VOLUME SEVEN
As often happens, our words don't do justice to what our artists have created. Please access what we, in our humble opinion, feel are some of the finest examples of creative expression being published today.
 

 AURORA ANTONOVIC
Canadian poet and visual artist Aurora Antonovic has been published around the world.  Her exquisite creations have appeared in print hundreds of times.  You would be well advised to skip my words and go directly to hers.   In Midnight Flower we find skillfully crafted rhyme and thoughtful metrical aspects that lead us through an explosive passion.  Beware if you (like me) are not addicted to the discipline of rhyme and metre.  You risk conversion. She quickly switches styles but not the depth of excitement.  New York Cocktail Party is pure passion in print.  Pressed Over is tender love...the pleasure of propinquity, of closeness...of two people completing the other's soul.  Amends is pure comedic genius.  This work of art begs to be performed.  There is nothing out there to compare with this polished gem.  In On The Beach we see the vulnerability felt when  one exposes the heart to another.   These are true masterpieces...timeless paintings of the heart in motion.  Welcome to the genius of Aurora Antonovic.
 
 
 PETRER CHATTO
Petrer Chatto writes with compassion.  He writes about deep wounds.  In his world it is not enough to have the gift of feeling.  There is an existential errand being carried out here. One must put the feelings somewhere...one must use them or they mean nothing. Missing My Friend is as painful as the imagery is effective.  We hope to see more of his work in the future.  We proudly present Missing My  Friend.
 
 
 W. JUDE AHER
Jude Aher has graced our pages before.  He is an accomplished playwright and poet.  It is no secret we are fans of his work.  In this volume he presents a powerful poem entitled so lost.  It is painfully and topically poignant. 
 
 
 NEIL REID
Neil Reid is from San Jose, Ca.  He has honored us with three selections.  Crayons out of the box is written by a man confidant enough to color outside the lines.  His is an an intriguing style that reminds you of something Beat (sort of) and also a nostalgic longing for places you've been and possibly places you haven't.  Lines like  "Never could much remember street names but place I know by heart"  roll smoothly from his pen and into our psyche.  Uvas canyon fire and I love that you listen me complete a three poem presentation that left us excited and wishing to see more from this talented poet. 
 
 
 BRUCE H. REEVE
Bruce H. Reeve is a Canadian photographer who is world class in his craft.  We're publishing a cross section of his work and hope this won't be our last encounter with his compositions.  We're confidant you'll agree with us that he doesn't just capture the beauty of nature (he does) but he interprets it through his lens in a most exciting way.  While his career is not limited to nature and country scenes, we chose these themes to introduce this skilled artist to our readers.  Bruce Reeve weaves his magic from Windsor, Ontario. 
 
 
 DERRICK HINES
Derrick Hines can write with skill and imagination!  We became fans the instant we first read his poem Crush.  He's not afraid to take chances.  Powdery Fluff and This are two other poems that add a painful enlightenment to the mix.  They are both a look at nature through despair and despair through nature.  Be warned.  Don't allow the word fluff to fool you. There is nothing light here.  It's a stunning use of the language to set us up for a taste of reality.  Fleeting thoughts and emotions of a lifetime are caught in these three selections from Derrick Hines.. 
 
 
 JOY MIDDLESTEAD
Editors would do well to remember the oft repeated admonition to athletes and performers to finish strong.  Taking that advice, we conclude Volume Seven by presenting a selection of photo art from Joy Middlestead.  Joy is well known for her compelling poetry and excellent web presence.  Photo art is a rapidly emerging art form and this artist from Alberta, Canada is helping  lead the way.  We're not surprised.  Her poetry captivated us from the first line we read.  It is fitting that we bring this volume to a close with another side of the incredible talent of Joy Middlestead. 
 
