Tim Mayo’s poems and reviews have appeared in Narrative Magazine, Poetry International, Poet Lore, River Styx, Salamander, San Pedro River Review, Tar River Poetry, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Verse Daily, and The Writer’s Almanac. His first collection, The Kingdom of Possibilities, was published by Mayapple Press in 2009. His second collection, Thesaurus of Separation, will be punished by Phoenicia Publishing in July of 2016. He’s a five time Pushcart Prize Nominee and has been a top finalist for the annual Paumanok Award.



Tim Mayo


For the most part it is light in weight

with the excitement of all color

having fled with the flammables of desire


but consider the sometimes heaviness of it


as if the matter it once was

had not wanted to let go

of the sweet orange of sunset

Pressure Cooker

Tim Mayo


For years after


I could still see the stain

of its round statement


on the kitchen ceiling,

still see


the yellowed noodles

of chicken soup


hanging down:


a salty broth dripping

from their ends.


All this I still remember:

my mother’s sharp cry


after the slow boil’s expansion

and the inarticulate sound


of the locked metal surrendering

as the cooker hissed


then un-clammed

into full voice.


But the lid escapes me.

Where did it go?


And that sudden unsealing

of a tightly fastened world . . .


Father's Day

Tim Mayo


When the Ghost of Christmas Past

comes knocking on a hot summer’s night,


you have to ask, Why does it happen?

For whom do we live? 


You need to stop drying

the wife’s dishes and put


the towel over your tired shoulder

like a matador’s cape;


you need to say, ¡Olé! when the sudden thought

of an invisible man comes to mind. 


You need to step through the screen door

into the steamy, green & indigo yard,


past the rusting swing set, it’s bubbled paint

peeling off the browned silence of its bones,


and past the now rickety tree house,

still cradled in the dying limbs of the old oak,


and on through the hole in the hedge,

as though all along you expected this:


the Santa Claus of fireflies

coming to take you back.