t need babysat,

the timeworn Carnegie waits

like a beloved aunt,

tells stories my mother won’t:

sweet, secret story morsels.

 

In library dreams,

I search for an untitled

book, unknown author,

with a knowing I yearn for:

a fruit I have yet to taste.

 

Dry heat on my back,

two mile trek to paperbacks

on the romance rack.

July 1981:

The Promise of Happiness.

 

 

***

 

There, their and they’re

 

There, their, and they’re

Impostors are everywhere

You’re the one they’re hiding from

Their fear the sound of your starting gun

From here to there, the race has begun

So beware my tongue, beware

 

***

 

Six-Word Memoir Posts:  

A Collection of Life Struggles and Triumphs          by Rachael J. Goetzke

 

Born with hydrocephalus, brain surgery: shunt

Silver dollar-sized bladder always leaks

I can find a bathroom, anywhere

Daydream, color outside the lines, create

Quiet, shy…poetry awakened her soul

Be careful; watch your head, please

 

Don’t play sports; are you dizzy?

Water siphoning from brain to belly

Don’t hang upside down—use caution

Life insurance: not easy when sick

 

Wrote novel in notebook: age ten

Envied friend’s father; he’s a poet

Fell in love—rock and roll

Spoke to my soul the most

Rolling Stone magazine, rock band tee

Colored pens, mind wanders in rainbows

 

Dish ran away with the spoon

And my uterus, so we thought

Too young; no children for posterity

Adoption expensive; in vitro more costly

 

Long, lonely years until he found

My music blog; a saving grace

And spoke my language so fluently

That’s how it came to be

His kids; it’s as if from me they were sown

I still want more someday, though

A little girl, my very own

 

Grand Mal Seizures, a tiring journey

Medicines tormented,

 

happiness prevented,

 

artist lamented

 

As usual, I overcame the challenges

I still believe in dreams materialized

Professional writer: lots of student debt

Day off:  Pearl Jam concert tee

This is who I’ll always be

 

***

 

Forgotten Country     by Carl Albright

I could of sworn

when you said that,

you might of been thinking:

 

:the heart of Alexandria,

those curling scrolls

flaring shelved starlight,

a perfect harmonic of

vision, word, wind

 

:or a pictured dive,

Geronimo, Geronimo

 

*The poet refuses to explain his use of punctuation, but hints it may be a Biblical reference.

 

***

 

Is There a Monster at the End?     by Sylvia Olley

As each dawn brings a new day, so each day brings us closer to seeing the end of all libraries.  As I walked through my local building of books and unending imagination the other day, that is the thought that kept leafing through my head.  After all, America is really good at saying goodbye to the really greats.

The vinyl record?  Replaced with iPods and MP3 players.  The handwritten letter from grandma?  Your phone alerts you to an email sent from grandma (sans flowery stationary, of course.)  Heck, even notes between girlfriends are now “tweets” and “texts.”   So, why should we keep lugging our mountain of books each one hurriedly read so you can get it back on time (sure), but also because you can’t wait for the next book in the series back to the library?

Why should we continue dragging our two-and-a-half year old kids to that home of rectangular edifices called books?

Why?

How about, “Why not?”

The library is one of the few remaining bastions of solitude left on this planet where being alone with our thoughts, alone with our reflections of the day, alone with what’s left of our sanity is not only the norm, but also kept as a general rule by the few librarians out there.  Some of the publishing conglomerates are trying to murder books by relegating written matter into handheld devices called Kindles and Tablets.  While nothing is inherently wrong about that, I find it offensive that I am being forced to read some of my favorite authors on my smart phone instead of picking up that dusty and slightly bent novel.  I, for one, still have a relationship with my local library.  I also frequent my favorite neighborhood “mom and pop” store as I browse for those books that I fondly refer to as “keepers.”

Perhaps I am a stubborn curmudgeon because I was brought up learning about libraries, and taught how to properly read the Dewey Decimal System.   Standing before the card catalog, my fingers would deliberately march through that drawer of numbers and letters, and with much elation I would eventually pick up my book and check it out, proudly signing my ever-so-neat cursive name.  All this hunter-gatherer routine would surely sound mundane to the child who obsesses over Candy Crush on her phone.  But finding that perfect book that you can’t put down is something I always found joy in.  Library books even have a certain scent to them as well, don’t they?

