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ShoeString #1 --- Nov/Dec02

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4 Poems by --- Raleigh D. Meadow


How each tear fondles the synapses, yes
salty tongues arousing electrical currents
Oh but this foreplay of affliction
leading up to vision


Abracadabra, presto!
You know, that sophisticated, ego boosting
tricked out, colorful side
reflecting the expectations of our peers
that they may gaze upon their own bright face
thus seeing how beautiful we are


Of this Cheshire Cat existence
all that shall remain of us
is the smile of our words

It isn't money, but rather the word
which makes the world go 'round
It's fairly basic math actually
world - word = l
The remainder, (l) , denotes the effect
that said equation would produce...
a planet (l)ost


The Mountain Gorilla
the Giant Panda
the Red Wolf
the truth
many, are those in trouble
Logger... Developer
Tooth Fairy... Easter Bunny
each are destroying habitat
at an alarming rate
To insure truth's survival
its breeding grounds of honesty
must remain pristine
Yet fervidly
the Fairy wields the chainsaw
and the Bunny operates the 'dozer
all overseen by the knowing eyes
of project director Mr. Claus
Can we ever hope to see an honest world
when discovering romance in the lie
is a child's Elysium

"Useless" --- by J. E. June

Needling thoughts,
Tailor my countenance.

I know the quivering lip of rejection,
Its unconditional trajectory.

Emptied from womb and heart simultaneously,
mother leaving without dialogue.

father made nightly biological donations,
his putrid way of acknowledging my existence.

I walk in rote punctuation,
The shuffle of new molecules,
Would shatter my mind.

"CITY SKIN" --- by Averil Bones

In an orange way
hairy pits swung through
vine thickets, left pungent streaks
on recumbent timbers, rotting,
writhing with creatures whose
births went unlisted.

Free-balling sinuous men
who drop from limbs, orange-skinned,
faces cocky over human eyes
in the hothouse humidity of
chirripping jungle climes.

My baldy body sweats.

In the distance orange voices
shriek long grating echoes
to my fearful ears, so
as I reach down to pluck that
long leech from my bloody city skin
I see just how far I have come.

3 Poems by --- Neil Myers


Butterfly wings dissolve
in my two small hands

Apples under the apple tree
we run over them with the Lawn-Boy
juice flows out onto the grass
where the hardworking bees
stop by for a drink

wood peckers bang away
on the trunks of the apple and oak trees
and all day long
you hear them
thump thumping their brains out

play war with plastic machine guns
your best buddy goes down
in a hail of invisible bullets

dust off your jeans pal

drink water from the garden hose

you'll grow.


So many stilleto tongues
lashing and cutting

wastelands of hope
Hiroshima of the soul
shreds of newborn paper
ripped and redefined
in the sea of ashes

ready to fall
on the new limbs
of creation.


They fold their cracked hands
in a silent
monotone prayer

across the brown oak bar
they sit and float
in the middle
of a universe of noise

Irish-jig music
and shouted conversations

The bartender gives this quiet communion
as we drift away
into the cieling
thoughts rising up slowly
out of the smoky trails
of my cuban cigar

dreams of Danish girls
and Provence weekends

home and the mountains
of memory--autumn
paper leaves and fiery colours

Us and them
we pray into the evening mist
our glasses
broken mirrors
of faces
old friends
disappearing in silence

past midnight
we sit and sink
pints of yellow holy water
and strange new searchers among us

waiting on lamented-dark prayers
to be
in the blue
neon lights flashing:


You can read more of Neil's poems,
and other writings at...
Carolina Pacifica

"Long Ago" --- by Stephen Mead

Cold hands
Warmed by another,
Always someone warmer
In that once going on...

Returning is a glass path
Across that bridge
With no thought of:
Make it different.

Not then anyway.
Not this time,
Its particular past lasting
Long as it takes to put
One finger against still lips.

But they do not tremble.
But they do not speak, & time
Curves over, holds the warm heart
Inexperienced but for fear &
Liking that slight touch
More than many things given,
More than the giving back by
Nature anyway-----

Being there, yes, just
All for the being

Stephen has other talents.
Click his name... Stephen Mead

5 Poems by --- Duane Locke


Every evening upon arriving home from work
A crow would place a basket in front of my door.
The basket contained my real face.
Next morning when going to work,
I would take my real face off,
Put in the basket for the crow to keep.
Finally, I retired from working.
I thought when I put my real face on this evening,
I'd never have to take it off again.
I was happy that I could keep on my real face,
But when I opened the basket,
My real face was not there,
Only a different type of false face.
A note from the crow said,
"Your real face has been lost forever."


A girl watered the white orchids.Watered
Very sparingly. The sparseness gave her a petite joy
It was a type of self-_expression.

Next door, an old man put glass eyes
in a gutta-percha doll. Kissed the doll
Lavishly and abundantly on its coral lips.


He opened the door to the banquet hall, saw
Every seat except one at the table was occupied.
He studied how he could get to this one seat
Without being noticed, without causing a disturbance.
He walked close to the wall,
Pressed himself against the grayness and rococo designs.
He tiptoed around the corners,
Hoped no one would hear his steps,
Would not turn around to stare.
After much anxiety, he finally arrived at the one seat.
He lokked to the left, no one was there.
He looked to the right, no one was there.
He looked around, no one else was in the room.
He looked at the date on his watch.
He had arrived two days early.


He slipped into the museum.
The underpaid guards were very lax.
He wanted to see the notorious nude sculptures,
But was ashamed to be seen buying a ticket.
He observed that the naked sculptured woman
Looked more real and passionate
Than the real women he had known.
Also, the _expression and gestures of these
Sculptured woman suggested that these women
Were capable of deep emotions, deep love.
These capabilities are rarely found in real women
Who are only capable of shallow lust and having babies.
But he heard the guide coming with the crowd.
He did not want it found out he slipped in,
So he took off his clothes and stood among the nude sculpture.
When the guide and the crowd
Arrived at the place where he stood naked,
He heard the comment,
"How did this work get selected for the show?
It is definitely the work of a very inferior artist
Who has no sense of reality."


A crowd was coming into the orchard.
The place was called the orchard
Because a long time ago it was an orchard.
Now, just barren earth, with many
Of the homeless sleeping under trees
And in abandoned boxes.
We saw the crowd now coming into the orchard
Were made of marble. They were statues
Of people who were famous when the orchard flourished.
The homeless, not educated to know who was famous, spat
On the marble people.
The marble people thought
they would be recognized and revered,
Wiping the spit from their marble bodies,
They cried, and ran away.
We were surprised to see that marble legs
Could move so fast.
When they were gone, we gathered
Up in a bag, the marble tears.


A Poem by --- Lita Sorensen

"Your mind and you are our Sargasso Sea" --Ezra Pound

Gushes rend themselves on rock
smooth like sheets of silk
gripping themselves tight,
lolling over sands and silts
uncontrolled, vulnerable,
soothing creases
like a fist made up only of skin and bone.
Coercing grasses to arc their backs
and be destroyed, evaporated, delivered,
to drink from calm depths.
You are a disease that has gained momentum.
Your waters carry stealth & pestilence,
reassuring in your murmurs
of loss and flow, of algae-ebbed
shallows. You reside below.

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