November 21-27, 2016: Poetry from Linda Leedy Schneider and Akshaya Pawaskar

​Linda Leedy Schneider and Akshaya Pawaskar

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​Linda Leedy Schneider

Bio (auto)

Linda Leedy Schneider, winner of the 2012 Contemporary American Poetry Prize, is a political activist, poetry and writing mentor, psychotherapist in private practice, and former faculty member at Aquinas College and Kendall College of Art and Design. Her poetry received a Readers’ Choice Award from Pedestal Magazine and has been nominated for Pushcart Prizes. Linda facilitates workshops nationally including The Manhattan Writing Workshop which she founded and has led since 2008. Published in hundreds of literary magazines including The Pedestal Magazine, Rattle, The Sow’s Ear and the Journal of American Poetry, Linda has written six collections of poetry including Some Days: Poetry of a Psychotherapist (Plain View Press) and has edited two collections of poetry written by poets whom she has mentored: Mentor’s Bouquet (Finishing Line Press) and Poems From 84th Street (Pudding House Publications). Linda lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan and believes a regular writing ritual leads to discovery, authenticity, personal growth and even JOY.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​Linda Leedy Schneider and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Memories of My Daughter’s Wedding

A thunderstorm brought the ceremony out of the garden
into the sunroom where candles glowed.
Two flower girls scattered yellow and pink petals.
Vows were spoken that have passed through generations
like ivy following a wall, brick by brick.
The kiss at the altar was long and real.
The bride danced with her father, wiped his tears.
Her grandmother, pink and blue scarf carefully knotted
over her blue suit, smiled and called her by name.

But three days later when I visited assisted living and said,
“Wasn’t it a wonderful wedding, Mother?”
Her grandmother raised her head like a horse from the hay
and asked, “Was I there?”

Previously published in Peninsular Poets


Akshaya Pawaskar

Bio (auto)

Akshaya Pawaskar is a doctor practicing in Goa, India, dabbling in poetry in her spare time. She has been published in Efiction India, writer’s ezine and few anthologies by Lost Tower Publications.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Akshaya Pawaskar and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Fisherman’s wharf

Pier juts tongued in the mouth
Of fisherman’s wharf, madding
Crowd away, at the waterfront
She sits like a painting splaying
Legs under the Azure carpeted
San Francisco bay.

Bikers are strolling for a change
Swimmers, fishes with full body
suits dripping ruddy out of water
She sunbathes oblivious to bruit
And dogs navigating their loyals
As they whiff astray.

Serene daylight sits lightly over
All anatomies even spotlighting
The ancient land of penitentiary
Salt eroded. For in that moment
She is the Spaniard who named
La Isla de Alcatraz.

Once perhaps the land swooped
With pelicans but not one extant
as the air leaves no winged trails
Except the whiskers of sea lions
Project like periscopes and a tiny
head follows suit.

Between the floppy calm flippers
Clapping, enfolding fatty blubber
And history weighing heavy with
lighthouse Illuminating its purlieu
And once ruthless criminals held
Insular in the cells.

She feels Ghirardelli square’s ice
Cream headache, grating yet light
spirit of pinniped species staring
sans wink pervades ambivalence
In her being. She waits for a cure,
A sea lion’s kiss.

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