by Renee Butner
Searching along a sunlit path of
emerald, olive, palest mint, jade.
More shades of green than one can count.
Hiking and looking for peace of mind -
Crunch of leaves underfoot.
The trail becomes darker, the woods
seem to become foreboding; bright greens
turn to musty browns and grays
as the trees cluster close almost suffocating.
This is not the place.
Climbing a hilltop, it becomes steep
winding around craggy rocks.
The air has a chill as the crest is reached
and the view of blue and purple
mountains stretches far and lonely.
Watching a single hawk soar overhead
emphasizes the vastness of the world
and the smallness of self in it.
Searching up here has resulted in nothing.
Strolling a busy city street at night,
bright neon lights flash in windows,
on billboards, and stoplights sing their song
of yellow red green incessantly. Everyone
has somewhere to go, someone to see.
Others walk arm in arm or in groups.
Being alone on the busy sidewalk
causes sadness and isolation.
There are no answers in the subway graffiti.
Sitting in a darkened bedroom,
headlights occasionally rolling across the wall
and a spring wind rushing
through the treetops outside the window -
I feel numb. Searching for peace was pointless.
I retreat inside my mind and close my eyes
attempting to reach for calm. After a long while
with no success, I pick up my pen.
Renee Butner is a freelance writer and poet who lives in Winston-Salem, NC.Following publication at the young age of 18, she continued to write in her early days of marriage, then took a hiatus to raise three children and help her husband start several businesses. She is now again actively exercising her creative side by both writing and painting. She is a member of the NC Haiku Society.
by Madeleine Gallo
Come to me when my song stops
and life can no longer play my heartstrings,
when my voice won’t chime anymore
and my footfalls don’t hit the Earth like drum beats.
Save me when this great orchestra
finally breaks down
and my bones rise with the echoes
of the music inside my mind
and my brain loses its conductor.
Lead me after I bury this instrument
and teach me how to tune my soul.
Only then will we unite
and play together
in the world’s greatest symphony.
Madeleine Gallo was born in Radford, Virginia, and is a senior at Virginia Tech. She plans to attend graduate school and pursue studies in English. She has published work in Rattle, Sand and Sunstone, Susquehanna Review, Pylon and Fermata.
by JD DeHart
A long leap down
from godhood to the realization
that we live on the same
mountainside, a long fall
from our spot on Olympus
to our double-wide,
for the elevated verses
that speak of humanity
as a cloud-reaching, golden-hued
are only spilled out
in my life with the spilling
of coffee dripping on
a linoleum floor.
JD DeHart is a writer and teacher. His chapbook, The Truth About Snails, is available on Amazon and his main blog is jddehartwritings.blogspot.com.
Poem by Jane Blanchard
Artwork by Clinton Van Inman
At last, both sons agree to bring
girls home for us to meet:
it’s supper only, but for all
that counts as quite a feat.
One couple shows up right on time.
Dad offers drinks, while I
continue cooking—chicken, rice,
beans, nothing new to try.
First son begins to quaff a beer;
his dear sips hers for play;
then second son and hon arrive;
they opt for Cabernet.
Since kitchen opens up to den,
I can participate
in conversation that occurs
or doesn’t with each date.
One girl is majoring in math
and seems a sports fanatic;
the other leans toward English, French,
or something more dramatic.
Once food is served and blessed, all talk
turns merely minimal,
yet manners dare to speak with signs
a bit subliminal.
Dessert then proves a challenge since
the girls are on a diet;
cheesecake is out for both of them,
but not for those who try it.
The table cleared, I must insist
that dishes can just wait
while Dad and I still try to woo
each son’s potential mate.
However, there is not much left
to say or do this eve,
so soon, with thanks, each son departs
with whom he hopes to cleave.
Jane Blanchard lives and writes in Georgia. Her poetry has appeared previously in Belle Rêve and recently in Lighten Up Online, Smoky Blue, and U.S.1 Worksheets. Her chapbook Unloosed is available from White Violet Press of Kelsay Books.
Clinton Van Inman grew up in North Carolina, graduated from San Diego State University in 1977, taught in South Carolina and is currently a high school teacher in Tampa Bay where he lives in Sun City Center, Florida with his wife, Elba.
Belle Rêve Literary Journal is a southern literary experience. Our mission is to capture everything that makes the South and its residents unique through the best contemporary literature we can find. We publish new works weekly.
Passionately Ran, Compassionately Fed.