Summer 2007 Edition
July through September
Sol Magazine, A Quarterly Poetry Journal.
2007: The tenth year of a ten-year project of volunteers interested in the education of poets.
 © 2007 Sol Magazine

To John Gorman, University of Houston - Clear Lake professor, mentor of poets, friend of the arts, and a fine poet in his own right.  Thank you for your long dedication to the cause of poetry. 

That's What I'm Talking: Metaphors
Hidden Contest: Hidden Summer
That's What I'm Talking 
The August Moon, Fading
Wind-Rocked Rocker
Contact info


EDITOR'S CHOICE - Summer 2007

Each quarter, we choose one poem to honor with the title of EDITOR'S CHOICE.  This poem also won first place in the "That's What I'm Talking" contest. 


She settles on my hand. Work on me slowly,
hold me lightly, do not clutch, I'm fragile.
Her multi-colored wings beat gently, gently
too soft to stir the papers on my table.

She roars into the house. The windows rattle,
hailstones bouncing on the sill beside me
while she accosts me, grabs my collar, scatters
sheets across my desk and hollers: Write me!

She sleeps in stone, a Galatea waiting
for sculptor's hands to realize her image
to make her visible, with artist's patience
with lover's hope, to free her from her cage.

No metaphors suffice, and all descriptions
are incomplete. Who writes, and who is written?

Tiel Aisha Ansari, Portland, OR, USA 

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On Days of Hoarfrost

Before the winter moon has set 
the morning hawks with spotless claws 
cast over hoarfrost, cold and wet,
unbound by hindrance or let
in search of meek, defenceless paws 
made common prey by nature’s flaws.

Upon all forests’ fecund floors 
the stage of life and death is set; 
where innocence gives little pause
through ignorance, to nature’s clause
that life’s not given, only let;
on days of hoarfrost, cold and wet.

On ice-bound bark, their talons whet, 
hawk brothers wait to feed on flaws; 
the chance to swoop if only let
alone, to take the course they’ve set
of bloodied beak and tarnished claws
and slaughter, without rest or pause.

From burrows, whiskered tails and paws, 
embraced by hoarfrost cold and wet,
emerge without regard to claws
to forage over rotted floors,
for in their ways such brutes are set 
and life goes on; till blood is let.

With cunning, brother hawks first let 
the diggers with rough pads and paws 
sift freedom, while they stand by; set
this day of hoarfrost cold and wet, 
on watching trails cross dead-leaf floors
in weaves, to where young hide from claws.

A frozen silhouette-tree claws 
at leaden skies, as hawks are let 
among young creatures’ fleshy flaws;
a succulence of fur and paws 
on days of hoarfrost. Warm and wet 
drips blood, enough to pool and set.

Relaxing claws; without a pause
as last they let-up, leaving wet 
the crimson floors and silent sett.

Phill Doran, Gauteng, RSA

“On Days of Hoarfrost” was previously published in Salvage, © 2006, Starless Press. 

Phill Doran was born in England and moved to South Africa in the early 1980's. He has been writing poetry as part of an on-line group since 2003, and is married with three children and one grandchild. Phill prefers formal poetry styles; this piece is a modified Sestina working with a refrain and using two rhyming groups of homophones. Phill says he works very slowly; each piece of writing normally takes an average of three to four weeks of work, including the countless hours in-between spent thinking about a given word, or sometimes the placement of a coma, scribbling words on bits of paper and failing to follow apparently important conversations happening around him in the process. 

faraway grasslands
where summer horizons
listen to windsong

autumn wind in tall trees
swaying together as they
listen to windsong

birds in the winter
stop flying at sunset to
listen to windsong

breeze getting stronger
sometime today we should all
listen to windsong

Colin W. Campbell, Kunming, Yunnan, CHN

“Windsong” was previously published in print and online in Wanderings Magazine Vol 2, Issue 7, Autumn 2006

Colin W. Campbell is an ancient Scot, married to Shanghai girl, Wang Xiudi. Now resident in the Far East, he has homes in two rather special places, Kunming (The City of Eternal Spring) in Yunnan, a frontier province in Southwest China and Santubong near Kuching in Sarawak on the beautiful, tropical island of Borneo.  Retired, he is still a Chartered Builder, a Chartered Surveyor and a Member of the Chartered Quality Institute. Colin just loves to write. Over the years he has published professional and academic articles and contributed a weekly quality column in his college staff bulletin. Recent publications are mostly poetry and he's even discovered flash fiction. He has a personal website
Crumpled Leaf

I'm not your verbal doormat,
an obtuse abstraction
to drag out for your need,
or a fragile leaf of paper
to crumple and toss aside.