They smell as familiar to me as freshly cut grass on a summer Saturday or spaghetti sauce on top of the stove.  That is something you won’t ever get to appreciate once you have surrendered your soul to inkless words pixelated on glass.  Once you start taking away libraries, you may as well say goodbye to the fireworks at the Fourth of July party or the hot dogs at your favorite ballgame stadium.  I don’t know…maybe I am just a silly little thirty something who is straining to hold onto a past that will inevitably be impossible to hold onto.  I sure hope not.

I hope that libraries are still standing when I start to read to my grandchildren.  I want to read all of the classics to them.  All of the Little Golden Books that I read growing up should still be around in paper form so my grandchildren can turn the pages and feel that same anticipation I did.  “There’s A Monster at the End of This Book” just wouldn’t read the same on a Kindle.  If we keep going down the same path we’re headed down today, I fear that the monster at the end of my book will be standing in an Amazon distribution center where a library used to stand.

***

 

Hem     by Edward Zimmerman

 

Sitting in the dim light of the reading room

I noticed.

She came in

dressed as you might be

on a night like this.

My eyes followed

as she made her way across the floor.

 

I fell back into my book.

Hemingway

talking of impassioned lovers not wanting—

but needing—

each other.

She conjured you.

same style.

same way.

The same movement of her hand

As she took a book from the shelf.

 

I thought of the time we spent at the library in Lancaster.

sunlight flooding

the main room of that great building.

You and I sitting across from each other

in shared solitude.

lost in our books.

then

the café at night.

 

When she made her way

Back across the floor to leave

I wished her to stay.

She put the book in her bag as she exited.

taking you with her.

ceasing the thought.

and leaving me

 

to Hemingway.

 

***

 

 

Stacks     by Josephine Campbell

 

There once was a library feller

Who had to go down to the cellar.

With murders and mysteries,

He carted up histories:

“This stuff in the stacks is just stellar!”

 

 

***

 

 

Going to the Library     by Louise Edwards

 

“Mom! I’m going to the library!”

It’s 1954. I’m 10 years old, skinny and tall for my age. My messy, long hair bounces off my shoulders as I push out of the screen door and let it slap shut behind me. I hit the first three steps off the back porch and leap over the last two, propelling myself onto the grass in the yard. A gray squirrel in the apple tree by the garage chatters at me and scuttles to higher branches.

I trot across the yard and sidle through the hemlock hedge to trespass on the neighbor’s yard. The neighbors, maiden ladies, sisters, don’t seem to mind when kids cut through their yard. Both ladies work for lawyers, and the friendlier one, Harriet, told me she takes notes in shorthand. Maybe I’ll get a book that teaches shorthand!

I gallop down the dirt driveway to Ridge Street. I’m still young enough to enjoy pretending to be a horse. Maybe I’ll get a horse book…

Ridge Street makes me slow to a walk.  There is thick shade under the maple trees that grow in the tree lawns between the sidewalk and the street along the whole block. In the fall, I’ll pick up the wing-shaped maple tree seeds and drop them so they spiral to the ground in a flashing whirl I never get tired of watching.

As I pass Miss McCarthy’s house, her old terrier dog rouses from his nap on the door mat and yaps at me. “Brian! Shut up!” someone yells from inside. Brian snorts at me and retreats to his mat. I can get a book on training dogs. 

Ridge Street meets Chester Street by an enormous horse chestnut tree. Its golf-ball size, spiny seeds have long ago been swept up or washed away, but in the fall I’ll kick them along the sidewalk when I pass this corner.

I know the names of all the trees in my neighborhood, and I can recognize them by their leaves, by their bark, and by their form as I learned to do from books I’ve borrowed from the library.

Chester Street ends at Wyoming Avenue, a wide, busy street with traffic lights at every corner.  When I was a toddler, the avenue was lined with elegant American elm trees that towered above the homes and buildings. Branches like fountains of leaves shaded and cooled the pavement. Now some of the trees look damaged and ragged because an introduced fungus called Dutch elm disease is slowly killing them.  Where a tree has been removed, the sun glares off siding and window panes making a home look less comfortable, cheaper.

The noise and heat of Wyoming Avenue muffles my imagination and makes me feel self-conscious. The library is just a block away, but I dislike this part of the journey. I have to cross Wyoming Avenue at a traffic light while the people in stopped cars stare at me. My older sister wouldn’t mind this. She prepares herself to go out expecting to be admired. I know I should get a book about how to appear confident, or something with beauty tips.

