June, 2010

A Journal for Linking Poets  



Don Ammons

Cupid's arrows are coffin nails
Fixing in place a corpse, coffin nails

Hammered into a casket lid closed over
What was once a self, but is now a nail

Secured possession of another
This obscene burial of a nail

Pinioned coffin is disguised
As cherub cuteness, each driven nail

Passed off as a playful arrow.  Flee lovers!
Cupid's arrows are coffin nails!


David Jalajel

the long years of your refined disaffection disintegrate –
now your vagrancy shacks up with solid realizations:

that the sky in the lake is above your moonlit head
& your boat’s been impounded in a bout of liquidations

that your karma’s bad enough to befossil all your hopes
but far less than a dent in quantum time-space relations

that your ambitions as impromptu mystic are buried
in prepaid grave plots with headstone-free demarcations

that the endless cycle of life is a treadmill
gathering dust in the gym after the spa’s renovations


David Jalajel

their network of blather bends space so much
it lulls you into exalting their eloquence & poise

you had asked them no questions on the project back then –
you were too busy arranging your wines in an ice bath

& so now, where no honest day’s work’s ever done
you barrel down the main highway, compounding cheap joys

& each time, they project you a wide web of certainties
while they randomly prune your portfolios in half

you park off in your sportscars, dashboards agleam,
& tune in your radios to street fights & white noise

& after all your boundless projections have faded
the show ends with the shriek of their devilish laugh


David Jalajel

you keep public hearings distant from your eyes
so you can devour the sea salt & sip savoury teas

with resolve like yours, estrangement is easy as
shunning blonde dresses & fervent guarantees

the crabgrass shows lushness like broken vows
by exposing the upshot of its clumping leaves

so who are you pitching for now, for that crowd
whose aloofness repels you like old greek deities

the seeds waft right off, fuzzy & cloying the ground,
so you won’t fear petitions blowing in with the breeze


David Jalajel

the fragrant, narrow dawn grinds down to its essence,
forgotten languages thrust between us an empty page

where love songs wilt while still fresh in our hearts –
dying early, they should be sweet in what they assuage:

high & swift deprecation – this is not joy’s confusion
but logic shouting frenzied from its dry & barren cage

the loss of an hour means a lot to a gorgon’s beauty –
it’s a bad hair day in athens where nothing seems to age

but our tuneless monologues, tongues detached from speech
refusing to admit we’re bewildered by our sobriety, our rage



  (off Klitmøller)
Don Ammons
      The North Sea, striking the Danish west coast as crashing, spinning surf, is always icy; even at high noon on a hot, July day.Only once, his first time, has this Florida-grown expatriate, after a beach run, plunged unready into this salty, icy brine. He still shivers at the memory. Now he is wading out slowly, pausing, splashing water up on his chest, shoulders, then lunging forward; a few short swimming lengths, one or two porpoise-like dives, but not in long before regaining the strand where he sits on an old SUNSHINE STATE beach towel warming, watching, listening. . .

following the slap
of surf     the swish of ebb
beach gravel tumbling



Gerard John Conforti

            There is no where to go except to roam the long hallways and the bedrooms and the dining room. Inmates have their own illness and are innocent enough. They have been victimized by others and the outside world. Some have no place to go and are locked in for months at a time.
            By the window, there is no view of the outside world because there are locked screens with small holes in them.

nowhere to go    a patient begins to scream

            In the dining room, the inmates sit and eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. During the day the inmates go to therapy groups. After groups, the inmates roam the hallways again with their own lost world around them. Some will recover; but some won’t.

she sits quietly still without moving

Medication is given out to the inmates once, twice or three times a day. Some become stiff and walk with their arms straight down. Others are delusional so they find it difficult to see reality. This is where the medication plays a role in their recovery.
            As each day goes by, some of the inmates start to become well and are able to see things clearer. Others are discharged to go home to their parents or residence.

