Autumn Penance by Sayuri Ayers

Autumn Penance

…if I had closed my mouth and opened my eyes….
--James Taylor (That Lonesome Road)
Pudding Magazine #65

My truck jostles down the rutted road.
I drag a cigarette deep into the threshold
of my chest as Prairie Home Companion ebbs in and out
of radio static. At twilight, countryside takes on
an animal tone, razorback curves, red-eyed moon prowls
along aged orchards, puckered apples, fumes of fermented ground.
Decades ago my father’s orchards spread out like a lady’s fingers

There Are Days That Dawn All at Once, a Spilled Brilliance by Roy Bentley

There Are Days That Dawn All at Once, a Spilled Brilliance
by Roy Bentley Feature Poet

Pudding Magazine #57

as if morning were umpteen trillion uncartoned eggs cracked and
emptied onto the surfaces of things. The sudden sky's
a Superman blue, and the roofs of houses win out over clouds and
horizonline church spires and the pictographs of billboards. The
slant black of rooftops and a true and beautiful sky
forged from out of the ordinary plum color of night work
to recontrive Dayton, Ohio as a place to shine in
and crowd out what about a day is drowsy with sameness.

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.
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

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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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