Stonelick Lake—In The Little Miami Valley

Welcome to Volume Two of our journal, Banks Of The Little Miami.  We are very pleased to again present what we consider some of the most outstanding poetry and photography being created today.    We have continued to forgo a more glitzy style in order to keep the focus where it belongs, on today's great artists and their work.  Writers and photographers are invited to submit their work for inclusion in future volumes as we continue to expand our mission as a vehicle for intellectual exchange and artistic exploration.


Aida Rageai

   Doubts due to Silence
   My hands crumble and fall apart,
   trying to touch the outlines of your face
   that dematerialize within my very reach.
   Mercury pools in chambers of my heart,
   pushing the sun out of orbit and in its place
   attempts to ensconce you, while I beseech
   the backward flow of the Nile and start
   demanding a silken web of iron-spun lace
   to shore up the silt deposits on your beach.
   Deposits so fertile they could support whole
   civilizations, yet all I propose to do there
   is plant one, solid, evergreen relationship.
   But you don't allow more than a cursory patrol
   of your fallow fields, erecting beds of stone where
   you should be allowing me passage past the lip
   of your fortress. You're prancing like a skittish foal
   at the Dam's hindquarters, first nuzzling the mare,
   and then jumping back, as if deathly afraid to trip.
   As if it would be so unnatural (or perhaps unseemly)
   to simply give voice to what you really feel about me.

   I inundate you with words.
   Cloak you in hanging clauses
   and wrap you in wistful whisperings.
   I bury you in syllables,
   and cart manuscripts to your door,
   emptying wheelbarrows
   of useless sounds on your stoop.
   Phrases that pile up 
   on top of previous platitudes
   in a pitiful pyramid of 
   "too much, too fast,"
   like so many discarded leaves
   ankle deep in autumn.
   Words that fill up with a year's worth
   of unused feelings and
   then drop all at once
   losing their beauty in the fall
   and becoming so much refuse
   heaped at the bases of trees
   in an ancient old-growth forest
   where they cannot be seen -
   Shades of browns and umber,
   no longer alive, no longer green.
   Indistinguishable from the other
   vegetation underfoot; decaying and forgotten.
   I drown you in cascades
   of masterfully meaningless sentences
   that cry and cajole and coax,
   and cloying cautious, they cling
   to you and hope to make an impression.
   I throw words, verbs, nouns, articles
   and adjectives at you -
   Toss them, drop them, place them.
   I arrange them and rearrange them,
   take them apart and replace them,
   and finally unload them on you -
   And walk away from them,
   wishing I'd had the courage
   to have never voiced them.

© Copyright Aida Rageai
All Rights Reserved

 Algeline Billiot 
Louisiana, USA

In Dreams
By the lakes edge
I await my loves arrival
Such splendor to behold
All in black upon his stallion
He comes to me
In loves strong arms
I am embraced
Our lips touch
I awaken
Only a dream
Next to me lies the one
That has my heart now
I smile
A sad smile
For my heart yearns for the love
Of ages gone by
The love found again
In my dreams
Only in dreams

No Tears
My eyes weep
But no tears fall
My heart is heavy
For a love that wasn't there at all
The words flowed like honey
But in the end merely words
Not meant , not felt
For it was just a game to you
In a hand well dealt

© Copyright Algeline Billiot
Louisiana, USA

Andrea Da Costa 

Trees that bend with the wind don‚t fall
They stay young and forever green
Shaped by the wind as they grow tall
Becoming gnarled and serene

They stay young and forever green
Never hardening into rigidity
Becoming gnarled and serene
Able to move with fluidity

Never hardening into rigidity
They are not broken by storms
Able to move with fluidity
Assuming marvellous forms

They are not broken by storms
They keep reaching for the sky
Assuming marvellous forms
Fully branched when they die

They keep reaching for the sky
Shaped by the wind as they grow tall
Fully branched when they die
Trees that bend with the wind don't fall

Sweet Memory
of how life used to be
flood my mind
enveloping me

Every day
you‚re all that I see
Your face comes to life
in vivid imagery

I feel again
your body next to mine
I drink once more
of love divine

with sweet serenity
On the river 
of your love for me

You were my rock
amid the torrent
Now cast adrift
I scorn the present

Reality's waves
shan‚t buffet me
For I shall drown
in sweet memory

Waltz of the Wildflowers
Softly plays the breeze
across stems
Petals dance in ecstasy
at its caress
Nodding heads 
bow to each other
In perfectly choreographed
As nature's ballroom
The waltz of the wildflowers

