All posts by Sharon Ackerman

Looking Ahead by Julia Chiapella

view of city from high rooftop
 

On the last day of the world the children laugh. How can they know? They pick up stones, pockmarked, flat, dap them through rising waters, their voices littered with glee. On the last day of the world no one cries. The neighbor pulls out her cello, plays Albinoni’s Adagio in G minor from the rooftop until the dark pulls its covers over the strings. We look out the window. Count to ten. Forget what ten means. The month of May. How to read a clock. Wouldn’t you want it like this? Oblivion nothing but sweetness … Continue reading Looking Ahead by Julia Chiapella

For Friends Who Lost Both Children and Lingering Over Coffee, 2 poems by Kevin Norwood

crescent moon and venus in pale blue sky
 

FOR FRIENDS WHO LOST BOTH CHILDREN ………………….God is so omnipresent. . . that God is an angel in an angel, ………………….and a stone in a stone, and a straw in a straw. . . ………………………….— John Donne, Sermon VII If you wake at early light, rise, go out, look toward the waning moon, toward the twin stars balanced there. Stand barefoot on newly greening grass; know that weariness of earth, of care, courses through you only, not the stars. If you wake at early light, rise, go out, harken to the echoes of nursery rhymes … Continue reading For Friends Who Lost Both Children and Lingering Over Coffee, 2 poems by Kevin Norwood

Departing in McKittrick Canyon by J.R. Forman

green rocky canyon
 

you and I bedded down in the canyon the nine ply of heaven folded us in rain the next morning the firewood smoldered with dew as you bathed the stones in the springbed trembled like flowers seen through campsmoke then we parted like petalfall as the gibbous old man looked on still early without yet his companion our horses neighed as they turned away they too are old friends over this land of spines and cactus quills the sun and moon keep moving not finding anywhere a soft seat J.R. Forman’s work has appeared in … Continue reading Departing in McKittrick Canyon by J.R. Forman

How to Weigh Loss by Charlotte Matthews

two side by side broken see-saws
 

  Even though see saws are a thing of the past. I’ll return to a warm June evening when my brother and I have walked to the local elementary school. We seat ourselves on opposite ends, hold onto the metal handles and rise and descend, one in the air, the other on the ground, small craters where children before us have done the same with their feet. We pull out tangerines we’ve stashed in our windbreakers, peel them in unison, one of us suspending the other, trusting a smooth descent. Years later, on an interstate, … Continue reading How to Weigh Loss by Charlotte Matthews

Tennessee, 2004 by Eric Forsbergh

old bone set atop small stone tower
 

…..I’m as independent as a hog on ice, and if they don’t let me alone they will be sorry for it. ………………..Journal of Private Sarah Wakeman A Spring plowing incident when something gleams. Oblivion unearthed, a brass buckle bears US. The tractor falls quiet. Only insects hiss. A shovel scrapes a bone. Then two. The coroner assembles all the requisites. From the shallow grave, dirt is troweled away. A small man, maybe a drummer boy. A skeleton, alone, hands composed. Forensics is surprised to find a woman, pelvis telling much. No birth but death. No … Continue reading Tennessee, 2004 by Eric Forsbergh

Peeling Squash by Mark Belair

field of squash with mountains
 

We had the whole summer afternoon to peel squash in the cool of the barn, me and Mike and Old Ed, the tenant farmer before Mike who still dropped by from time to time in clean overalls to check on the progress of the crops. Mike asked Ed, as I rose to drink freezing water from a dusty black hose, about an old stooped woman he might remember, but Ed couldn’t remember; well, anyway, Mike said, she came back and without even asking set herself to picking fudge just like she used to. Fudge grew … Continue reading Peeling Squash by Mark Belair

Finding Thomas Merton by Sharon Ackerman

statue of monk in crude stone and wood structure
 

My summer reading list (and Spring) centers around the writings of Thomas Merton. After sifting through his prose and poetry I think the most amazing thing about him is how many people lay claim to him and find a sense of permanency in his writings. It is as though his thoughts formed in solitude in the forests of Kentucky were destined to travel outbound, arriving as the first French Trappists first arrived, sailing up the Mississippi river from New Orleans to the Abbey of Gethsemani. A Roman Catholic from the age of twenty-three, Merton nonetheless … Continue reading Finding Thomas Merton by Sharon Ackerman

The Dumb Have the Advantage by Jim Klein

man and woman kissing in sunbeam
 

If you were mine, I could do such wonderful things. Oh, the stupid idea of being a human being and having to do all that sucking to stay alive—and then he learns to talk! Howl into the fierce grizzly innards of interpersonal relations. The dumb have the advantage. Nothing but silence won’t hurt. I wished, oh how it could have been, stepping into a gentle night when even leaving was a sociable act with the band playing in the background. I can’t tell you how happy I am in a land of tapping fingers and … Continue reading The Dumb Have the Advantage by Jim Klein

Carnival to Miss Greenstein by Charles Cantrell

blue and purple light swirl at carnival
 

My brother and I played war in a ditch near the Ferris Wheel while the carnival barker shouted. Our games didn’t take precedence over my wanting to live like a civilized person, but my father couldn’t afford violin lessons for me. Most of my teachers sucked, and we had only cookbooks and a ragged dictionary at home. My father killed so many deer we had plenty to eat, but I still wore a thick jacket in the cold. I can’t say it called me to the world, but I loved snapping the bra strap of … Continue reading Carnival to Miss Greenstein by Charles Cantrell

Here’s to Us by Mark Simpson

Woodpecker in tree
 

Woodpeckers at it again this morning boring into the cedar clapboard, fascia, cove boards too soft with age, too inviting for the particular family-to-be of the pileated kind, red crest pure blazon and I rise time after time, running outside arms waving yelling Out! Out! and then worse the third or fourth time, my cup of coffee gone cold, page lost in book, and it knows I’ll give it up sooner or later or probably doesn’t care if I wouldn’t but I do, feet dew-soaked from all the running around in the flagrant April green … Continue reading Here’s to Us by Mark Simpson