Eye On Life Magazine

Lifestyle * Literary

Eye on Life Magazine is a Lifestyle and Literary Magazine.  Enjoy articles on gardening, kitchen cooking, poetry, vintage decor, and more.

Paying for a Future

By Bella Braxton

White light from tubes implanted in the ceiling
Like clear plastic tubes implanted in our skin
When we can’t do anything but sit there
Watching and hoping for the best
Hoping for a future

White paper is going down the rows
Like bills for the promise of life
That we pay with our time

White walls
That despite their best intentions
Remind us
That no matter how we live
Someone else will live a life we will envy.



by Neil Flory


looking at you saying no sir listen that’s not me but you can’t help chattering on and on about the joining the two or three or ten of them fused together brass-consistent, passionate, wildly sonorous in the crisp air razor-sharp clarity of not that again I am overwhelmed massive heavy hands of inevitable confusion a mix-and-match masquerade a nocturnal shell game of personalities a cloud-suspended shell game of concocted bickering personas each of which is itself a mask for deeper darker fears frailties soft underbellies ostracized long ago painted with disgraceful letters sent into barren desert exile to thirst and thirst loud objection sir you will not lead me down that pebble-strewn sun-worn path again the prescription said to avoid dark stagnant water the broken sign used to say walk these corridors at your own risk and I intend to risk nothing but that’s it you growl quietly pulling my arm ever more insistently it’s risk isn’t it your bastard cousin ignored dressed in oversized clothes kicked around in the aftermath of rain like a rusty tin can left stagnant and wanting in the lot for too many weeks on end you won’t even pick it up its disease a mythology believed you can’t even stand to come in contact with the earth rather believing that dirt is a disconnected mythology myth of your own consistency your own tranquility tra la la la la shut up I said don’t you know the value of bedtime stories I am reminded of the wonderful story of the old man who having come to believe that time was a murderer finally decided to smash his old grandfather clock with a sledgehammer one day to stop that atrocious ticking well of course there was a terrible crash but after that a glorious silence broken only by the sound of his rejoicing laughter and song fa la la la la but you’ve left off the ending you shout in reply because you and I both know that the whole thing was ultimately futile that the slow knives just kept on and on advancing just always consistently advancing

Saying Nothing

by Neil Flory


stars that I gazed at longed to kiss to hear and them

not gazing back at me full forests oblivious I asked

so much of wide calm rivers with occasional whitewater episodes

and to me they said nothing and I groped for a reason

I thrashed in a net I said so much coming again to

nothing and nothing again but later in a kind of sleep

something drifted through me smooth wide silent like a dream

and it said no words and about it I can say no words but

only now know that I can perhaps now begin

approaching a meager fragmentary understanding this

is freedom

Feather Pinball Puzzle

by Neil Flory


after all I of course don’t know all its language but tonight I do know

that the wind is fresh and alive can hear it whispering go

live be leave away with you now to whatever newness you may

find because it knows (shares) as well as we do that our general

condition tends toward a mild to thundering dissatisfaction

with the usual here wherever here may be and then some

journey and behold the old beyond becoming the new here and

finally the old here again so perhaps another journey and

somewhere there is a feather turning over and over round

and round in tonight’s same knowing wind as it drifts slowly

down and down


not much like a trapped pendulum or even a caged animal but

more like a pinball journey a wide-eyed pinball unleashed and

careening through a very large and colorful machine and stay

wide-eyed cause all those colors are part of what makes it count

because wandering is far from the worst of things and may

be not so much about figuring it out (a laugh from the audience)

but more about just making it count just making it shine wild

in such brilliance before that because even tonight’s wind knows

what’s beyond all those new and old horizons yes still knows

what will be left standing after earth and ocean are folded end on

end and all wrapped up so that 5000-piece jigsaw puzzle in your

bedroom can be seen as a quest for an answer or a quest

for exercise and yes the car can be seen as a thing meant for quick

stagnancy at destinations or still more motion and yes somewhere

tonight a pinball drifts tumbles rolls turns dodges evades

the flippers drops finally

out of sight


but not without a lot of points


by Neil Flory


such delicacies, these silver whisperings


              singular spring moon, its light engulfing

       in no forge no flame yet blessed

rain, in saturation of we shall have

       forth world-wishes, imprints

of then sketches, rough charcoal reaches, the half-sonatas

of silver nights conceived only far beyond,

            as yet in thanks,


Reflections Flicker

by Diane Webster


Lost while hunting

actually while returning

to the warm car --

my mother and I hiked the road

up one rise, down the other

like our hopes as we topped the hill

and saw no car.

All summer I wore those boots

to break them in before October.

I wore shorts and T-shirts

with knee-high socks and stiff new boots.

Great for soccer, but slow for softball

and cold now as we trudge

perpetual consecutive rises

like driving up Colorado’s Pike’s Peak

as each switchback

appeared to disappear

into invisible sky into clouds into heaven.

Maybe not a bad destination

until we look down and see the car

pulled into a turn out

like a campfire flickering into night.

We Gather Together

by Diane Webster


I sit in the same church

Catherine was married in --

Today trying to wrap my mental strength

around Catherine

during this funeral I share

with some of the same people

who witnessed her wedding,

who witness this death.

From across the room

without Catherine knowing

I send my love, my friendship,

my strength to her.

I sit in the same church

asking God to help her

asking God to show me

what I can do to help.

Knowing all these people

came together for Catherine.

Catherine, who has touched us all

as we want to lend a touch back

today in the same church.

Line Drawn in the Lawn

     by Diane Webster


Fertilized lawn

on theleft

mowed every

Saturday morning.

Automatically watered

every other sunrise.


Leaves raked

exactly to edge

almost like

catching snowflakes


to prevent unsightly build-up





Sometimes green,

sometimes brown,

rarely a height

to blur the line.


