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.

I Heard

by Allison Grayhurst

 

The dash at the jugular

makes the wild stars sob, thrusts a hymn

skyward, and over the hills

a drowned frog sways

in a puddle all alone.

 

Forever is the fame

of the storyteller and the mask.

Forever is watching the zodiac turn

and the thumb nails crack,

is killing a smile after a

stranger passes and hiding

our wounds from the mirror.

 

Over the city the caged sun rises.

And the wings we are born with have

all been buried in the marrow of the land.

I feed, the flame feeds and so do the innocent.

Some day the clocks stop and God will be seen

in every beast and in every pavement crack.

Where Love Draws the Line

by Allison Grayhurst

 

Dark swamp surrounding

extremities, the core.

Mass of gangrene hue,

dripping through each hairstrand

and eyelash.

I felt Death talking to me.

It said to relax

into its nullifying void, to break

apart and relinquish my authority.

Then God held out a hand and said

to hold that hand and heal my

hopelessness with faith.

God said to choose this hardship

or choose Death.

God said I will not give you a solution,

only this choice.

God said - I draw this in your reality.

I offer you no escape, I offer

only the rest of spiritual acceptance.

God said

and Death lost its final say.

The Wind

by Allison Grayhurst

 

The wind was moving

across the leper earth.

I saw that wind and that earth

in a vision building strong

as the autumn chartered on.

The sparrows sank into that earth,

each one carrying its own

unique song.

I was a sparrow filled with seeds,

sitting on sand in the sun

sure of all things. Then I was sucked

into the sick earth, breathing in

worm-infested dirt - myself,

forgotten, dead as a broken-off stick,

not even making a shadow.

In a vision I rose up a ghost -

a stronger sparrow now lacking substance.

I found a tree to claim and share.

And in that vision as the wind was moving,

it moved me

no longer.

The Macrame of Carnal Waves

by Sreyash Sarkar

''Love is a shadow.

How you lie and cry after it.

Listen: these are its hooves: it has gone off, like a horse.''

             - Sylvia Plath

 

 Below the highway darkness turns the heath

To ancient shapes, to where the wind trots on hooves,

The mist a cloak swirling, or further back

To that with eyes and claws and scales and beak.

She grips the wheel, following dotted lines:

No traffic and yet she keeps to the lane.

A tick could throw her lighted world out of gear,

The earth erupts into all that has been there.

 

As burnt stars fill the night,

I remember her like imprints of a swan's feet left on sand

Drenched in lunar ecstasy,

That she rushed in like July ebbs,

And returned with receding flows

While by the river side rests a shattered boat,

Its worn-out sails

Awaits a dreamer's touch, like the gush of torrential winds with impending motion to transcend the silence of oars...

I anticipate, alone, grasping her morose clay

As the norms go before cremating- so dark and detached.

While the bond between living fingers and deceased dull eyes

Dream of galloping across meadows-

March days return with their covert light, and huge fishes swim through the sky, vague earthly vapors progress in secret, things slip to silence one by one.

Through fortuity, at this crisis of errant skies,

She reunites the lives of the sea to that of fire, grey lurching of the ship of winter, to the form that love carved in the guitar.

As seen in fantasy and observed in facts

We evolve to humanity from mere human beings.

As I dispose all of her that remained

And witness how waves wash away burnt stars

And how the neon beacons on masked sails, distressed...

The Cage

by Sreyash Sarkar

It was the day that

The bird flew away to a horizon

Unknown, beyond reach

Incapable of childish marriages and fluid births,

Setting out a cry, distinct in its screech, the retaining tone

It scratched the earth, until colorless blood oozed out of it

Drop, by drop, and then a flood....

 

I did not remember anything

I was still taking the fragrance of the smothered rice bowl

Empty of its contents

And stripped of its identity

But I did ask, and further askedmyself in the dark,

About the shiver down my spine

 

The shiver had turned into a

Stirring

Something was being churned in the granary

A small grain, a jinx

Wafted about in the sick air

 

I did not remember anything

I was still taking the fragrance

Of the smothered rice, bowl

Empty of its contents

Stripped of its identity

 

Something was being cooked

Inside me

Persistently in frivolous extents

That ensnared my instincts

Cooked and cooked

Till scarlet,

Fresh from my blood.

The Optical Symphony

by Sreyash Sarkar

I heard the light in all its jubilance:

The tunes, like recuerdos of a passing feast,

The notes, that lingered in the stairs

Encrusted in uncouth undulation,

Lay words deceived and afflicted.

 

Rhapsodical moments crossed woods

Left their ethereal motion

Under shadowed trees,

Bitten words afloat in the air

Disappeared in the land of magpies;

And cotton trees made their roots

Through untrodden paths.

