Category Archives: Poetry

Malady by Jesse Albatrosov

knitted baby blanket
 

Malady   He’s never been sick before skin warm and ill-fitting, moist as he sinks into me, that exhausted root for comfort and the fear that he’ll be declining soon. Children know to seek this oath from their mothers, the affirmation when the darkness comes and they feel as though they will never stop ailing. I can feel it swallow him—skin pale, lukewarm and halfhearted the lids of his eyes bending over yellowing whites, each heavy and brimming with unease. I feel him wilt like day old flowers in my arms and at my breast, … Continue reading Malady by Jesse Albatrosov

Charybdis and the River; Between Covers by Anca Segall

splash of foamy white water
 

Charybdis and the River   Do you hear the gurgling river? All the molecules of oxygen and hydrogen in their special dance, choreographed, washing memories clean, liquid fingers wearing grooves into the banks. White water foams, restless. I, on the other hand, am the undertow, placid above, roiling dark beneath, unpredictable. Soothing sounds hide the maw that swallows without trace. Stillness draws with languor the unsuspecting heart. Remember me, I murmur: I am the scar.   Between Covers   She used to think she could open any man like a book, run her finger along … Continue reading Charybdis and the River; Between Covers by Anca Segall

I Bought Them by J.R. Solonche

close-up of smoke curls
 

I Bought Them   I bought them, two big books, fat with two lifetimes of poems, not so much to read them, which, over a long time, as is meant, I will do, but just to look at, their bigness, heavy as loaves of grainy peasant bread, and their pictures on the covers, the two old Polish poets, Milosz and Herbert, their beautiful white hair, their beautiful long white fingers, their beautiful white cigarettes, and the smoke like their own beautiful white ghosts. J.R. Solonche is author of Beautiful Day (Deerbrook Editions), Won’t Be Long … Continue reading I Bought Them by J.R. Solonche

Mom Wants to Talk Football; Speaking in Tongues by Ken Haas

group of football players
 

Mom Wants to Talk Football On the gridiron of family life, she and I stood the sidelines, flanking the husband and father who, fourth and goal in the waning minutes, always called his own number. She, the former German schoolgirl who had fled here in ’36 with her hick-town kin, to major later in garter belts and Maybelline, and who would not at any time have known a pigskin from an eggplant. Though now that the masterful man is gone, and she has her new bed, having slept a single night on his side of … Continue reading Mom Wants to Talk Football; Speaking in Tongues by Ken Haas

How to Grow Wild by Kathy Davis

photo of Fleabane flower
 

How to Grow Wild   Vision failing, she feels the leaves looking for butterfly weed, a seedling from her greenhouse for me to take, add to my efforts to flower a field. Cup plant, sweet goldenrod. Stratify the seeds six weeks then scratch them in—instructions on the packets she presses in my hands, stressing the importance of natives. On this street of manicured lawns, her home, its yard not mown, could be mistaken for abandoned. Fleabane, milkweed. But no monarchs this summer so far—a hint of loss that worries her. “Invasive,” she says about the … Continue reading How to Grow Wild by Kathy Davis

The Jumping Off Place by Diana Pinckney

slats with light and shadow
 

The Jumping Off Place Josephine Hopper’s comment on husband Edward’s painting, Rooms by the Sea, 1951   Azure waves float two rooms            a door opens                       catching the ocean breeze sunlight streams            in a part of this suite                       where under a slice of picture the red sofa invites            shadowed in blue-gray                       the corner of a chest no balcony   no steps   no sand            the jumping off place                       for someone who gazes from these disembodied rooms            waiting for the horizon                       to widen   the sea to deepen who would want            to be drifting here                       only a seeker of the spare ways            a … Continue reading The Jumping Off Place by Diana Pinckney

My Grandfather’s Garage, 1966; Heart Box by Lynda Fleet Perry

Old wooden garage in the countryside, black and white photo
 

My Grandfather’s Garage, 1966   Steel licenses, galvanized, nailed to the wall, black Virginia plates, rusted and dented, years spanning a life on this farm, his World War, to the second, his sons’, our fathers’. Children, we kneel before sagging cardboard on the oil-soaked dirt, reeking still of machines. Brittle pages crumbling as we rifle Field & Stream, National Wildlife. Silverfish scuttle. Dust rises in dimness. We peer into a fading Popular Science over and over, breathless and startled cousins whispering, sunburned noses turning up and freckled like our fair-haired fathers’. Rapt, as if I … Continue reading My Grandfather’s Garage, 1966; Heart Box by Lynda Fleet Perry

Promontory by Joan Colby

foggy sunrise through trees
 

Promontory   At the overlook, we could see four states If the fog had not rested its elephantine Rump upon the conifers. We can barely See each other, much less the road Switchbacking down the side of something Extraordinary, that we’d hoped to Experience, in full sun, even though We rose in and out of sudden Precipitation. The entrails of an owl Would predict a dirty soup Like purgatory where hopes are grey Bandages flapping loose over the red wound. A shaman burns the diary. This journey Must be undertaken. The valleys spread tables For … Continue reading Promontory by Joan Colby

Ferment by Lucy Alford

pruned fruit tree
 

Ferment   Orchard in February. Branches, matted as hair, litter the rows after pruning. Soil, strewn with old fruitfall, soaks in last season’s rancid sun seeped from these gnawed globes: Ambrosias, Auroras, Pink Ladies, now rusted and fleshless. Their skins peel back like those of fallen tomatoes in August,                    left to blister and stink. Small black birds sit motionless against blank and separate sky, below which, earth in hibernatory ferment concocts from sweetest Melus this bitter brandy for weathering out. One wavers a bit in its frieze. Even for them,             a little ivresse eases the … Continue reading Ferment by Lucy Alford

Swimming in Akumal by Jo Kennedy

sun rising behind clouds
 

Swimming in Akumal   You could learn to live here without ever measuring time in linear seconds or distance in the miles we journey. Everything here is cyclical and circular like the half moon bay we swim in. Sun and wind are nature’s runes, marking summer solstice, or storms churning in from sea. You could learn to forget here, drifting in emerald water among sea turtles and fish the color of fruit–kiwi, mango, papaya– and all around you, coral reefs rising like sacred temples from the ocean’s floor, their exotic bloom luring you beyond the … Continue reading Swimming in Akumal by Jo Kennedy