New story by Roy Dorman

Below is a link to an intriguing new story by Roy Dorman:


The Base Runner’s Bodhidharma by Steve Fortney

The Base Runner’s Bodhidharma
                                       For Stephen Batchelor
He’s in the game punching a fast ball
To the far corner of right field.
Racing  toward first base,
He pulls a muscle in his left calf.
Touching base, the hurt bites.
 He achieves second, turns to third.
Between second and third he wants
To quit, but separates himself
To merely watch the pain.
If only he could get there! That
Would be a triple. But there
He turns, and watches himself see
The agony: only one path to home.
Come on, man, do it! Get’er done!
Keep at it, push yourself, you can do this!
After eight giant limping steps, he slides,
Beats the throw! An inside-the-park 
home run! Yes! and springs up muddy,
And dances his dance! His teammates
Dash to him, leaping, slapping high fives.
It’s only the bottom of the fifth,
There’s a game to play yet; inning 
by inning, game after game,
Living after living. He envisions
This circuit, through joy and pain,
Again and again, each dance new,
Win or lose, each step confident.  

Two New Poems by Dave Benson


Desert Ship

Heaved up from the bowels of Mother Earth,

her crowded decks upon the massive hull set,

carved and molded by eons of wind and rain,

painted by the hand of the Great Spirit,

the majestic liner plows the desert waves

with her crew of lizards, falcons and bats,

jackrabbits, coyotes and snakes;

she sails far without embarking,

and forever returns to port




Valley of the Kings

From the heights of the great red cliffs,

the craggy, rust-skinned, rain-etched,

wind-swept faces of the ancient kings

stare out over us in stoic disdain,

for our blasphemy of their valley of many moons,

while their petrified people stand in the foothills,

frozen in time, awaiting the return of the reign;

and an arrowhead of condors soars afore them in reverie,

then turning in pristine harmony they fade into the past,

to where the wind goes after it howls and blows

Summertime Concert by Steve Fortney


The first notes of spring, white snowdrops;

And then flowers the redbud tree

In contrast, to sound the themes to come.

Rhubarb, in Tibet, thought to be small

Red-bodied wrinkled Adams, play with

Rembrandt embouchure, the first tulips.



The hall is columned with black locust,

Wild cherry, autumn blaze, witch hazel,

Muscle-wood, oak, Norway spruce; the colors

Echo sweetly off those wooden pillars, their

Leafy vault; annuals play like string sections

Constant but anonymous from spring to frost.



One follows another: large bows of hosta strike,

Cello notes. With wind-time nods the bass

Peony; and piccolo alyssum, tiny among rocks,

Drowned by the trumpets of turk’s cap lilies,

The middle movement; followed by the third:

Where chrysanthemum and asters bloom.



We are its concert masters, we orchestrate this,

Where colors and scents and themes flower,

Each blossom is first chair; with cadenzas of peppers

And tomatoes that feed us–music, the food of love!

Ripening, first, to middle movement: then the finale!

As the Conductor batons the last downbeat of fall.

CAGED by Vanessa Brandenburg


I am strong but caged

I wonder what way the wind will blow tomorrow

I hear the whispers of flowers

I see the clouds dance across the sky

I want to know how to be free

I am strong but caged


I pretend I’m in the woods

I feel the wind rush past my ears

I touch the bark on the old trees

I worry about what they’ll do to me

I cry at the thought of never getting out

I am strong but caged


I understand this cage is strong

I say that it can be broken

I dream of one day I can break it

I try to break this prison everyday

I hope one day I’ll be free

I am strong but caged


A HAGGARD OLD MAN by Chanz Loman


A haggard old man sits cross-legged

beneath a black willow tree beside the river,

focused only on breathing,

mumbling his mantra—accept what is

trying to count one hundred breaths,

but never succeeding,

losing track of numbers and starting over.

Caught between two levels of awareness—

a glimpse into nirvana

and a black willow tree beside the river.

A fierce snow leopard springs

from the brushwood and charges,

but just before bashing the old man,

it morphs into a snowy owl and swoops

inches from the feeble, nodding white head.

Then it lifts and races skyward,

evaporating into a Strawberry Moon.

The haggard old man still sits cross-legged,

motionless, counting his breaths,

but never reaching a hundred.