Solar Eclipse by Francisco X. Alarcón (click here for full poem)

Solar Eclipse


Mother Moon embraces
Father Sun above the clouds –
we, their children, rejoice!

Mamá Luna abraza
a Papá Sol sobre las nubes –
sus hijos nos regocijamos

Tugann an Mháthair, an Ghealach,
Barróg don Athair, an Ghrian, os cionn na néalta –
Déanaimidne, a gcuid páistí, gairdeas dóibh!


the Moon eats the Sun
with kisses and caresses –
they’re making celestial love!

la Luna se come
al Sol a besos y caricias –
¡hacen amor celestial!

baineann an Ghealach plaic as an nGrian!
gona bpóga is gona mbarróga –
comhriachtain na spéire!


the Moon, the Sun impart
the lesson of Spring –
a wedding ring for all!

la Luna, el Sol dan
la lección primaveral –
¡a todos anillo nupcial!

insíonn an Ghealach is an Ghrian
ceacht earraigh an lae seo –
fáinne pósta do chách!


when the Lady and
Lord of Duality made love –
primordial Big Bang!

la Señora y el Señor
de la Dualidad al amarse –
¡Big Bang primordial!

Ometecuhtli = Lord of Duality
Omecihuatl = Lady of Duality
Ometeotl = Deity of Duality


Earth, Moon, Sun
Serpent, Quetzal bird, Soul –
a blessing at hand!

Tlalticpactli, Metztli, Tonatiuh
Coatl, Quetzalli, Tonalli –
nahuatlatolli in matl

Tierra, Luna, Sol
Serpiente, Quetzal, Tonal –
¡bendición en mano!

an Domhan, an Ghealach, an Ghrian
an Nathair, an Quetzal, an tAnam –
ár mbeannú!

May 27, 2013

Irish (Gaelic) translations by Gabriel Rosenstock

from Francisco X. Alarcón’s new book published  by Poetic Matrix Press

Borderless Butterflies: Earth Haikus and Other Poems /
Mariposas sin fronteras: Haikus terrenales y otros poemas

Poems from the 20th Anniversary Authors’ Anthology

New poem by Kim Shuck

2017 Poet Laureate of San Francisco

Drought Break

Weaving of water is layered

Sitting in the rain

Feet dragging in the runoff

I know there are trees coming down tonight

Drought tired

Clots of soil run free

Sailors still catch and spill


Still navigate by song





So far we are still witness


Borderless Butterflies: Earth Haikus and Other Poems
Mariposas sin fronteras: Haikus terrenales y otros poemas

by Francisco X. Alarcon

Federico García Lorca / Roque Dalton /
Gloria Anzaldúa

oh poetas del mundo
de ayer, mañana, siempre
sin fronteras
hermano del alma
hermano en lucha
hermana mestiza
pusieron en riesgo
sus vidas en versos – y ante
mentiras, la verdad

9 de diciembre de 2013
o poets of the world

from yesterday, tomorrow

forever borderless

soulmate brother

brother in struggle

Mestiza sister

you risked your lives

in poems – choosing

truth over lies

December 9,2013


New poems James Downs

Whispers in the grass

The sheer

abruptness of sweetness

on the tongue

the full

dawning of sunflowers

in the mind

the repetitive

mirror taken down

off the wall

the shouldered

certainty of sightings

in the throat

what is it we seek in this life of woe

the twinkled

brightness of benevolence

near the stars

the tried-

and-true of whispers

in the grass

the hunger danger of hope in the heart


The Nature of Mountains

John Peterson

dark season

we keep finding small places that let the

smell of herbs come through

rosemary before its put in the black skillet

with potatoes onions and black pepper

basil oregano and cilantro growing on the roof

top deck where the sound of pigeons and sunsets

fill the sky and early morning bells

from the methodist steeple

stand out against the snow covered peaks

of the cuyamacas

the source of rain in the spider plant

the deep smell of burning oak

eucalyptus both wet and shining and played out in smoke

this is the season the bear sleeps where you and i

slowly give in and lay front to back like spoons in

a velvet embrace


Landscape of a Woman and a Hummingbird

Joe Milosch

He twists his neck to catch the sun,

which turns his throat to the same shade

of red as the fluid in the gourd-shaped feeder.

Peeling grilled tomatoes, she lifts her head

to see him dip his beak, turn his head,

and burst into shadow.

As they slip through her fingers, tomato seeds

become prayer beads, which seem suspended

for a moment before falling into her salsa.