My bright crystals litter the floor,
radiate the tears seeping
from wounded emotions.
Vibrant pigments melt,
drown my sensibilities.

I gulp sadness,
remember every
barbed and vicious cut.

Maybe someday you'll
confront your frozen fear
of inadequacy
and I'll find compassion
for your disillusionment.

Sharon Rothenfluch Cooper, Portland, OR, USA

“Crumpled Leaf” was previously published in Stride Magazine, December 2001; Write-on Magazette, February, 2002; lingerings, April 2002, Scope Journal, August-September, 2002; Circle Of Addiction, September, 2002; Panda Quarterly Poetry, October, 2002; Argo Boat, 2005. 

Sharon Rothenfluch Cooper is an active member of the Friends of The Oregon Symphony, an active participant in the Well Arts Institute devoted to Mental Health, Words Of A Woman Net Society, poet-in-residence at The Argonauts' boat and, is a member of the World Poet's Society and thrives on poetry and music.  Sharon has had several chapbooks published online in 2004 by Tamafyhr Mountain Poetry, Mood Magic and A Slice Of Life.   Her chapbook, Reach Beyond, was winner of the 2005 International Chapbook Competition sponsored by MAG Press.  In April 2005, twenty-three of her poems were presented in the play, Soldier’s Heart, in Portland, Oregon to sold out audiences and recorded on DVD.   Her poetry has appeared in numerous International, hard copy and Internet magazines.
Rachel’s Eulogy for her Grandmother 

Grandma, how I miss you! I sat at your knee
telling you my dreams. You
smiled and nodded knowingly,

singing of a land where summer grass is topped with dew –
you read me Aunt Rebecca’s scrolls
from the land where date palms brush the sky. You knew

I loved your lullabies of young men whose souls
soared to heaven as they sat learning in a tent,
and your stories how Uncle dug wells – deep holes –

from which water surged, and oases bloomed, and how Aunt went
and fell off her camel when she saw
Uncle, like an angel, praying in a field. You spent

hours with me as I played with new lambs near the tent door!
And you consoled me when Leah married the man
I loved. You too will have him, a little patience, dear, you said before

the morning star appeared. You persuaded Father; you ran
to my tent that night, held me in your arms and let me cry
into your embrace as you revealed your plan.

Oh Grandma, you consoled me in my barrenness, you hugged me when I’d sigh
upon hearing that my sister had birthed another boy.
But Grandma, who will console me now? How can I say goodbye?

Ruth Fogelman, Jerusalem, Israel

“Rachel’s Eulogy for her Grandmother” was published in Voices Israel Anthology 2007, winner of the Reuben Rose Poetry Competition, 2006.

Ruth Fogelman, a long-time resident of Jerusalem’s Old City, was the winner of the Reuben Rose Poetry Competition, 2006, and author of Within the Walls of Jerusalem - A Personal Perspective. Her poems, articles, short stories and photography have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications in Israel, the USA and India. Ruth is a facilitator of the Pri Hadash Women’s Writing Workshop in Jerusalem and holds a Masters Degree from the Creative Writing Program of Bar Ilan University. 

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She settles on my hand. Work on me slowly,
hold me lightly, do not clutch, I'm fragile.
Her multi-colored wings beat gently, gently
too soft to stir the papers on my table.

She roars into the house. The windows rattle,
hailstones bouncing on the sill beside me
while she accosts me, grabs my collar, scatters
sheets across my desk and hollers: Write me!

She sleeps in stone, a Galatea waiting
for sculptor's hands to realize her image
to make her visible, with artist's patience
with lover's hope, to free her from her cage.

No metaphors suffice, and all descriptions
are incomplete. Who writes, and who is written?

Tiel Aisha Ansari, Portland, OR, USA 

The Old Dream Catcher

A poem can appear like the stuff of dreams
that might be caught on an old dream catcher.
But what if the catch is not what it seems
and all that's caught is just the old dreamer?

