Currently Featuring the 2019 Special Edition
"A Fork in the Road," and the Seasonal Issue.


Due to illness and recuperation requirements, River Poets Journal is retiring after 11 years online and in print with these last two issues simultaneously. Congratulations to all published writers artists, and photographers in River Poets Journal since 2008 online and in print.


Lilly Press
River Poets Journal
in its 11th and last 
Year of Publication

A Journal of Poetry/Prose/
Art & Photography

Sampling of  Poetry and Art from

The 2019 Special Edition

A Fork in the Road

To view the entire Journal - Select "Special Editions-Anthologies" tab from the menu above.

On that page click on  A Fork in the Road - 2019.pdf

To purchase the Printed Bound Journal through Paypal, click on the  "Buy This" button

Poems by River Poets Journal Contributors
All future rights to material published on this web site are retained
 by the individual Authors and Artists/Photographers

Musical Composition by Sandy Bender
"Half Sleep"

To listen to musical composition 
click  below
This page was last updated: February 3, 2022
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It has been a phenomenal run, from 2008 until the present. I have been thrilled and privileged to meet so many poets and writers submitting the best of their work over the years from all over the world. —Judith Lawrence
Take Off

Before this, he toddled,
bounced off stools, 
bumped off chairs,
staggered around the room,
grabbed the tangible,
grasped the abstract,
scary gap between
him and
his come-to-me Mum.
Tonight, an airport lounge
offered scope, the space to probe
new limits - no limits.
Of a sudden, he had taken off:
taxied between mock marble walls,
scampered across terrazzo floors,
scrambled along alluring aisles,
played the gallery,
swerved, steadied,  stopped,
swaggered into childhood.

©Mike Gallagher 

A Brief Whisper With the Colorado River

Driving upstream 
along the Colorado River glistening 
in all its glory winding through 
widening vistas, headed far 
for the magnificent Grand Canyon, 
I told the river, You have no idea 
how beautiful it is where you are going. 
The river glistened back, And you, 
my friend, have no idea 
how beautiful it is where you are going. 

©Beate Sigriddaughter

cultural productions

if you were to be on the hill, or if you were to see-
there is a ghost ship moored not far from here-
it is tethered by a strand of wind,
weighted by the dawn of the world,
which is tomorrow. maybe i will see you there
and all the ones i knew before 
though no time could keep us there,
hours still somewhere in your heart
which, like a strange unlikely realm
lingers on in the dry 
winter. the world does not thaw
just for you- 
we are not moved by any particular breeze
there is a light on just beyond these naked trees
do not name it mine, do not name it yours
as it comes on and then goes

©Elena Botts 

 A thick, white wall
   Of heavy fog
       Obscures the road
Ahead of me.
It makes the way
   Unseen, unknown,
To navigate.
Just a small patch
   Of open space
      Allows me room
To move forward.
This close clearing
   Reminding me,
      Life lived at hand
Is the best course.

©Peggy McCray

Sampling of  Poetry and Art from

The 2019 Seasonal Issue

To view the entire Journal - Select "River Poets Journal - PDF tab from the menu above.

On that page click on  Seasonal Issue - 2019.pdf

To purchase the Printed Bound Journal through Paypal, click on the  "Buy This" button
Breathing snow

You can do it awhile.  Air pockets remain, 
locked around ice crystals. But not forever -- 
just long enough to replay the avalanche 

rolling over life, sweeping love downhill, 
leaving you flattened in white, 
no way to reach for sky. If your ears still hear,

eyes are not frozen closed, hand trapped 
near face can clear a bit of space, 
you may have sufficient time 

to listen for swish of metal probes 
slicing nearby, promising beams of light.         
If tempted to sleep, imagine

a new lover finds you, scoops a place 
by your side, lies close. Together,
you breathe hope into deep snow.

©Timothy Pilgrim

Skaters in Tiergarten by Max Liebermann
Branching out and this hillside
bit by bit unraveling
the way your shadow keeps to itself
just by darkening, fed the dirt
you once could see through
as if nothing was there to hum
then swallow some old love song
that came into the world
facing the ground still trying
to leave you and night after night
you listen for these smaller
then smaller stones eating alone
as the cry forever struggling
from its harsh stranglehold
to keep up, side by side and stay.

©Simon Perchik  

Hunter in the Dunes by Max Liebermann
The smoke is finally getting to me
The haze is thicker today
Blurring tree limbs out my north window
From fires down the Kenai
Bitterness enthrones itself
On the back of my tongue
Phlegm crowds my throat
Even faithfully taking my medicines
By tomorrow
The slurry collecting in my chest
Will leave me struggling to breathe
Like trying to suck air through
The collapsed straw in a
Luscious too thick milkshake
When I must go out to walk the dogs
The brittle grass crackles under
My sneakers
The sun visibly darkens my skin
In the short time it takes
For the dogs to find their spot
The haze blurring my vision
Concentrating the blistering truth
Rome is burning

©Anne Ward-Masterson 

Rest in the Dunes by Max Liebermann
​After A Long Night
The wind singing in the higher registers.
Steeplejacks reining in their lines.
Our minister clinging to his black hat.
It’s the first day of winter, the masses
finding it difficult to temper undue suspicions,
their kind usually avoiding the likes of me, 
the short and sweet and surly type,
a last sane peasant in the fiefdom of Glee.
Informal. Non-linear. Star-shaped in a round world.
The grump who relishes the idea of trees bowing 
to chill gusts and the promise of a storm to come.
The one rehearsing lines from a play not yet written.
The sort who notices the wind and marks it down.
A very short book made of long sentences.

©Bruce McRae 

Winter Landscape by Max Liebermann