VOLUME THREE
WINTER 2003-2004



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Welcome to Volume Three of Banks Of The Little Miami...A Journal Of The Arts.  We invite you to enjoy what we humbly feel are some of the finest works of art being created today.  Our artists come from literally all over the globe and have one thing in common...a desire to engage other intellectuals in an exchange of ideas and emotions.  We invite you to join us in this dance. 

We feel so strongly about the visual aspect of all of our art work we endeavor to keep the background as dignified and simple as practical.  The message is indeed, in the pen and lens of the artist.  We hope you find as much meaning and beauty as we do.  We are most grateful to our artists for allowing us to bask in the glow of their efforts.


 
Bethany Thornton
Pennsylvania, USA
                                        
A Hint of a Threat

crawling back inside the room
from where i crawled before
finding something of a residue
underneath my fingernails
once i scratched at the walls
until the blood ran thick
now i am scraping at my soul
feeling the burning sting
of my own self falling apart
breaking with betrayal
that is not even mine to bear;

tell me that i may trust,
someone hear this cry inside,
never to let it out
exploring the possibility that
it will someday come to be
while trying my damndist
to hold to the fact that it won't;
tell me i won't ever know
or i will whither up inside,
tell me my dreams will be
or there will be nothing more of me;

father, what did you take away
when only one you believed
you did betray;
lives crumbled before you
added to the bitterness
of misunderstanding spread
over the course of many years,
how one who believed nothing,
nothing of themself
could feel even less
in the face of perfection.

the hint of a threat shakes me
my foundation is no longer secure
all that for which i have worked
blows away as sand in the wind
and i am left with nothing
no protection
no shelter from the elements
just my own rotting sense
of the nothing i am
and the fear that all
will see it.




 

 
   *alive*

assuming the position
fallen from me
from deep within me
a secret
kept in this moment
but falling out
never to be

standing, peering down
and in
i stare and gape
cannot believe
a massive mass of
quote-unquote
nothingness
assuming the position
receiving my stare
knowing
in its lack of being
that i believe
and what i believe it to be

alive

but from deep inside me
the depths of every woman
it came
telling me that now
it can not be
but sleeping still
at the bottom
where i stare and sob
wondering if its failure
is my flaw
and if i am all alone again
of my own volition
having coveted the emptiness
that now i grasp fully
sadly
happiness has fallen from me
and assumed the position
nothingness creating the appearance
of a little body softly sleeping
never to breathe
but this is my mind
the first essential mass of nothingness
and the nothingness i coveted
i now despise




Bent By Betrayal

no chance in my lying
to the world or to myself
i dare not shield myself
in hypocrisy,
i see through lies
comforting though they may be
to those who would adopt
such a rationale
i remove myself from 
their warped senses
because that is all i see
how strange it is
to understand the truth
but watch so many
spit in its face.
 
love, let it save me
let it pave the way
for more to grow
and to be unburdened
from the struggle
they should not be forced
to bear
at another's willing,
for i cannot be forever
frustrated as i am
dying inside by hate
attempting to keep it down
but knowing that the tears
will find me
when the night comes
and i am left alone to my thoughts
to ponder
what should be
yet never will.


© Copyright Bethany Thornton
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Pennsylvania, USA







Cynthia Hammond
North Carolina, USA


GENESIS

Clouds in his eyes,
Frost on his fingertips,
He raced headlong into the dust
clouds of tomorrow.
Somewhere past the mystic mountain,
Rolling around the sinking sun,
Flying around the edge of tomorrow,
He plunged his feet into the water!
Deep! Below the mud and sand,
Under the fossil shells,
He thrust his feet and roots
into the core of the Earth,
And he grew!
Power surging;
He began anew.



No Name words
 
And if I say the words aloud,
It makes them true--
And they may or may not be.
I never know until they are
pushed from my mouth.
Then they become thistles,
Tiny winged creatures, hurling through the night,
Some great infestation of a no-name virus
That travels about in the air and settles--
I never know where.

So I never say them aloud anymore,
But sometimes, deep in the night forest,
Amidst the calling of treefrogs and crickets;
While the owl swooshes down to snatch his prey,
Very softly, with not even a whisper of a sound,
I form the words with my lips
To prove to myself the words are real.
This way they never escape
or betray me in daylight.
In the morning sun,
the only evidence is a pulsing heart,
And the words make it real--or not.
I never seem to know.
 