 
 DEDICATION
This issue is respectfully and lovingly dedicated to the memory of Pritchard Farley Collins.  Farley founded and edited Statement Magazine and Brier Scratches Newspaper.  He was an editor of the Fayette Tribune and a teacher at the Baltimore Free University and Crichton Elementary School.  He was one of the inspirations for Banks Of The Little Miami.  Mostly though, he was a voice for reason and compassion.  He spoke, and acted, for the benefit of the defenseless.  He was his brother's keeper.  He was my friend.
 
 



 
AURORA ANTONOVIC
 
Midnight Flower
 
 
When the starlight sparks the sky, there are certain flowers,

That fill the night time air with intoxicating powers,

And, as the cloak of evening with its darkest hue is telling,

So is the scent of jasmine and pink primrose most compelling. 
 
 
When the sun has long gone down, and daylight has been spent,

They overcome the air with their mesmerizing scent,

Patiently, appealingly, they wait until the night,

And then they fascinate as they bloom with all their might. 
 
 
From White Angel's Trumpet I have taken a wise cue:

They blossom just at night time, and I blossom just for you.

So when the fall of night creeps into its midnight hour,

I will open up and become your midnight flower. 
 
 
Remember as you see that the midnight hour is coming,

That to sweet perfume, with delight,  you soon will be succumbing!

And as the sky is deepening to its blackest, deepest hue,

Remember that I blossom, and I blossom just for you. 
 


 
 
 
 
New York Cocktail Party 
 
 
In a sea of little black numbers

And perfectly coiffed bobs

I am the

Only one

Wearing red silk

And long, misbehaving curls.

In panic, I say to you, 
"I am the only one not in black!"

You smile, lean forward,

Kiss my neck

And wickedly whisper,

"I know!"


 
 
 
 
Pressed Over 
 
 
Years of being on auto-pilot,

Never eating when hungry,

Never sleeping when tired,

Working against a deadline

With weights on my limbs,

And sawdust in my weary lungs; 
 
 
Who travels hundred of miles,

With sympathy in his pockets

And well wishes in his hands?

I try to joke away the relief of having cool hands

On a fevered forehead,

I try to keep hot tears at bay with banter,

But a gentle kiss on the forehead

And rocking murmurs of,
"Aurora Borealis, I am so proud of you,"

Open the floodgates until

I find myself weeping all over a new suit,

Wiping my eyes on a starched shirt collar,

Blowing my nose on his favourite tie,

While he promises help mingled with kindness ˆ

Just the right kind of medicine ˆ 
 
 

To be heard without speaking,

To be understood without beseeching

Is too much,

And I lean closer against his warmth,

Pressing my heart against my hands

To keep it from bursting 
 


 
 
 
 
Amends 
 
 
Come on, I already said I'm sorry,

What more do you want from me?

So I wrote a few poems about you ˆ

Okay, two hundred and seventy-three, to be exact --

But it's not like anybody knows it's you; 
 

All right, so your maid,

Realtor,

Doorman

And all your co-workers recognized you --

Maybe they work for Cindy Adams or something,

I'm not to blame,

I only mentioned your name, age, location, and all your idiosyncrasies,

You big weirdo; 
 
 

I do not have a fascination with your underwear
(Calvin Klein brief,  heather grey, size 32)

It just came up in a couple of poems,

It was relevant to my art, I tell you, 
 
 

And look, you can't be mad at me,

Because if you're mad at me,

Who's going to be my best friend?
There are only a bazillion people standing in line

Right outside my front door

Advertising for the job,

(I am not exaggerating)

But none of them are you: 
 
 

Who else is going to tell me my head's too big for my body,

Or that I look awful in green?
Who's going to give me the stink eye when I'm being irritating and obnoxious,

Or call me "stupid face" in that lovely, lilting way that you have?

It won't do ˆ everyone else thinks I'm perfect the way that I am,

And if you won't be there to counteract all this love and adoration,

My head is going to get even bigger, and then I will topple over,

Or else maybe it will blow up one day, leaving little pieces of Aurora all over the planet,

Oh, wouldn't that be so very, very tragic? 
 
 

Don't make me resort to girl tears,

You know how you hate girl tears,

And now I feel a trickle right here by the side of my nose

On my very big head. 
 
