an on-line poetry magazine
for the 21st century

WINTER 2021-22


Chuck Joy


the familiar blue pasture

sheltering a placid herd of clouds

I motor toward the sunset

Neil Young singing “Sun Green”

soon stop-and-go on this two-lane

not normal, open fields to either side

except for the Fair, popular this year

I park the sedan on a side street

walk several blocks to an entrance

I’m here! it’s a big fair

several lanes of midway, two ferris wheels

ranks of food vendors, pink and blue neon tubes

around their signs bright in the fading light

but I’m not here to eat, The Ekphrastics

a favorite band, taking the stage

compared to the broad barns filled with animals

and vegetables, main stage a small attraction

seats available right down front

The Ekphrastics fire themselves up

a handsome woman enters the scene

stopped at the edge of a lawn to hear the music

dark now, the stage illuminated pink and purple

two female vocalists taking turns belting,

the lead guitar player tearing off blues licks

each run filling a separate page

the woman moves closer, dancing in place

rocking her hips, arms bending at the elbows

shoulders and head nodding, stepping with her knees

nobody knows what happened

a tall stranger stepped up to the woman

mirrored her every move and it was me

except my name was Earth Brown

and the next day we left for Alaska


Chuck Joy is the author of several poetry collections including Theme of Line, Said the Growling Dog, and Percussive. Joy was the sixth Poet Laureate of Erie County Pennsylvania (2018-2021).