Summer 2006 Edition
July through September
Sol Magazine, A Quarterly Poetry Journal.  2006: The eighth year of a ten-year project of volunteers interested in the education of poets.
 © 2006 Sol Magazine

The dance of light on the pond, the dance of dreams in our hearts, the dance of words on the page.

Poetry Works Rejection and the Stupidity of Flaming Pens &
The Common Sense of Getting Paid in Poetry
Dreams of Old Shanghai 
by Colin Campbell
Hidden Topic:
(Free Verse)
(Lyric Poem)
(Double Five)
(Impressionistic Poetry)
Contact info



Poetry Works: "Rejection and the Stupidity of Flaming Pens" by Mary Margaret Carlisle

Poetry Works: "The Common Sense of Getting Paid in Poetry" by Mary Margaret Carlisle

(links take you to Poetry Works page)


Dreams of Old Shanghai by Colin Campbell

Each quarter, we choose one poem to honor with the title of EDITOR'S CHOICE.  This month we chose:

Dreams of Old Shanghai

Shanghai girl, Wang Xiudi
today you dream of days long gone.
Such times as sailing down the Yangtze
to a cold place, so far away from home,
strange world across a lonely sea.

Then China rising like a dream
brings, new times and many changes.
Now home, and held in high esteem
you even know three languages,
but what's the one in which you dream?

Colin Campbell, Kunming, CHN

COMMENTS: Masterful exploration; thoughtful, insightful, personal yet universal.  Beautifully written narrative that seems like personal memoir.

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Out of Beirut
Against the backdrop
of black clouds rising
out of Beirut,
the figure of a woman 
with outstretched arms.
She is surrounded 
by the ribs
of overturned vehicles
left with occupants
no one's identified.
The skirt that she wears
has the pattern of dead leaves.
Her sandals are dusty
from all the rubble 
she's walked through.
In the distance, 
the sirens grow louder
like a warning.
How far must she travel 
before she can grieve?
Cindy Tebo, Catawissa, MO, USA
COMMENTS:  Strong writing brings the reader into the moment, stirs the heart into response.
Somewhere in the Middle East

Explosions rend the night
and often the day
Strange people in strange uniforms
fill the cities
the no longer safe cities
Even the countryside is deadly
filled with gunfire and screams
filled with violent and angry words
filled with corpses and severed pieces
Homes lie in ruins
crops are in flames
a simple meal an impossible luxury
They say that all this
is the price of future security
but all you care about
is surviving in the present

Katherine Swarts, Houston, TX, USA

COMMENTS:  Clear, direct, no punches pulled, forces the reader to pay attention.
Poem to ask the Difficult Question, What do I tell his Children?

The night rains ends softly.  The sun rises through the haze.
Wet lilacs glow bright violet.  The snowballs look like silk.
His children gather the new blossoms.  A wreath 
for the funeral.
Mother sees fog through her tears.  The black 
so wrong for spring.

Jim Applegate, Roswell, NM, USA

COMMENTS:  The lyric beauty of the surroundings are in direct contrast to the raw emotion of the Mother.  
America’s Poor

The war on poverty
Will never be won
So long as politicians
And relief groups
Continue to abuse
Privilege and power
So long as food
Rots in warehouses
Because of red tape
Or bureaucratical errors
So long as the chasm
Between 'haves'
And 'have-nots'
Grows ever wider
So long as children
In a land of plenty
Have rumbling stomachs
And we who
Would, could, should
Do nothing

