Tuesday, November 29, 2022

GAS Featured Poet: JB Mulligan

JB Mulligan has published more than 1100 poems 
and stories in various magazines, and has published 
two chapbooks: The Stations of the Cross and 
THIS WAY TO THE EGRESS, as well as 2 e-books
The City of Now and Then, and A Book of Psalms 
(a loose translation), plus appearances in more than 
a dozen anthologies.

 wasp’s nest

petite chinese lantern   wasp’s nest
in the bus kiosk
                            the bottom tapered
completed since yesterday

my father mixed french furnishings
with oriental vases   black lacquer cabinets
all sorts of crap
when my friend   on honeymoon
in Paris   visited the Louvre
saw one vastly overcrowded room
he told his bride
I didn’t know that JB’s dad
had an apartment here

(family joke   all jokes
are family   some just have
a larger family for them)

webs of strands
words   feelings   memories
an image like a fierce kiss
bind the world together
for us   to us
everything always new
strange and familiar

what binds the world to the world
we don’t know   just offer equations
as if measurement were answer

wasp’s nest   lit with life
a wasp lands   enters   ignorant
no   innocent
of history and love
busy with body matters
the world building the world
delicate and angry

somewhere   everywhere
a Chinese lantern
glows in the gathering light

late in the Empire

("The winning made no sense.
No one admitted defeat."
Kirmen Uribe, translated from the Basque by Elizabeth Macklin

They fell like bombs from the sky,
birds wounded by flight,
doomed to ravenous earth.

The flags were more important
than bandages or shrouds,
than diapers hanging from lines

while flocks of captured mothers
trembled in body bags,
their eyes like mice in rubble,

furtive, starving, stone
beneath the wings of owls
like shadows of shadows in night.

The child of many fathers,
an orphan in defeat,
screamed at the side of the road,

its hunger buried beneath
the rumble of trucks, the anthems
of empty promises,

the high howling of jets,
the eyes and somber voices
of men in tailored suits.

maybe a soul

Deadyellow gems
and rustrubies
clutched in the fists
of September trees
across the hills
in commingled rivers,
touching one breeze
brushing all years.

(for Sean)

Billions of years of creatures dying
from small and struggling bags of gunk
to swim and slither, to meat and wings,
to here (and therefore precious) us,
and something close to a dying knows
sharp love and pain, the cut of a cry
things utter in the fist of death.

Ages of coming, hesitant, in
from dark to warmth, to food, to hunt
the quick (but rarely quick enough),
long-tailed spoilers of the crops,
to live within walls, or close outside,
have led, through streams of births and deaths,
to one among so many cats.

He walked his crooked broke-cat walk
(he did from birth, as did his brother,
both of them brought in from out on the deck
beneath which so many pets are buried)
until he yowled and dropped into empty,
through countless brawls and purrs and nipping
scattered behind him and in our hearts

and this, perhaps, is what we get
from all of them we hold and scold:
warmth to take into the world
against the chill of circumstance,
the cold of those with heat within
we'll never touch, who bear their own
undying embers beyond each death.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

GAS Featured Poet: Candace Meredith


Candace Meredith earned her Bachelor of Science degree in English Creative Writing from Frostburg State University in the spring of 2008. Her works of poetry, photography and fiction have appeared in literary journals Bittersweet, The Backbone Mountain Review, The Broadkill Review, In God’s Hands/ Writers of Grace, A Flash of Dark, Greensilk Journal, Saltfront, Mojave River Press and Review, Scryptic Magazine, Unlikely Stories Mark V and various others. Candace currently resides in Virginia with her son and her daughter, her fiancé and their three dogs and six cats. She has earned her Master of Science degree in Integrated Marketing and Communications (IMC) from West Virginia University.