Today an older woman comes up beside me. When the light turns green, we cross together. “Going to the library?” she asks.

I say “Yes.” and hurry on because I don’t know what else to say.

Now I’m running up the broad concrete steps…grab the large brass door handle, press the latch with both thumbs, put my weight into pulling the heavy wood and glass door to me, and, Yes!

I’m inside the library!

 

***

 

sublime     by Iris Johnston

 

Who coined that word?

It must have been a man

a-humpin’ through the summertime

a greasy yellow ball

who dripped past a

moist mouth

smelling like fruit

and licorice root and

evaporated into thought.

 

 

***

 

 

An American Novella     by Bailey Bloyd

 

Dusty golden braids

laying one atop another

sprout up.

Bluest eyes swell

and release

grey skyscrapers

on coastal lines.

Mockingbirds sing justice

for those who cannot.

Cold blood,

purple fog,

Midwestern women,

build us.

 

 

***

 

 

 

 Contributors

Carl Albright has had poems published in Nuvein, Word Fountain, and a couple student journals, and he once had a poem read on public radio but missed hearing it due to being out of town. He and his family, including three notoriously well-mannered teenagers, currently enjoy singing and breathing in rural Northeast Pennsylvania.

Bailey Bloyd is a senior at Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania. She will be graduating in May with no job but a BA in English and writing. Bailey focuses on spoken word poetry and creative nonfiction. She is a New Jersey native, bagel enthusiast and poor college student.

Josephine Campbell of Wilkes-Barre has spent countless hours in the Osterhout with her husband, Ian, and children, Grant and Helen.

Louise Edwards Kingston native.  Married.  One child.  Lives in Ross Township, PA, with her wonderful dog and 7 cats.

Steve Flannery is the lead singer of the band Zayre Mountain.  He is the lucky 7th of 8 children and enjoys the taste of food and drink.  He has coined many phrases, none of which have been officially accepted as legal tender.  Yet.

Kim Loomis Bennett is a life-long resident of the Pacific Northwest. Recent poems appear in The Prose-Poem Project and The Far Field. She is a reviewer for Foreword Reviews and Hippocampus Magazine as well as other venues. She has an MFA from Wilkes University. More information is available at: 

kimloomisbennett.blogspot.com

John Yamrus has published 2 novels and 21 volumes of poetry since 1970. He has also had nearly 1,600 poems published in print magazines around the world. Selections of his work have been translated into many languages, most recently, Romanian. His work has been taught at both the high school and university level. His most recent book of poetry is ALCHEMY. 

Edward Zimmerman is a poet in the Wilkes-Barre area who enjoys the flourishing growth of the city’s writing and creative scene.  He is glad that Wilkes-Barre affords people the opportunity to seek and expand their creativity.

 

Meet the Editors

Rachael 

Rachael Goetzke earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Wilkes University.  Excerpts of her memoir have been published in The Writing Disorder and Word Fountain.  http://kindalikeapoet.wordpress.com

 

Tom

 Tom J. Hughes is a Language Arts teacher at Reading Intermediate High School. He is an avid fan of the game Magic: the Gathering and feels that it is the most fun you can have with your pants on.

 

 

 Iris

Iris Johnston is tired of being asked if she’s a “cunning linguist.” She is currently exploring the genre of poetry on demand and will release a collection of her efforts at the 2014 Scranton Zine Fest.

 

 

Ed

Edward Lupico is a full-time librarian who is never far from words. He travels many miles to taste craft beers and unequivocally enjoys the company of his dog, even though that dog is an illiterate teetotaler.

 

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Fall 2013 Issue No. 8

word fountain fall 2013 issue no. 9

Editors: Rachael Goetzke, Iris Johnston, Jessica Kush, Edward Lupico

“Though the winds of change may blow around you,
but that will always be so”*

 

Tim

This issue is lovingly dedicated to the memory of Timothy Allen Harris

 

Born:  November 4, 1982

Died:  September 13, 1999

cat cover photo art:  Rachael J. Goetzke

copyright Osterhout Free Library (c) 2013

*Led Zeppelin_“In the Light”_Physical Graffiti_Swan Song, 1975.