SJ Baldock, Lancaster, TX, USA

COMMENTS:  This political piece is well written as an almost chant that gathers movement and strength as it steams to the end.
We, whom among Earth's population 
Live and reside, inherently within are 
feelings of the human condition
Evil breeds, its rape upon youth with 
planet plagued terror  
Corpses, exhumed for exhibition
Imploded within Earths eroded coffin
Lost, hopes for peace, faith and 
fallible religious doctrine 
Dismembered hope floats upon
blood red seas of hate and despair
Heaven, from within, spiritually
matures from infant seed to that of 
'Life's Procreated Tree'
Earth's forest pleads
for all brethren to sharingly embark,
Self immune of toxic behavioral ills and
all bear both its Ardent Fruit 
Breath of Love and future visions 
of Peaceful Horizons ........ and 
A World Rediscovered
Louie Levy, Thousand Oaks, Ca, USA
COMMENTS:  Nicely developed theme.
the city of champions' revolting news

gang wars erupt in New Mexico
conflicts spill over into streets
on dirt roads
a war of hostility
among former classmates
now enemies and rivals
shoot guns for right
to raid pantries for provisions
poured out on same dirt roads
of attack
to brag of dominance
control inferior brothers
too afraid to retaliate
for each blow grows
no lives spared
over can of soup
wasted---used as bait
to balloon the grudge
entice families
swells more revenge

Carol Dee Meeks, Artesia, NM, USA

COMMENTS:  The journalistic style of this piece seems at first glance straightforward, yet has undertones of anger in its very particular word choices.  Nicely done.

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While language is the common bread of everyday life, it is also meant to convey higher ideas with a cadence, rhythm and tone born not only of meaning but also of the sound of the words themselves in melodic and lyrical language.  Poets were asked to write a poem about the way natural light looks on any natural body of water and to use several lyrical tools in a down to earth way.      

Knee-Deep In Sunset

In the flooded forest
trees wade knee-deep in sunset.
Water or second sky--
sheets of rose-gold barred with black,
like silk hangings torn to let in the dark?
The eye confuses figure and background
solid with shadow
reflection with depth...
and sight falls upward into the drowned treetops.

Tiel Aisha Ansari, Portland, OR, USA 

COMMENTS:  Expertly written with unique ideas and excellent phrasings.  Sounds repeat, ideas compress and are turned end on end in this complex yet easily understandable darkly lyric piece.   
Tripping the Light 
Fantastic how the light
in rain's quick puddle
flashes back 
to a glint of childhood's reflection,
the sun winking me back to simpler days
each sudden prism of rain an instant's memory -
pooling, pooling. 
Thalia Cady, Upper Montclair, NJ, USA
COMMENTS:  Excellent title, wonderful lead in, memorable ending, fine comparison in simple exact language.  A good example of clear well-written poetry that uses very few words to capture an exact moment.
Whether water wrinkles in the rain
rippling gray skies in reflection
or weather awakens the lake
to the concentric possibility
rainbowed in sunlight as it reaches
between clouds, the moistened rays
dip into the cool, sparkling surface
its fingertips wrinkling in the wet.
James M. Thompson, Baytown, TX, USA
COMMENTS:  Almost like a batch of Ripley's record-breakers trying to fit themselves into a phone booth, this poem is stuffed with excellent examples of the use of poetic tools. The homophones of "whether" and "weather" bring both a touch of ambiguity of hearing/meaning and an echo of rhyme into the work.  The personification of the sun in "moistened rays" with "fingertips wrinkling," gives the poem's title a strong connection to its fine ending lines.  Sounds are repeated on each line, then varied on the next, giving the poem a musical feeling of circulating jazz riffs.  The lyric quality of the work is sustained from beginning to end.  Strong work.     
EDITOR'S NOTE:  A homophone is a word that has the same pronunciation as another word, but whose meaning and/or spelling are different.)

sun beams
fresh cut
icy facets
tossed loose
frosted water
white light

Betty Dobson, Halifax, NS, CAN 

COMMENTS:  Pure lyricism, with echoes of haiku in its brevity and direct attention to nature.  Beautifully written, poet!  
Joan’s Tawny Back

The San Juan flows like Joan’s tawny back,
natural light enwraps standing waves
and descends past thought, eddies coil
around dimples and swallow the black,
plunging rapids cover snaggy rock
in river dust and rainbow shards,
like peach blossoms on Joan’s tawny back.

