May 24-30, 2010: Jim D. Babwe and Alex Stolis

Jim D. Babwe


Bio (auto)

Jim D. Babwe currently resides in Azusa (CA), where he hopes the San Diego Padres continue to play well enough to win the National League West

The following work is Copyright © 2010, and owned by Jim D. Babwe and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Watch the Neighborhood Grow


Suspending Saturday’s routine
meant skipping chores
in favor of naming the trees
I carried a clipboard and paper
northwest to the corner where
I could have been fixing the fence
would have been a good choice
for the Ponderosa pine,
but no other names came to mind Lacking a rival,
Henry it was
I thought,
and started
toward a neighboring tree.

turning back for another look,
I added the following notes
next to the name
Henry Good name for a tree Gentle shade on this side of the hill Large trunk Big cones
Thick carpet of needles
flat and clean on the ground Henry is a living machine
who whispers and sways with the breezes.

Henry Some of his blood flows
to the bark,
stays glued to his body
in long sticky trails
slow to comply with gravity’s orders.

Intending to sit in the shade
for a few more moments,
I awoke to disintegrating
images from a dream
about Day of the Triffids–
the end of an accidental nap.


Large black oak,
branches–solid, heavy–
bark marked by deep wrinkled folds–
the face of an experienced sailor
toughened by salt under the sun.

Robinson’s name took a little more time,
arrived after speaking with neighbors.

Answering questions,
sharing photos,
repairing more than a few
logical lapses with gentle returns to available facts–
we agreed the tree was more than 100 years old–
possibly closer to double the number.

Tree houses Castaways Crusoe Casual talk found its
way around mistakes
to Robinson
and we picked up
a pencil and paper
for a walk to the tree
and sketches Cutting no limbs, using no nails,
guarded from rain, protected from wind,
we worked in the shade of benevolent leaves
provided by a prolific producer of breathable air.

Robinson lends us some time off the ground.

Watch the neighborhood grow


Alex Stolis

Bio (auto)

Alex lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The following work is Copyright © 2010, and owned by Alex Stolis and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Tourist Guide: How you can tell
for sure you’re in Las Vegas

you’re stopped on the corner
of a dead end block;

down and out of smokes,
the last of a minimum wage

paycheck burns a hole
in your attitude, a gun street

girl throws you that look—
a crowbar that pries open the last

of your sympathy you reach
for a memory to stand-in for the truth,

hear the high whisper of a train
decide you have the strength

to stop the world from spinning the horizon buckles, a stoplight

stuck on green blinks dot dot dot
dash dash dash dot dot dot;

you’re stranded beyond the limit
of your convictions

Subscribe to our weekly Newsletter: