Murray's Loss, Morrie's Gain
or, The Silent Treatment

Murray lost his little clam
one day along the beach.
He feared it had been swept away
by surf, beyond his reach.

He searched the shore, both high and low,
combed every grain of sand.
He called to it. It answered not:
clams are a silent band.

Morrie found that little clam
amid the tide's debris.
He talked to it, but mute the clam
remained as in the sea.

He took it off to school one day.
The clam broke not a rule:
the best behaved in class it was—
no doubt in all the school.

by Julian D. Woodruff

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Julian D. Woodruff came to literary invention while telling authorities in East Berlin how he lost his passport. His poetry appears on the websites of Carmina and The Society of Classical Poets. Reedsy and Frostfire Worlds have each issued a short story. He is a member of the Rochester, NY Area Children's Writers and Illustrators and SCBWI.


To My Angry Partner

Go gentle into that good night.
Don't burn and rave. Don't slam the door,
And when you leave, please turn out the light.

Perhaps you're suffering some imagined slight,
Forked words that you just can't endure.
Go gentle into that good night.

I thought you were articulate and bright,
Not some grieving, grunting boor.
When you leave, please turn out the light.

How did we ever reach this plight
When no deed matters anymore?
When you leave, please turn out the light.

It's stupid, who was wrong or right,
Our quarrel as blind as some old metaphor.
Go gentle into that good night.

The two of us make one sad plight.
Raging's clearly not the cure.
Go gentle into that good night,
And when you leave, turn out the light.

by David Galef

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David Galef has published over two hundred poems in magazines ranging from Light and Measure to The Yale Review. He's also published two poetry volumes, Flaws and Kanji Poems, as well as two chapbooks, Lists and Apocalypses. In real life, he directs the creative writing program at Montclair State University.


They Grow Up From Me

They flee from me that sometime did me seek
with toddler foot, stalking our bedroom chamber.
I have seen them hilarious, giggling, full of cheek,
that now are detached and do not remember
that sometime I put them in their manger
to clean their poop with Luv's wipes; now they range,
busily hanging out with a bunch of strangers.

Thankéd be fortune it hath been otherwise.
Twenty times better; but once in special,
in Halloween costume, under dark November skies,
when their bags of candy from their hands did fall;
therewithal sweetly did they hiss,
"Daddy, you'll have none of this!"

It was no witchcraft: I lay broad waking.
But all is turned thorough my largesse
into a strange fashion of forsaking;
and I have shock at their apparent rudeness,
and they also love their growing adult sureness.
But since that I am so kindly burnéd
I would fain appreciate an email returnéd.

by Richard Cummins

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Richard Cummins lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife, Meg. They have two successful kids who have grown up from them. One is a writer in NYC; the other is a writing student and a senior at a university a full mountain range away.


I never saw a Purple Cow,
I never hope to see one;
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I'd rather see than be one.
Gelett Burgess

I finally saw a purple cow.
I'd never hoped to see one
Nor dreamed that I'd be writing now
To tell you that to be one

Is not so fun. I know because
On seeing, I became
A purple cow! And nothing was
Ever again the same.

The boys all laughed, the mean girls sneered,
And grownups shrieked in fright.
I asked an old friend what they feared.
He said, The very sight

Of you! So, with a can of paint,
I sprayed my skin all green.
Thus ended everyone's complaint,
The world turned not-so-mean.

I've noticed how the world is full
of folks who will allow
and accept almost any bull
but not so much a cow.

While underneath, I know that I
Am really purple still,
I keep it to myself—and sigh,
As certain poets will.

by James B. Nicola

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James B. Nicola's poetry has garnered two Willow Review awards, a Dana Literary award, and six Pushcart nominations—including one from Parody! His full-length collections are Manhattan Plaza, Stage to Page, Wind in the Cave, Out of Nothing, and Quickening: Poems from Before and Beyond. His nonfiction book, Playing the Audience, won a Choice award.