Category Archives: Poetry

Cold Beds by Michael Sandler

Photo of man gardening in muddy bed
 

Lobster mitts might cushion the ache, my hands numbed by these cold, rain-wet stalks. The stakes tenacious, anchored in beds slimed here and there with rot. Cut twine and a vine collapses, limp as kelp. Tug upward and a tired length slips from its dimple of earth dangling a matted root. I weeded, watered, pruned and came to believe I had claim to a red firmness slicing so cleanly it would flake onto my sandwich—I tried to persevere…But the fruit was blighted. The stems now lie in a composting reef—bed of bladder-wrack more fecund than … Continue reading Cold Beds by Michael Sandler

The Moth and My Neighbor’s Wife Leaves, 2 poems by Sharon Ackerman

Color photo of a moth near a porch light at night
 

The Moth It would be too simple to describe its motives as a flame off course, a light mistaken for sun. Loveliness is complicated, a white body against darkness, the night’s counterfeit just beyond a screen, as yet untorn. Pale wing, sees what it wants to see, half-witted and happy for a few wild moments, reeling beneath the cold eyes of relentless stars.   My Neighbor’s Wife Leaves She returns for her things, bright strips of clothing billowed down like prayer flags over boxes. I almost miss the small object in her hand. She hurls … Continue reading The Moth and My Neighbor’s Wife Leaves, 2 poems by Sharon Ackerman

Beaten by Victor Altshul

Color photo of green meadow looking up a mountain with wooden fence
 

A once resplendent roan lying on its side, legs flailing, as if it thought— as if, in its final moment it could think at all— that it was still running, wild and free. So disdainful, so high-spirited, breathing patrician defiance with its last sad wisps of breath… Could it have known that its kind master whose gentle sweetness I, a fourteen-year-old city boy, once had longed to emulate, had sought only to tame its wilder excesses, crashing the wooden club down on the very top of its skull, to oppose the highest point on the … Continue reading Beaten by Victor Altshul

Nightfall and Infra Dig, 2 poems by Todd Copeland

Color photo of clouded sunset with 1 bird flying through
 

Nightfall There are stories no one knows. High summer. The sound of tree frogs coming from all quarters.   Infra Dig You know how when the sky goes to hell in the west there’s inevitably a black dot of a bird moving slowly, often left to right, and you admit, although you know it’s something that shouldn’t be said, considering God granted us dominion, that, despite being small, such a bird possibly matters more to the world than yourself? Todd Copeland’s poems have appeared in The Journal, High Plains Literary Review, Southern Poetry Review, The … Continue reading Nightfall and Infra Dig, 2 poems by Todd Copeland

Arrowhead, Melville’s Home, Pittsfield, Massachusetts by J.R. Solonche

Color photo of Herman Melville's home (yellow clapboard) in Pittsfield, MA
 

It’s hard to see him as a farmer, isn’t it? Bending over the rows of lettuce and corn, feeling the ears between his thumb and forefinger, all the while remembering breadfruit and mango? It’s hard to see him here at all this time of year. Pacing the oak planks of the writing room upstairs, sitting at the table, wearing these glasses, staring through the window out at Greylock, Greylock whose back reminded him of whales. It’s easier in winter. In winter when the five hemlocks in the yard are a five-masted bark. When the mountain … Continue reading Arrowhead, Melville’s Home, Pittsfield, Massachusetts by J.R. Solonche

Hooping by Bailey Merlin

Yellow and green photo with swirls
 

When we lie side-by-side in an afterglow, he says, I used to be a man of my word. Neither of us wants to label his intentions, fearful of finding the meaning in definition. Our fingers come together, interwoven like the white, fraying threads of our patched-up quilt we bought on the side of a highway in New Mexico where a girl was swishing a hula hoop on the points of her hips as she danced like an accident in progress. My hand settles on the wall, sliding down peeling paper and strip away a large … Continue reading Hooping by Bailey Merlin

La Mer by Gary Beaumier

B/W photo of ocean wave against rocks
 

It is the reach and sweep of the horizon that seduces the eye the darker folds of clouds the insinuation of rose just above the water a breeze moist and warm like the touch of first love a boat secured to the outermost mooring rocks an afternoon away a little wine a book and the plink of piano notes from the classical station that escape the raucous confusion of gulls while a wave geysers high as the lighthouse. Gary Beaumier has been a finalist for the Luminaire Award and has had his poem Rio Grande … Continue reading La Mer by Gary Beaumier

A Tortoise by Derek Kannemyer

color photo of a tortoise hiding under green leaves
 

Sunshine at last, & the woodland walks dappled with it. On a patch-speckled side-path skirting a pond, an immense tortoise, sunning itself. Sshh, she said, as if they had been talking too loudly, or at all, & tugged him back behind her to the trail. Until it in its turn wound by the pond, sludge-green, thick with algae & bottles, & where a tree trailed bent-trunked over the bank they leaned to peer across it. There, that mud-bronze mound: the tortoise. Would it crawl off in the grass? Amend its angle to the sun? Trouble … Continue reading A Tortoise by Derek Kannemyer

My Bride Face and Okasan: My Mother in-law, 2 poems by Alexandra Corrin-Tachibana

Photo of Japanese woman with crossed hands, engagement ring and red kimono
 

My Bride Face Families from far apart met in Sengen Shrine. I didn’t know the ritual; reciting words, in heavy gold kimono, geisha-face and geta. I wore a wooden wig. Later, in ivory and tiara, I sang karaoke. They loved my foreign bride face and soft brown bob. They loved our kokusai kekkon. At home, you’d nightly embrace a steaming tub. Gaman, daily perseverance, your mantra. I tried to forget our honeymoon–– your persistent pace and summoning, of Sorrento waiters, with a sumimasen. I tried to forget how you wanted to leave early. Missed food. … Continue reading My Bride Face and Okasan: My Mother in-law, 2 poems by Alexandra Corrin-Tachibana

Woe Be Gone by Priscilla Melchior

Photo of a ripe tomato with a knife beside it
 

Sometimes I wonder whether tomatoes feel the slice of my blade, whether carrots feel ignored as they languish in the fridge. I plan a pot roast to make them feel useful, then wonder whether they fear the slow simmer beside meat and potatoes. I worry that castoff jackets and sweaters feel abandoned. Do they long to reach out with their empty arms, ask mine to return? Are old shirts and sheets insulted when I turn them into rags, or do they feel as though they have new reason to serve? Perhaps I ought to fret … Continue reading Woe Be Gone by Priscilla Melchior