families stay for an hour    then must leave

Now and then a patient loses control and is given an injection of medicine to calm him or her. Suicidal inmates are watched in their room by a trained tech. Sometimes the inmates take walks outside if the weather is nice. Some try to run away but are brought back later by the police.

as night descends    someone talks in his sleep

            If an inmate commits a crime, they are put in jail where they don’t get the proper help they may need and their psychosis gets worse. Only one percent of inmates in psych wards commit crimes. In fact most of them are innocent, but must suffer the illness they have.

a woman alone   weeping because of a lost love

            The psych ward and jail are the loneliest places to be. The inmates in jail who are psychotic become worse over time. Jail is no place for someone with emotional problems. Most of them are on suicide watch and suffer for a crime from lack of taking medications, or not taking medication at all.

fights break out    there is a loud disturbance

When an inmate is discharged they sometimes must attend a resident facility for a few years for their crime. This is a lesser suffering, but there is not much freedom in the beginning.

over and over again      inmates return to the psych wards

            There has to be a change in the way the system works. There are many forms of illness such as drug abuse or alcohol abuse. Both of them don’t help with an emotional illness. There must be something better than this.

late at nigh    two shots are fired

The only way that I can see to help the system be better is by giving the inmates love, care, compassion, and kindness. This is the only way things are going to change in the future, if not now.

an inmate walks the streets     alone    depressed



Ruth Holzer
 Route 8:  two lanes through the forests. Loaded logging trucks  thunder by in both directions. Yellow signs every few kilometers warn of moose, but no actual moose cross the road. Hours later,  Miramichi appears, spread out along its wide river. At the junction,  a water tower with a giant shamrock.

 from nowhere
 to nowhere –
 a narrow way



Ruth Franke

in der Nacht
haben sie Flügel
meine Gedanken
tragen mich fort

Ich kenne ihn schon, diesen Tunnel. Was wird er mir diesmal zeigen? In der Dunkelheit öffnet sich eine Tür. Im hellen Sonnenlicht liegt auf einer Hochebene ein malerisches Dorf. Hohe Berge im Hintergrund, zum Meer hin Felsen, steil abfallend. Santana, die Touristen-Attraktion der Insel, jetzt menschenleer. Der Blick fällt auf eine Reihe schmucker Katen mit Strohdächern bis zur Erde hinab -

Weihnachtssterne -
stickende Frauen
in alter Tracht

In der Mitte des Dorfes ein modernes Rathaus, der große Platz umgeben von Strelizien-Rabatten und Orangenbäumen. Da sitzen wir auf einer steinernen Bank, Lunchpakete auf den Knien. Es ist der 25. Dezember. Auch auf Madeira läuten die Kirchenglocken, die Familien kommen zusammen und feiern das Fest. Der Busverkehr ruht – ein idealer Tag, so hatte der Mann vorgeschlagen, um die Fahrt in den Norden zu wagen. Auf schmalen Straßen durchs Gebirge, entlang der Felsenküste.

Auf unseren Wanderungen haben wir die Weihnachtsvorbereitungen miterlebt. Frauen wuschen die Wäsche in den Levadas, den Bewässerungskanälen, die Häuser wurden geputzt, Schweine geschlachtet, Honigkuchen gebacken. Überall, auch im Hotel, liebevoll gestaltete und dekorierte Krippen-Landschaften mit vielen ländlichen Figuren, Tieren und Früchten.

alte Bergkirche
das Jesuskind
in Spitze gewickelt

Es ist warm in der Mittagssonne. Wir wollen gerade aufbrechen, da dröhnt vom Rathaus Lautsprechermusik. Weihnachtslieder. „Leise rieselt der Schnee …“

die Galoschen des Glücks

Die Galoschen des Glücks, Titel eines Andersen-Märchens, versetzen ihren Träger unmittelbar an den Ort seiner Wünsche.


