FORCE OF WATER: by Lee Elsesser

For Lyle Waldron
Green River Fly Fishing Guide

Behind the fifty story dam
in the ninety mile reservoir,
deep in the storied canyons
its moving waters carved when
inner earth raised the Uintas,
the ancient Rio Verde lies at rest.

At the curving concrete wall
the imprisoned waters lap, as if
they hold a memory of power and now
bestilled, restored, clear and cold,
seek once more the freedom to flow,
to wear again the title “river.”

In the dampness and muted roar
two thousand cubic feet per second
of lake surging into motion leaves
hanging in the morning air, a boatman
drops his weight into the rear seat
of a watercraft of wonderful design.

The curved bottomed drift boat responds,
slipping the grip of its transport and
sliding gracefully into the eddy. Now
three elements of adventure are joined:
the river, the boat, and the boatman
in the Red Canyon of the Flaming Gorge.

On currents deep and almost clear as air
they will follow the easterly course
the Green River cut five million years ago,
between cliffs of bent and folded stone
layered in time like pages of a calendar, under
a sky where ospreys glide and eagles soar.

There will be others on the float,
always others in the boat.
For them, trout fishing makes the day.
From them, the boatman takes his pay.
For that, he demonstrates his skill
on waters swift and waters still.

On long flats and slower runs, fishermen
float tiny nymphs on hair-thin tippets
where the trout hang in submarine flotillas.
When the waters quicken, where the canyon narrows,
the river lifts swells like molten glass
that slide unbroken under the white water boil.

There, in the rapids, the drift boat glides
like a dry quarter moon battered in a stormy sky,
into a torrent where men have died, trapped
by the force of water. The man with the oars
touches the river, a stroke, a thrust, redirects
the force, turns the boat on its center to safe water.

Through the day, beneath the stony gaze of faces
trapped in the rocky cliffs, faces that watched
Powell and Ashley pass, the same dance goes on.
Finesse versus force, practice against power,
timing in a torrent, a waterborne ballet choreographed by the river’s moving stage.

At take out, the fishermen case rods and reels,
review the beauty of fish and foliage, both painted in the season’s burnished gold. The boatman releases
his craft from the river’s grasp and winches it up
onto its wheeled transport. He pauses to watch
an osprey pair winging along the now empty stream.

The waters that bore his boat today are gone,
rolling on to swallow the Yampa,to merge
with the force of the mighty Colorado, to reach
beyond its famous canyons to the western sea.
There, to start again the unchanging cycle,
tossing wave to drifting cloud to snowflake falling.

The guide, his boat ungainly on its trailer,
follows the familiar mountain trail that will
take him home and his clients to their lodging.
For the second time today he crosses the high dam,
where in the lake’s chill depths, clear and still,
powerful and impatient, tomorrow’s river waits.

Lee Elsesser
Fort Worth, Texas

To hear Lee’s reading of this poem, click the arrow on the player below:

To hear readings of more poetry by Lee Elsesser, click HERE.

NOURRITURE: by Gilles-Marie Chenot


Mais c’est souvent des terribles naufrages
Que surgissent les plus beaux paysages
Que le voilier sur les rochers se soit écrasé
N’implique pas qu’il soit arrivé malheur au timonier

Quand un cavalier monte un cheval
Il ne mange pas la nourriture
Qu’affectionne sa jolie monture
Des délices plus raffinés sont son régal

La caresse frissonnante du vent astral
Au beau milieu d’une pluie d’étoiles
Le tendre enlacement de la Lumière
Dans un velours de dentellière



But from terrible shipwrecks it often is
That the most beautiful landscapes arise
That on the rocks the broken sailboat lists
Misfortune to the helmsman this does not imply

When a rider mounts a horse astride
He does not eat the provender
Of which his mount is fond
But regales himself with delights more refined

The astral wind’s caress shivering
Right in the midst of a rain of stars
Light’s tender intertwining
In a lacemaker’s velvet swath


To read more work by GMC, click HERE.
To find other poems by GMC on this blog click HERE.


*Editor’s Note: I was heartbroken to find Gilles-Marie’s obituary in La Voix du Nord. His pointed, poetic comments and his generous spirit will be deeply missed by everyone who knew him. I am thankful that he left me the archive of his poetry last May and I have chosen to present the work that was previously selected for IPM 2015.

Giving Time: by Robert Okaji

The supplicant’s desire:

mornings sliced into perfect pieces, afternoons
dipped in honey, evenings freed.

A gift of absence.

To gather and bear, shaping
the resultant minutes,

she takes yeast from the air, adds
flour, water and salt.

Matched with the ripening

hour and the sweetened bitter taste,
I recall how blood
seeped through the towel, and

observe on the table the
cheese, plums, the harvested day.


To listen to a reading of the poem, click on the player below:


You can find more poetry by Robert Okaji on his blog HERE on in his new chapbook “If Your Matter Could Reform” which will be published in April of this year as the first book in the National Poetry Month series by Dink Press 

One More Soundless Day: by Anna Mosca


wishing for one more

soundless day


swimming quietly

at the bottom of

a sea of written words


squealing and chirping

if any outside


the time held

between night


and day between

sleep and awakening



desidero un altro

giorno silenzioso


per nuotare tranquilla

sul fondale di un mare

di parole scritte


stridii e cinguettii

– ve ne fossero – fuori


il tempo sospeso

tra la notte


e il giorno tra

il sonno e la veglia


To listen to the poet’s reading of this poem in English click on the audio below: 
You  can read more of Anna Mosca’s “California Notebooks” by clicking HERE.
Leggi più dei “quaderni californiani” di Anna Mosca QUI.

