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Poem by Rick Christiansen

 

Jack’s Thimble

Two parents feel the movement of their fetal son
You will be called Jack
They say
To him
We know you
A wink of recognition
You are all that we are
The germ of what you will be
YELP
Your introduction
I AM HERE!
We are here
We have built you
An edifice…we two
To shelter you
After the womb
When you will build
The stories
That you will tell
Later
When you are descending
Now
Rise up
Build
The world’s structures
Are sustained by mathematics
We two are the equation
We too have made three
Layered within
Our shared intention
A thimble to shield you
From the pricks
That will still come
As you tumble through it all
As you tumble now
Within
We feel your dance
As you revel
In the histrionics of dreams

 

Rick Christiansen is a 61 year old refugee of corporate America. After retiring a couple of years ago he began writing again after a long hiatus. He has now had several poems published and is working on his first chap book. He lives in Missouri with two Basset Hounds. His unique perspective is inspired and influenced by everything from Epistemology to his grandchildren.

Gunjan Bhardwaj is a 22 year old computer engineering from india who enjoys painting and sketching.

 

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Poem by Rick Christiansen

 

Smoke
A love story

She was
Of all things
Quick
She would waver and

Slip from focus
Object and spectator
Blurred speed concealing
Reason diminishing

Line and distance
Close at once
Then receding into
Relief

In her domicile
Another cigarette
To distract I am not
A distraction

Distraction
Can be
Captured
By tar smoke and even

Breath
I loom into the consciousness neither flat nor
Quick I am not
Afraid of smoke

 

Rick Christiansen is a 60 year old refugee of corporate America. After retiring a couple of years ago he began writing again after a long hiatus. He has now had several poems published and is working on his first chap book. He lives in Missouri with two Basset Hounds. His unique perspective is inspired and influenced by everything from Epistemology to his grandchildren.

Photographer Jennifer Matthews’ poetry has been published in Nepal by Pen Himalaya and locally by the Wilderness Retreat Writers Organization, Midway Journal, The Somerville Times, Ibbetson Street Press and Boston Girl Guide. Jennifer was nominated for a poetry award by the Cambridge Arts Council for her book of Poetry Fairy Tales and Misdemeanors. Her songs have been released nationally and internationally and her photography has been used as covers for a number of Ibbetson Street Press poetry books and has been exhibited at The Middle East Restaurant, 1369 Coffeehouses, Sound Bites Restaurant in Somerville and McLean Hospital.

 

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Poem by Rick Christiansen

 

Blue

My blue is not like your blue.
You may be moved by a sky or an ocean.
I reside in the azure stare of a small blond monarch.
20 pounds.
Smaller than a bag of groceries.
Feet planted firmly in response to a frame that still wavers.
Gamboling into instant mood shifts.
Ruler of all she surveys.
Nimble fingers in sticky explorations to distinguish the world from self.
So anxious, this blue, to make all new things become old and familiar.
From discovery to understanding in an instant.
The dog becomes her steed.
A reluctant gallop from beneath her spell.
Joy in creating. Satisfaction in destruction.
Each day a mountainous fraction of a lifetime.
Always the little sister.
Delighted conquest without regard for consequences.
Be ready, there may be blood.

 

Rick Christiansen is a 60 year old refugee of corporate America. After retiring a couple of years ago he began writing again after a long hiatus. He has now had several poems published and is working on his first chap book. He lives in Missouri with two Basset Hounds. His unique perspective is inspired and influenced by everything from Epistemology to his grandchildren.

Art can illuminate even the most elusive and difficult to comprehend ideas. Visual rules and tightly codified visual metaphors help scientists communicate complex ideas mostly amongst themselves, but they can also become barriers to new ideas and insights. Dr. Regina Valluzzi’s images are abstracted and diverged from the typical rules and symbols of scientific illustration and visualization; they provide an accessible window into the world of science for both scientists and non-scientists.

 
 

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Poem by Rick Christiansen

 

Sorry Officer

Identity asserted with a flash of plastic
It is an old picture
Still need to enter

Behind the glass
Reigns commerce
Commerce is king

Vassals enter blurry eyed
Pretty windy today
Precariously balancing

And fumbling java jolt
With binder and
Badge

Kindling that ember of
Still caring and asserting it
With steady gaze and sure step

Parade of urban
Soldiers trudge
Passed the checkpoint

Conformity
Only disrupted
By casual Friday

Or more hope
Than Hump Day
Straining

Toward the last hour while
The first is…
Only beginning

Sorry officer…
I forgot my badge at home
Mary brought oranges!

 

Artwork © Ira Joel Haber

 

Rick Christiansen is a guy with a unique perspective that comes from a lifetime with his legs in corporate America and his head in the clouds. He was last published in the 1970’s in a variety of college publications that he is now too old to remember. Recent early retirement has driven him back to the pen.