THE GALOSHES OF FORTUNE*                                                 
Ruth Franke
translated by Celia Brown

in the night
there are wings
on my thoughts
they carry me away
light as a feather

I know this tunnel well. What will it show me this time? In the darkness a door opens. Bright sunlight reveals a picturesque village on a plateau against a backdrop of high mountains. Towards the sea steep cliffs. Santana, the tourist attraction of the island, looks deserted. A row of charming little cottages comes into view: thatched roofs reaching right down to the ground –

Christmas stars
embroidered by women 
in folk costumes

At the center of the village a modern town hall in a large square with borders of crane flowers and orange trees. There we sit on a stone bench, lunch packets on our knees. It is 25. December. Here on Madeira the church bells are also ringing, families gather and celebrate Christmas Day together. No bus service – an ideal time, the man had suggested, to try the trip to the North. On narrow lanes across a mountainous region, along the rocky coastline.

On our walks we have witnessed the preparations for the Christmas season. Women washing laundry in the Levadas - the irrigations canals – cleaning their houses, pigs being slaughtered, honey cakes baked. Everywhere , even in our hotel, crib scenes arranged and decorated with loving care including many country characters, farm animals and fruit.

an old hill church
the Infant Jesus
swaddled in lace

It is warm in the midday sun. We are just getting ready to leave when music blares from the loudspeakers at the town hall. Christmas Carols: “Walking in a Winter Wonderland ...”

morning mist
the Galoshes of Fortune
have vanished

*”The Galoshes of Fortune”: title of an Andersen fairy tale; their wearers can wish themselves to be anywhere in the world.


Patricia Prime

my ignorant offering –
flowers bought blindly
in the foyer, wrapped
in green cellophane

He has his place in the Rose Garden overlooking Tauranga Harbour.  (His ashes sprinkled surreptitiously beneath a Peace rose on a starlit summer evening.) His wife has a spot in the country churchyard on a knoll overlooking the town where they both grew up – a grave of her own. They did not wake up from death, didn’t rave at the stars, or at
their names carved on plaques.

They would never surrender like that; both strong people, with minds of their own, who had long gone their separate ways. They made their own game of life, roaming from one town to another with different partners,
following the sun from dawn till dusk, and all over again.  They made sure the fun was going on, far more fun than if they laid next to each other and argued for ever: who had the more soggy soil, whose tree gave the better shade.

red butterfly
the clouds run from you
over the horizon,
how the sun swallows
its failing strength


Haiga by Martina Heinisch


Patricia Prime

Enter the iron gates, and the cemetery unfolds before you, uphill to a stand of pines and downhill to a stream.  The main drive leads straight to the chapel, an old garden and a memorial commemorating the soldiers who died in World War II.  It’s a serene, leafy place.

A young woman holds the hand of her partner.  They are here to find the grave of her father who died when she was ten.  She hasn’t been back since the day of the funeral.  They meet a pair of amiable gravediggers who point them towards the Cemeteries Office where a map is produced and they are directed to a path near the chapel.

A flock of black crows flies out of the trees as they approach a shady corner of the cemetery. There in front of them, not far off the path is the grave they seek.

The granite headstone bears his name in full – she never knew his middle name – with the dates 1939-1980.  Below the name and dates is a poem written by her mother, the words incised in five lines:

its all silence
moon drifting closer
a lovely wind
fragrant with blossom
rocks you to gentle sleep

Small, spiky succulents grow in the pebble bed of the grave itself.  There is a small vase at its foot, which stands empty.  She wishes she had brought flowers.



Ed Baranosky

the painter
creaks the old door ajar
in the early dim light
the skeleton key
casting a long shadow

inside antique clocks
chime simultaneously
out of phase
outside thick glass panes
thunder gathers the sunrise

here time flows
to an ancient metronome
miniature symphonies
painted by an unseen hand
in a forgotten empire

time and again
the desert reclaimed
the paws of the Sphinx
leaving only sand
lo paint the wind

the Dresden Doll
turns slowly on the clock-work
porcelain music-box
unconcerned with the firestorm
threatening chaos



Christopher Barnes

A sunbath air-kiss in St Tropez
that conspicuous cherry mini dress
glares on a marina's coffee bar,
not quite a glossy supplement.