 

 

CONTENTS
A POEM for HALLOWEEN Charles O’ Donnell  
A Demon’s Treat Carol MacAllister  
A Son Jennifer Hill  
A Journey to the Buddha William Harrison  
May God Bless You Now and Hereafter Lisbeth Gelatt  
Fall Quake Tornieri  
Autumn Requiem Rachael Goetzke  
On Fall Scuter Tornieri  
Watch Out For Witches Adrian Spendlow  
Stranded in Scoville Carl Albright  
Attack of the Trednods Carol MacAllister  
Poem for Japan, March 2011 Dittow Tornieri  
NOVEMBER SECOND Charles O’Donnell  
Lonely Willow Tornieri  
Contributors    
Meet Your Editors    
     
     
     
     

A POEM for HALLOWEEN     by Charles O’Donnell

Subtracting matter,
making you by taking
away from you,
I cut you with a knife.
A stabbing craniotomy
scoops out your useless brain.
I slice your nose,
your sightless stare triangular,
a gash of jagged grin.
Seeds like spit-out-teeth
I scatter.
East of yellow, west of red–
your pumpkin color–keep.

Empty now,
your carved out space ignites
an inner light–
this candle making whole
your hollowness.

 

***

 

A Demon’s Treat           by Carol MacAllister

 

Fresh newt’s eyes and frog legs flinch

while boiling in the brew,

Spells are cast on howling winds,

There darts a trick or two.

 

Trouble lurks at every turn,

unknowing victims race

from moaning dead, banshee cries,

monster’s snarling chase.

 

Autumn’s rustling branches drone

at demons overhead

on ancient brooms, phantom steeds,

Rousing up the dead.

 

Strange, how innocence is lured

to wander through dark streets,

Each year, a few just disappear,

Snatched! – a demon’s treat.

 

***

 

A Son     by Jennifer Hill

 

Bar none, hands down, he has the happiest face in the history of punctuation.

Period? Not that end mark, full stop of forever. A comma, like the pause

that happens in a film where the director left the sky for the viewer to consider.

His face makes you want to write love letters to the world, gives you the feeling

that a grain of sleepy sand from his eye contains the universe. One yawn

and the entire court of your heart kneels. This is the light that clubs you to death.

You sense the great supervisor of your life
working at the file cabinet,

shifting your childhood, your young adulthood to the back to make room

for what will be his key years, your responsibility. It’s yours to hold and keep,

to match or un-match with what your parents did for you. His face is the happiest

 

note in all of music, in every song ever sung, even in his wailing, which reaches

a volume that makes the dog’s ears tilt and the cat scuttle under the bed. You asked

for spring and got all the seasons fast forwarded, but his face calms you, slows

the chatter in your head, casts a spell on reality. He is the dream that seals

the story, stacks the deck in your favor. If the devil himself had presented him

to you in the basement, filled with its spiderwebs of cunning,

you would have swaddled the boy and run. His face is the comma,

his face is the first brick of your foundation, his face is every seed

of the possible, and he came from you. Just you.

 

***

 

 

A Journey to the Buddha     by William Harrison

 

A perilous pathway wound its way

up a mountainside in Uijongbu.

Patient pilgrims plodded with staggering steps

along the dizzying precipice, fearful of falling.

Clinging to the mountain, sacred sites

gave haven from the punishing rays of the merciless sun,

or drenching torrents of flooding monsoon rain.

Food and drink were the comforts holy hermits offered,

asking nothing in return but pilgrims pray for them.

At the top the Buddha sat in splendor;

silent, stone-faced, staring eternally out

from a temple hewn of pine trunks painted red;

 

its lacy walls were inlaid with golden symbols.

Spirit-stoppers, in the form of savage serpents,
crouched on the roof

guarding the worshippers from lurking evil.

As from an infinite distance the Buddha watched

celebrants genuflecting on the stone floor at his feet

making obeisance to what they thought he was.

Unenlightened soldiers at the mountain’s base jumped
into their jeeps

and sped hastily to the Buddha, not realizing

that the journey was the goal.

 

 

This poem was written as a meditation on a pilgrimage to the
Buddhist temple north of Seoul, Korea while I was stationed with the 2d Division Artillery in 1980.

 

***

 

 

May God Bless You Now and Hereafter.     by Lisbeth Gelatt

American Soldier.

He was Not the first, God no.

It was very nearly tradition.

He lovingly polished the muzzle

ceremoniously blued just days before,

the one that echoed in his mind.

She nearly flexed her beautiful figure

in his mind,

caressed his hand, in his mind cried out

Choose Me! Me!