Mike McCulley, Montesano, WA, USA

COMMENTS:  Well-grounded in place, this piece unveils both Joan and the river in luscious lyrical language that flows like water.  Nicely done.
Night on the Open Sea

Riding the black beneath us,
Now whole, now broken, now whole,
An endless white field of dots shimmers 
And rides the waves' ripple and roll.
My eyes drift away to the distance 
To discern where the light might end;
When I find myself staring upward, 
Who can tell where the sky began?

Katherine Swarts, Houston, TX, USA 

COMMENTS:  This lyric poem ends in the endless question, one that may never be answered.  Good descriptions of the water, with engaging insight into the poet's mind.  
Touch with silvery fingers
The power that ripples beneath
Light that dances across dark
Vast expanse of emptiness
Sprinkle your shimmering light
Across my mighty shoulders
Drink from my bottomless depth
Till daylight steals the dark

Sharon Alsop, Clinton, MO, USA

COMMENTS:  Lovely language choices in this nicely written lyric piece.
The Chattahoochee

Sunset's fingers brush shades of crimson and gold
Across the Chattahoochee River as Cherokee return home
Paddles stroke shimmering whirls of reflections
Shinning like melted glass alongside dugouts
Filled with baskets of chestnuts and muscadine grapes
Now only boulders remain to whisper of this peaceful nation
Long after the river sunset has faded
Long after the Cherokee have gone

Lois Lay Castiglioni, Galveston, TX, USA

COMMENTS:  Strong writing betrays this poet's unique talent for narrative storytelling.  Well written.
While Fishing the Stream

Through leafy branches in late afternoon
A bright shaft of sunlight filters through
As dust, a motif of shiny sparkles
Forms a blanket of misty haze
Settling heavily between the dried up banks.
It forms a backdrop for leaping fish
Who break through the filmy threads
Momentarily shredding the dimming glow-
A curtain call on the end of a day.

Shelley Culver, Benton, KS, USA 

COMMENTS:  This familiar picture sparkles on the page.
Bay Light
Daybreak gilds an iron sea
with filigrees of flaxen hair;
betraying trails, where wayward winds 
disrupt the bowed bays’ lolling waters.
Luminous, foam honeycombs
cascade, then slither in retreat
down leather sands of scattered jewels, 
which glint as crystal prisms wink, revealed.
Phill Doran, Johannesburg, RSA
COMMENTS:  The careful particularity of word choices invite the reader to speak this succinct piece aloud, where each word trips off the tongue in a fine rhythm so appealing it could become its own form.  Sounds echo from line to line, begging the reader to read aloud.
Dream Stream
Dorothy stoops over glimmering turf to finger
Forest ferns weaving in cool water flowing
Into a blue pond rushing over rocks smoothed
By skipping streams catching
Rainbow arches as it tumbles
Toward a faraway sea
A journey Dorothy can only capture
In her dreams
Kay Lay Earnest, Smyrna, GA, USA
COMMENTS:  An entire story well-told in eight brief lines.
In the Wink of an Eye

Like the twinkling glint
Of mischief in your eye,
Luminary streams aglow
Cast beams of radiance
Upon the rippling pond
You cut into this earth.
And in those incandescent
Moments trapped in time,
I glimpse again the lustrous smile
That chaperoned your wink.

Kathy Kehrli, Factoryville, PA, USA

COMMENTS:  Beautifully written piece.  Nice title choice that leads naturally into the poem.
Rio Dance
Light dabs upon the water's face.
In laser race
upon the waves'
translucence paves
with opaque pats of moonlight's ray,
obscures the lay
of bank sides' bright.
Enhances night.
The dance begins like fairies' pose
on stub-wrapped toes.
Yvonne Nunn, Hermleigh, TX, USA
COMMENTS:  Sweetly presented, nicely compared, a jewel of succinct work.
Night at de Ballet

Twilight fades, gives sway 
to a full moon rising, 
its light on the water a lithe
ballerina ­ her pirouette
perfect. Her shadow follows 
like a silvery specter. 
A breeze touches the lake,
small caps rise, sparkle
like diamonds in star shine,
footlights aglow for de ballet. 