The moving van presented itself.
In a fool's paradise they'd cull your furs.

The pout of...
is crack-toothed, an expressionless fixed stare in a ciggy smog focus
pulled into a Nikon Coolpix S6.



Chen-ou Liu

slanting sunrays
drift through the window
and settle again
on the worn cover
of my Chinese-English dictionary

tunneling through my mind
I dig up English words
by lamplight –
Chinese coolie laboring
in a foreign mine

while writing poems
I hear two voices
arguing in their turn:
Conceive in English
Bu! Fan Yi

Respect English
is whispered into my left ear
Make it new
into my right –
the page remains blank



Chen-ou Liu

I am forty. . .something
in the attic waiting
four years gone by
and yet no chapbooks

my life. . .a void
no great book
bears my name
I hit my head
with books by other poets

hit hard by
The Complete Poems
of Chen-ou Liu
I wake to rain
chattering in the room



Ruth Holzer

 on the mountaintop
 fall colors below –
 we promised to go there
 together sometime
 for the New Year
 we decorate the gate
 with pine boughs –
 our thoughts surrounded
 by their gentle swaying
 couples therapy –
 I'd always wind up worried
 about our future
 then you'd suggest
 grabbing a hippoburger
 no red lantern
 for your return
 tonight –
 the bug light on the porch
 guides your steps to me
 your shock
 of silvery hair
 brushing my cheek
 in the dark
 again golden



Garry Eaton

dam progress
water reaches the steps
of the high school

explaining to Dad
as we haul him away
the new grave site

a submerged stop sign
beside the paved road
we launch the boat

old fairgrounds
flood water tops
the grandstand

translucent depths
barbed wire trails away
in the water weed

scuba bubbles
down main street
it's a ghost town

fish and game trucks
release a few rainbows
winter pasture

upper valley falls
fingers of green slime crawl up
a concrete spillway

at sunset
the darkness of water
filling my valley

a board room wall
underwater photos of Titanic's
wreckage field

*A fictitious town, sacrificed to a hydro project



C.W. Hawes
 we pass our days
 strangers to the love we knew
 still I call you friend
 but all the while nights grow cold
 and even friendship passes
 pink and white petals
 cover the ground as the snow
 in late November
 carried away on the wind
 those lazy dreams born in spring
 a cup of hot tea
 a legal pad before me
 pencil in motion
 doodling designs on paper
 the computer isn’t workirking
 we ask the time
 but does it really matter
 what time it is
 staring at the moving hands
 all the time dinner grows cold
Gilead’s sweet balm
 lost in the minutiae
 of the dos and don’ts
 with her hair she perfumed feet
 disciples didn’t wash
 you and your Coke can
 like the clouds in the blue sky
 the telephone the waiting
 the promised call which wasn’t made



Haiga by Ramona Linke



Elizabeth Howard

out of the cold
I step into the tearoom
welcome a porcelain cup
jasmine and chrysanthemum
steep in the ambience

morning sun
highlights the red barn
its snowy roof
my icy bones melting
at the crocus window

farmers’ market
soon my bags are laden
lettuce, tomatoes, corn,
green beans, and blueberries
sweetened with dew

while I was sleeping
autumn brushed
the hickory trees  –
even the forest floor
a golden glow



Alegria Imperial

on the wall
moonlight washes into a bank
–my mementoes

by the shore –
footmarks receding
let go of shadows

a triplet on the harbor –

pigeons whoosh up
spray the sky –
mud-soaked feet

stone on my step
but a sparrow –
broken heart



English translations by the author
Alegria Imperial

diay aripit ballasiw
ditoy a sumken
sinit a nalidliduan
nagtinnag nga anem-em

a haunt for sadness
the dried creek at the crossroad
here they recur
those untended flushes
turned chronic fevers

maruros manen
rinemmengmo a rosas
ipinas mo man
dagiti tidda ti biag
baet dagiti birri

petals in shreds
those bouquet of roses –
patch if you please
these remnants of life
between fissures



for Georg Trakl
Chen-ou Liu

wolf moon
standing high in the sky
I hear it
howl in my blood...
eyes upon the dripping

head hit
by a train of thoughts
a stranger among
white ruins of words

one deep gaze
into the blue of night
spurs me
at war against flesh
I am he who is apart




