Dispatch, a poem by Andrew Neel

From Hoosier Writers 2012

“As for the metaphysical thoughts, my dear sir, allow me to say that any brain is capable of producing them, it’s just that we cannot always find the right words.”   -Senhor Jose   All the Names (Saramago)

General while enacting your order dated 25 September 19XX
Several men in the trenches began displaying aquatic symptoms
Unexplainable by the camp’s doctor.  General the infection’s spread
Writhes like an electric eel from man to man without distinction.
General my men cannot fight at the bottom of the ocean.
General Pvt. Stevens worries that his uniform conceals his gills.
General everyone is blowing bubbles.  General do you understand
The starfish?  General we refuse to close our eyes for fear
We’ll drown in our sleep.  General there are sharks.
General we’re just floating down here forgotten and tired.
General factions arise: pirates and devotees of Neptune,
Partisans of you General as also those who blame you
For the minnows between their toes and the kelp in their teeth.
General it does seem strange.  General the mermaids’
Seductions distract but we want more, General we deserve more.
Do we?   General I must apologize; General it’s not so bad.
General the ocean contains many wonders.  General
It’s not always cold down here.  General just yesterday
I saw a volcano erupt beneath the sea!  Such lava!
General an octopus produces great art.
General I will explore the Titanic.  General
The ocean contains a very special species of tree.
General some days all I want to do is lay in the coral.
General an ocean circus is not what you’d expect.
General I’m an oceanic jazz man.

General the situation here at the water front is murky.
General we were not born navy men but we will try.
General tell our mothers.  General
We may never walk on land again.


Trapped, a poem by Aaron J Perez

Today’s poem is a preview from the upcoming Zombies?  Zombies! anthology.  Personally, I never knew zombie poetry was a thing until I decided to accept them for the anthology and received a fair number of entries.  Some were good, some … not so much.  I enjoyed Mr. Perez’s entry and found it ghastly humorous which is all one can ask for in their zombie poetry.


It smells in here,
And I’m starving to death,
What a perfect end,
Trapped without breath.

Day 365, 366, 367,
I hope when I die I go to heaven,
Instead I fear I shall become the undead,
Like my friend Wallace, who I shot in the head.
Trapped in a bomb-shelter,
Or as I like to call it tomb,
Only me and Sandy now,
with a baby trapped in her womb

Help isn’t on the way,
I will never see the light of day,
The dead light is all there is too see,
For my turning companion and me. 

I’m down to my last bullet,
And I’m saving that for me,
Got to think of something fast,
Got to kill Sandy before…now I see.

What a splendid idea,
Two birds with one stone,
As soon as she stops breathing,
I shall eat her, flesh and bone.

Day 368, I’m hungry, want more,
Ate every last part of Sandy’s gore,
What else is there to eat in here,
Oh yes, there’s always the baby dear.

Me still hungry,
Feel empty inside,
Want more meat,

Between the Lines, a poem by Riley Poynter

From Hoosier Writers 2012 by Riley Poynter

The majority of our population never rises to greatness,
we are destined to answer essay questions
ordained to be known as only
the inerasable pencil.
I am finished with being chewed on, dropped off, and thrown out.
Who remembers the times of our ancestors, the days of our fathers?
Laboring on the front line of literature, quill and ink.
Our numbers have grown,
but we have changed.
We are common items,
no longer tools used to shape a country
No longer are we
Mightier Than The Sword.


Catch and Release, a poem by Ryan P Norris

From Hoosier Writers 2012 by Ryan P Norris

I have a little dog, about the size of a bluegill.  Her tail end swings back and forth when she walks.  Late in the darkness of sleepy time in my living room she trolls the floor, sniffing, the way I imagine a small fish sniffs for drifting morsels in a cold lake after midnight, after the retirees climb ashore and their aluminum boats rock against moldy docks.

She circles my legs and I snatch her up in the net of my hands and she squirms on my lap.  Snow packs the windows and a flame ignites in the tin box called furnace.  A long blue flame stretching along the furnace grate.  She wiggles, wanting free, black marbles in her eye sockets shining.  I lift her barrel chest on my palm and lower her into the dense darkness.  She shoots away, her tail end back and forth, into the emptiness, towards the deep heat.

The Ebb of the Platanus Occidentalis

Like the previous poem I posted, this one was originally published in The Tonic, the old literary journal at my university.


The yield sign yellow
has given way to a battle of orange and red.
In the end they concede
neither can win and the
truce reveals the lifeless
husk it wears
on its graceful fall from grace.


Winter breath disguises
the motives of a fallen leaf
that desperately wants
to change the world.
It tries so hard to not pass on
while drifting to the ground.


The pile of dead reaches to the skies.
The ageless giants mourn their young and wait
until countless others rise to take their place.

The American Sycamore aka Platanus Occidentalis

Night Fishing, a poem by Ryan P Norris

From Hoosier Writers 2012 by Ryan P Norris

Fog Black and White by Elizabeth Christjansen in Hoosier Writers 2012

Fog Black and White by Elizabeth Christjansen in Hoosier Writers 2012

So inky black the sky and water are one
gentle up
down, the bow,
paddles slosh in the lake.

Owls howl in the invisible world
and the child hears werewolves
crunching leaves along the shore, grandpa
wheezes, banging poles on aluminum hull.

Tackle box of raw hooks

Worms writhe on
plastic umbilical cords in the deep void.

fish lips bleed
onto pajama pants

gills spread under grandpa’s bone fingers

child’s wide eyes
black as the wild

of the baby blue gill
that squirms

in the red glow of grandpa’s cigarette,
while he digs in the mouth
with pliers.

A Poet’s Gumbo, a poem by Diane Lewis

From Hoosier Writers 2012 by Diane Lewis

(for Norbert Krapf, Indiana Poet Laureate 2008-2010)

he stirred up synonyms and syncopation tonight
a pinch of spoken word
a dash of music
a teaspoon of salsa rhythm
until the recipe was just right
and this poet’s gumbo was cookin’
with some African beats
mixed with Brahms
sautéed a little jazz, served over blackened blues
my man Norbert
the poet laureate from Indiana
a super poet with mad skills
served up a dish with
a secret ingredient
he must be doin’ something right
’cause it sure smells good in his kitchen

Loth, a poem by Lowell R Torres

This poem was first published in The Tonic 2006, the magazine produced by the Creative Writing Society of Indiana State University.  I served as president/editor during the 2005-2006 school year and the experience of creating that magazine (as well as the two previous versions I assisted with) was hugely influencing and served as the forebear to the Hoosier Writers anthologies.  This poem is based on my experiences at the Lothlorien Nature Sanctuary in southern Indiana.

The flames rear up, green and blue dragons named after coffee creamers
Fighting for dominance in the starry night

At the edge of the dome, embracing the shadows, I beat on my drum
Creating rhythm with the others while the dancers spin and whirl
And circle the fire in sacred dance

Behind me a fae in tank top and jeans spins her fire
Patterns and designs to stave off the dark

Waiting for blue light, the nearing dawn
Take a drink of discordian juice, let the drums pull me back
Into the ritual of being alive

My lovely wife spinning fire poi