by Mark Salow

Wrestling with your indolence
Will the stream still flow hence
Restless stubborn reticence
No one recalls the sequence
Nebulous shrouded events

The globe's had too much caffeine
So calm its shaking crust with a glacial poultice

Skin speaking with throaty muscles
Like thunder of a cresting wave
Or peals of shattering death knells
Encased inside the spider's legs
Protected from the splint'ring bells

The globe has a new psychoanalyst
Yet it's confusion seems mounting and relentless

A new horizon you can create
Leave coldly behind what you berate
Lounge languidly supine and sedate
Ponder nuances embedded with fate
Kaleidoscope hues will concentrate

The globe's sprouting new axes like tendrils
Hold tight to the dirt for a wild flopping ride


by Mark Salow

The beads squeeze out at once
forming a thin sheet: veil-like
over the contortions of a straining face
Lips, paling and overstretched
tremble over the bucking, gritting teeth
that part to open the vacuum
for the minuscule yet torrid wind
A drop-sized flood flows
over the cornea's convex glass
in a crimson wave
taking all of the sting from the glare

The Beams

by Mark Salow

Fides walked along the ocean. The sun, breaking through the clouds, showered beams upon the evening sea. She noticed a small, drenched, gray bird along the foaming edge, barely keeping its head above the shallow, creeping tide. It was no common gull like most of the surrounding feathered life and she wondered how it came to be in such deadly circumstances.

She planted her toes in the sand as she slowly and carefully bent over and reached out to lift it to safety. Startled, the bird pecked at her finger as she placed her hand around its back. Fides jerked momentarily but continued her rescue. As the water receded, she gently tugged the thin legs and claws from the sand. The latter kicked bits of sand onto her cheeks as they broke the surface.

She moved the limp creature toward herself to get a better view. The feathers were starting to fluff as they dried in the ocean breeze. Its pinky-sized neck expanded to the width of a thumb and it stopped shaking. It stared her in the eyes with a speck of her blood still on the tip of its beak.

The stare continued for what seemed like minutes - its eyes so dark on what were now white facial plumes. The gaze transfixed her and she felt as if she were being shown places from on high. The earth was so far below her and she was filled with exaltation.

The bird broke the gaze and looked toward the sun. Just then, the sun's rays squeezed through another seam in the clouds and poured into its eyes and it became aglow. White feathers burst from its wings and body as it grew in all directions. It looked once more into Fides' eyes and rubbed the tip of its wing-feather along the bottom of her chin. It flapped strongly as it flew off into the beam.

Fides watched as it got smaller and higher until it disappeared into the sun. The evening sky was beautiful as the burning sphere approached the horizon - hues of magenta melted into violet and blue.

She bounded homeward pondering what she had just experienced. Or thought had just happened. Then she touched her cheek and felt the grains of sand and the most beautiful, radiant smile came to her face. As she walked on, the smile remained and nothing could make it fall - and no one would ever wish it. home