© Copyright Cynthia Hammond
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
North Carolina, USA






Allan Bazar
Tucson, AZ

Oh Gaze With Me
© Copyright Allan Bazar
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
 Arizona, USA
Special thanks to Allan Bazar for designing this page
 


 


Jennifer Chiera
New York, USA

Untitled 10

Drenched with the incandescent glow
of instability-
childlike candor fused with the wit
of adolescence and the guile of man-
cotton candy characteristics fading
with the torture chamber traffic
of my mind- sloping downward
i see the features of a mother emasculated
by years of tolerance-
forgiving and altruistic
unlike the alter ego i've retained
to accept the brunt of all things-
If I am feeble-
does that somehow make me worthless
does it make me less of a woman
because i cannot withstand the torment
of men 
with whiskey breath and callous hands
groping me from every angle
trying to access my senses and 
my body
and my body already exploited going through the motions
like baiting a hook
or making the bed
like me
falling away from reality
escaping the fragmented scenes
that will later haunt my dreams and
i imagine it was only a nightmare
it was only the imagery created by
the mind
like snow falling in june or
the ability to fly over europe naked
arms stretched hair blown straight back
and i smile
as i drift farther away from my reality
once more
digging the grave for chalked up
memories
and i slip back into my comfort zone
drenched with incandescent glow of 
instability





untitled 4...

the image is convex
unwilling to conform to the
satin wings of your touch
i am covetous
nakedness blinds me
like sundays
i am arsenic in your veins
you drink me slowly
sipping every last drop
as if it were the last
your voice is euphonic
it causes me to be dissolute
the sheets are wrapped around
my ankles calling me home
calling me mistress
your opaque thoughts echo in my mind
as we merge
over and over again
you call me hedonist
while you call me inamorata
i laugh
exposing more of my tenement
drowning you with my immortal verse
at the pinnacle of carnal design
 

© Copyright Jennifer Chiera
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
New York, USA                 






John Ward
Indiana, USA

Hoosier Sunrise
© Copyright John Ward
ALL RIGHT RESERVED
Indiana, USA







Lisa Cannons
Australia

DALMAR

 
I live on a hill
surrounded by opulence, history and death
 
I work on that hill
where once children lived
 I read their stories
and hear their echoes 
through the corridors of ages
 
I stroll on that hill in the sunshine
wanting; repulsed by the opulence
of people who worship at the temple of greed
 
At night I roam that hill of shadows
thrown by the graves of long dead
people who once lived and worked
on a hill




 
Moon's Rise
 
Sparks shoot 
into the black night 
as the fire is stirred 
 
red jewels twinkle 
and fade 
as they fall to earth 
 
children's 
faces aglow 
by the embers. 
 
Tree covered hills rustle 
with nocturnal life-- 
adult voices float outside 
 
the clatter 
of dishes 
echo through the hills 
 
children's 
laughter ascend 
like embers 
 
into the star encrusted night. 
 
A mothers voice 
softly points out 
the moon's rise 
 
one by one 
children 
adults 
 
quietly stand 
 
faces aglow 
by the full 
moon. 




© Copyright Lisa Cannons
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Australia






Michael F. Palmolive II
Pennsylvania, USA

Her Hair

 
Her hair
Flows
Gently cascading about her shoulders
It caresses her neck
It outlines her face
A picture frame no man could e're construct
Her hair
Soft and light
Sweetly scented
Lightly curled
A delight to behold
A splendor to touch
A lovely woman she is
                                   



In The Cold
 
Cold today
Very cold
Outside the snow falls
Gently so, the big flakes land
The trees, kissed by the cold
Entombed in white
Snow and ice
Within the tomb
A life lies dormant
A heart lies still
Oh but for the warmth of love
Oh but to feel a loving touch
To quicken these cold and lifeless limbs
To startle the still heart from sleep
Life and love now course my veins
Bound no more by deaths reins
Entombed no more in the ice and snow
No longer is it cold
Basking in the glow of your light
Living in the world of your love




Shapes in the Snow

I think of the likeness
Of the blowing snow
To the feminine form...
The rises and falls,
Peaks and valleys,
Swells and swallows...
The curved shapes
Created in the snow
By the howling winds
Not unlike the curved form
Of a lovely lass
As shaped
By the breath of GOD...
Mmmm, I could go on,
Yes,
I could go on...
Forever....



© Copyright Michael F. Palmosina II
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Pennsylvania, USA







 P.A.T. Larson
Wisconsin, USA

BRIDE 

 
 

She flits among the butterflies outside

Their wings in contrast to her raven hair

Her bare feet lift as if they glide on air

They seem to be extolling my new bride 
 
 
Her fresh bouquet lies pretty by the brook

Small meadow flowers seem to plead invite

My old red bone hound follows in delight

A tawny doe at distance stops to look 
 
 
What grace her smile has brought upon my home

This old house fairly sings when she walks in

My lamps are brighter than they‚ve ever been

Her gilded hairbrush rests upon my comb 
 
 
The shadows once foreboding on my walls

Bow regally to her as she enthralls




 
Petals 
 
 
Like the aroma of sweet,

sweet roses,

your memory touches me

I seek, to find

the velvet messenger,

only to be

pricked

by the excruciating

absence

of you. 