 

My audibility looked upon in solitude-

An illuminated world waited in distress

An extracted existence amidst grandiosity.

An incised tongue, I shall affix

Under the stairs,

Away from the sun,

To arouse extinct desires

To arouse forgotten words

To arouse a deluge....

 

With fingers on the flute,

The cowherd shall play on,

And I shall see how...

Avian words can etherize trees....

Whirligig

by Sreyash Sarkar

“O, what a goodly falsehood hath; a goodly apple rotten at the

Heart!..."

-Shakespeare

 

It's better to have some time to desist

Because it'll start all over again

In the midst of vendible decorated bazaars,

The variegated cooing.

But you'll never stop

Trampling over chattels

And after crushing them,

Walk through rudderless winds.

And while walking, you too will forget

Like everybody else,

The facetious effulgence of champa flowers

The first blooms of jasmine

The plenum of bnoichi fruits

The habits of autumn leaves.

And perhaps the oscillations in the heart of the ocean,

Where only risings exist,

That too will be encased by magical chants

You will whirr; turn only, like all who circumvolve

In this inauspicious time of whirling maelstrom-

 

After the end of an unwanted winter,

Just like the first working fan, overhead

How life is spinning, and spinning around...

On a Roll

by John Zedolik

 

The road rolls up

            gravel-gray

 

            so must be a hump,

            greater than a whale,

 

            to which I am harnessed

 

            and was in ’92—though not sober and

            certainly in a different spot where

 

            3 a.m. arrived early as usual and

 

            I with it at least awake and in control

            enough—despite the drink and break-up sorrow—

 

            to rein in that small second-hand beast, humping

            up (red, invisible in the dark, to the sleepers)

 

            like now, on calmer seas in clear mind where

            the creature is strong enough to hoist the ancient

            hulk of memory

 

            and take me down—except for my unshielded senses

            and the same luck I roped on that rolling sea

            so many rides ago

Relief Map

by John Zedolik

 

The scab has been on my shin

            so long that I expect it there,

 

            a permanent feature of note,

            raised upon my at best flat terrain,

 

            a butte on the prairie, a tor upon the moor,

            destined for view until the landscape’s end.

 

            But on a looking after weeks, only a pink-red

            trace remains, no bas-relief from surrounding scrub,

 

            so no relief from tedium of skin on and on,

            and no scar developing. I should be happy

 

            for such featureless expanse—unconcerned and

            uninterrupted by any bloody shock and break. 

 

Decay Lift

by John Zedolik

 

The smell of small death rises

            in summer from under some

 

            live green, gnarling to the low

            sky, from which the blue

 

            glory will rise to heat and

            the sun’s blinding eye, a drain

 

            at the zenith where all swirls into,

            even unseen far above—

 

            —the odor equally invisible, sheer

            fabric tainting the air, flushed from

 

            the body emptied, yet heavy in bone,

            fur, and organ, rotting as anchor to

 

            the dirt or hard surface, giving substance

            in stink to yet stirring life until,

 

            light as space and dry as packaged seed,

            the stench has departed and dissolved into

           

atmosphere, forgiving in the smells of

flower, soil, or smoke and

 

rushes up to that vortex to join its sibling

particles in the general going, going, fading, gone   

I, Executive

by John Zedolik

 

If I turn off the flatscreen in this

            waiting room, I believe I would have

            my wish of silence and its black block

            of no-sight even when others customers,

            who must arrive, come in,

 

            and sit—for they would believe that

            the set is down or for some reason disallowed

            today by the corporate masters and their

            whip commands, which they flick out of

            pearlshine teeth

 

            glistening in the glossy saliva of congeniality

            and agreeability, and so sit in silent contemplation

            of the void attached high on the wall, comfy

            in the armchair’s upholstery and

            the attendant magazines

 

            to which they refer in forgotten desire

            of images, even still, dead in their minds, relative

            to those upon the erstwhile provider of shifting

            shapes that I have decreed imagines non gratae

            in my impersonation of executive, company control

Domestic Differences

by John Zedolik

 

My wife cuts red peppers differently than I do,

            slicing the sides perpendicular to the stub of the stem,

            thus leaving its cavern of seeds and fruit-flesh formations

            exposed to profile and at nearly a right angle

 

            to my previous cut, parallel to that stub of stem, starting

            from the bottom, cutting rings to the verge of the tough

            green top, revealing only guarded glimpses of the interior,

            a consistency of method and a mirrored consumption,

 

            so to correct her distinct demolition, I only continue to

            carve as I have done, though the red rings have now

            become arcs. Accommodation, though, tastes the same,

            so I expect the cross and continue the crisp compromise.

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.

 

Mythologies

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

Nights

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,

                                    unborn

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

mid-air

to prevent unsightly build-up

around

yard-of-the-month

sign.

 

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.