All posts by Fred Wilbur

Almost and The Last Supper, 2 poems by Clair Scott

Piano in foreground, Large painting of woman in background

ALMOST A Steinway. A red silk dress. The audience still, anticipating the first note of Schubert’s B-Flat Sonata. Anthony Tommasini ten rows back will write the most sensitive Schubert ever in tomorrow’s New York Times. My hands hover over the keys. I begin with lyric phrases followed by the ominous trill. My little brother. Composing contrapuntal music at the age of five, playing flawless Chopin preludes presto con fuoco on his gleaming grand piano. Illustrious teachers line up to listen tweaking their moustaches in disbelief. Downstairs I bang fortissimo chopsticks on the old second hand … Continue reading Almost and The Last Supper, 2 poems by Clair Scott

Leitmotif by Terry Cox-Joseph


  You would think that as an artist, I would not struggle to describe the leitmotif of my paintings, yet I find myself searching for identifiable techniques, common hue or echoing tableau. How to connect lost edges of watercolor to hard edge of acrylic? Or should those edges connect to the cosmos? How to lift lines, meld secondary and tertiary hues? Or should the lines lift off from NASA, taking with them my paper, brush, arm? Shall I cut in with angular brush? Better yet, cut in with a knife? Yes, that would lend interest— … Continue reading Leitmotif by Terry Cox-Joseph

Learning the Names of Flowers and As Close as They can Whir to the Porch Light, 2 poems by Rodney Torreson

Photo of landscape covered in red and purple flowers

Learning the Names of Flowers Each day, when my wife reaches inside the mailbox, her eyes catch on the bright morning glories, whose vines have twirled up the post with glad faces. Somehow they know, better than she, her hidden will, that it’s for them she settles a foot on every porch step, one arm bearing the bluster of the bushes before she lingers in her strides toward the street, all the while maintaining an eye with irises and white gardenias, so that I’m surprised their spell has not swept her from our cares, drifted … Continue reading Learning the Names of Flowers and As Close as They can Whir to the Porch Light, 2 poems by Rodney Torreson

A Hard Thing to Measure by Fred Wilbur

Photo of sunset over water

  Measurement is ubiquitous in human endeavor throughout time and across cultures, and one could argue throughout the totality of existence. Anything cyclical contains a measurement for sure: orbits of galaxies, planets, moons, day and night until eternity. Currently we are fixated on big data, Covid deaths, our place in the world (GPS’ed), the most recent political poll, or how much cash we have or don’t have in our wallets. Not too long ago the definition of the kilogram changed. Did you notice? The physical ‘artifact’ of platinum and iridium, one of the most stable … Continue reading A Hard Thing to Measure by Fred Wilbur

Lord Crawdaddy by Brian King

Photo of man behind steering wheel

On highway 10 – high risk – no space to fall cars come so close at high speeds, their wind moves us in the wrong direction. On interstate 10’s entrance ramp, there’s 8 inches of clearance between the wall and the road to Baton Rouge. The white Dodge Dart pulls over. An old man: ”You want a ride? get in.” He stares ahead, a stone. Sharp and I sit next to him in the front bench seat — the man’s hands! Each finger tattooed letters spelling Hard Luck Lost Love – no questions from me. … Continue reading Lord Crawdaddy by Brian King

Wild Iris by Robert Rothman

Photo of violet irises

I am like that now, a green stem that will bend, not stay ground. Push my head into the down, blind me dirtily, put a heel on the back, rub the reject in, confound the chances, step on, dance the stomping jig, bite, incise, nibble and tear, do the most with your worst. Would-be destroyers, all the same: Count not the reservoir of recuperation the underdog, underfoot, underlooked powers we flowers have. Born in the wild we wild will be. Wild as wily, wild as wiry, wild as wise. Wait for the tramplers and stampers … Continue reading Wild Iris by Robert Rothman

Black Satin Petunias by J.R. Solonche

Dark photo of silhouette of head

I bought black flowers today. Black Satin petunias. And they really are black. Like the shadows of petunias. My wife says I bought them because I’m in love with death. I say I bought them because they’re unusual, and we’ve never had black flowers before. Besides black is my favorite color and has been since I was a kid, since I asked my Russian grandfather what his favorite color was, and he said it was black because black was God’s favorite color. He said even after God created light and all the colors of the … Continue reading Black Satin Petunias by J.R. Solonche

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