MAP #78

Theme: Festival-inspired poems

From Guy LeCharles Gonzales of New York:


It was the moistness of her eyes

that spoke the loudest.

Her thank you was sincere



Lips tightened

the sad smile of a child

who's understood for the first time

adults are mortal



A drop of wisdom


My son she says

He writes, too…

I smile

nod slightly

allow her the moment

She smiles back

leans forward

kisses me on the cheek

squeezes my hand tightly

For a moment

we are mother and son

healing old wounds

and I know she will call him tonight…

© 1999, Guy LeCharles Gonzalez


2. From Victoria Mosley of London

Austin 99 Sixth Street

I knew it was you

slumped rabbit eyed

on another sixth street bar,

at least my body knew;

a friend said the body never lies

mine took one look

relaxed gave up and sighed.

I don’t think you noticed me at first

more intent on the blonde girl on your left,

there was such sadness in your eyes

as though you’d lost the best part of something .

You said there was a beauty in sadness

that it ebbed and flowed and I replied

that it could be merely addictive .

It took a long time to hook you to my line

and I don’t think you cared if I left or stayed

which got me of course, it’s always been that way :

so I bubbled ,tumbled , soda popped

though I couldn’t work out why

till you held me tight to say goodbye

and it felt so familiar it took my breath away .

© 1999 Victoria Mosley


3. From Nicki Miller of Fredericksburg, Maryland

the couple

they are just an anonymous couple,

young, somewhere in their thirties,

captured now in a snapshot

etched permanently in my mind.

it's obvious not just to me, but

all the world within their range

they know what matters --

the way you know what matters.

a common thread of poetry invisibly

propels them here, to a

table just ahead of me.

she, with her wavy reddish mane,

and he, clean shaven and pressed,

leaning toward her

ten o'clock calm, hands folded,

striving to inhabit her zen.

they never saw me see them.

they are like supple willows whose

green tendrils nod and bend

toward the life-giving water

of each other, while drinking deeply

from their roots. I feel a twinge --

not close to the surface, but

within some primal genetic tissue,

as though the only thing

that really matters is

the touch of their toes, familiar

and serene, or the intimate air

in the brush of her tapping fingers

on his blue jean clad thigh, or

his gentle squeeze of her elbow

while the lights in her rivulets tease

his cheek.

public intimacies. their domain a

planet with a population of two. And

while all of humanity labors or

rests or sleeps of despairs or

suffers beyond their borders,

they are unaware. they have no use

for external approval, or time wasted

wishing for something more, or for mining

diamonds within shafts of coal veins.

it's in the angle of his head inclined

toward her, the quiet, satisfied tones

of his voice embracing her spirit

and mind. it's in the trace of her finger

on his knuckle. it's like the tiny smile

that unconsciously escapes me when

i nod affirmation at your soft words.

they know this is all they need.

nicki miller, 15 april 1999

barnes & noble, guadalupe st

austin, tx


4. Moshe Benarroch of Jerusalem, Israel

A senryu for Ted Reilly

An irishman

on an irish horse

wherever he goes.


5. And from R. Henry, of Austin

Festival of Words

(A Nonce)

Some came to see, some came to be seen

Some just to hear, and some to be heard

Some gathered here, some gathered there

But wherever they were, there were the words

Always the words, the overflowing words

And with every word there was always a there

But this there and then surpassed them all!

There being the veranda of old Huston Hall

And then being this sunny Sunday afternoon --

But there and then would be nothing without they

They with their words, their smiles and applause

On the grass, in the tree, and the love-seated swing

Each holding a glass of some thirst-quenching thing

Each holding an anthology in support of the Cause

As everyone relished this year's word-dejavu', so

Bouquets to the old Hall and, yes, to Stazja, too!

Thanks for the smiles of it!