July 25-31, 2011: Janet Buck and W.I. Stoneberger

week of July 25-31, 2011

Janet Buck and W.I. Stoneberger

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Janet Buck

Bio (auto)

Janet Buck is a seven-time Pushcart Nominee. Her poetry has appeared in 2River View, Offcourse, The Pedestal Magazine, and hundreds of journals worldwide. Janet’s second print collection of poetry, Tickets to a Closing Play, was the winner of the 2002 Gival Press Poetry Award and her third collection, Beckoned By The Reckoning, was released by PoetWorks Press in the spring of 2004. Buck teaches writing courses for Rogue Community College and lives in Medford, Oregon.

The following work is Copyright © 2011, and owned by Janet Buck and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

My Turn

When I die I have no plans to send my friends
into the frigid moisture of a church.
Formulas like that prolong the drip of grief;
you’ll want to turn the faucet off
in your own damned way: guzzle a bottle of wine,
touch an old photo, maybe read a poem I wrote.
We’ve all endured such suffering
and watching that of those we love:
that’s so much worse, that’s so much worse.
Lately it’s been a vigorous rash
spreading across collective skin.
Talking is our Lidocane,
numbing cells one by one;
our knees are raw from constant prayer.

I’ve tried to make my limp appear
too quick to catch your gazing eyes,
but that was my daydream, my spurious mirage.
I’ve tried to live without dragging the world
through chronic pain like a tiny ant
hauls elephantine bugs back to a nest–
though I know I’ve done this more than I
ever brushed my teeth or blew my nose
with two unyielding hands.

Youth just doesn’t download any truth
attached to death, so we gather
like a bridge club without cards,
stare at tables with wobbling legs.
A lightning strike of vanity hits, and we dwell
on wrinkles like potholes that flatten a tire,
not creases in a face that smiled.
I, for one, wonder why I didn’t listen to the honking geese,
ignore impatient drivers pounding their fists
against their horns; I wonder why I didn’t
worship every daffodil, each crocus neck
that sprung from damp March soil.

W.I. Stoneberger

Bio (auto)

W.I. Stoneberger recently reached the half-century mark. Within days of this momentous event; his hair and teeth began to fall out, his eyesight grew fuzzy around the edges, and his skin sighed and sagged like a Sher Pei. He lives with a herd of gray squirrels in Newport News, Virginia. They have been perfecting their rodeo skills, and hope to soon take the show across the bridge to Suffolk – Peanut Capital of the World.

The following work is Copyright © 2011, and owned by W.I. Stoneberger and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Dogs and horses were roaming free
along the perimeters of sleep.
Children took the bodies of the babies
into their hands –
caressing them, calling them their own.
The one with the pop eyes of a boston terrier
wore a big black felt hat,
like a gaucho.
The others called him “Daddy”.
He rode his bicycle
up and down the street
in front of the house,
dodging raindrops
and reciting the names
of the neighborhood kids
like a mantra or an ancient alphabet.

The children chased the horses
across the lawn,
green in the Spring air.
Voices faded in and out,
crackling like a bad connection.
Distant music like a mist swirled
then settled into a dull drowsy drone.
The dogs had gone now.
The children had claimed them,
named them, and lead them away.
The horses had gathered
under the sweetgum tree.
They circled like a carousel,
changing colors as they bobbed
up and down –
black to brown to blue
to green to gold to black
and back again again,
as Daddy rode by waving
along the edge of waking.


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