So Many Voices

Poetic Matrix Press’

So Many Voices Cover

20th Anniversary Authors’ Anthology

246 pages, Price $20.00, available from Small Press Distribution (SPD)

With material from our 60 books and 45 authors (including new pieces from many) this is a true reflection of So Many Voices that we have had the privilege of publishing. This is an interesting and beautiful compliment to our publishing efforts. With editorial assistance from John Peterson, James Downs and Joe Milosch and Forward from James and John and cover art from Molly Weller.

Kim Shuck, Francisco X. Alarcón, James Downs, Shadab Zeest Hashmi, john (peterson), Diana Festa, Anne Whitehouse, Patricia Nelson, Brandon Cesmat, Joseph Miloach, Ashley Gene Pinkerton, Arthur W. Campbell, Mun Duk-su, Peter Gibson Friesen, Joseph Zaccardi, Hassan El-Tayyab, Joe O’Connell, Joan Michelson, Leroy Franklin Moore, Jr., Grace Marie Grafton, Yearn Hong Choi, Lyn Lifsin, Rayn Roberts, Chris Olander, Molly Weller, Charles Entrekin, Gail Rudd Entrekin, Sandra Lee Stillwell, Tomás Gayton, Joel Netsky, J. P. Linstroth, Ruth Rosenthal, Bonnie Joanna Gisel, Peter and Donna Thomas, Reverend James Fox, Alex Landon and Elaine Halleck, and many more.

Brandon Cesmat

From our 20th Anniversary Anthology

Light in All Directions
Brandon Cesmat

Light in All Directions

I felt your gaze all day as you drove the road toward me.
That night in the observatory, we leaned into the telescope,
held our breath to focus on Jupiter with five moons
each lit like half-closed blind eyes,
all that old light taking eight minutes to reach us on
a planet close enough to catch light from a star.
Then you found Saturn, made out the rings standing on knife-point
and the band of shadow
the dark older than the light
the same dark just beyond the porch lamp,
the same constant dark between any two people.
A star sends its light in all directions
like a king dispatching navies that sink in the crossing except
one ship that arrives as you have
to make new whatever light survives.
Under that dome, dark so people could see stars,
I leaned against the wall and only your light fell onto me.
 New Poem

Howl, Hoot and Poem Disguise

             for Leonidas
1 a.m. and I can’t sleep like the owl
in the pine outside the front door.
He hoots a five-beat song with three notes.
and then rests while a car passes over the hill.
A coyote above the hum of
the air compressor on the casino roof.
He cries again  at the top of the canyon.
I harmonize an inversion;
owl adds his refrain.
All of us nightsinging out,
then breathing in and listening.
What have we rustled out of cover?
I’m hungry for sleep but too tired
to tear the night apart and swallow it
as the dawn will.
At noon the canyon caves hold night’s tongue.
Singing is the sound of hunger.
It’s what we do with empty mouths.
It’s what we live on when silence is not enough.

James Downs 

Refining the moment

Reach out a quavering hand to touch rock 

bird bones may be Hollow… but they are heavy 

colors of Fall are proportional to colors of Spring 

there’s a giant in the Sky prepared to roar 

find yourself in company of No less than three 

Genealogy tells only part of a truthful tale 

a ditch only means higher Ground on other side 

lumbering black bear can run straight uphill 

make a face by scrunching up your Mouth 

thin valley gets Darker quicker than a plain 

Markets for homegrown gods shine out 

when you leave one place you Enter another 

ghosts of Today become memories of tomorrow 

bighorn sheep re-introduced to wild Sierra Mountains 

Wave upon wave caresses winding California coast 

You cannot escape Yourself even if you tried 

Refining the moment… reach out a quavering hand  

bird bones may be Hollow… but they are heavy 

James Downs 

J.P. Linstroth Indiegogo Campaign

Join J.P. Linstroth in his Indiegogo Campaign

Production costs for the publication of the Book of Poetry: The Forgotten Shore by J. P. Linstroth

J. P. Linstroth is an Adjunct Professor at Barry University.  His main academic research interests are: cognition, ethnonationalism, gender, genocide, history, immigrant advocacy, indigeneity, indigenous politics, indigenous rights, memory, peace, peacebuilding, racism, and trauma. Linstroth, steeped in the classics, has found the route through literature to the Greek ideal. Click the link above and join him in getting this book published, receive your copy of this work of art. 