by Candace Meredith

This Time 


This time when the high tide

Is so unbearable 

When the lows 

Keep rolling like thunder


Like an endless cloud cover 

Or a drought that has gone 

On for the ages and the 

Masses perish there 


This time when the meals 

Are not plentiful and the 

Famine is too much 

To bear the weight of it 


When there is the insurmountable 

Ego that has repressed such 

Memories that held his heart 

In captivity like a caged animal 


This time he lets go of his 

Thought processes to allow 

The future to bare the fruit 

Of forgiveness if only 


For his soul to feel whole 

Again or for the first time 

In his life because then 

He can feel the change 


This time he won’t bleed 

Egocentric lies to conceal 

A past that he could not 

Stand to know so cognitively 


This time there is change 

The real chance to feel 

Harmony and the days

Of his orphaned past 


Wanes like a high tide in May 

It recedes from the shore 

Like a wake carrying him 

To a life he’s never known 


This time he rides the tides 

With the air and sea breeze 

That wisps his long flowing 

Hair like a real memory gone wild 


This time his heart is so full 

It spills out like rain or candy 

From the candy jar that sprinkles 

In longevity of a lifetime healed 


And on the beach he 

Runs into her arms as 

A someone with a past 

But this time he is complete 


With a being and a believing 

That life is worth living 

When there is love because 

Love is his soul surviving 


by Candace Meredith


Monday, November 14, 2022

GAS Featured Poet: Patricia Walsh

Patricia Walsh was born and raised in the parish of Mourneabbey, Co Cork, Ireland.  To date, she has published one novel, titled The Quest for Lost Eire, in 2014, and has published one collection of poetry, titled Continuity Errors, with Lapwing Publications in 2010. She has since been published in a variety of print and online journals across Ireland, The UK, USA, and Canada.  She has also published another novel, In The Days of Ford Cortina, in August 2021.


The wound heals from the outside in

Apocryphal findings seep their way

Through as crack’s breadth, bening the form

Designed for ridicule, a slighted journey.

Fiscal punishment hangs in the letterbox,

A slight of entitlement washes up solid

Cursing circumstance tied by the letter

Raining on parades is the only option.

Brick upon brick, a familiar establishment

Excludes my inclinations for the sake of want

Cutting hair on my face a necessary bolt

Running through thunderstorms is a specialty.

Innocent windows soak up the hailstones

Pummelling with force against the walker

Some stone acrostics burns in spite

A cigarette breath justly dressed down.

Living our own lives in spite of paperwork

Feeding animals for its own sake succeeds

Love, spread thinly proves us correct

Cutting through flesh is a necessary crime.

The sacred one-liners tour its force.

Relaxing muscles to be reckoned with

Exploiting the deserving a likely outcome

Fear of protocols a given prophecy

Sunday, November 6, 2022

GAS Featured Poet: Thomas M. McDade


Thomas M. McDade is a 76-year-old resident of Fredericksburg, VA, previously CT & RI.  He is a 1973 graduate of Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT.  McDade is twice a U.S. Navy Veteran serving ashore at the Fleet Anti-Air Warfare Training Center, Dam Neck Virginia Beach, VA, and at sea aboard the USS Mullinnix (DD-944) and USS Miller (DE / FF-1091.) His poetry has most recently been published by Chariot Press ReviewFeisty Runts, and Dear Booze.  

 The Storm Virgin

Aboard the Mullinnix

My first storm at sea

I’m a deck hand exempt

From the word passed

All hands remain inside

The skin of the ship

I fight my way

Out a watertight door

To secure loose gear

On the 01 level

I wrestle the gale

To trap a canvas tarp

That wants to sail

Me high and away

I battle it over a reel

Of cable as a kidnapper

Might a victim and pull

The eely draw line taut

As a lifejacket strap

The rain is a plague

Of antic inoculations

And there is no Navy

Vessel christened 

USS Immunity

Thanksgiving High

Over the Wabash welcome

To the Crossroads of America

Wild Turkeys a driving hazard:

 In Ohio Indiana and Kentucky 

Gas up at a Marathon Station

Kentucky Christian University

The times of your life

A Preaux Life decal on a semi

Hello West Virginia

Hal Greer Boulevard

(NBA jersey #15)

State Capital in sight

How many fast breaks away

Charleston Stadium

The Chuck Yeager Bridge

How many have mistaken

Their arms for wings

By God he flew under it

Korean War Vets sign on

38th Parallel North Highway

Wild turkey hunting

Season is in October

The same-named whiskey

Never disappoints

The ads say

 Moon Handling

A red ring

circles the moon

and I’m walking

the Parkway

but just take peeks

must beware

of cars and trucks

that might want to

do more than just

scare or blind

No sidewalk stroll

as trees have

popped roots

turned the asphalt

into tripping zones

An overpass

has fencing rising

from its rails that

curves inward

nine feet up

yet a man

or women with

half a mind to leap

to the road below

need only walk

to either side of

the barrier to

find a way

when eyes act

like binoculars

to make two

headlights into one

and more moons

than a mind

can handle

and the crimson

lunar ring

is a pair

of red lips

propped open

in aria or in

mock distress