Jeanette Oestermyer, Rochester, IN, USA

COMMENTS:  Beautiful descriptions of water add to the stronger vision of the ballerina's pirouette.
Morning Flame
The sun slips through the leaves
dazzles the creek bed, the slow
shallows of sable sand sway
with the play of light on water.
In the hush, jewelwings scatter
across the surface, in and out
of silver grasses, ebony shadows,
daring dreams of you.
Kathy Paupore, Iron Mountain, MI, USA
COMMENTS:  Love slips into this piece as naturally as sunshine on water; lovely descriptions.
Low Tide

Golden carpet borders the moist beach
shallow waves scurry to the shore.
Amber beams of light dance on the tide
refracting on the prism of water and light.

Eileen Sateriale, Bowie, MD, USA 

COMMENTS:  Short, sweet, simply beautiful.


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Dreams of Old Shanghai.

Shanghai girl, Wang Xiudi
today you dream of days long gone.
Such times as sailing down the Yangtze
to a cold place, so far away from home,
strange world across a lonely sea.

Then China rising like a dream
brings, new times and many changes.
Now home, and held in high esteem
you even know three languages,
but what's the one in which you dream?

Colin Campbell, Kunming, CHN

COMMENTS: Masterful exploration; thoughtful, insightful, personal yet universal.  Beautifully written narrative that seems like personal memoir. 
Aquarius, Approaching Forty

She moves like a sea
sheparding the shore
certain and secure.
Certain and secure,
the harbour of her arms.

Oceans of resolve
act while others dream,
constant as a stream.
Constant as a stream,
the warm bay of her smile.

Phill Doran, Johannesburg, RSA

COMMENTS:  Repeated phrases create rhythmical lullabying cadence.  Delicate descriptions bring the poet and reader into closeness.
The Counter Girl at Oishi’s

Happy eyes greet
the opening door
with alluring formality,
demure as a plum blossom
and available

to satisfy desires,
slow lips are generous
with teases and teasers,
promoting the noodles
and a dream.

Mike McCulley, Montesano, WA, USA 

COMMENTS:  Nice movement enhanced by repetitions of the same sounds.
Young Lion

You walked barefoot in the sand
smiling with tawny eyes
and black dandelion hair. Heat rippled--
from your caramel skin
from the blazing sun.

Cinnamon and salt your skin
silent power in your footstep
desert wind your breath.
Desert now this heart
only dreams roar at midnight.

Tiel Aisha Ansari, Portland OR, USA 

COMMENTS:   This poem has an earthy sensuality presented in highly descriptive multi layered images.  Nicely written. 
He smiles and puts an arm around shoulders
Of a friend standing weakly, cobbling to stand firm.
He looks him in the eye and garners an honest
Reply while we wait idly nearby,
Long wait for a dreamed ride home

Longing for a union of the bedded couple 
His to hers alone beyond the relaxing tinkle 
And roaring whispers of the barstool crowd 
Familiar as natural a habit as the cab rides 
And the shining lamp, post-notes of this night.

Susan Kumar, Fort Lee, NJ, USA

COMMENTS:  Well described narrative that includes some impressionistic touches of feeling.  Nicely done!
Within the Folds of Early Dawn

The steady rhythm
rise, fall
skin, breath, sheets succumb
to the ephemeral surge—
the ebbflow tide of dreams.

Natural illumination
softens darkness
softens gentle tranquility—
the complementary silhouette
caressed by pillow, light, and eyes.