Excerpt from:


O Aphrodite, Hephaestus and I are brothers…
Whence mine own arrogant, conceited, pompous…
His humble, vulnerable, masterful craftsman…
Mine own frivolous and vain…
His deferential, respectful, and diffident…
And yet, not without confidence…
I have known other women all the same…
It is only for you have I rapt attention…
O my Brazilian Aphrodite, née Portuguese conquistadores, née Amerindians, née
Afro-slaves, not to mention—other Europes intertwined…
You Aphrodite flowering laurels, anthophilous, Nature’s bounty…
You Aphrodite, so nimbly you disrobe—apodysophilia…
So too hydrophilous from seaing foam, effervescent, emergent on azure waves…
Giant cockles, envied all…
Your cynosure assured as no other, without contention…
And so you must choose, my radiant ebonied tresses, gorgeousness, delightful, elegance…
Full breasted, more alluring than Hera, more ravishing than Athena, more charming than Artemis…
Neither Helen of Troy, nor Nymph, nor Muse may compare to thee, thy beaming,
twinkling, goddess from the sea—only know me, only me…

BLESSINGS AND CURSES poems by Anne Whitehouse

From our 20th Anniversary Anthology

poems by Anne Whitehouse


There is something to be said
for being a renter,
of watching over a place
without the obligation
to improve it.

The Native Americans
made it a practice
to leave little trace of themselves
on the landscape.

Few of us can bear
to travel so lightly.
Yet this is our condition:
to occupy this life,
knowing we will
be parted from it,
but not when.

At sunset my shadow stretches
over the sea as I ease myself in
for the last swim of summer.
For thirty years I’ve immersed
in the cold waters of this cove
and felt cradled by sea and sky.
In their ever-changing immensities
I sense the unpossessable sublime.

I sink my restless thoughts to silence
so I may cleave to my true purpose.

Tethered, words enter the mind
through the eye or the ear,
to make of themselves
the weightless structure
apprehended wholly or in part,
like a shape shifting in the mist,
reverberant as a song,
to be taken up or forgotten,
like spent desire, or sunlight
shining on water, a fading reflection.


Joe O’Connell

From our 20th Anniversary Anthology

Dingle Day
poems by Joe O’Connell

In Flanders fields
Did Bob Seeger and the Silver Bullet Band
Buoy us up on a Spring morning
With a driving force,
Ebullient, hoarse and sound,
Prophetic energy about nothing much really
Or everything
That a young sub-prime man should feel,
The world and its promise wheeling under his heel.
In rushy Kerry fields, actually,
Were these musical propellers felt,
The sun winning supremely over the fluffy clouds
For attention received unsolicited
Like a fancied one,
Its power and beauty constant,
Immutable and impermeable to any move,
Indifferent to the machinations
Of an earth bound offspring.
That fairies, or pucai, don’t exist
In the glaringly obvious physical sense
Is utterly besides the point
To any celtically attuned
Centred and diffused
Through the pale, cold autumnal
Halloevening thin air
In damp, mushroomy, rushy fields
Amongst meditative bovines,
Mysterious sheep, wild-eyed goats
And furtive little beings,
Who, surprised, turn their independent eyes
Almost, yet somehow more than human,
Towards yours questing,
Knowing something, arrogantly conveyed,
That your quest will never find.


From our 20th Anniversary Anthology
poems by DAN  THARP
We dropped his ashes from the bridge
into the Canadian River below;
left our words upon the breeze and
watched the current
sweep him away…
followed soon by two car
                and an empty can of beer.
Morning Colors
Morning colors
play upon the clouds –
in oranges, reds
and pretty pastels –
And were I to feel
the morning breeze
play about
as it would please;
brush up against
my skin and tease
the longing of
my heart…
then I would see
you standing there;
the morning colors
in your hair.
Forgive me if
I’m unaware
of others
standing near.

Diana Festa

From the forth coming 20th Anniversary Anthology

The Gathering
poems by Diana Festa

After Umberto Eco’s
The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana
The soil’s peculiar smell,
fog filtering into clusters of trees,
rain on pavement,
the earthy odor of artichokes,
sweetness of sage, salt in sea air,
pungent tea leaves steaming
in blades of sun–
the planet is saturated with scents.
But there is the desperate loneliness
of parallel lines, unscented, untouching
in a firmament of curves and corners,
seeking solace, a whiff of life
in fragrances.
I navigate among them
in sun-drenched breeze from the desert,
mountains that repeat mountains.
Every step holds
traces of forgotten aims—
and oh, the fear of not finding
the way home.
I do not know how to land
on solid ground, or change my course,
how to leave my parallel-line solitude,
the weighty suspense
in the allegory of loss.
Selective Recollections
Happy families are all alike.
Tolstoy: Anna Karenina
Little gifts, a Limoges saucer, a Murano flower—
a cumulous of objects in cumulous of years.
I forget who gave the saucer, a vase, a pitcher.
There were letters, often so lovely
they may still be warming pages in some books.
But most went, buried
with days of the past, love notes, dried flowers.
When I left the old house, I walked away
from a cabinet where faces stilled
by the camera smiled in distant sun—
the children, the man I loved.
I hold a convergence of lights in my memory,
and there is no room for photographs
with their unchanging mien.
Remembrance makes its own choice,
elective instants within recurring images.
What do I remember of you?
A myriad instants—
walks at the beach in paling dusk, dinners
at our favorite restaurant, afternoons
by book stalls along the Seine, rocking train rides—
nothing extraordinary,
the simple story we shared,
the quiet pace of our days,
the rhythm of our breathing.