I’ll do you good,

 

So he picked her right out of the lineup

of eternal lovers,

that collection he and his buddies accrued.

Some of them old friends, some trophies

some clutched desperately

in the middle of the night

against unwelcome company.

 

Oddly, the nightmares receded

once he knew, knew

the direction he’d go with his life.

 

Heh, heh. Funny. He joked to himself,

didn’t think of anything,

pictured cool desert stars at night,

palming her cool thigh.

Saw that towering wall of red sand

swallowing the barracks;

overtaking daylight;

scattering the pickup game;

Swallowing sound in that shushed roar;

Advancing surely and with infinite patience;

Sipping greedily the town outside;

Overtaking a woman, small boy,

his gunmetal lover.

His hand.

 

04/16/2012. In memory of PFC Gray, and all who fell to enemy fire after coming home.

 

 

***

 

 

Fall     by Quake Tornieri

 

This time of the year,

too clearly cold and heavy—
my window strategy time—
comes too soon.

 

Can spring hide forever?

 

 

***

 

 

Autumn Requiem     by Rachael J. Goetzke

In eighth grade, the jocks made fun of me because they knew my brother Jeremy was a “stoner.”  One day at the lunch table after their chiding, I was so angry I cried.  Tim, the smelly kid at the end of the table, said, “It’s okay, Rachael.  They’re just stupid.”
“Dude, your brother is so cool,” Tim told me in English class our junior year.  I gave him a foreboding look.  Within five minutes, he was having narcotic dreams.  It made me hurt.  I remembered that smelly kid (he didn’t smell anymore) who put his arm around me and told me not to worry about the stupid kids that made fun of me for having a “stoner” brother.
Every day during our 27-minute lunch our freshman year, Tim would bribe coins off multiple people to see how many Yoo-hoos he could buy by the end of the lunch period. One day, he’d bribed enough change for three and drank all of them.  He bounced through the lower commons on a sugar high.  He came up and put his arms around Lindsey and me and starting singing, “And here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson…” and all three of us launched into, “JESUS LOVES YOU MORE THAN YOU WILL KNOW WHOA-oh-oh…” and finished the verse, at least.
I was walking from my‘86 VW Jetta fall when Tim caught up to

me on the sidewalk in early September of our senior year.  “Hey, Rachael.  You have a Jetta, too?”

“You’ve got one?”

“Yeah, it’s pretty shoddy but it gets me to school.  It’s an 85.  What’s yours?”

“1986.”

“So I’m going to a party out in a field somewhere this weekend.”

“Tim, be careful, okay?  I worry about you.”

“It’s cool.  Thanks.  Have a good weekend!”

“You too, Tim.”

***

My friend William called me that Sunday evening.  “Tim Harris died last night.”  Flashes of Friday’s early fall sunshine spread across my mind as I saw his strawberry blonde hair swinging into his freckled face.  Sobs came and I set the receiver on the bed.  Mom came into the room and took the phone from me.
“H-how did it happen?”  I replayed a few of his last words to me:  Cool.  I’m going to a party out in a field somewhere.

Mom had spoken with William before he called me.  “He was staying at his doctor’s house, ironically.  And he took too many pills.  They didn’t know until this morning but they said he died sometime Sunday night.”  Thoughts of my brother raced through my head.  I remembered Tim staring up at me with pinpoint pupils during the old broadcast version of The Scarlet Letter in English class the previous year. By the end of that year he had taken to using his leather jacket as a pillow.  My brother’s so cool, all right.  So cool he could be dead, like you, Tim.

Tim’s viewing was the first one I’d ever attended; Mom went with me.  I’d like to say I shouldn’t have gone but it did something important for me.  It instilled in me the firm belief that your last vision of someone should be of them when they are happy and alive.  The image of waxen post-mortem Tim is tattooed on the back of my retinas.  I still don’t have to close my eyes to see him laid out in his Hardee’s uniform clutching a tennis racket and his VW keychain.  Laid out.  What a funny term, if you think on it.  It sounds so inviting—like you’re having some posh party while
everyone is grieving.  I stared at his lifeless face for a long time.
Only a week after his passing, I said to my friend, Chris, “I know he’s in a better place.”

“He’s gone, Rachael,” Chris insisted.

“Yes, I’m aware.  I choose to believe he’s in a better place.”
“When people die, they’re just dead.  That’s it—the end. Game over,” he said.

Tears threatened my eyes, “No,” I argued he’s in a better place.”  Before I finished my sentence, tears spilled over my cheeks.

