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 May 2015 P E Kaplan
Jay Bain
God I had a nightmare and You
were in it.  You were ink
smeared across the darkness.
The space between stars.
The void between clusters
Of stars.  Moving
Across the Face
Of the Deep.
So far were the stars
from each other
that there was just black.
Passing in the empty,
three Hydrogen atoms
clung to my skin,
one after one,
then gathered more,
more; like singing
some silent conspiracy;
clinging each to each,
dusting my skin
eyes mouth throat;
lungs breathing in,
out the crystals;
I felt about to flame
the blackness,
but woke, bells ringing,
cold in damp sheets.

Jay Bain
August, 2011
 Feb 2014 P E Kaplan
Don Bouchard
Nyla felt the heavy steps coming up the stoop
Before the muffled thud of snowy feet...
Hurried to the stove to check the roast,
Apron-wiped her brow from oven heat.

In from chores, her Hiram stood a little bowed,
"I'm worried 'bout Old Sol," was all he said,
"I know it's nearly April now, but still, somehow,
He's failing." In his voice she heard a quiet dread.

"I know he's getting old...nearing twenty-two."
Words came spilling out, and Nyla stood to hear,
"The cold is hard for him to take; I feel it, too,
And February was so long and cold and drear."

"The longer days still colder grow... are hard
On every living thing, except a dormant few.
Our flagging summer memories become marred;
Old horses and old men lose hopeful views."

"I'll go down with an extra scoop of oats,"
Old Hiram said. "Perhaps to cheer him up a bit."
Nyla didn't argue, turned down the stove,
Finished table chores, and found her place to sit.

In only minutes Nyla heard the slow footfall;
Asked, "Hiram?" then said nothing more.
No words were needed for she knew it all,
And held her husband close beside the kitchen door.
 Feb 2014 P E Kaplan
Gary Muir
I miss having someone with whom I can share my deepest feelings, my hurts, my desires. I need to relieve this aching chest, this chest that tightens up without my noticing, until I begin to gasp. I need to cry; I need someone who knows my inside, and not my out. Its tough not being known—it is a situation one feels no need to prepare for, until it occurs. I desperately want to invite someone in—though only someone that knocks first, someone that wants to be here. And I myself want to be welcomed into another, to understand and feel for someone else, as they feel for me. Here in this place, how do I make my knock heard? My knock is faint, and unfamiliar. I shall keep knocking nonetheless. And pray a door will be opened.
 Jan 2014 P E Kaplan
I crafted a painting to
hang on that wall of yours

Someday you'll take it down
and think of me
 Sep 2011 P E Kaplan
It's ok to not care
      and pretend your eyes are just watering
   and pretend that it means something to everyone
             and not just to you.

It's ok because they
       don't really want to know if you are
     and you can't take admitting that anyway


  it kills you
She's dancing in his eyes of misery,
Twirling around the floorboards,
Like a fruit ripening off a tree.
She's balanced in his gaze,
Hovering above the waves and pulses
Beating through the planks of wood
Built on this foundation of land.
He wants what he can't have,
And she is the reviving water
Stored underneath cactus ******
That he can't drink.
His hand is not hers to hold
And her dress is not his to touch.
His misery will flourish,
The distance of strangers.
I know of something acquainted
with the nearest shadows
seeking to stand in my Eden.
Seen as flames
my footsteps have gone from this world
I no longer taste their freedom.

The cold hard ground checks my validation,
keeps me here every day.
Beautiful places like that of my Eden
make passion felt even more,
losing the mask of my face,
slip sliding away.

All the beautiful seals are removed from my bells.
However, I still hear them ring.
My feet once danced as unbound flames
in my lovely Eden.
Until shadows sprang from pages
and began to sing.

Moments are erased revealing thoughts,
opening the heart
when the earth hangs on a day’s silence.
Questions rise then crumble
into the nearest shadow’s hands that fight
my splendid Eden’s wildness.
 Aug 2011 P E Kaplan
Jay Bain
She bathed me, bade me stand, sit.
She fed me Xanax to **** the shakes.
She toweled me off; she said
this would be the last time.
Then to her bed, we lay akimbo
cool sheets wading at our knees.
I began a song, a whiskied song,
an ancient song, distant, old;
something about God and how He
created us to pain; the God
who was origin of all
Brother Sister;
back to the very first one
he made us to pain.
Then the song sweetened,
gentle He made the pain-
since there really is no blame,
no Father Mother Sister Brother-
save the first one.  But then,
our first choice, seemed it so-
he made us Choose;
so He made our first choice, too-
knowing well what We are.
Then pass That on,
making the pain
that we make all other pain
upon the First...
I sang about Him until twilight,
until her breaths were soft, peaceful;
I whispered this song, inhaling, exhaling
until the room rocked and slept.

-Jay Bain, 2009
 Aug 2011 P E Kaplan
Jay Bain
As the axe handle twirls in my hands,
spins, hangs over my head-
it is all kinetic energy now turned
potential.  My deltoids arc the blade
to apex.  Backswing completed,
it pauses, then back down its arc
it sets a single tooth to split
an old bone of a once living tree.
In the wood chips, in the hair
strands of this future kindling

I imagine human bones cracking-
femurs and ulnas and mandibles,
crushed under a Ball Pein hammer-
powdered fine and white.

Snow flurries
spot my canvas sleeves,
crystals find my fingers, dust my hair-
quickly melt.
I gather the split wood in burlap.
On the porch, I turn back once more-
see Geese swoon low the valley's lake,
hear the ringing through the pines,
then turn the latch,
go inside to burn old bones.

-Jay Bain, 2009

— The End —