Francis Masat

a star appears
one nighthawk
calls another

beach highway
starlight on the curve
of a thigh

lights dim
stars brighten
over the drive-in

the tang of salt
on her cheek, her neck, her . . .
starry night

back porch  –
counting stars
we fall asleep




The resting tusker
As if tickled by a thought
Rose to its feet.

A hillock appeared
Within a twinkling of an eye.
Its pendulum turned tail

Swept clean the vacuum
For a free-flow of air
Trying to find an outlet.

The tusker for a while
Gave a constipated look
Shrank its mammoth tummy.

The mahout howled
With both his arms raised:
“Oh! The great fart on its way.”

The watching children in the zoo
Winked at each other,
Giggled, took to their heels,
Their imagination running riot.

At last, the tusker broke wind…
The watching kids howled
from a safe distance:
“Oh, What a shame on the tusker!
It was only a husky whisper.”



4 A.M.
Brendan Slater

4 am
her red eyes sparkle
i pluck
from my thigh
the hair of a cat

i take a sip
of bitter coffee
she remembers
how it used to be
before computers

and rolls
a dusty cigarette
i cover up
the crescent moon
with the clouds

and then . . .
the cat's soft purr
the wind
at the window

For John Martone
Karma Tenzing Wangchuk

first crocus –
the stone buddha's
gentle smile

pull weeds
by the stone buddha
do no harm

rake leaves
around the stone buddha
don't think about transience

a snowflake melts
on the stone buddha's nose . . .
there you go again





of quartz

in the



all this stone buddha dreaming



Haiga by Francis Masat 


Richard Tice

grandmother's quilts
the subject of
the Hubble Telescope

   space rosaries 
   in an eternally black winter 
   the chocolate and cream swirls
   of that galaxy
   the void still in colors
   added to the universe

A Renga of Farewell
richard witherspoon


smoke & mist & cloud      maple leaf, ginkgo fallen      sans teeth sans eyes sans . . .
this autumn morning      a cricket crawls yr coffin      rasping its goodbye
scarecrow:  pumpkin field      my jar broken when dead, too      wind, late autumn moon
mist-shrouded waning      horns bracketing nothingness      going home today
felt at heart's bottom      wind-in-dry-leaves desolate      massaged by the blind
sharing the same air      heart in a thousand pieces      burning heap of leaves
concern over things      in the way of converting      body into smoke
solitary goose      flying so high in the sky      gone, the soul in flight
closing this autumn      old yet fashionable suit      well-worn pajama
no more snores ever      autumn, but almost winter      stop pretending dead
snow in the evening      winter pansy some here, there      last day of autumn

no, not quite yet dark      still some tea left in the pot      ember under ash
pillows oppress bone      unanswered telephone calls      the way of all flesh
beginning, the end      being part of all being      end, the beginning
effort-objective-      perception-intent-result-      focus-discernment
escaping the wheel      not meeting in the next life      hill-darkening dusk
a corpse in my bones      (wind nipping w/exposed teeth)      dying to get out
awake yet dreaming      when dead, too, a stone marker      dreaming yet awake
in passing over      meeting you like the Tang poem      in the next village
head, the north, body      lying its right side, facing      the west – now, return
aged already so      like my dying:  leave-taking      yr friends, relatives
here & then not here –      writing from far, far away      she sends her last hug