Chris retreated, only a little, “Well, that’s foolish,” he said.  But then he dropped it.  I can’t accept the idea that nothing exists after this life.  My faith is too strong and “I shall not be moved,” as the old hymn professes.  I still believe people who have passed on are watching over us.  Mom shares this belief and has often said that she feels like her first love, Danny, is still looking after her.  Many people doubt the afterlife for animals but I refuse to believe in any other fate.  I’m quite assured that my dear, sweet cat, named Snakes, is watching over me, and always will be.

Sitting in the pew at Tim’s wake must have been eerie for her.  As we sat together I saw a girl clutching an older man.  She was unrecognizable in her grief.  “Daddy just tell me he’s sleeping,” she kept wailing.  This incident was actually more disturbing than Tim’s waxen face so artificially at peace.  I later found out this was Jessie and her father was the doctor who’d been allegedly been   allowing Tim to crash in the barn and also provided him with illicit substances that may have incited his death.

 

It took me about five years to write about Tim’s passing.  One

beautiful fall day after poetry class in college I summoned up that

September just a few years before:

 

Autumn Requiem

Silence deafened the day

The leaves danced to the ground—

Kamikaze pilots in a perishing pirouette

Dive and plie among the trees       the gentle breeze

Sang a song for you

My childhood friend slipped her hand in mine

The warmth colored my hand with comfort

As the fading day drained the color from your once-green

 

eyes

The single rose shattered the silence

 

as I set it on your cedar bed

And the benevolent moon strolled up on the scene to bid

 

the fallen leaf goodnight.

 
He’s in the passing leaves now.

 

 

***

 

 

ON FALL     by Scuter Tornieri

Disappointment speaks of change.
Clover time and garden time are over for now.
Flying time finds animals leaning to the south
or under the cooling ground.

Below, turtles, hide alone
In necessary sleep.

 

 

***

 

 

Watch Out For Witches     by Adrian Spendlow

 

Watch out for witches whirling about

Creeping and flying and leaping right out.

 

The warty, the shorty, the wily stick thin

All have a pot to boil you in.

 

With a hubble, a bubble, steaming it all

They creep up behind in the woods or the hall.

 

Whizzing on bristles, being cats or a hare

A whisk of a whisper they’re suddenly there.

 

Wizened and beaky with gleaming mad-eyes

Surprisingly silent till they screech a cry.

 

With a wriggle, a giggle, a wiggle of wand

Oops!  You’re a frog and you live in a pond!

 

We dance with a cackle and cast a wild eye

“We are the witches,” we scream and fly by.

 

 

***

 

 

Stranded in Scoville     by Carl Albright

 

No matter how comfortable

you feel in this present,

never give in

to a habanero dare.

 

Even when you’re sitting in

the Hard Rock Café of Niagara Falls,

beneath the slight shadows of

a Jimmy Hendrix hollow body.

No matter how innocent

the

 

finger-sized pepper looks,

their numbers

tell nothing about

what it feels like,

to have the immediate future

seared out in a stream of tears,

a pitcher of Budlight,

handfuls of hard rolls,

and yet another

never-again promise.

 

 

***

 

 

 

Attack of the Trednods     by Carol MacAllister

 

The rally ring of roses rang

While cockle crows shined purple fangs

All readied to save Starkle Tweak

A quiet place where Trednod feet

Can turn the drifting silent dins

Into a month of rattle grins.

 

“No rattle grins,” the slithers cried,

“The Trednod march.  We need to hide,

or be trampled under toes.”

“Don’t worry,” cawed the cockle crows.

 

Crows flew the cider waves of Mork

Each purple fang dropped silver forks

Upon the Trednods’ green webbed toes

Slithers hid as cockle crows

Drove back the stomping Trednod feet

Than all the slithers did repeat,

 

“Hurray! We’re saved from rattle grins

They will not stop our silent dins.”

 

 

 

 ***

 

 

 

 

Poem for Japan, March 2011     Dittow Tornieri

 

Earth I love.

Above, flying, I watched

ugly tide curl and rage

far so far outside the sea.

 

So different before and after.

 

How I cry!  Sweet lost people and pets

haunt me.  Who forced the treasured grass

and blanket of land off gardens and ground?

Boiling claws of water, signing sculpture it bare.

After, shallow pools shaped the face of the city.

 

Poems lights fear.