For how can a pen put a dream into words
if the dream is made of such different stuff,
if its essence is outside what language records
and the dreamer’s few words are never enough.

But it struggles awake and starts to grow
though nothing will ever be right first time.
For it takes quite a while to learn how to flow
with a voice of its own and even some rhyme.

And then like a child it must leave the nest,
a newcomer, out in the world on its own.
For no one will ever be much impressed
with a body of words that stays unknown.

This dream was caught a while ago,
and written down, and then let go.

Colin W. Campbell, Kunming, Yunnan, CHN


Poems That Rhyme

I want to write more poems that rhyme
But never seem to find the time
To do them well, with real panache,
Rather than trite greeting card mash.
I count them out, eight beats per line;
Straight rhyme or slant, either way's fine.
The key is not to overthink.
Hey, you can write if you can drink.
Don't misunderstand my meaning;
Verse does not stem from martini.
But given that rhyme's wicked slant,
You might think I chose to decant.
The truth is something so much worse;
I'm only addicted to verse,
So much so that I think in rhyme
And in couplets all of the time.
Not all perfect, do what I will,
All due to two too many syllables.

Betty Dobson, Halifax, NS, CAN

The wait...

…of words, dragging a silent anchor.
Present; tense, listless. Future imperfect, listing.
A need to feel. Reel, exercise, flex. Exorcise, trip.
An empty vessel; high dry-docks and stilted, sticky quays.

Stolen, stolen-moments. There's the rub; worn phrases – 
but no friction. Diction fractured. Unpunctuated streams
flotsam untold cast adrift to flounder unfathomed…lists,
capsized. Awash with ink, no inkling; abandoned.

But as rum phrases turn, tossed on a sparse albino sea
drowned out, in waves faint sounds resolve, distil.
Washed-up, wrung-out, disparities of shipwrecked thoughts
strike bells, loose chords, as distant notes align.

A line! Tacked on to navigate the keys
and tap into the course which they unlock.
Draw on white oceans plain, songs we have found;
the trawled and salvaged wealth the voyage yields.

My freight, the weight of words, creates a draught
so deep, and swells the sails which drive this craft.

Phill Doran, Johannesburg, RSA 

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What of the August Moon?

We see the moon decline each August eve ­
does it fade or shrink at each twilight dusk?
We know autumn arrives in late September,
as it follows close on August's demise.

Does the August moon fade like summer love?
Each night is it less brilliant ­ sleepy child?
Does the fullness of the early August moon
lose its magic as it lessens with each night.

Hearts fall apart like branches in the wind
when summer love grows cold in autumn's guise.
Sandy beaches, moonlight dances near the shore ­
new vista ­ an evensong ­ nothing more.

Jeanette Oestermyer, Rochester, IN, USA


Two August Moons

Like August Moons steal Earth shadows and fade,
a three score plus twin Moon, august, robust, 
a Leo matriarch, sky-searches fate.

Long strands of platinum, spun glass crystal strings,
lie thick in wind gust trails, then fall, cape-drape
frail shoulders, unsolved riddles racked with pain.

The sky moon fades to reappear in time,
the shadows lost in space discos, still dance
when star light blinks, enhances total fades
where she counts older lions deep in sleep.

Yvonne Nunn, Hermleigh, Texas USA
Senior Poet Laureate of Texas 2006

The Fading  Moon

The August moon must fade and we must go
and with finesse accept our ways, distil
our hopes and dreams, mature; fair or forlorn. 
Let  memories abound as crickets chirp
and galaxies excite the eyes; events
the past parade, replete with hues of night.
Regale the dark, astound the hooting owls;
unmask in you a vagrant vagabond -
through gossamer, recall and wake the bard;
the August moon must fade and we must go.

Agatha Lai, Sabah, MAS 

Moon Harvest

Waving its ponytail
Of silk
Wrapped in shades
Of green
Corn’s smiling teeth
Hide to be 
Stolen from sun 
On sea
A veil of stars
At the moon’s
In August harvest
Fading with the cricket

Frances Schiavina,  Ardmore, PA, USA

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What I See on the Porch of My Dreams

A glass of green tea cools on the arm
of a tall-backed wicker chair that frames
my grandmother's silver head. On her lap
she holds my daughter, while my son
sits at her feet.