Underwater: by Helen Frenkel

I was swimming under water,
Noticed, I couldn’t breathe.
Had to come out of the water,
To get air so fresh, with ease.

But I didn’t.   I kept searching,
Suffocating inbetween.
As my brain was never watching,
Wondering, what could have been.

It was blurry, dark and scary,
I could never be like fish.
Knowing what was necessary,
But denying biggest wish.

If I only searched around,
And looked up to see the sun.
Noticed approaching ground,
Breathed fresh air and had some fun.

Gloomy thoughts and wrong perceptions
Keep us underwater stuck.
Never making right connections,
Never seeing any luck.

Sun like hope and gracious wonder.
All you have to do is see.
Don’t stay down to suffer under,
Look above the stormy sea…

Copyright 2015 Helen Frenkel

Helen Frenkel is a poet from the Ukraine now living in the USA. She writes poetry in Ukranian, Russian and English. More of her poetry can be found on her Facebook page by clicking on the following link: Helen Frenkel, Poet

Anon: by Adina Richman

(For my first reader, and the one who matters the most)


I think, these days, more often

Of impending impermanency

How edges begin to soften

Of icebergs reclaimed by the sea


One day I’ll look around, anon

Not recognizing what I see

I’ll look for you, but you’ll be gone

Without you, I can’t find me


I worry then about that time

When we both disappear

Without the wind is there a chime

Once you are far and I’m left here?


copyright 2015 Adina Richman, all rights reserved

To hear more poems by Adina Richman, click HERE.

La grande scelta: di Giacomo Gusmeroli

                     per te Daniela

La grande scelta


Capii che era lei quando era là al castagno; capii non per

le All Star alte, l’orecchino, – no; cose


l’inciampo sul ciottolo, la lena, la falcata del passo.


il corpo accucciato alla roccia, cercavo un nascondiglio,

una sporgenza, ancora del tempo, prima di farmi vedere,

prima di chiamarla. Per me, lei, aveva atteso quel tempo,

quel tempo di travaglio e di incertezza, per me contemplativo

senza più averi e dalle scelte confuse. Mi appoggiai zitto a

……..piè del muro,

scrutai intento lo scorcio di torrente, come


la mia stessa vita. E “ciao” udii,

sentendo caldo, vicino il suo respiro. Sul cucuzzolo, il


dava l’ombra di campane sulla cinta; e in un attimo,

l’attimo di uno sfioro, là diventò lontano e riannodato al passato.


Trovate QUI più informazioni su Giacomo Gusmeroli, incluso il suo ultimo libro LA BILANCIA IN EQUILIBRIO

*     *     *     *     *

An English translation of this poem can be found below:

for you Daniela.………………………….……………………………….

The choice

I knew it was her when she was there at the chestnut tree; I knew
not by the All-Stars, the earring, – no; by other

the stumbling over a stone, the vigorous, coltish stride.
Reined in,……..
body curved against the rock, searching for a hiding place,
a recess, a bit more time, before showing myself,
before calling to her. For me, she, had waited that time,
that time of anguish and uncertainty, for me contemplative
without possessions and confused by choices. I leant silent
at the wall’s base,……..
scrutinizing intently the glimpse of the torrent, as if
I were scrutinizing……..
my own life. And I heard “hey”
feeling warm and close, her breath. At the summit
the monastery,……..
cast the belltower’s shadow on the barrier; and in an instant,
the instant of glancing touch, there I became far, tied again to the past.

(translated by Bonnie McClellan)

for more poems by Giacomo Gusmeroli on this blog, click HERE.

Love (On a Theme by Carlos Saura): by Liliane Richman

Francisco Goya as you reach

the end of your days

self exiled in Bordeaux

Filled with memories

of passionate dalliance

       La Maja Desnuda

when the frisson of love was love

Recollecting your oeuvres


and the flash of death


the deeds of rapacious tyrants


The penumbra of reason


the multitudinously murdered

Now glad to be in this city of fine wines

how good it feels to be secure among friends

who praise your genius and sing songs about you

Beloved of a young daughter

who is who she is because you’re her father

And a wife who retrieves you from streets filled with goblins

and smoothes your wrinkles and tucks you in her bed


To find more poetry by Liliane Richman on this blog, click HERE.

Compare Love To Water: by Anna Mosca

The English version of this poem has disappeared, listen to the author’s reading below or enjoy reading it in Italian:


confronta l’amore

con l’acqua


nelle sue tante



solido e fluido

nebuloso e etereo


che sale e poi scende

senza mai smettere


d’esistere sempre


presente in una maniera

o nell’altra

Listen to the poem by clicking on the audio player below:
You  can read more of Anna Mosca’s “California Notebooks” by clicking HERE.
Leggi più dei “quaderni californiani” di Anna Mosca QUI.

Night Like an Empire Falls: by Brad Frederiksen

plushes-bend-of-murray-river-at-civil-twilight (1)
Plushes Bend of Murray River at civil twilight


Night like an empire falls the civil reflection

of one twilight pelican

..dreamily shadow ghost rafting;


The spirit that once held me up, love, remote tears of whisky

seen through a series of still frames

..on pixels of wine glass penumbras.


The wind slips in whispers

..that ripple the river,

and the last morning after

..the night before raindrops

cool, calm and collectedly

..bead leaves of lilies,

belying what we know already;


The strains in relief

..around all of those lily leaves

bear the same burden

..all rain beads are found under.


Water lilies at Plushes Bend of Murray River
Water lilies at Plushes Bend of Murray River


This work by Brad Frederiksen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Australia License.

to find more work by Brad Frederiksen on this blog, click HERE.

To read more work and see more photographs by Brad Frederiksen, click HERE.