 

Look how good I've been to you,

No one else would want to be your friend,

You are so finicky and fussy and persnickety

(That is so a real word)

And nobody loves you but me anyway,

No, not even your own mother,

(She told me so last Thanksgiving). 
 
 
 
So forgive me, and I'll forgive you,

 (You must have done something)

And we'll be best friends again,

Or else I'll be forced to do a poetic exposé

That will have the whole world talking about

Your fear of popcorn makers (they do not cause fires)

And your inability to commit to any of the women you've dated,

And if you think I'm fooling, let me just tell you that

I've been talking to Sixty Minutes ˆ in rhyming couplets. 
 


 
 
On the Beach
 
 
I whisper

Your secret name

Into the wind,

The one I cannot

Bring myself

To call you to your face:

Darling. 
 


 
 
ALL POEMS
© Copyright Aurora Antonovic
2005  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED








 
PETRER CHATTO

 
MISSING MY FRIEND

 
COLD STEEL WRAPPED IN FOG

A RIDE TO DESTINY

IN SEARCH OF PEACE

RUNNING FROM YOURSELF

A RACE NONE CAN WIN

COLD AND DISTANT THE WATER

A LEAP WITHOUT FAITH

SAILING THROUGH THE AIR

NO MORE DESPAIR

TAKEN BEFORE YOU KNOW

THAT THINGS CAN CHANGE

IF YOU CAN LET THE DEMONS GO

MANY WILL MISS YOU

THIS YOU SHOULD KNOW

SO THINK ABOUT WHAT THE DARK HOLDS

NOTHING 
 


 
 
 
Missing My Friend
© Copyright Petrer Chatto
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED






W. JUDE AHER

 o lost
 
when the sea
reclaims it’s own
leaving wet sand
drying in the eyes of the children
who stand
now lost
alone.
where the earth doesn’t care
they stare
toward the lost eyes
of love and hope
they stand alone!
where god no longer believes.
 
and do we really care
shall we just stare
at our empty crosses
or shall we dare
to love the children
once more,
 
so lost we are...

 
 
 
 
© Copyright W. Jude Aher
2005 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED





 
NEIL REID

Crayons out of the box 
 
Entering scene, story already reading itself.

Her hand could trace line, form, shape, in magenta 
hues.  All across the page indivisible threads unseen. 
My hand was clumsy beside, unrecognizable, 
agreed.

I studied nameless things, things that slithered 
in grass, fruit that came unseasonably in the orchards 
down the street, just across the railroad tracks.

Uncle held my hand when that last great beast 
came black and mighty steaming, thundering past. 
Generations leave these things, passing on.

Never could much remember street names 
but place I know by heart.

Turn left where the sky goes amber down low, 
then straight past his old rosin solder smoking, 
scenting the wildwood bench.  Just there! 
Do you see?

Enough trail of crumbs to get me home again.

Sky-eyed, lifting hills and valleys past solitude. 
Streets in blue white drifted meanings past 
naming things.  Common colors raised above the page.

And still, when you speak to me, it's not words 
but color I hear.


 
 
 
Uvas canyon fire
 
Smoke settles low in wrinkled valleys 
reluctant to depart the sweet sage cradle 
     where first blossom newly arose.

One prayer of oak and brush says, 
     take me into blue sky.

Today the creeks folded, and all dreaming 
said simply, I have no name in this dawn.

Said, I have found this way and go.

From where the men stood mid-road, 
their cars in hesitant rest on the narrow 
shoulders of the country road, back 
from there, across a small angled bridge, 
there, I too became still - and listening.

It was a perfect silence.  Magenta just 
reined away from sight, peripheral.

It could easily be mistaken for someplace else, 
     yet beyond one ridge, maybe another, 
     something wondrous was thumping, 
     thumping, wanting as well to come close.


 
 
 
I love that you listen me 
 
Sure, like scratching under the chin, 
I'll roll right off your fingertips, just there 
oh yes, and even humble beginnings please.

I am your bowl of calico soup.