Let them fall

like rice

at a wedding!

Ankle deep in

rustling, tickling,

wind-blown confetti

begging for leaf angels

beneath arms

and legs flying…


flying across yards --

flags of surrender --

prayers for a Christmas leaf blower.

At First Sight

by John Grey


What's lunacy but

where you're seen in town,

which people you are noticed with,

what words are overheard

sprouting from your mouth

or directed at you.


What's madness

hut your life

impinging on others

in random ways,

at odd times,

defying explanation

while at the same time

encouraging it.


What's insanity

but the interpretation

put on all this

accidental contact,

the haphazard

in the guise

of preordained.


What can be rational

when unexpected people

haunt the unsuspected places.

What's love for instance

but stuff that shows up in the heart,

that should be in the head.


by John Grey


She's seventy and it's her first flight.

She's never believed those great

hunks of metal could really

break the bounds of gravity.

Not even her eyes staring up at the sky these years

could tell her different.

Thrust and elevation are meaningless terms to her.


And now she's strapped in.

She can't leave. She can hardly move.

She remembers the heart-attack,

not five years old by this.

She was fastened so tightly lo the hospital bed.

Her arms were a mass of tubes.

A machine at her bedside

pretended to be her heart.

Doctors, nurses kept telling her she'd be okay.

Then she'd see them off in the corner,

looking at her chart,

shaking their heads.

Did pilots, stewards, go through

the very same motions?


"It's perfectly safe," her daughter whispers.

They once said the same about life.

Where Feelings Get Off

by John Grey


Traffic crawled,

head-lamps swam in exhaust cloud

for block after interminable block.


Temperature was sticky as molasses

in late July Rhode Island.

The road idled.

Six hundred cars followed suit.


The driver ahead of me

crawled to a stop.

My foot pressed hard down

on the much reviled brake.


She leaned out of the window.

Featureless back of head

became lovely profile.

Remember when you washed

the mud from your face?

Exactly. Yes.


Clouds banked low.

The moon glowed strawberry red.

I was bored into loving this woman

like those others -

one, and only one, girl in my eighth grade class -

forties' actresses in black dresses and white gloves.



we crept by an accident ~

two accordion cars and at least one dead man.


Traffic began to free itself.

Little voices spoke,

"Be thankful it's not you."


The woman drove straight on

as I took a left.

My vehicle could now travel a pace

more commensurate with you.

Poetry on the Internet

By John Grey


It's the twenty first century

and songs are so small

you can plug them in your ear.

Anna could have imagined so much

walking across the car-park

but instead is speaking on a cell-phone

to someone with nothing to say.

Only the crazy read books,

Only the insane parade their mental crises

up and down the halls of art galleries.

And poetry's so dead

they teach it in schools.


From my house in Rhode Island

to the mutilated of Baghdad

is a push of a button away.

I'm broadband, I'm wireless,

the new century's version

of off-hand and feckless.

The widow of the ex-finance minister

of Nigeria needs my help.

Strangers offer to make my penis grow

though I could be a woman

for all they know.


It' s the twenty first century

and all politics is no longer local

but vocal.

And thanks to GPS,

I can't get lost while driving.

Kids just born to the right families

are already campaigning for president.

And computers are writing books

for other computers to read.

And the art galleries have been closed off

so the inmates can't escape.

And poetry's so dead,

it’s buried everywhere.

School, Thirty Years On

by John Grey


Less threatening,

it almost cowers.

A few blocks of tiny classrooms.

Desks all carved up,

chairs a sorry fit -

surely this is where

learning goes to die.


And here's room 14.

No more nuns.

They've been eradicated

like bats in an attic.

Did Sister Mary Clark

really pitch chalk

at chatterers

from behind that desk?

Only crucified Jesus remains,

no birth, no teaching, no ascension,

just the suffering.


Walls peel paint.

A spider creeps across the ceiling.

I open a desk drawer.

No implements of torture,

merely yellowing forms

for official diocese business.


There's nothing to face down here.

The years give all their weight

to irrelevance.

Did I tremble before

the snarling repertoire

of the self-proclaimed Sister in Christ?

Did I scratch my head

when the isosceles triangle

surfaced on that dusty blackboard?

Were my knees really rubbed raw

by chain gang kneeling?


No trauma, no pain, no nightmare.

You just can't teach memory anything.

Start Stop

Start Stop

by JD DeHart

silent men around me
seem to know
there is a time for rutting
and feeding on corn
a time to sit still in cold

start the cleaning
of the firearm and stop

start the squeezing of
target practice trigger
              stop again

a preconfigured notion
of manhood starts
and I stop it at its
bubbling source
thereby redefining.

Fragments of the World

Fragments of the World

by JD DeHart

moments floated past me
as I walked the old courtyard
photos suspended in the air

images of a younger me
a more frightened person

I thought of the crisis time
when I had to decide
between who I was and who
others made me out to be

every poor decision
and choice of wording
navigating to my purpose
and how soon
rain would come and autumn
would be thicker than memory

Gear Up

Gear Up

by JD DeHart

the way he says
get ready, gear up
makes me imagine
an internal clock

cog kicking against cog,
a furry creature
turning a wheel
at the center of him

smell of rubber
and onions

fueled by the gas
station cappuccino
and constant soda
streaming into him

Peace Is

Peace Is

by Kelly Sullivan

Peace Is
When the Navy battleships
Have no place to go
When the Army tanks
Are parked on U.S. land.
When the Air Force planes,
Sit in stillness at the post.
When the U.S. Marines
Unload their guns
And our ocean waters
And American sand
Have no enemies.

When children aren't being hurt
And guns aren't in evil hands
When people sit together
With laughter and love
To give each other.
And the waters and towns
Sit in pleasing silence.