Since 1996 Volume XXI


                                Helen Ruggieri



Helen Ruggieri lives in Olean, NY.  Her latest book, Camping in the Galaxy, will be out in March from Woodthrush Books.



These brains look like our brains

with a abbreviated tail of a spinal column

floating off the back; 

they clamp onto our brains

because they want what we’ve got.


They got here, somehow, riding

on the outside of a space ship

maybe burrowing into thee insulation

nestling on the bony skulls

of the sleeping crew.



They feast on Comp. 1 and 2,

Intro to Psych, Calculus,

Mickey Spillane and Taylor Caldwell,

star charts, astrology charts,

formulas, the rules of volley ball,

football stats, comparative anatomy,


dungeons and dragons,

how to drive a standard shift,

compute gallons into liters,

Fahrenheit to Celsius,

chivalry, pinochle, chess,


the way to San Jose,

Barbara Cartland, Dylan Thomas,

Chaucer, Poe, the Arapaho,

Bruce Lee and Lenny B.

holding hands at midnight,

the parasitic mistletoe,

the tango and the samba,

heavy metal, chick Corea,

Michaelangelo, Picasso,

Herman Munster, Pinky Lee,

a pie in the face, the human race,

poetry and porkchops,

potato chips and pizza,

first kiss, first bite of ice cream,

grass drying on a summer afternoon.


a white steeple against a blue sky,

cows grazing in the pasture,

the sensual pull of soft fingers

wind through pine trees

and apple orchards

stone walls marking the edge


the echo of church bells,

a bag pipe skirl from a far ridge,

a mother’s lullaby, a baby’s cry,

snow falling, the silent woods,

the stopping.

see Amazon.com for my books: 
Butterflies Under a Japanese Moon
The Kingdom Where Everybody Sings Off Key
The Kingdom Where No One Keeps Time
Written on Water (anthology of writings about the Allegheny)
forthcoming 3/2019: Camping in the Galaxy



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Mary Barnet


Grace Cavalieri

Joan Gelfand

Janet Brennan