Rueful Morn 
 

I caught the morn in furtive sin

Her east horizon sweetly blushed

This moment we exchanged akin

Passed with a sigh forever hushed

Intimate the morn and me

Common wisdom understood

Our secrets shared and e‚er to be

A covenant in sisterhood

For in my chambers often creeps

The soundless footsteps morning makes

She alone has seen me weep

Has soothed me Œfore the lightness breaks

Daylight holds proficient skill

To help forget the dawning‚s tears

Its hours with busy living fill

And surreptitiously turn into years

Unfaltering does time progress

And ne‚er it lets loose the yen

To quench with wine of wistfulness

The flavor of what might have been





Unwritten Words 


 Absently

I stir

as an inadvertent word

or phrase blends

into

my coffee

and loses itself

in a clouded

whirlwind

When I die,

on my stone

shall be

creamy beige

with swirls

of thoughts

and

unwritten words 
 



© Copyright P.A.T. Larson
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Wisconsin, USA

 
                  





       Shelly Claman 
 USA

Voice
 
 
          She walks eyes closed
          Through the mist

                                 "reach out...reach out"

UNAWARENESS IS A SIN

          Darkness means nothing to those who see

                                 "please, I am slipping!"

WHY ARE YOU NOT CONSCIOUS?

          Dew gathers on her skin
          rolling down her cheeks
          each drop swallowing the next
          as its desire to consume
          becomes greater

AMBIVALENCE IS A SIN

                                 fingers release...

          She walks eyes open
          Through the mist

                                 "you did not try"

          Light means nothing to those who are blind

                                 "why? why? why?"

YOU HAVE NOT LISTENED, MY SON

          Light hits the mist
          refracts
          creates a wall
          a wall of...

THOSE WHO CANNOT SEE ARE STOPPED BY THAT WHICH THEY COULD PASS

                                 "what if you were I? 
                                     and slipped into..."

MY SON, IF YOU COULD ONLY SEE IT IS...

 NOTHING 







You are my soul 
 
 
If I close my eyes,
Will you be there?
Will you find me?
Don't you understand, You are my beacon?
You are the light in the storm.

If I am lost, 
Will you search for me?
Will you find me?
Don't you understand, You are my destination.
You are the map I will follow.

If I am scared,
Will you rescue me?
Will you protect me?
Don't you understand, You've torn down that wall?
You keep me safe.

If I ask you to,
Will you love me?
Will you stay with me?
Don't you understand? You are my heart.
Don't you understand? You are my soul.

If you close your eyes,
I will be there.
I will guide you.

If you are lost.
I will search for you.
I will find you.

If you are scared.
I will rescue you.
I will protect you.

You don't have to ask me to...

I do love you.
I am here with you.

Don't you understand, you are my heart.
Don't you understand, you are my soul.



© Copyright Shelly Claman
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
 USA







 Simon Champion
United Kingdom

The Sweet Woman

She's a sweet woman,
The Sweet Woman.
With a woven basket under her arm,
A kindly face beneath the faded grey blonde,
And a flowery dress, faded and worn,
She wanders the street without a care
Stopping children and traffic alike
Giving sweets from her basket for friendship's sake.
But she has no friends as she wanders the street.
Her husband and children have long since gone,
And she loved them so much that she went too.
So people smile when she gives them a packet,
And thank her when she enters their homes.
But when she's gone, and they're left
Holding the butterscotch,
They turn to their friends with a smile,
A shrug,
And a sad shake of the head.
                  




Winter In The Wilderness

I saw intense perfect blue against white:
Flowing water and bright glittering ice;
The edges blurred by a crystalline haze:
The breath of great trees on the river's far shore.
The forest was weighed down by layers of frost,
Like white-whiskered old men, bent double and lost.
They whispered their thoughts of these coldest of days;
Reminisced of autumn; dreaming of warmth.
The fast-flowing river mirrors the sky:
Both piercingly blue; both empty of life.
The wilderness empty of all but the trees,
A stillness that patiently waits for the thaw.
 


© Copyright Simon Champion
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
United Kingdom











Stephen Craig
Ontario, Canada

Silver Tear
 
 
I stood 
on the horizon 
of my dreams 
and looked 
into your eyes.

I reached 
through the mist 
to touch 
the softness 
resting on your cheek.

I called 
through the darkness 
hoping to hear 
the echo 
of your cry.

I found 
a perfect joy 
when you turned, 
lifting your hand 
to catch the silver tear 
falling from my eye.
 
 


We Are What We See
 
 
We are what we see in each other
and in the dreams we weave
with our lives.

I am the first light of dawn,
the rushing brooke of spring,
the new constilation
discovered on a magic summer night.

I am the sea bird
standing freely on the air
with outstreched wings,
the whisper of the wind
to ease the silence
resting on a mountain face.

I am a sigh of contentment
breathed in the middle of the night,
a touch of tenderness
weaving in, and around 
a smile and a laugh.

I am the fulfillment
of all that never hoped
to be fulfilled,
the meaning to add
to what was never understood.

I am what I see in you
and the dreams we will
weave with our lives.
 
 

© Copyright Stephen Craig
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Ontario, Canada








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