Brady Riddle, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman

COMMENTS: Thoughtfully crafted powerful images, both stated and implied, create a complete portrait.
Miracle of Love

Dreams of the young
Finding a perfect love
Holding on to the magic
As years are traveled
And time keeps marching

Love did find me
Attached with firm hold
Followed me through years
Holding me up during sadness
Through seasons of my life

Sharon Alsop, Clinton, MO, USA 
What’s a Grandmother to Do?

Her eyes are frightened and moist although
No drops fall on her pallid cheeks as she
Fidgets in her chair instead of looking at her
Cruel step-mother’s angry expression
And furiously gesturing fingertips

Her spaghetti gets as cold as her father’s
Disinterest in mediating…her shoulders shake
And she may yet wet her face with tormented tears
As she dreams of never having to come another
Wednesday night or alternate weekend

SJ Baldock, Lancaster, TX, USA
Great Expectations

Each spring
Love for John next door
Crept over me like a fungus
He showed no interest in visiting
Until he saw my Dad bring in that TV

Finding John's letter in my mailbox
Meant my dream had come true
But all hopes shattered
For he addressed it to
My one true love or current occupant

Lois Lay Castiglioni, Galveston, TX, USA
Comic Sketch

Off-beat humor
is his signature charm.
He delivers his punch lines
with a sort-of casualness
that cannot mask his ebullience.

He exhales dreams
of fun and parody;
giddy, clever, quick-witted.
There is nothing more attractive
than the man who can make you laugh.

RJ Clarken, Hillsborough, NJ, USA
Fuzzy Husband

From head-to-toe and front-to-back
God's gift to him was extra hairs
When shirtless a dream-like Neanderthal
A human bear producing stares
Or bigfoot, short and not so tall

He's passionate and fun to squeeze
Has allergies that make him sneeze
His wit is sharper than big bear claws
Yet dangerous with gossiping jaws
Though teased and taunted he married me

Shelley Culver, Benton, KS, USA
The One That…

One hint of your smile
Under softly squinted eyes
Just happy to see me
You say my name
And light my day

One hint of you
Caught in the moment
Captured in dreams
Held in my heart
If not in my arms

Betty Dobson, Halifax, NS, CAN 
Love bubbled between us
For many years
Although unstated we read
Each other loud and clear
Touching expresses more than words
Nights are never lonely
With her warm body near
Perhaps she shares my dreams
As soft purring fills the room
Rising from my feline bedmate
Kay Lay Earnest, Smyrna, GA, USA
Tenacious Lover Boy
The boy inside
The six-foot man
Runs free as cows
In open range
Even still today
His heart belongs
To his first love
He dreams of her
Who wanted more
And so she didn't stay
Stephanie Anne McHugh, Nassau Bay, TX, USA
Student Leader

He runs his school with iron hand
and somber face and sober staid
where six and seven grades afraid
but watch his mode, respect his stand.
November days, his smiles are grand.

His days of reign like books have closed
for renal problems slow him down
He dreams of wealth in health as crown
less vigor days won’t be exposed.
My hero, gem, you live composed.

Carol Dee Meeks, Artesia, NM, USA
Dresden Doll Likeness
A dainty form
in fragile pose
is lost in dreams
of yesteryear
yet moves in postured dignity.
Dare not invade
her mind's domain
lest she emerge
in stripes on fur
a tiger armed with loaded claws.
Yvonne Nunn, Hermleigh, TX, USA
A Special Daughter

She enters the dawn of blessedness
a daughter who glows to show
the world her strength and love.
Her beauty without and within pales
at the depth of dedication to others.

She is a beacon in the storm
a help to the downtrodden.
The hopeless depend on her
goodness given with deep devotion.
Her door is always open to all.  