 

 

***

 

 

NOVEMBER SECOND     by Charles O’ Donnell

When her patient dies, the night nurse winds
the body in sheets and opens the window so
the soul will not be hindered on its journey.

Soul seeks her home at the end of her shift,
slips through her shaded window, entwines itself
in morning sheets, lingers in her daylight dreams.

 

***

 

 

Lonely     Willow Tornieri

 

June’s dry, soft clouds

code herons’ fishing time,

while in our lawn, robins listen

for worm rustles.

 

In fall, birds yield to the cold.

far away, my poetry cries

for spring’s return.

 

***

 

Contributors

Carl Albright lives with his wife and three teenage sons in rural Northeast PA. He especially enjoys jogging over bridges, playing Sunday-morning guitar, sharing family
dinners, and praying for peace.

Lisbeth Gelatt is a writer, poet, and student in her final
semester at Keystone College. Lis’s work can be found at
Cowboypoetry.com, at the Keystone College Litmagazine, The Plume, at Pank Magazine’s parenting special, at her blog threedivas.wordpress.com, in Skin to Skin literary magazine’s upcoming December issue, and in 2012’s flood issue of Word Fountain.

William Fuller Harrison is a resident of Wilkes-Barre, PA.  He has studied creative writing with Charles O’Donnell of ArtSeen, and Leland Bennett of Plymouth High School, from which he graduated in 1965. His poetry and prose have been published in Veterans’ Voices magazine and Word Fountain.

Jennifer Hill writes, creates, performs, and believes only boring people get bored. You can find her online at: actsofjennius.com.

Carol MacAllister, M.F.A., is widely published in poetry, has won several poetry awards and has served as adjudicator in poetry competitions, most recently, NFSPS. She has edited and published three books of poetry – RIPASSO, a unique by-invitational-only collection including Robert Pinsky and other poet laureates. Available only at clmshazam@aol.com

Charles O’Donnell graduated from King’s College where he majored in English. He is a social worker in Nanticoke. His play “The Last Time” was produced by the Jason Miller Playwright Project in Scranton.

Adrian Spendlow is the official Bard of York, England, and presents his work in private and public venues. He is a key presenter in the huge annual Viking Festivities, as well as a storyteller and portrayer of characters in themed events and enactments.

Dittow, Quake, Scuter, Willow Tornieri are a family of Japanese poets whose work has been transcribed by their colleague, Rosemary Lombard.

Meet Your Editors…

Rachael Goetzke has her MA and MFA in Creative Writing from Wilkes University.  Excerpts of her memoir have been published in The Writing Disorder and Word Fountain.

Iris Johnston can’t decide if she is more satisfied by flowers and ponds, or Sephora and Thai food. She currently hopes to discover the existence of a Nail Polish Tree.

Edward Lupico is a full-time librarian who is never far from words. He travels many miles to taste craft beers and unequivocally enjoys the company of his dog, even though that dog is an illiterate teetotaler.

Jessica Kush is the Office Coordinator in the Alumni Relations and Annual Giving Office at King’s College. She is also a graduate from King’s College with a Bachelors of Arts degree in English: professional writing. When she isn’t reading or writing, she enjoys volunteering and planning programs for several nonprofit organizations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Just a little…patience…

Dear Word Fountain fans and submitters,

Due to technology upgrades, it will take us just a little longer to print our spring issue.  Thanks for your patience.  We hope to have it out sometime in May and we’ll keep you updated.

 

Be well and write on,

Your Word Fountain Editors

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“Tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiime is on our side–yes it is!”

We’ve gotten some great submissions this week and we are writing to let you know that there is still a bit more time to submit if you were pondering it…if the thought of Word Fountain kept you up in the Full Moon’s light…gnawing on your cuticles, pondering over poems…oh, okay, we’ll stop…but we just wanted to let you know that you have until Monday, April 21st at 5:00 p.m. EST (Easter Monday for those celebrating) to submit.  Here are the specifics, once again:

Come, lovers of libraries!  Wordsmiths!  Readers and writers of the world!  Submit your literary goodness to our commemorative spring issue of Word Fountain!  In honor of our 125th anniversary as a library, our theme is open to libraries, literature and language.

Your 1,000 word or less submission can be loosely based on these themes.  Interested in writing a poem about how great the library is?  Or perhaps you have a flash fiction mystery piece with the library as a setting?  Want to woo others with your love for Whitman?  Care to compose a Chaucerian piece?  Discuss your discourse on syntax, grammar…etc.