Joan Michelson, London England


And are you gone from me?
And are you dead?
Who loved me always
and now prefer the wind.

And is it spring
with an untimely frost?
And are the bushes sticks?
And berry-flowers dew?

And do I waking wake?
And is this floor the earth?
And do I breathe in smoke?
And is this wind?

Oh are you not alive?
Who loved me as your own
and gave me seasons
buttered with the sun.

Song For Sleep

I sleep and hold your hand
and hold your hand in sleep.

A shrunken moon slides in.
The eucalyptus breathes.
The garden shed grows tall,
taller than the hedge.

And years roll on, roll on
until we have no years

Then like blossom floats 
an alphabet of dust. 
I hold in sleep your hand.
In sleep I hold your hand.

Bosnian Girl

When they had done with her and her mother
she climbed a tree and hung herself – a girl
in a red sweater that her mother had knitted.
This is one front page image I remember
from the Srebrenica massacre.
If we could live inside the memory of ‘Once
there was a village that was undisturbed’,
by now she’d be a mother knitting sweaters
for her own daughter. My fingers unbuckle
the woven belt she slung around a branch.
Her slim bare legs are swinging down.
Feet on earth again, up she springs and runs.


The monkey cry, forbidden by Saul’s father
through the years in hiding, stunned Saul’s guests
and he himself, a man of sixty, dressed

in his best suit. It was the Leichenschmaus,
the funeral lunch, for his father. The family,
Saul and his one son, were seated

at the head table. Embossed white linen,
heavy silver, glassware. But the monkey cry,
as if repressed for fifty years, exploded

from within Saul’s throat. Down he slid,
a bulk onto the floor, knees pulled up,
fists against his eyes. Three years

they’d lived in the Ape House storage room
inside the Royal Artis Zoo. The keeper,
the only man they saw. His chimp, Kosheeba,

the worker, who delivered their monkey mash.
Saul’s world – the concrete floor, the straw
in which they lay, the wire cage in front

with climbing ropes and branches, and his mama
and his papa in matching matted mink,
long coats that papa stitched by hand.

Saul knew the feel of lining silk and fur,
and how it smelled, and to be small
against his father’s chest and feel the warmth

and hear the muffled lub-dub of the heart.
But how his family had ‘disappeared’;
who’d colluded; how it was condoned;

and the survival of several hundred Jews
inside the Royal Artis Zoo was fogged history.
It would be called up after Saul

shook himself to take his place again
beside his son and passed around a photo
found on Thursday when he’d found

his father dead. Dead and covered
with the coat he’d worn in hiding, the mink
in the photo from Liberation Day. To think

that his father had kept that coat to die
beneath it. To die with his hands stiff
against his ears as if he heard the cry,

a sound like a howl or a beseeching;
or that inside the worn-out wartime coat
the monkey cry lived on. Returned to self,

Saul looked around Restaurant Basaal.
No one met his gaze. The room, strangely
still, was loud with nothing to be heard.

Joan Michelson won first prize in the Bristol Poetry Competition, UK, 2015, first prize in the Torriano Competition, UK, 2014, and she received the Hamish Canham prize from the Poetry Society of England, 2012 and her poem ‘Self-Portrait with Secret’ was a Poetry Society newsletter selection Dec 2016.  Her writing has been selected for several British Council and Arts Council anthologies of New Writing. Her first collection, Toward the Heliopause was published by Poetic Matrix Press, CA, USA, 2011.  Her chapbook, Bloomvale Home, portraits of residents in a care home, by Original Plus Books, UK, 2016.  Forthcoming, 2017, from Sentinel Books, UK, a new collection, Landing Stage.  Forthcoming 2018, from The Finishing Line Press, KY, chapbook, ‘The Family Kitchen’. Originally from New England, USA, Joan lives in London, England.