She's telling them a story about old China,
about silk and citadels and dragon kites,
Sun Yat-Sen and the war years, flight
to Hong Kong, then to Britain, then
new life in America.

My mother and I listen at the window
but when I turn to her to speak, the voices
fall silent, light fails, I wake to the creak
of wicker on an empty porch and the smell
of green tea.

Tiel Aisha Ansari, Portland, OR, USA 

Autumn Twilight, Cool Breeze, Warm Glow

Weathered but strong oak boards
form a porch above the garden
and under the gabled roof
as the blue sky turns rose
and honeysuckle hangs in the air.

Springy but strong brown boards
form a bench slung above the porch
swaying in a whisper of wind
swaying us gently by the railing
revealing then hiding the garden
as the evening star cocks an eye.

Riding the air alone together
chatting softly in the twilight
breathing the scent of sunset
as the fireflies flash their greetings
as the cat brushes between our legs
stalking a cicada in the garden's jungle.

Give me a crisp autumn evening
in the glow between sunlight and starlight
with your arm around my waist
and my head nestled on your shoulder
I wouldn't trade the palace of this porch
for the luxury of a castle.

Katherine Swarts, Houston, TX, USA

Buttons and Bows Come to Life

Dreams of tomorrow dance in the winds rocking the
Cradle of my granddaughter on our veranda. I'll show her
My blue-tinged mason jar filled with salvaged buttons 
Shaped like animals, books, flowers, initials and stars
She'll string two large buttons onto strong thread
That will whirl and whistle in the air when pulled 

Papa's old work socks will turn into puppets as she 
Attaches button eyes adding lace trim to conceal arms
Thespian friends join her crouching behind my couch 
Regale their audience with nursery rhymes and songs
Their engaging performances will be stored in the
Chambers of my heart and kept forever and a day

Bright cotton dime-store fabric shaped into rag dolls
Wearing dresses from scraps of cast off pinafores
Embroidered handkerchiefs and bows from bridal bouquets
Are night gowns while a discarded pillow case edged in
Tatting is cut to fit Raggedy Ann's white wicker basket
A knitted-woolen stole added to blanket her new treasure 

I'll tell her how the well worn Singer treadle machine
Standing in the corner furnished needs of her ancestors 
While she makes holiday gifts of dazzling beach bags
Swim cover-ups for special classmates and friends 
She'll save my memory filled jar of buttons, bows,
Hand-made creations to share with her children

Kay Lay Earnest, Smyrna, GA, USA


The Bushveld as Dreamt from a Southern African Stoep 

From here, my love and I imagine dawn
till night, the thief of sight, creeps on its way 
and from the womb of nothingness light's born
blood-red like wine, to consecrate the day;
while we rest in our bone-grey chairs and drown
on rhythmic seas, washed slowly up and down.

In creaks, each weathered board and slender nail
breathes whispers of our movements while we two
watch creatures, seeking noonday shade. They trail
with caution; burdened, thirsty; passing through,
yet at our side, sweet waters, olives, rare
and wild acacia perfumes drench the air.

Erased by twilight, sunken sky and cloud
dissolve to ink as insects trade refrains
and starlight slowly speckles nightfall's shroud,
a jet-black river peppered by white rains,
while on unpainted walls our lamp attends
and gilds the brown and white of faded friends.

But if we wish, my love and I remain
in darkness, even though the moon is bright,
and watch through broken slats as stars explain
the twelve most ancient stories of the night;
while beasts below the hooves of Capricorn,
much like my love and I, imagine dawn.

Phill Doran, Johannesburg, RSA
POET'S NOTE:  "Stoep" is the Afrikaans word for a "porch" or "veranda"; "bushveld" translates as "savannah" or "bush-land" of southern Africa.
Porch of the Millennium

Feel the breeze in the air,
Relax and sit on this rocking chair,
Let the summer air relax your soul,
Sit back and savor the taste of the lemonade you drink,
Enjoy this moment,
Let your mind flow to endless bounds,
Creativity abounds,
Savor it all in,
This moment of time will not last forever,
Carpe diem.

