Thursday, June 30, 2016

DC Poets: Karren LaLonde Alenier


“A green acre is so selfish and so pure and so enlivened.” 
from “Celery.” by Gertrude Stein

oh those green acres 
of cotton and cane 
fueled by the selleries 
of black flesh and pain 

the curled lashes thrown 
from the cat the Quakers 
of Nantucket stalked the 
deep green acres of sea 

inviting runaways to man 
their leaky whaleboats
join the quest to harvest 
from white wakes the best 

spermaceti oil to market
to sell fish light from 
leviathan remains ah
those little bits the profits

Karren LaLonde Alenier is author of seven poetry collections, including The Anima of Paul Bowls from MadHat Press in 2016. Gertrude Stein Invents a Jump Early On, her jazz opera with William Banfield premiered in New York in 2005. Visit for more info.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

DC Poets: Mike Maggio


I planted them in early spring,
after the last frost had passed.
I tilled the earth
pulling weed, removing rot –

Aged, decayed leaves,
not quite mulch.
Clumps of dried-up grass.
Sticks and stems,

Stones and pebbles,
old newspapers and stray debris--
anything that would interfere
with the rearing of my precious crop.

At first, I seeded them in tiny pots
watered them loyally
morning and night
watched eagerly as they slowly sprouted.

Green sprigs of hope
peaking demurely through beads of soil,
white slip of a smile at the very top --
a foretaste of a sumptuous meal to come.

When the time was right, I transplanted them
troweled an intrepid hole
gently set my little seedlings
roots riveted in the rich, brown loam.

Each day, I tended them
watered them with my faithful hose
watched and waited
pulling a stray weed here,

a wildflower there,
guiding them along posts,
securing them in metal cages
set for them to climb and curl.

Devoted father fostering his child
Watchful parent protecting his nascent fold.

Soon, they appeared --
bright yellow blossoms,
then, shortly, gently swollen stems
at last, plush, plump green bulbs

strung like Christmas balls
suspended along graceful winding vines
buoyant in the summer sun
eager to attain their crimson destiny.

Then, one day,
the sun still settling in the morning sky,
they were gone
snatched away from their innocent perch.

A stray deer perhaps
or maybe an errant rabbit --
animals once dear to the heart
now swiftly sworn enemies.

How easily we pivot from love to hate!
How inscrutable the anger!

Once a tomato patch
now but bare bush.
Once wondrous creatures of God
now merely hateful foes.

And the clouds gather in the darkening sky
And the fearsome storm erupts
And the rain and thunder pummel the wailing earth
And the forest cowers in unfathomable fear.

Yet not one tomato in this forsaken world
can possibly equal even one precarious life.

(c) 2016 by Mike Maggio

Mike Maggio is a poet and fiction writer with seven works to his name and numerous publications in journals including The Northern Virginia Review, The L.A. Weekly and others. His eighth book, a novella entitled The Appointment, will be released in May 2017 by Vine Leave Press. He is an adjunct assistant-professor at Northern Virginia Community College, an associate editor of The Potomac Review and the Northern Regional Vice-President of the Poetry Society of Virginia. His web site if

DC Poets: Ginger Ingalls

I Think Of My Father's Tale 

 I think of my father's tale.

 I look at the pregnant
 before me in the cafe;
 the dress,
 and then I go out.

 I look at the progress
 I've made.
 I think of my child,
 and the future being
 in heaven.

 Ginger Ingalls is a poet, actor, and is working toward a healer credential. Her careers of journalism, acting, and craniosacral therapy inform her work. She is passionate about her son, energy conservation and the world we live in. Her work can be found on, and has appeared in Poets on the Fringe and The Federal Poet journals.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

DC Poets: Genevieve Carminati

When Skies Are Cloudy and Gray

Daddy washes dishes and sings like Sinatra:
“When skies are cloudy and gray, they’re only gray for a day.
So wrap your troubles in dreams, and dream your troubles away.”
A wet dishtowel like a sleepy baby
drapes the eggplant-purple shoulder of his t-shirt,
his sweat smells ripe as holy water.
I shell peas at the table.  I pop
open the crunchy cases,
pressing the tiny pads of my thumbs at their seams,
and out burst shiny green pellets
and ping ping ping drop into the bowl,
silver and cold, I hold between my knees.
Remembering another Sunday morning
my honey-hearted surprise when he leapt (sweet tomcat)
into the parlor pumping with the lush blood
of TV organ music
and whirled a mighty polka
across nutty-colored floorboards,
his brown canvas shoes sprouting fluttery pink angel wings,
his workpants flapping like sheets, the air of the full house stirring
with the dizzying force of his dervish.
And how he bowed when I clapped, calling
Bravo! Bravo!
sweeping his hammy arm across the width of his waist,
dropping his head almost to my feet.