among the animals

man kills

his kind he has designs

mortality fills

his mind no velvet leopard ever

died for justice

slew with love

nor is his prey

politically assassinated


(the beasts)

are not inclined to suicide



in cages sometimes may

jerk half

their adolescent hours away

and maybe a rare


is gay

man’s friend the dog will mount

a leg or bitch

line up to take his turn

and not care which

but man


goes rutting all the year

preferring almost any

to his mate

devising means to be



his seed like shells

laying to be laying it

takes a man

to copulate

in hate

he plugs up any orifice around

or finding none

will fertilize the ground



a man

would sew up skins to hide

his loins and decorate himself

in pride

or shame

tattoo scars on his flesh or wear

a badge to indicate his rank

slaves labor

deep in African earth

to deck blonde hair

with diamonds

whales are drained of ambergris

so that milady may outsmell her neighbor

no other species

some drug or drink to free

it from

its mind

beasts never go to war to fight for peace



measures time

gives names

he shapes the stone

aware of his own death

therefore at odds

with nature

he torments himself with gods


among the animals



UNTITLED (a poem) by Theodor Hendrick End

UNTITLED (a poem) by Theodor Hendrick End

I admire you,

Not for your fame

or popularity

not for your skills

or awards

not for your money

or possessions.

I admire you

for not turning back in the darker days

or becoming cold

in life’s winters

for continuing to sacrifice your life

so that someone

you will never know

or meet

may for a moment,

despite all they might be going through,

find some good in the world.

and even now

in the beauty of your ripened age

you sit upon the throne of servant hood



molding the souls of tomorrow

planting a harvest

you know

you will never see


LOVING MY ENEMIES (a poem) by Judson Jerome

LOVING MY ENEMIES (a poem) by Judson Jerome

I must love my enemies: I have made

so many of them. Whether I, drowning, flailed

rescuers, or, terrier-nervous, yapped,

defending God knows what from God knows whom,

or thought I was the jester, licensed to wound,

I drove you all away. I wanted room


to grow my crooked stem, so sprouted thorns,

or, as self-consuming candle, blindly burned

in guttering isolation, or vacuum-drained–

as a black hole does the sky–all warmth and light.

Emperor of sunny nursery play.

I took all as due, nor wondered how or why.


Pursuit of justice was a good excuse

to wear the jackboots of some public cause

and stab a friend for a stranger’s brief applause.

It simplified affection’s murky snarl

to make such clean incisions. I have hurled

babies and bathwater out for a better world.


fast too soon, my overwhelming wave

of self too bountiful, too gladly given.

To save yourselves from my self you were driven

if not to anger to politic escape.

I said I love you: you foresaw a rape.


You must have loved me, enemies, to have left.

dreading the waste and smother of my gift.

sensing my naked need to be received.

Hard love withholds indulgence; you withheld.

Such closeness both of us would soon have scalded.

You could avoid what could not be repelled.


Safer, of course, to love thus at a distance–

a dream of faces gone, but nearly kissed–

blending across the years without resistance.

yin lost in yang, and none knows when or how.

But there is safety even in my bower.

for I love you still–but do not need you now.




ALL THE SORE LOSERS by Judson Jerome

ALL THE SORE LOSERS by Judson Jerome

“You win,” he said, and shrugged. She nodded,

in dark recesses chalking one more score.

(A stave gave way in her corset, but

she thought she would not need it any more.)


That night she took a torch, descending

by dripping stairs her endless, echoing halls.

The flame was smoky, oily, but

gleamed on the trophies ranked along the walls.


Eight shapes of sweating brass were lovers

frozen in postures of athletic play,

graceful, with swollen muscles, but

corroding here beyond the reach of day.


Here were the scalps of ladies who

befriended her, and then revealed their faults.

She bore their smiling manners, but

their stinking pelts now hung here in these vaults.


A golden likeness of her daughter

evoked the time she found that trollop wrong.

She had her son in silver, but

did he give up–or merely go along?


With her husband she had taken pains

to get him, not at once, but piece by piece.

Thus no one saw him suffer, but

grow daily leaner as she grew obese.


Now picking over his bone structure 

she knew where he was fallible, joint by joint,

so durable and pearly, but

he steadily surrendered, point by point.


and now, she reckoned, had lost track

of all his losses and the total due.