Ira Joel Haber was born and lives in Brooklyn. He is a sculptor, painter, writer, book dealer,photographer and teacher. His work has been seen in numerous group shows bothin the USA and Europe and he has had 9 one man shows including several retrospectives of his sculpture. His work is in the collections of The Whitney Museum Of American Art, New York University, The Guggenheim Museum, The Hirshhorn Museum,The Albright-Knox Art Gallery & The Allen Memorial Art Museum. Since 2006 His paintings, drawings, photographs and collages have been published in over 230 on line and print magazines. He has received three National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, two Pollock-Krasner grants, the Adolph Gottlieb Foundation grant and, in 2010, he received a grant from Artists’ Fellowship Inc.

 

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Poem by Rick Christiansen

 

To Fly

I do not wish
I have soared through treetops stretching sinew and
bone.
Feeling the movement of the ocean’s air with
it’s tang and promise of…
Avoiding branches by millimeters.
Making the trees hum with intention.
Now I will sit, not truly resting
Waiting…waiting…
Things that certainly will
Come anticipating what
May not, prepared none
The less.
Is this truly a cage if I choose to remain within its’ comforting bars?
My perch a throne from which to contemplate
All things, but
Participate?
Is.
This
Rest?
This memory of flight animates my nerves.
Makes ME hum like the trees. I feel
As rooted, nourished
My silent assent to what
May come…
Still waiting…
Breathing through
My fear clutching
With talons for vantage and
Courage.
Outside
Others see to my needs.
Sustenance without understanding
Trust without knowledge
Signaling scattered head
Bobs a constant
Stare
My potential released into the infinite
Space containing
My finite
Wish.

 

“Potential Well” © Dr. Regina Valluzzi

 

Rick Christiansen is a 58 year old guy with a unique perspective that comes from a lifetime with his legs in corporate America and his head in the clouds. He was last published in the 1970’s in a variety of college publications that he is now too old to remember. Recent early retirement has driven him back to the pen.

Art can illuminate even the most elusive and difficult to comprehend ideas. Visual rules and tightly codified visual metaphors help scientists communicate complex ideas mostly amongst themselves, but they can also become barriers to new ideas and insights. Dr. Regina Valluzzi’s images are abstracted and diverged from the typical rules and symbols of scientific illustration and visualization; they provide an accessible window into the world of science for both scientists and non-scientists.

 

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Poem by Rick Christiansen

Artwork © jojo Lazar

 

Why Men Should Not Own Parrots

A big Amazon Grey, that’s what I’m not going to have.
The blank, feral countenance almost too much to bear.
Like looking into a mirror.

They live a long time,
such a commitment.

My friend had one once.
It went on a rampage.
Repeatedly.
Like a confused, angry midget
it turned everything over
and then did it again.
Finally, exhausted, it sat confused.
Wondering why so much effort led to so little effect.

The mood swings are the hardest part.
A man needs stability.
And they bite.

You must feed them
every day.

And they will send scattered
seed husks to the floor
that may cause you to slip and fall
if you are not careful.

They are always hungry.

I have read that you can leave on the television.
The noise and light provide some stimulation
while you are away.

When you do arrive home, they become excited
and they try to hide their emotions with
kung fu kicks from the perch.

Waiting for you to make the first move
toward reestablishing a relationship that has diminished in your absence.
Even if only for the day.

They are related to the dinosaurs
and seem afraid of the same extinction.
That is why they cling to your shoulder
Waiting for you to whisper your secrets to them.

They like repetition.
It makes them feel secure.

You must know what they need without being told.
Or, they become waspish and aloof.
Or, sometimes solicitous,
like a child who smells the candy in your pockets.

It is exhausting to be the object of such anticipation without direction.
No wonder you delay your arrival longer each day.

Perhaps a parakeet or cockatiel
light enough to perch on your finger
will suffice?

Certainly, one of those would be harder to notice
when you are tired and do not wish to attend?

Where there is less weight, there is less gravity.
And the tantrums are smaller.

 

Artwork © jojo Lazar
Artwork © jojo Lazar

 

Rick Christiansen is a 58 year old guy with a unique perspective that comes from a lifetime with his legs in corporate America and his head in the clouds. He was last published in the 1970’s in a variety of college publications that he is now too old to remember. Recent early retirement has driven him back to the pen. He lives in the St. Louis area with his two basset hounds.

jojo Lazar is a multimedia artist and Boston-based vaudevillian “burlesque poetess” and ukulele lady with an MFA in poetry from Lesley. She rocks out with her frock out in “steamcrunk” phenomenon Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys.