Skylight by Mary Weems

Skylight by Mary Weems
Pudding Magazine #57

I still work everyday
pull light from sky
let it down easy

Used to land on pillow,
bedspread, two faces turned
body shapes

Now I warm air
still as one person
in a room

Shape light
into hands
caress myself

Slump Block by Chuck Salmons

Slump Block by Chuck Salmons
Pudding Magazine #57

A hard winter ending,
and a stroll down our street
reveals another neighbor
packing a U-Haul,
maneuvering the melting ice.
And we ponder the bubble—
did it burst? Or simply deflate
only to swell again,
now, mocked by tulips rising
from the ground.

We walk past windows undressed
save gaudy labels,
beneath the pin oaks, clinging
to those dingy mid-March leaves,
and the maples lining the street
with bare branches and vacant nests,
wondering when the robins
will ever return.

Robot Poem by Christine Howey

Robot Poem by Christine Howey
Pudding Magazine #57

This poem was written by a robot.
Do not be afraid.
Okay, now you’re reading these words in that funny voice all humans
use for robot voices, the droning nasal monotone.
This…po...em…was…writ...ten…by…a…ro...bot.
Please stop doing that.
It’s really kind of insulting.
Robots don’t sound like that anymore.
Okay, now you’re noticing that a lot of the lines are short and clipped,
like you expect robot language to be. But in reality, it’s quite easy for a
robot to embroider looping and complex sentences, such as the one

Upon the Morning by Susan Hendrickson

Upon the Morning by Susan Hendrickson
Pudding Magazine #57

I saw a woman
half submerged in the ground
sitting in the comfort of weeds
nibbling on some timothy.

She ran her teeth, berry-stained,
over the translucent green stems
entered into the sweetness of the world
that sky-bright moment.

Within her solitary warren
hugging the mysteries of the day
to herself, I knew she was me
and I knew she woke me up.

These are days of self-credence;
the gossamer growing thin
the crave for minute beauty, gentle
recognition begins to surpass itself.

Peter Pan Must Die by Eric Blanchard

Peter Pan Must Die by Eric Blanchard
Pudding Magazine #57

They are toys-r-us kids lost
on an island called Neverland—
lost in Afghanistan—with
pop guns and little plastic
swords and bombs. Lost boys,
lost army men, lost children,
fighting pirates off shore.
Lost war, lost in Iraq—
the never ending fantasy.
Lost fairytale. Where's the
magic carpet? Where's the
pixie dust? Tinker Bell was wounded
by snipers during an unmanned
drone fly-by. The croc is on time.
Tic toc, tic toc, tic toc.

Peter Pan must die. Let
the pied piper of youth be remembered well.

Saturday Morning Poetry Group by Jerry Judge

Saturday Morning Poetry Group by Jerry Judge
Pudding Magazine #57

After I read my poem, the silence
of the group thunders me almost deaf.

Madeleine, bless her always gentle heart,
says that she likes the imagery of a giant turtle.

Leo, always logical, can’t figure
how a thirty foot turtle fits into the room.

Mary Anne, back from a Billy Collins workshop,
says that Billy would execute the turtle and then me.

Gwyneth states that I need to buy the turtle
a one way ticket to the Galapagos Islands.

Barb worries about my need to write

Ghost Story by Louise Robertson

Ghost Story by Louise Robertson
Pudding Magazine #56

My first child pointed to the same spot
in the yard every day. Barely able to talk,
she came up with this question:
"Why baby cry? Why baby cry?"

Every day, she pointed to the same spot
in the yard. By the covered-over
well, where the boards green up and soften,
she pointed and asked: Why baby cry?

I don't know. Did the long throat
of the well swallow a child
her age? And its spirit hangs around
calling for its mother, though

this mother can't hear it.

That's the trick, mother couldn't

Sin-Eater by Louise Robertson

Sin-Eater by Louise Robertson
Pudding Magazine #56

I ate his sins. At death, my grandfather was
laid out--eyes and mouth
glued shut and face smooth
without the smiles.

It used to be a sin-eater
came and ate
food set out and pocketed a penny
and took the sins of the deceased
and was hailed
with curses and out the door he went.

At my grandfather's funeral,
I stood before them and reflected
upon the man who--surgeon--
was his girlfriends' abortionist, who--brother
--hid the mafia's counterfeit money and guns,
Who--husband--
used an axe to break into his departing

Outside of Effingham by Scott Boyd

Outside of Effingham by Scott Boyd
Pudding Magazine #56

I am West on 70 when I see it,
A mound of roses twitching
In the shadow
Of a giant cross.

Stark fire towers keep their watch
Perched atop bone dry hills.
They spot thistles ablaze
In drought-stricken soy fields,
Sparing homes that aren’t worth
The blocks they rest on.

After Honey Creek dried up
A new harvest was wrought,
This one a factory to build
Fences where hay bales once held sway.

The fear of a fire that never came
Pressed hands to machine levers
And palms ceased their prayers to brooding clouds

What’s So Funny? by Mark Sebastian Jordan

What’s So Funny? by Mark Sebastian Jordan
Pudding Magazine #56

I sat down once in a cheap dive bar
across a wobbly, beat up table from Death.
He showed me three card tricks
and told a dirty joke about
how he uses his scythe
to pick up movie stars.
It wasn’t all that funny,
but I laughed at Death.

I sat down once in a pew
in a plastic and vinyl Baptist church
and heard a heaven-humping, Bible-thumping
preacher mispronounce my grandma’s name
over her dead body, before leaving her behind
in the dust-to-dust as he rode his brimstone rant
to beatific release.


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Links

The Schuylkill Valley Journal publishes poetry, short stories and critical essays. Both the SVJ and SVJ LIT come out twice a year, in the spring and in the fall.
Schuylkill Valley Journal


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