Please, share your creative insights with us:

Deadline for submissions:  April 21, 2014
Ages 13+ (must have legal guardian’s permission if under 18.  A signed document giving you permission is acceptable.)
Any genre.
1,000 words or less.
By submitting you understand that SUBMISSION DOES NOT GUARANTEE PUBLICATION; however, your submission will be carefully reviewed by an excellent literary team.
By submitting, you acknowledge that, if accepted, your work may be published in print, online or in-house at our library.

Ways you can submit:
email:  wordfountain@osterhout.lib.pa.us
Mail or deliver to:
Osterhout Free Library
ATTN:  Word Fountain Staff
71 S. Franklin Street
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701
Fax:  Attn:  Word Fountain Staff to 570 823 2475

Cheers,

Your friendly neighborhood Word Fountain Editors!

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Libraries, Literature and Language

Come, lovers of libraries!  Wordsmiths!  Readers and writers of the world!  Submit your literary goodness to our commemorative spring issue of Word Fountain!  In honor of our 125th anniversary as a library, our theme is open to libraries, literature and language.

Your 1,000 word or less submission can be loosely based on these themes.  Interested in writing a poem about how great the library is?  Or perhaps you have a flash fiction mystery piece with the library as a setting?  Want to woo others with your love for Whitman?  Care to compose a Chaucerian piece?  Discuss your discourse on syntax, grammar…etc.

Please, share your creative insights with us:

Deadline for submissions:  April 21, 2014
Ages 13+ (must have legal guardian’s permission if under 18.  A signed document giving you permission is acceptable.)
Any genre.
1,000 words or less.
By submitting you understand that SUBMISSION DOES NOT GUARANTEE PUBLICATION; however, your submission will be carefully reviewed by an excellent literary team.
By submitting, you acknowledge that, if accepted, your work may be published in print, online or in-house at our library.

Ways you can submit:
email:  wordfountain@osterhout.lib.pa.us
Mail or deliver to:
Osterhout Free Library
ATTN:  Word Fountain Staff
71 S. Franklin Street
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701
Fax:  Attn:  Word Fountain Staff to 570 823 2475

Cheers,

Your friendly neighborhood Word Fountain Editors!

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We Want YOU…to submit to our literary magazine, of course!

We have a few opportunities for people ages 6+ to share their creativity.  We are hard at work preparing our second Youth Issue but accept submissions on a rolling basis for future issues. 

Currently, we are looking for content from ages 13+ for our regular issue:   

Submission Guidelines:

1,000 words or less, any genre:  poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, song lyrics, plays, essays, short stories, flash fiction, etc…
FALL-themed submissions, particularly ones that deal with the beauty of nature and the metaphor of loss. 

A great poet once said fall is “a beautiful death.”                        

Deadline:  FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2013

                                                    Osterhout Free Library
                                              Attn:  Word Fountain Editors
                                                     71 S. Franklin Street
                                                    Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701
                                                      570-823-0156 phone
                                                        570-823-2475 fax
                                           wordfountain@osterhout.lib.pa.us
                                http://thelibrarywordfountain.wordpress.com
                              http://www.facebook.com/thelibrarywordfountain

For our next youth issue:
Have your art on the cover of our next Word Fountain issue!
Contest and submission open to children ages 6-12

Design must be no larger than 8 x 10 inches

Images copy better if drawn with bold lines, black ink on white paper

Works must be ORIGINAL, created by you!

The winning piece will be featured as the cover of our next Youth Issue

We are also looking for content—writing and line art drawings for the next issue.

1,000 words or less, any genre.  Drawing guidelines same as above.  Please note:  Submission DOES NOT guarantee publication, but all entries are carefully considered.

Your work will ONLY be returned if you enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

With your submission, please include slip with complete information below:

……………………………………………………………………….…………………

PLEASE PRINT

Name:                                                 Age:                 Home Phone:

Address:

Email (optional):                                               
Guardian’s Signature: ________________________________________________________________

By signing, you are agreeing to allow us to post your work in print or online.

Please return this signed slip with your submission to the address listed above.

Thanks for your support!  We still have plenty of copies of our Flood Issue; these can be obtained from the Osterhout Free Library and its branches.  Please contact us using the information above.  We ask for a minimum of $5 per copy.  These funds, via the Luzerne Foundation, will benefit local flood victims.

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