Category Archives: Poetry

Locusts and Island, 2 poems by Linda Laino

white feather on sand with small water droplets
 

Locusts One day I’ll hear you are dead. It will come from some benevolent phone tree or on the wings of locusts, an army of ill will. They will deafen my ears so I never hear my name from your crooked mouth again. Only the endless circling and whirr of wings wailing like a heart beating itself to death Island Leafing through the journal I found a forgotten flamingo feather scavenged from an island filled with sienna skin skin like yours, skin I still smell in sleep. Considerable light is absorbed In the soft dark … Continue reading Locusts and Island, 2 poems by Linda Laino

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

All the Things We Do Not See by Megan Atthowe

empty beach, a dog, a few people
 

  I wondered what it could mean that on my first view of the ocean a dog lay dead in the surf. Bloated and caught on the sand, its black body swelled gently in the come here of waves, its hair an aura around it. No one stirred. Sipping drinks, laughing as though it wasn’t right here, catching the breakers, walking the beach. Why don’t they drag it away? Does nobody see it but me? The tall lap swimmer proclaims at dinner: I saw the dead dog float out to sea. Relieved for us all, … Continue reading All the Things We Do Not See by Megan Atthowe

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

Christmas Eve Parable and Singers, 2 poems by David Huddle

Photo of christmas carolling figurines
 

Christmas Eve Parable Phoebe, my five-year-old granddaughter adores the tiny wax Jesus who lies in the cradle of the creche that came down to us from now dead great grandparents. Wise men, Mary and Joseph, two sheep, a cow and a donkey, it sits atop an antique chest of drawers, at the perfect height for Phoebe to study the scene, occasionally move the humans and the creatures as she likes, whispering softly to them all. Two years ago Phoebe carried the Baby Jesus in her sweaty hand all over the house until he went missing … Continue reading Christmas Eve Parable and Singers, 2 poems by David Huddle

Chopin’s Heart and The History of Our Vagrancies, 2 poems by Jason Irwin

Painting of person hanging from heart
 

CHOPIN’S HEART A brief apocalypse has taken possession of my person. The streets are full of melancholy. Yesterday I fell asleep on the bus. The sound of someone crying woke me. Was it the woman slumped in her seat like a bag of laundry or my mother forty years ago, the night Elvis died and I held her hand as she trembled at the kitchen table? In The Times this morning a story about Chopin’s heart, found, submerged in a brown liquid thought to be cognac. On his deathbed Chopin asked that his heart be … Continue reading Chopin’s Heart and The History of Our Vagrancies, 2 poems by Jason Irwin

Flash Flood by Helga Kidder


 

after Marie Howe It doesn’t matter that the sugar maple is leaning closer to the house, that the cluster of seeds I planted yesterday will wash away. Something doesn’t add up. The dishwasher still leaks after repair, wrens nest in the window box, and the cardinal rules the bird feeder. Another woman gives her unborn to the knife. February is too wet. Each day spiders crochet webs like bridges across the living room windows I have to unravel. The mailbox shuts its mouth to good news. The neighbor’s cat prowls in yews. The flag wraps … Continue reading Flash Flood by Helga Kidder

Burning the Spiral Notebooks by Irene O’Garden

flaming black and white coal
 

In spite of the impending blizzard, my friend and I agree, “Today we have to burn our spiral notebooks.” Those tortured scribbles of our youth haunted our attics like madwomen, voices of the grieving girls we were, maps of the clumsy steps we took. On fire, their beauty took our breath away. Fire turned fear and wound to flaming peonies. Sweat rained. Casting book after book to the fabulous heat, casting off anguish like souls between lives. Fire turning pages in farewell, wavering ash like shirred silk. Suddenly, laughter collapses us, sprung like the spiral … Continue reading Burning the Spiral Notebooks by Irene O’Garden

Figs at Christmas by Irene O’Garden

Photo of purple figs
 

                 for my brother Jim On the rattan tray from California every Christmas Gramma’s boring gift arrived. We dug into the pink- and-green-foiled dates first—moist, at least—then gnawed the rawhide apricots, the gritty Newtonless figs, their dry deathly sweetness bitter even to our young tongues. Her present satisfied us only once: last week. We’d both flown to salve another sibling— her twisted brain, your rheumatoid insomnia became my grief, shared later on my husband’s shoulder, which he may transfuse in a play that critics abuse, and the pain … Continue reading Figs at Christmas by Irene O’Garden

A Study in Red and White and Keeping Up Appearances, 2 poems by Valerie Griggs

Photo of bright red rose
 

A STUDY IN RED AND WHITE Perhaps a poinsettia-shaped arrow, aimed perfectly by the mischievous son of Venus, brought pomegranate seed mayhem to this soul of mine. A red velvet cake secret snowballed sweetly until I was pale with no sleep, no appetite for anything but you. A December rose blooms above fresh fallen snow— how did you slip between my silver lining? KEEPING UP APPEARANCES On our bones we painted strawberries to hide cracks made by life in the desert. Hidden grief lives in our bones; the painted life of the desert hides what … Continue reading A Study in Red and White and Keeping Up Appearances, 2 poems by Valerie Griggs