© Copyright Andrea Da Costa

© Copyright Classic Images Design
Ohio, USA

Daisy In Orange



© Copyright Classic Images Design
Ohio, USA

 Dariush Agah
Originally Written In  Farsi


I'm going to leave here,
but there are no eyes after me.
I decide to go to a way
there are no hands beside me
I will go but I would not have my memories
even not a photoghragh.
I got to go, there is no voice
not even a goodbye
I'll go some where
which there are some fresh air for me
and a glass of cold water
I'll go to the land which have 
some messages from friends on its trees
I'll go lonely, its hard and its beautiful
but I will go and I have to go,
to that holy lands that I would have a friend
who have such breath that would smell like flowers

© Copyright Dariush Agah
Originally Written In  Farsi

Ingvild Gregersen

Across the barricades

Day by day
he sits alone
staring out through a window
watching the winds
of ancient times
blowing through the trees
The clouds reach
out for him
Stops at his wall
of loneliness
He does not belong, he thinks
in this world
and his sighs
escapes the silence 
swifting on his thoughts
of tomorrow
At night
he hears her calling
across the barricades
and he lifts his head
to see her face
Those pale, soothing eyes
shine not
in the reflection of
the streetlights
And his look falls
to the windowsill
and rests with the 
shadowdoves of hope
Day by day
he waits for the feeling
of belonging, but he
knows it does not
live in this existence
Day by day
watching the winds of 
ancient times
blow through the trees,
across the barricades.


Cold as waving Seawater clasping arms of salt deliberately around the
cold Shore with stones that breaks the colours in the 
cold Rainbow’s shadow capturing heavens promise to a
cold World, bowing deeply to the wishes of the
cold Man staring greedy at the waving Seawater clasping, as he draws
cold Pictures in the thoughts of a new heaven of a new reality where all
cold Intentions do not survive and rests and dies in 
cold disclosing wells of Failure

© Copyright Ingvild Gregersen

Jen Fontan
Pennsylvania, USA

he thinks i never notice

how he tries to walk away

every time things get tough

or conversations run too deep

he thinks he can hide from me

and i won't notice he's gone

i know all of his secrets -

i can see that he's afraid of me

of the happiness i have given him

each time i reach deep inside

of the gentle ways i possess

letting him know i see beyond his facade

of my persistence and delicacy

each time he tries to push me away

of the way i never give up

no matter what he does or says to me

of the unconditional love that i have given him

by never turning my head and walking away

we all have our breaking points

and although i sometimes feel mine is near

i will continue to stand my ground

because i know first hand

what makes him so afraid. 

Through My Eyes
I gaze upon your gentle face
like candy to my eye
I peer into your big brown gaze
and this is what I see
I see a lost little boy
trying to find his way
clothing torn and tattered
after fighting loves lost battles
I see pain and fear
resting deep inside
hiding the hope
hiding the desire
hiding the want
to just be loved
for everything that you are
and everything that you will become
I see wounded self esteem
masking the desire to not only love
but to allow you, yourself, to be loved
I see a little boy who turns in fear
and runs, quickly away
when faced with a battle of life
out of fear that he might perhaps lose
yet never acknowledging that he may win
but most of all, my love
I see a beautiful man
filled with a soul
whose waters run as deep as the abyss
wanting and needing to be loved
to be understood
I see intelligence beaming
through those big brown eyes
a world of knowledge waiting to be shared
I look into your heart, my love
and I see the things
that no one before me saw
I see your compassion, your strength
I see your loving affections
I see your intelligence,
I feel your soul, my love
reaching out to me
yet still afraid to hold on
not believing in the reality of me
not trusting what I offer
afraid to be hurt
afraid to lose yet another battle
afraid be left standing alone
I see the most amazing person
I believe I’ve ever met
each time, my love
you look into my eyes

© Copyright Jen Fontan
Pennsylvania, USA

Joan Barton 
Pacific Northwest, USA

black smooth stones
the rhythms of drums.
stories. incense and sacred
oils. black lace.
a blue that shines in darkness.
water over rocks
outside an open window.
moons that can't be seen.
a ring that pierces flesh.
courage. a vase of flowers.
a witness. windows to freedom.
morning sun that shimmers on a ceiling.
words. things made of glass.
a candle with no flame.
the sound of someone dreaming.

 I know how love should grow
from common interests
and trust, a series of kindnesses
layered on day by day
Something gentle that starts
as friendship, becomes something more.
And then the thought of you is physical,
rushing through, a flash flood. Or
you enter a room and my cells explode.
It is not about the kindnesses
or the formidable intellect or
the spiritual connection or some
other explainable thing. Old
and deep growing from a primal place,
older than DNA or cells,
from the mind of God.
Not even the way the word love appears
suddenly without warning just behind 
your name, or how you wander through
my sleep, can explain how,
as I pass through a doorway behind you
and you pause so that I’ll move into you,
hands around from behind, feather
fingertips across your chest, breasts
pressed against your back, how your arousal
seeps into me, completes me, 
how when I press my lips against your neck
I taste the full moon and evergreen, the
wild musk of the gray wolf.