She cackled, counting. Time would prove

that she and she alone was right. She knew.





I fear them for they look different,

I fear them so they must die,

I fear them for they believe different

I fear them so they must die

I fear them because I am poor

I fear them so they must die

I fear them for they have different sex

I fear them so they must die

I fear them for I cannot accept myself

I fear them so they must die

I fear them because I am told to

I fear them so they must die

I fear them because I do not understand

I fear them so they must die

I fear them for lack of education

I fear them so they must die

I fear them because I was raised to

I fear them so they must die

I fear fear

I fear them so they must die!

SINGULAR LIVING (a poem) by Eleanor F. Johansson

SINGULAR LIVING (a poem) by Eleanor F. Johansson

While in a moment of reverie

I began to trace when I’d lived alone.

A couple of times, I lived in a room by myself.

Once was a-way back in early college days.

I wasn’t all alone, though.

There were other girls in the house

Inhabiting their single rooms.


Later, where I worked, there was Staff Housing.

But that wasn’t all alone either,

Again, each person had a single room.

Just a place where it was singular living.

So…when have I lived alone?


As my reverie continued, I had to ask myself,

“What does ‘living alone’ mean to me?”

Is it when the place you live in

Is not shared with another living thing, or

Another human being in a caring, loving relationship?

Or living with that singular sense of aloneness inside,

Even when other life forms are around you?”

I had to answer, “All of the above.”


My times of living alone have to include

Many of the years of my thirty-two year marriage.

Living alone came gradually as the caring,

Loving relationship was disintegrating.

When living together turns into being single together,

There is an aloneness of a singular experience.


I began to experience more about living alone

When I “house sat” my brother’s home in another city.

Even having some familiarity with where I was

Did not take care of me as much as I needed.

Finding my way outside of that which I knew,

Having to take care of the details of a car accident,

All contributed to creating a nightmarish experience.


Then came that which I call really living alone.

The house in which I lived no longer resounded

With the sounds of family living.

No longer any children’s records’ sounds

From the stereo in the living room.


My piano in the cellar was silent.

Since the players had moved away.

The laughter and arguments were gone, too.

But I was still asking,

“Was I living alone now?”


The players of the piano would come back now and then.

Wouldn’t they?

And they’d bring their little ones to play

The children’s records on the stereo in the living room.

Wouldn’t they?

They will come for Holiday get-togethers, and

Of course they will come spend Mother’s Day with me.

Wouldn’t they now?

And in between they will telephone

Just to ask how I’m doing

And to tell me their latest news.

Sure, they will, won’t they?


After my youngest telephoned in the afternoon,

My question was still with me.

“Hi, Mom. Could you take care of the boys for me while I go—–

You don’t sound too good. Are you alright?

I hate to ask, we haven’t been over for a while.

It will be a chance to spend some time with your grandsons.

We love you. The boys miss you.”

When their visit ended, living alone felt palpable.


Next I call the second to be born to me,

Greeting her cheerfully. “Hi, how are you?”

“Tired. I’m working pretty hard at my job.

I don’t have time for anything.

Oh, I went out with the girls last Saturday.

And, Oh ya, I am going on a Benefit walk next Sunday.

Outside of that I don’t have much time for myself.

Have you heard from my sister lately?

I don’t know what her problem is.”


Her question hangs in space, unanswered,

While I called another to let him know I’m alive.

“Hello? Is ‘at you? This is me. How you doing?

Haven’t heard from you for an awful long time.

I’m just around the corner,” I reminded him.

“Ya, I know. You just woke me up.

I started work at 5 a. m. this morning

And I didn’t get home until ten last night.

Talk to you some other time.”


As I say “Good bye”, I remember,

My first born walked away from his family

Years ago and had not returned.

Longing to have him home again

Floods my heart as time passes on

While my life has answered my question.





© 1992 Eleanor F.  (nee Johansson) Gamarsh is a mother, crafter, writer and multi-media artist.  She lives with her husband Fred in Gardner, Massachusetts.  She participates in GALA’s Open Mic Poetry Readings, exhibits her art, and has contributed poetry to a published book Inspirations and Expressions 2012.  Her poems have appeared in her local newspaper, the Gardner News, and her essay “On Mother’s Day Gifts” was featured on the front page in May, 2016.