spring-like winter day      the old photograph can't lie      what a beauty, you!
a cold penetrates      sitting how long the bed's edge?      an orchid at night
much ‘body-water’      this early winter twilight      ‘heart-blood’ not enough
death, crawling slowly      half-moon intoxicated      creeps into a bed
lung & windpipe blocked      traffic-light yet bad crash     letting go yr hand
a snowy branch, crows      where-when-how-who-does/gets-what      sun, the sky’s center
burning incense – sleet      flower offering, donation      that chilly city
frost snapping off twigs      garden withered w/o you      picking up pine cones
the first heavy snow      still askew its parking space      the car you last drove  
escape from this life      goes one way or the other      wind flower :: snowflake . . .
winter moon silence      chants for the souls gone before      incense spiraling
sparrows-to-free sale      sunflowers out of season      year-end marketing
how long in the tooth      before dogs, when there's food, pray?      New Year's Eve party 
Indian summer      last year:  The Isle of the Blessed      we were still alive





flash of lightning
illuminates the pond
the green toad bellows
            Rebecca S.


around the river bends
the late summer sun –
napping in the grass
            Rebecca S.

overgrown garden
heady scents drift upward
to her open window
            Rebecca S.



mountain hot springs
just a young couple wearing
each other
            ayaz daryl nielsen



short lengths
of silence
            Joanna M. Weston


the old moon
tangled in branches –
grandmother's hand
            Joanna M. Weston


the neighbour's light
at two a.m.
            Joanna M. Weston


winter driveway
we're always
saying goodbye
            Joanna M. Weston


small waves
licking sea weed
beach picnic
            Joanna M. Weston


humming fan
eyelids droop
with the sermon
            Joanna M. Weston


blackberry pie
from the freezer
snow on the hills
            Joanna M. Weston


Helle Winternacht
von der Farbe seiner Augen
von seinem Lachen
hat die schöne Sidhe erzählt
in meinem Traum

Bright winter night
about the colour of his eyes
about his laughter
has told the beautiful Sidhe
in my dream
            Ramona Linke


Der Schneewind
hat seinen Namen gewispert
des Nachts...
Winterspatzen wissen davon
sogar im Rosenstrauch

The snow wind
has whispered his name
at night...
and even in the rosebush
winter sparrows know about it

            Ramona Linke


strong gale
an angel with the broken wing
lies on the grave
artur lewandowski





Don Ammons

David Jalajel

David Jalajel

David Jalajel

David Jalajel


 Don Ammons

Gerard John Conforti

Ruth Holzer

THE GALOSHES OF FORTUNE*                                                 
Ruth Franke
translated by
Celia Brown

Patricia Prime

Haiga by Martina Heinisch

Patricia Prime


Ed Baranosky

Christopher Barnes

Chen-ou Liu

Chen-ou Liu

Ruth Holzer

Garry Eaton

C.W. Hawes

Haiga by Ramona Linke

 Elizabeth Howard

Alegria Imperial

English translations by the author
Alegria Imperial

for Georg Trakl
Chen-ou Liu

Francis Masat


4 A.M.
Brendan Slater

For John Martone
Karma Tenzing Wangchuk

Haiga by Francis Masat 

Richard Tice

A Renga of Farewell
richard witherspoon


Rebecca S.
ayaz daryl nielsen
Joanna M. Weston
Ramona Linke
artur lewandowski



Back issues of Lynx:

XV:2 June, 2000
XV:3 October, 2000
XVI:1 Feb. 2001
XVI:2 June, 2001
XVI:3 October, 2001  
XVII:1 February, 2002
XVII:2 June, 2002
XVII:3 October, 2002
XVIII:1 February, 2003
XVIII:2 June, 2003
XVIII:3, October, 2003
XIX:1 February, 2004
XIX:2 June, 2004

XIX:3 October, 2004

XX:1,February, 2005

XX:2 June, 2005
XX:3 October, 2005
XXI:1February, 2006 
XXI:2, June, 2006

XXI:3,October, 2006

XXII:1 January, 2007
XXII:2 June, 2007
XXII:3 October, 2007

XXIII:1February, 2008
XXIII:2 June, 2008

XXIII:3, October, 2008
XXIV:1, February, 2009

XXIV:2, June, 2009
XXIV:3, October, 2009
XXV:1 January, 2010


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