© Copyright Joan Barton
Pacific Northwest, USA

Jude Aher
New York, USA

on dragon wings


she walks her


on the edge

of dragon wings

and dances


the wind sings


whispers believe

in the colors

of the sea,

breaking free

on cliffs of rock

owned by the sky


a woman who loves

a woman who tries

carves the world

with the flames

of her words,

she who walks her dreams. 


whispers of sin

i love you, still

if we met thirty years



we remember the sighs

long youthful tries.


you see the wind

the time changing sands

waiting to begin.

i whisper of sin

so quiet,

deep in my soul


you love me, still

© Copyright Jude Aher
New York, USA

 Kevin Sinclair

Don't Come Easy

Sleep don't come easy now
The night is dark and black
With fog of hazy memories
Times when you were with me
And we talked until the new day
Lost in our own world
But dreams are never real
Just what would have been good
If there had been courage
To be more honest.

Words don't come easy now
The pain of the moment has past
But it still lives on in the memory
Colouring the present times
I remember when you laughed
It brought tears to your eyes
Which sparkled in the candle light
We could have been so good
If we had only been able to share
The feelings we had deep inside.

Laughter don't come easy now
Too many self recriminations
Get in the way of living
There has been loving somewhere
A distant memory is all that's left
Like a blind man being guided
Need a tug boat to bring this ship
Into the wharf so as to unload
If we had only been able to touch
So gently and full of care.

Tears don't come easy now
As there is no one to wipe them away
Dried up like a shriveled prune
Need some water and sunlight
There is a seed just waiting
Will it get the chance to grow
It's so long since this desert
Has seen rain fall from the sky
If only we had spoken kind words
There might have been a way.

Life don't come easy now
Wasted opportunities and regrets
Debris litters the way ahead
There's a wasteland left behind
Into this still silence of mine
There came a very faint sound
Someone whispering my name
Couldn't they shout out loud
If only there had been the time
Could have said "I love you".

Too soon forgotten
Too soon past
One more time
Is all I ask.

© Copyright Kevin Sinclair

Leslie Fallen

Fallen Petals

The petals collect beneath the crystal vase
the water level no longer able to sustain
what was once alive;
cut down in it's prime
for beauty to be shared.
She enters the room, sees the rose
and is reminded of death once again.
She collects what is left
of the last rose he will ever give to her.
Placing the petals gently inside
the silky sachet,
her eyes fill with tears;
spilling down from her face,
soaking right through the fabric.
Her tears give a last drink
to the last rose
she will ever receive
from the man who tended
her garden along with her heart
year after year.

Upon Second View

The trees outside express themselves
completely standing still.
When the slightest breeze floats through,
they become graceful dancers.
Their branches: arms extended
gracefully dancing to 
an imagined symphony.
Graced with this impromptu perfomance.
I am able to view a group of
swinging, swaying, dancing trees;
this permanent dancing troupe.
So charming are the costumes;
their colors everchanging.
Often, adorned with flowers for effect.
Sometimes, they're cloaked in moss.
I like to think these trees outside
were once tiny fairies.
They danced and played,
lost track of time
and took root into the ground.

© Copyright Leslie Fallen

Mordecai Shapiro
California, USA

I walked the only way I could when hot dreams went on alone 
Not giving in to reality 
Only jutting fibers remembering light 
Not ancient 
Dreaming loneliness instead, and houses where loneliness is given out 
It's the empty reality 
Yet, my heart rages in love, and no one who's watched me cry has been there

© Copyright Mordecai Shapiro
California, USA

Sarah Still
Michigan, USA

Mystic Raindrops 

Help the ladder up the walls of darkness, 
Through light of day, finding sorrows lain between 
the balances of White and black, caked within the shivers of rain.
Borrowing the tears from the crooked skies, 
to only bellow with the angels,
The insides of the Victorian house opened up 
a lantern of souls,
Passing through the windows as though 
they were the pure saintly Glow of life, 
without the sad life of rings thrown at some of us…

Soul is Free 

are for building

not for



locked out.


seems to surround



only for an


once they are

secluded in

their own little world.

It often leads

them to



without hesitation,

they hear angels


them back

towards earth

to recapture their soul

and replenish their

one last wish to be free

from the presures

of being

locked up.

© Copyright Sarah Still
 Michigan, USA

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