Stories in Chinese blue, etched beneath, 
follow whimsy to her early morning fate. 
Tails away, moon and spoon, 
upon your tongue, pleasing you?

Honey too, upon your plate.

Spoon to mouth, mouth to spoon, 
what pleases you, pleases me, pleasing you. 
That's what He really always meant.

And is it so, that only one is all alone?

I love that you listen me.

But one more do you see? 
Making me exist. 
 


 
 
All Poems
© Copyright 2005 Neil Reid
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED





 
BRUCE REEVE


Point Pelee Winter Walk
 


Farm Wagon
 


Midnight Sun
 


Lighthouse Cove
 
 

Long wing
 


Winter Stream
 
 
All Photos
© Copyright 2005 Bruce Reeve
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED






 
DERRICK HINES


CRUSH
 
 
Nothing,
On days my self worth weighs heaviest
In the frame of your face,
Cuts quite as deep
As the motion of your back turning...
Shards of falling glass
Leave gaping soulless voids
Behind eyelids that stare;
Desperate to bore a hole
Through that thick brick.
Like putting out a fire
With an ice-pick.


 
 
POWDERY FLUFF
 
 
the powdery fluff-
wet
cold and soft (e
erily incandescen
t) crunchy
beneath booted foot-
confines fevers
to cabin(cage)s.
low temperatures
do little to alleviate
hot heads and itchy feet
as cars subsequently
dent bridge rails
and 
each other


 
 
 
THIS
 
 
it's quite sad
this
dark winter
this cold
depression
this
hunger
for love
and
paid bills
this need
this physical need
for gratification
this
unquenchable thirst
for human contact
and money
mercury falls
with my spirit
in tow
and
in retrograde
though my face
hurts
from smiling
my heart
hurts
from hurting
bruised bruises
like unwanted pieces
of damaged fruit
get cut away
and buried
deeper
within my chest
until
lungs ache
and
like phlegm
bruises are
coughed up
and spit out
blood and ink
mix
still
I shiver
in the cold
of this
this
winter
this
depression
this 
cold
collection
of all 
I don't have


 
 
 
All Poems
© Copyright 2005 Derrick Hines
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED






 
JOY MIDDLESTEAD

 

Summer House
 
 


RJS
 
 


Cow
 
 


Chair
 
 
 

All Photos
© Copyright 2005 Joy Middlestead
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED








THE STREAMS OF THE MOUNTAINS 
     PLEASE ME MORE THAN THE SEA
 
My Encounter With 

       PRITCHARD FARLEY COLLINS

 
Pritchard Farley Collins   1944-2005
"And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart."   (Jeremiah 29:13)
Farley Collins was a searcher.  A brilliant mind, he was unafraid of intellectual debate or exploration.  I fondly remember long discussions about Nietzsche, Kierkegaard and Sartre...and so much more.   Farley was a man of faith but he was also a man of reason and questioning.  His was not a hollow faith anymore than his inquiring spirit was anyway shallow.  He didn't take himself seriously but he took his journey and search most seriously.  His laughter came easily and he could reward you with his humor in the midst of even serious discussion.  It is a rare man who leaves the world a better place than he found it.  Farley was such a man.
 

  The Old Library On The Campus Of Morehead State University...MSU is rated one of the best Southern universities today. 
When Farley and I attended it was in a growth spurt as it transitioned from a college in the mountains to a large university.  It was the 60's and those, like Farley, who were serious about finding truth and meaning spent a lot of time reading and questioning.  Farley and I would sometimes "cut" our scheduled classes to research in the library or drop into classes we found more relevant but were not registered to attend.  It may not have been economically prudent but there were more pressing things on our minds.  There was a controversial and disastrous war going on.  The Civil Rights Movement contended for a nation's conscience and we were right in the middle of Appalachia with all of its needs and problems.