Jeanette Oestermyer,  Rochester, IN, USA
Medicine Woman
You came to me not in dream
or vision, but where red road 
meets blue, death's light meets 
life's darkness, where healing hands 
returned more than my mother. . .
name your daughter after me,
you said, and I did. . .she who
has your obsidian eyes and
blue-black hair, she who has
your medicine in her heart
Terrie Leigh Relf, San Diego, CA, USA

tender woman
sweet voice
gentle manners
devoted godmother
loving aunt

legacy of
beautiful gatherings
gracious entertainment
as you dream
among the angels

Eileen Sateriale, Bowie, MD, USA 

Loving a stranger from a distance
an image of perfection personified
a living portrait of the desirable
a smile out of a painting
loved by all who stand near

and also by one who stands distant
eyes only for the perfect image
longing to approach but so fearful
not merely of refusal
but of reality murdering the dream

Katherine Swarts, Houston, TX, USA 

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Impressionistic poetry is meant to present a broad idea rather than a particular description; to write in this way, a poet must interpret an impression rather than clearly capture reality, and imply a response to a feeling rather than describe the actual feeling, or mirror not an object but a reaction to an object, or write about some indistinct notion or recollection in a fluid, richly colored way.  This form demands that poets abandon the journalistic style of writing that most of us depend upon, an extremely difficult task for poets trained to be recorders of details, and accustomed to providing every who, what, where, and when of each moment.  

Shards of Glass, Torn Apart

Layers upon layers
of classical tonality.
Frail fingertips vibrating air
with pale, clockwork intensity.
Yet distances remain
and so, remain unbridgeable.
A minimal existence
composed of complex interludes 
and the mirror, in the mirror.

Phill Doran, Johannesburg, RSA

COMMENTS:  This is a beautiful example of an impressionistic poem.  No clear picture of a person has been provided, yet a very definite mood has been set where the reader is left with an indistinct yet strong impression of someone's essence.  Excellent title, fine writing to a difficult form.   
Old Soldier

You can't see the scars. Know their shape
by the gaps he leaves avoiding them
and by the quiet in his corner
when they speak of history
or glory
or death in any form
and by the double-headed shadow
that follows at his heels.

Tiel Aisha Ansari, Portland, OR, USA 

COMMENTS:  This portrait is so diffuse that all we see of the soldier is a description of what is not seen; a classically impressionistic poem that gave an interesting approach to this complex form.
Angelic Perfection

She walks in the dawn of blessedness
a glow surrounds her through mist
shows the world strength and love
for all who seek someone to care
her efforts to serve others are endless
a beacon in the storm
a help to those 
who hunger and thirst for hope 
granted in love

Jeanette Oestermyer, Rochester, IN, USA

COMMENTS:  This portrait without narrative details points clearly to the impressionistic style.  Well done.
Hidden Talent

he seems as fast
as gales blowing across the plains
oft times overlooked by fans in the stands
he speaks in rebounds
sometimes most points scored
the basketball world appears shaken
his health hassles
kidney transplant
looks like he plays with more pep

Carol Dee Meeks, Artesia, NM, USA

COMMENTS:  Close attention to impressions and feelings brings the reader into the action without providing too many of the details that might be given in a narrative poem.  Good writing.

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Ampersand Poetry Journalhttp://Ampersand-Poetry.org
Autumn Edition now online.  Read both journal and guidelines before submitting work.

Aplomado Falcon Literary News Online:  Writing events from anywhere in Texas! Houston, Dallas, Austin, The Woodlands, the Bay Area, etc.  If you wish your poetry or writing event posted at our website, send a complete event blurb with contact information to: Sol.Events@prodigy.net

Aplomado Falcon Literary News via E-Mail:  Bay Area writing & poetry events (Webster, Seabrook, Nassau Bay, Clear Lake City, Kemah, League City, Galveston).  If you wish to e-mail news of Bay Area events to local poets, send a very brief event blurb (who what when where) with total contact information to: Sol.Editor@prodigy.net

Texas Poetry Events:  http://www.sol-magazine.org/events.htm

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