All posts by Fred Wilbur

Little Betrayals and Not Exactly Genesis, 2 poems by Clair Scott

Photo of old man walking with girl
 

Little Betrayals I was six I knew he had a quarter in his pocket I knew it was mine if when he roared who is the greatest grandpapa of all and the silver and Wedgewood china on table shook and the Irish maids ghosted by in starched uniforms and the chauffeur polished the silver Lincoln Continental and my grandmother tended to the terra cotta pots of pink and white orchids in the gazebo and my face flamed and I yelled Grandpapa looking down at my poodle skirt its rhinestone eye staring   Not Exactly Genesis … Continue reading Little Betrayals and Not Exactly Genesis, 2 poems by Clair Scott

Russel Square by Andrew Hanson

Photo of stone gateway
 

Fate is read in the routes of the snails that methodically spell their own names in the park. Leaves shrivel and shiver off of white birch trees. Alongside an old church, pigeons storm a sliver of stale bread that once was communion, and the sounds of taxis and Ubers buzz by the parks as the partitioned paths of bees. Nervously, an academic and the pipes of the chemistry department share a smoke, while the pipes’ rusty stubble snags the cool evening’s light. The goldfinch warbles choirlike before it swoops in to cull a butterfly stuck … Continue reading Russel Square by Andrew Hanson

Poems Everworthy by Fred Wilbur

Photo of cluttered desk
 

  The old poet who thinks he is young remembers the young poet who used to be wise. Twyford James   Though I had my suspicions last fall and tried to hope it along this spring, the venerable holly tree is dead.  Most of its leaves lost, yellow paint chips on the ground, the ever and green are missing from “evergreen.” And so the bark sloughs off, the punky white wood is useful to spalting fungi and insect larvae. The woodpeckers follow. A pileated visits Holly’s Diner, chisels like a true craftsman, searches earnestly for … Continue reading Poems Everworthy by Fred Wilbur

For My Sake and Battle, 2 poems by Khaled K.E.M.

Photo of man in doorway of store
 

For my sake At dawn there are no residues left from last night’s shift. I offer no sympathy to the crawling hours of a newborn day. With fog I travel across the city to buy a large coffee with half-half cream, a cinnamon raisin bagel toasted with cream cheese. I always pictured Brazilian goddesses harvesting coffee beans, cream collected from melted clouds underneath flying cows, cinnamon a rebel swami fought in southern India, raisin fostered in a local farm watered from Niagara Falls, the homemade bagel is the pride of an old town, the cream … Continue reading For My Sake and Battle, 2 poems by Khaled K.E.M.

Here is a Paring Knife, Here is the Metaphor and Not that I am Desperate, 2 poems by Michael Milligan

Photo of watermelon slice and knife
 

Here Is the Paring Knife, Here Is the Metaphor to cut the damaged parts away. So bruised and all. Peeling the flesh of the torturer you become of yourself. Here is the skin off your hand. The skin off your back. The delaminated rind of your life. Have you noticed how we tend to avoid poetic mention of these things by their names: Birth. Life. Love. Death. Pile up a few metaphors, that’s the standard prescription. A glimpse for a moment before the blinds are drawn. Pretending to look at the sun, at the face … Continue reading Here is a Paring Knife, Here is the Metaphor and Not that I am Desperate, 2 poems by Michael Milligan

Incandescence and I am an Onion, 2 poems by Priscilla Melchior

Photo of blurred hanging lights
 

Incandescence Few will understand. Light bulbs, for heaven’s sake. But I was awash the night I found spares waiting to meet my need and remembered when need was swallowed by the dark. My little stash of lumens in flimsy boxes leaned in tilted testament to the day shadow vanished from my life and I fairly danced to the lamp to replace the dead gray globe and twirl in luminescent grace. Even now, I rejoice anew not when a light dims, but when I reach out knowing another waits to shine. I am an onion but … Continue reading Incandescence and I am an Onion, 2 poems by Priscilla Melchior

On Marriage to a Statue by Emily Bornstein

Photo of statue
 

I could have stayed married to David if he wasn’t so unwaveringly chiseled. If his deceptively supple face wasn’t so perfectly defined. If Michelangelo could have given me a dress that was low-cut, a dress that would force David’s undulating cliffs of eternal gray hair to turn and fly rebelliously (momentarily) from the craggy sides of his head. Alas, I have no such dress (but rather, baggy plaid pajama pants that some dancers shot off the stage at a bar mitzvah) and I figure that even a silvery ball gown couldn’t turn me tamed and … Continue reading On Marriage to a Statue by Emily Bornstein

Philosophical Poetry by Fred Wilbur

Photo of cracked asphalt
 

  In a recent batch of ‘reviews’ from an online magazine, I was struck by the variety of descriptive words used to evaluate the thirty-five or so poems. They ranged from “funny,” “strong,” and “moving” to “masterful,” “cinematic,” and “sardonic.” These superlatives were illustrated by a phrase or line which purportedly was the essence of the work; the impressive image, at least. Clearly, there was little effort to delve into the subject, the art or mechanics of the pieces. I wonder, would readers just pick out the “exhilarating,” the “charming,” the “delightful” in hopes of … Continue reading Philosophical Poetry by Fred Wilbur

History Lesson by Susan Muse

Photo of bell in hole in wall
 

Susan Muse has earned an Honorable Mention in Streetlight’s 2020 Poetry Contest   Clouds flatten against a gray sky and cover what had once been the color of bluebonnets only a moment ago. Suddenly rain begins washing the windshield as we turn and head for Houston. Earlier, in San Antonio the sun squatted down to squeeze the breath from my chest, like smoking my first Luck Strike at 10. We had hidden from it in the quiet cool of the mission and ran our hands over rough rock, cracked like old bones or parched earth. … Continue reading History Lesson by Susan Muse

Beehive Hut Near Dingle by Wendy Jean MacLean

Photo of stone wall
 

Wendy Jean MacLean is the 3rd place winner of Streetlight’s 2020 Poetry Contest   Fenced in by the property owner the beehive hut of an Irish monk still stands as it has for fourteen centuries. Three euros will get you in through the gate with the added bonus a pen of baby lambs you can fondle for photos. (Behold! The lamb of God!) Inside the hut the owner has stored his gas tank and his electric sander. (Behold! Sins worn down on demand!) The sharp cliffs and fierce waves have not changed over the centuries. … Continue reading Beehive Hut Near Dingle by Wendy Jean MacLean