All posts by Fred Wilbur

Pestilence Poetry by Fred Wilbur

Photo of lots of open books

Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash Many readers may feel that the disrupting Covid-19 pandemic has changed poetry and more broadly the arts, forever. This may be true as many activities are now on-line and the usual ways of interaction have been altered. I see an unprecedented (yes, that word) out-pouring of mass fear, anger, and angst. It must be said that several other concerns are simultaneously occurring in our country; the destruction of our democracy by incompetence and cruelty and the renewed concern for racial/social justice, sparked by police corruption and a militaristic mentality. … Continue reading Pestilence Poetry by Fred Wilbur

The Day His Dad Died and Vault, 2 poems by Connie Wasem Scott

Abstract painting in bright colors

The Day His Dad Died                      for PK The phone rings and the news swells and pitches like a sleeper tossing on his thin mattress of goodbyes. Your father lay down, jabbed his pale finger into the belly of air, which for him disappeared into the bright lamp in the ER. You should have never seen his face that an orderly pulled from a drawer, his head propped on a brick, eyelids drooped above his reaped eyes. Listen to him sway away from the sky overhead, trying one last time to kick through the brambles … Continue reading The Day His Dad Died and Vault, 2 poems by Connie Wasem Scott

Markings by Donna Isaac

Photo of group of ducks on water

Duck prints score the pond, the one out my window, the one where an egret roosts come spring, the one where a blue heron fishes in summer, the one where nuthatches sip drips on the shoreline. It is still winter. I don’t know tomorrow except for penciled-in plans, scrimshaw on a calendar. I don’t know the future but for forked feet. Donna Isaac is a teaching artist who organizes community readings in the Twin Cities, Minn.; she curates and hosts the reading series, Literary Lights. Published poetry includes Footfalls (Pocahontas Press), a paean to growing … Continue reading Markings by Donna Isaac

First Sonogram and How Family Stories Go, 2 poems by Eric Forsberg

Photo of long table set with food

First Sonogram Seen from your upper window, down the block at some remove, an Edward Hopper black and white and grainy through the screen, a street lamp’s cone shines down. There, you notice a figure, indistinct, possibly familiar, curled as if to tie a shoe, and wonder who it is . How Family Stories Go A cured and hanging ham, one of several, drawn from a dark larder in the back of a paid-down clapboard house. Hard. A little shrunk. With a flourish it’s revealed on the cutting board. Each time, descendants of the first … Continue reading First Sonogram and How Family Stories Go, 2 poems by Eric Forsberg

A Turn by Carol Hamilton

Photo of bird on wire fence

There is a perfection to the mockingbird’s song dropped from a black wire, to the white slashes of his spread tail feathers against this deep, clean blue. The choral repertoire of his hopes is chanted over and over and over and over and over and over through the night on and on, a desperation sharp edges finely stropped to rip open even the loveliest sigh. Carol Hamilton’s poetry appears in Louisiana Literature, Southwest American Literature, San Pedro River Review, Dryland, Pinyon, Adirondack Review, Commonweal, Broad River Review, Fire Poetry Review, Gingerbread House, Main Street Rag, … Continue reading A Turn by Carol Hamilton

Revolution and Persephone’s Abduction, 2 poems by Cindy Yarberry

Photo of old RV

Revolution He watches the tail lights of her car disappear down the rutted driveway, throws a hammer after her yells don’t come back He turns towards his trailer weeds pushing through the metal steps propped up on cinder blocks a hole punched in a cupboard door a cracked cell phone screen testimony to long nights with her back turned to him and anger that seeped into his dreams In a few hours the first birds will start to sing before it’s even light the snow will keep melting in the mountains on its way down … Continue reading Revolution and Persephone’s Abduction, 2 poems by Cindy Yarberry

Walking Beatitudes by Fred Wilbur

Photo of Fringe Tree

During the months of our restricted movements, my wife and I have continued our nearly daily walking. Although we had developed the habit pre-Covid for the health of our bodies and minds, the pandemic has added an ironic value to the endeavor. We circumnavigate our village of several hundred souls, masks at the ready, seeing other residents sweeping their porches, watering their flowers and we pause to spend a moment or two commiserating over the hedge or across the yard, a nearly extinct activity now in most larger cities. This is one advantage of country … Continue reading Walking Beatitudes by Fred Wilbur

Farmstead by Mark Belair

Photo of old house on hill

Alone, timeworn—but still standing, even if its paint-scuffed radiators give no heat and its window frames leak and its doors don’t shut tight, everything foundering since its elder keepers died, the next generation, though paying the property taxes, too dispersed to steward or even sell it, the farmstead’s absent presence like a stark stare from the back end of old age, from a hardened place that sees our younger, ongoing lives— no matter how well built— as false fronts set for collapse; sees our blossoming memories forming, like the farmstead’s (love in the bedroom, children … Continue reading Farmstead by Mark Belair

Midnight at the Antiquarian Book Shop by Gary Beaumier

Photo of antique books

“I was most grievously undone when I lost my footing on the shelf and swan dived to the floor splayed and back broken”, says the complete works of Shakespeare who now leans against the cash register “We are—so many of us—a musty assemblage of forgotten words. Trees pressed into paper to hold our messages. Conceived by some dreamy word dabbler long gone. Escorting the appreciative few from womb to tomb Yet now shorn of dust jacket now a deterioration of spine dog eared pages and torn scripts Are we soon to be consigned to a … Continue reading Midnight at the Antiquarian Book Shop by Gary Beaumier

Reading Wallace Stevens at Pen Park by Stuart Gunter

Photo of trees reflecting in lake

Building rituals out of nothingness, I’m sitting on a park bench, reading Wallace Stevens on a sunny day when the flashing shadow of a crow darkens my library book. Perfect, I think. Where are the tigers? Where the red weather? I am a drunken old sailor dreaming and asleep. Where are they? In the grudging light that asked for day the mothers look around, covering their startled babies’ ears. We pick and choose our indignations. Stuart Gunter is working toward a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling at Longwood University and lives in Schuyler, Va. … Continue reading Reading Wallace Stevens at Pen Park by Stuart Gunter