Keith Burkholder, West Seneca, NY, USA
If Fieldstones Could Talk 

They would tell about the spring of 1930 
When farmers hauled them to town in wagons 
For stonemason Larens Hillhouse to build 
A foundation for our front porch 

Describe Dad's summer evenings 
Feet propped on rock banisters 
Swirling lemonade cooled in chipped ice 
As he read the Saturday Evening Post 

Golden leaves drifted over red tile floor 
Where Jim lay on his patchwork pallet 
Watching toad frogs catch dusty moths 
And grandmother lulled baby Sal to sleep 

Silent snowflakes whitened every stone 
Mother filled earthen bowls for snow cream 
Memories of sizzling summers slumbered 
While winter winds swayed wicker rockers 

Lois Lay Castiglioni, Galveston, TX, USA 
Four Small Portraits of a Person Pretending

When I was a child
I really wanted a camera
but I didn’t have a camera
so I held a nine-volt radio up to my eye
and clicked the on-off thumbwheel
and pretended to take a picture. 

When I was a teenager
I really wanted to be popular
but I wasn’t overly popular
so I would try very hard
to be nice to people I didn’t like very much
and I pretended to like them.

When I became a grownup
I really wanted a career and a family,
and eventually got both of them ...
but sometimes I find I have to focus very hard on both of them 
to prove my point – 
which is: I don’t have to pretend any more. 

When I am an old woman
I would really like to have a cozy porch with a broad wooden swing.
I would sit on the broad wooden swing of that cozy porch
and I would look out onto the sea
and I would imagine myself as a popular mermaid in a nine-volt photograph
until there’s no time left to pretend.

RJ Clarken, Hillsborough, NJ, USA 
The King of the Porch Rocker

I remember it well—
That cement-floor portico
Through whose tenuous screens
The scent of fresh-mowed hay
And warm bovine manure
Assaulted my still-pixie nose.

A stuffed rocker,
Whose ivory and scarlet upholstery
Had seen better days,
Stirred underneath the sway of your back:
A throne—
For the man I perceived as king.

The timothy now grows unbridled,
No Holsteins remaining to tame it,
My emperor now subject to heaven’s lord.
But it’s that old porch—
And you—
I still hold court to in my dreams. 

Kathy Kehrli, Factoryville, PA, USA
Mr. Builder, Build My Childhood Porch

Astound my world, line porch with rocking chairs. 
Tree shroud rough concrete slab from East to West,
excite a dance where long tailed tabbies rest,
and master fairy tales unmask new gold
in Cinderella stories never told
by hurried grandmothers’ expert surprise.

A screened in porch defies lanai house flies 
as cane draws squares behind an empty lap
and leaves a mark upon wee rosy cheeks. 
The rocker speaks, it sings its lullabies
while nursing babies slip into sleep naps
and toddlers rock themselves in dying squeaks.

Yvonne Nunn, Hermleigh, TX, USA
Senior Poet Laureate of Texas 2006
Retirement Brings Greek Sanctuary to Family Extensions

Retirement brings a varied style of life.
I crave this change, create a colonnade
behind my home.  At steps, I plant a cade 
on sides, a weeping willow.  Shrubs are rife.

The columns spaced, unfold like pocket knife,
some touch at base.  Like bands in line parade,
my grandson’s prints in frames of jade I made,
display their smiles and silent spells of strife.

Inside my covered stoa, crocus blooms
and lavender, I groom for fragrant balm.
With wicker gear, I write in poetry.

Penstemon’s flowers chase away my glooms 
their leaves can grow as tall as desert’s palm
on sanctum porch for grandson, spouse and me.

Carol Dee Meeks, Artesia, NM, USA
2007 Senior Poet Laureate of New Mexico 
Of Creaky Steps and Yellow Roses

Attached to a house, up a hill
is a porch time has weathered well.
Yellow roses, in bounty spill
through a latticework’s weaving spell.

Paint has peeled all over the place;
some rusted nails have come undone;
still it exudes, a warmth and grace
that to me, comes second to none.

Creaky steps add an odd beauty
to this porch I hold in my heart.
For it speaks of its own duty -
when I come and when I depart.

How I treasure the times of old
impressed, engraved on every post;
the never-ending stories told,
by this quaint space, I cherish most.

Maria Eugenia Stanphill, San Antonio, TX, USA

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Ampersand Poetry Journal
Read both journal and guidelines before submitting work.

Texas Poetry Event 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:
Texas Poetry Events Online:

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:

Mary Margaret Carlisle, Executive Director
Leo F. Waltz, Event & Web Manager

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Phone number:  281-316-2255
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