Ann Arbor Review


Deji Adesoye
Changming Yuan
Violeta Allmuca
Beppe Costa
Engjell I. Berisha
Narendra Kumar Arya
Akwu Sunday Victor
Michelle Bailat-Jones
Laszlo Slomovits
Stefania Battistella
Agron Shele
Lana Bella
Fahredin Shehu
Alan Britt
Silvia Scheibli
Shutta Crum
Running Cub
Alex Ferde

Irsa Ruci
Jennifer Burd
Paul B. Roth
Richard Gartee
Elisavietta Ritchie
Peycho Kanev
Helen Gyigya
Amit Parmessur
Sneha Subramanian Kanta
Robert Nisbet

Jeton Kelmendi
Duane Locke

Lyn Lifshin

Richard Lynch
Jean McNerney
Fred Wolven



Ann Arbor Review

is an independent

International Journal & ezine

Copyright (c) 2017 Francis Ferde
All rights revert back to each poet.
--editor / Southeastern Florida

AAR history note:  in print 1967 - 1980.  Irregular publications 1980 - 2004.  As ezine 2004 - present. Most of 48 years all together....


Francis Ferde
Silver Grey Fox
Running Cub
Fred Wolven

Submissions via e-mail:






At school, the wife had learned
the ancient Roman saying,
“The eyes are windows to the soul.”
Taking it for truth
she’d since made of her eyelids
Venetian blinds
canting them like angled slats
to block would be voyeurs
from espying her immortal Self.

By the time she married
she wore mascara layered so thick that
peering out through half-closed eyes
was like looking
through prison bars
of her own making.

The husband waited
while she put on her makeup
for their anniversary dinner.
Her mascara brush reminded him
of a rat tail dragged through a tar pit
as she loaded it with black goo
and trawled through her lashes.

She caught the judgment in his eye,
leaned her head against his,
and said into his ear,
“Will yourself not to speak.”

A tear slithered
from the edge of her
Venetian blinds
and slid like a spider
down a cord
but her face was too close to his
for him to see the teardrop
that felt like dew,
dampening his cheek.

Through her prison bar perception
she noticed hair growing in his ears;
not soft, pale, peach fuzz,
but wild, unruly, cactus spikes
that sprang in every direction
and required no mascara
to make them thick and black.

She straightened the slats
of her Venetian eyes
to confirm her perception
wasn’t a deception
of her own makeup.

No, there were definitely tufts
jutting from his ear canals,
thickets that begged to be cut,
by her, if he would let her.
She wondered
why men of a certain age
suddenly grew hirsute fields
in ears otherwise pink as conch shells.
Perhaps the shag in his ears
acted as aural shutters
sheltering him against criticisms
he’d tired of hearing.

His finger brushed the ear
where her whisper had tickled.
She pulled her face even with his eyes
and let him have a look through her open blinds;
the first time in forty years.

He, finally permitted to see into her eyes,
didn’t see her soul
or her notions about ear stubble,
only his own worrisome thoughts
about being late to the restaurant.

She blotted her lipstick and nodded.
He draped her shawl over her shoulders
and they walked outside.
He started to lock the door,
but she stayed his hand,
and stepped back inside,
to close the blinds.



Fairy winds give flight
and a petite creature
with peacock-colored dragonfly wings
ascends on thermal currents
to its aerie on distant mountaintop
where morning frost sugars its nest
in air so thin the sun has no filter
and ultraviolet rays can pink bare flesh
with a moments exposure.

Below, calving ice
cracks like thunder
and avalanches white darkness
over the lower meadows
causing tiny bluebells to
wear snowflake hats and shiver.

The world turns one degree
and fingers of sunlight
extend across the valley floor.
Frozen crystals become puddles
mirroring the fuchsia sunrise
and Teton peaks.

A fawn noses aside a clump of snow
to nibble the spring grasses
flattened by the unexpected
slide of the powdery blanket.

The doe stands nearby
eying the vale
alert for shadowy movement
sniffing the cool air for predators

Above the timberline
the deva leans out
surveys the scene below
and slides from her nest
gliding on diaphanous wings
descends in lazy circles

Landing amidst a patch of baby’s breath
she inclines against a willowy stem.
Startled, the doe gives a soft call
bringing the fawn to her side.

The sun blooms full
making the field luminous.
A hummingbird arrives
and the deva flits away.



The band,
play list exhausted,
are starting to repeat themselves,
but they can’t quit now,
it’s only minutes ’til midnight.
So they sing a song of Mary Jane;
not exactly Auld Lang Syne,
but they never knew what those lyrics
meant anyway.

On this night the girls,
in their tightest dresses,
made their boyfriends make an effort;
“Put on a nice shirt, dear.”

One more song as everyone holds on.
Then seconds to count
10, 9, 8...
and the old one’s gone.

Lovers, strangers,
and estranged lovers

The planet commences another
waltz around the sun.


Richard Gartee, Gainesville, Florida


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