We majored in history.  We studied about New Deals and Fair Deals.  We debated the purpose and position of America from Pre Colombian times to the present and future.  We looked at the past hoping to discern the future or at least come to grips with the present.  For some, college was a kind of  trade school that bought you entry into some part of the capitalist plan.  For Farley it was a place to examine the weightier matters of life.  It was a place to find out what you should believe and why you must believe it.  It was a place to question...it was rehearsal for life.  There was really only one course of study.  It could be summed up in such things as man's search for meaning. Victor Frankl wrote a book by that title and created a whole new approach to psychological counseling called Logotherapy.  Jean Paul Sartre forever warned us of the importance of living in good faith.  We discussed these things and we took them to heart.   No, college was not a trade school.  No course was an isolated exercise.  When viewed as Farley viewed it, college was about learning and all learning and thought were spiritual...and life long duties.


 The Old Auditorium At MSU
Farley (along with Ron Thomas) was one of the editors and driving forces behind Statement Magazine.  It was a time and emotion consuming endeavor but it was truly an intellectual journal of the highest quality.  Farley was not afraid of free speech and supported his writers and contributors even in the face of controversy.  Statement Magazine has since been used as the title of the University's promotional magazine.  In the 60's it was the center of intellectual expression on campus and in the region.  Farley Collins was an intellectual force on campus.  The quotation from

Ecclesiastes is a passage we once discussed for its existential examination of life.

"To everything, turn, turn, turn
There is a season, turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven
A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones
A time to gather stones together

A time of war, a time of peace
A time of love, a time of hate
A time you may embrace
A time to refrain from embracing

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time to love, a time to hate
A time of peace, I swear it's not too late"

 (Ecclesiates as interpreted by Pete Seeger)


 
 Farley Collins From The MSU Yearbook '66.
I knew Farley Collins in the 60's but we lost contact over the years as busy lives pulled us in different directions.  He was a good man.  Nations and worlds are built and sustained by people who rarely make it into the history books.  When word reached me of his passing I realized that the world had lost a special person.  I regret not having stayed in closer contact but our friendship rests now in pleasant memories. 
 
"I am a truthful man
From the land of the palm trees
And before dying, 
I want to share the poems of my soul 
My poems are soft green, 
My poems are also flaming crimson
My poems are like a wounded fawn 
Seeking refuge in the forest 
With the poor people of this earth
I want to share my fate
The streams of the mountains
Please me more than the sea"

(From Guantanamera By Pete Seeger)


 
 
Simply Called "The Lake" In The Old Days...This was one of the most beautiful spots on the MSU campus.  I think they eventually named this Alumni Reservoir and may even have eventually named it after some politician.  The Board Of Regents may think they own the property and I won't challenge that.  I do know that God owns the beauty though and it is this beauty that I choose to name after my friend.  For his friends and other loved ones, this tiny part of his beloved Appalachian Mountains will forever be known as Farley Collins View.

"Oh if a man tried
To take his time on earth
And prove before he died
What one man's life could be worth
I wonder what would happen to this world?"

(Harry Chapin)

THANK YOU MY FRIEND...MAY YOU REST IN THE PEACE 
    YOU SOUGHT AND THE GLORY YOU ALWAYS DESERVED.


 
The Streams Of The Mountains Please Me More Than the Sea
My Encounter With Pritchard Farley Collins
© Copyright 2005 Bill Stockland
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Except As Noted



Dear Friends,

Spring has arrived in North America and with it Volume Seven of Banks Of The Little Miami has been born.  The wheel is turning and each of us is trying to get better.  If we get  better the world gets better.  Time and time again we see proof that poems, plays, photos and other works of art are the only ways to adequately express emotion.  The greatest of what we have is transmitted best by the artist.  From the earliest scriptures to the latest creation you are crafting, works of art guide, inspire and yes, even sanctify our existence.  Maybe everything we see and imagine is not beauty...after all, so much of beauty is in the subjective eye of the beholder but everything we see and imagine is of interest and importance.  We are here to publish what you feel is interesting, beautiful or otherwise spiritually important.  Yes my friends, the wheel is turning...

I wish you love and peace,

Bill

 
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