Category Archives: Poetry

Portraiture and Man’s Man, 2 poems by Arnie Yasinski

Two girls, covering each other's eyes

PORTRAITURE Our dinner ends with watching Portrait Artist of the Year. For Adele likeness is all, while I focus on the how of its attainment. Beginnings proliferate and lead on to ever more various results. Yellow ochre ground and raw ochre outline of head and face; detailed sketches in pencil; a renaissance grid filled in from a polite iPad closeup. After the basics, most build slowly. I admire the painterly souls who stand back for each stroke, loading the brush then contemplating placement for long moments before leaning in with deliberateness and intention not mine. … Continue reading Portraiture and Man’s Man, 2 poems by Arnie Yasinski

Escalation by Claire Scott

Photo of woman walking dog

I am so sick of walking past the cute little signs that say please clean up after your dog. really? do we want our ivy, our pachysandra, our Vinca covered in pee and poop? do we want our perfectly manicured lawns used as toilets? no possible way to clean up all the mess with a plastic bag what about Keep Your Canine Off My Grass You Dimwit or No Pooping on my Property Under Penalty of Perjury I yell at my frowsy neighbor, who insists her stupid, practically legless dog prefers my ground cover, won’t … Continue reading Escalation by Claire Scott

A Chisel and a Rock and Losing Control, 2 poems by Annie Breitenbucher

Close up photo of a statue

  A Chisel and a Rock They say He created heaven, earth, and mystery: The jungle lion’s guttural roar The celestial twinkling of stars Tell me Where is your soul? And does it move with you like the moon—quarter, half, full of grief and gratitude? Tell me Who created your Creator? And, does He see the tiny grain of your face? Tell me Did He tell you What purpose you serve? What fever you can cure? Or, did He leave you here with the riddle, a chisel, and a rock? Losing Control It was the … Continue reading A Chisel and a Rock and Losing Control, 2 poems by Annie Breitenbucher

Tender by Sara Dovre Wudali

curved pale green fern in sunllight

My friend looks like he stands tall and straight. But for fifty years, he’s lived in his brain. He can’t bear you to know he can’t bear his body. Hidden inside, a fiddlehead, curled to protect a tender secret it’s not in vogue to keep. After the death of one parent’s wits and another parent’s heart, he tries on the latest fashion. But bravery carries a price his sister makes him pay. And with half a century of silence, his fetal back is broken. Unfurling is nothing but pain. Sara Dovre Wudali is a writer … Continue reading Tender by Sara Dovre Wudali

Bullfrogs and San Juan Island, 2 poems by Brooke Dwojak Lehmann

cloudy moonrise over deep blue swamp

Bullfrogs Always in discord, they are summer’s yellow-throated singers, so deep in distress, I cannot tell if the voice is mine or theirs cannot even tell if it is fright or sorrow, the pained thrum which gives to a humid night echoes in the eardrum, a reverb as haunting as an owl or one’s racing heart, which lingers when they sleep during the panting heat of day while the moon seeps silent under the bright horizon what remains is close to sweat and skin, a dizzy reminder of hidden pasts, sounds of the South and … Continue reading Bullfrogs and San Juan Island, 2 poems by Brooke Dwojak Lehmann

Eden by Marty Carlock

old picture of wolf on cliff

In truth there was never a snake or an apple; and they knew already about lust, had known forever what creature didn’t It was that they lived long saw the wolf and the tiger grow old and die saw the tree fern and gingko wither and fall saw even the snake become food for vultures It wasn’t sex they discovered it wasn’t the knowledge of good and evil they discovered death and, terrified, they invented God After spending almost twenty years chasing facts for The Boston Globe, Marty Carlock decided it was more fun to … Continue reading Eden by Marty Carlock

To an Ovenbird while Sheltering in Place by Amelia Williams

Photo of blue window trim in old siding

White spotted breast, orange and black on your head—I wouldn’t have seen if you were not warm in my hand, but dead. At the thud of a window strike I ran for the deck, hoping for merely stunned, but no chance in the tilt of your neck. I nestled you in woods-edge laurel, fetched the soap for crosshatch bars to mark south-facing windows. This season at last, brought to ask which fatalities are fated, I regret the mobile hung was to no avail. In this rural calm, so far spared the siren’s wail of despair, … Continue reading To an Ovenbird while Sheltering in Place by Amelia Williams

Dream Vaccination by Allison Geller

photo of dandelion

“The self without sympathetic attachments is either a fiction or a lunatic.” ………………………………………………………………………-Adam Phillips Duskless days of cloud-smoke and heat lightning. Bitter tincture, citrus and ice, the urge to put the moonstone in my mouth. All this equals the moth in the closet that eats its fill of wool coats and yet is never seen. Soft-winged, tawny, phototaxic— that is, drawn to light—though for reasons unknown. Equals all that was accidentally, and intensely, lost. Collecting at the needle’s tip— needless, wanting you. You, who claimed I only found it cinematic. Well, here it is again: … Continue reading Dream Vaccination by Allison Geller

The Value of Stones by Michael Quattrone

black stones

  It’s never what they weigh; it’s not the depth of silence they have known; it’s not the round- or hardness of their edges, certain color or uncertain age that proffer worth. Metals, crystals, precious on their own, may dwell within the body of a rock, but never mind those false alarms of wealth. The treasure of each stone lives in its skill: the subtle art of timing, moving even still, invisible for eons—until now, when heavy, sad, I sought a place to put my head, first walk without the old dog; not wanting to … Continue reading The Value of Stones by Michael Quattrone

Cemetery Road by Ann Webster

Dusty terrain, fence post reading Gallilee Cemetery

  Turn at the sign–Galilee Cemetery– a flat, packed-down dirt road the weary color of clay not a person in sight just fields, blowing dirt fields dry bones under hard sun. Turn again where, on the right there’s a dark puddle big as a pond The crows standing round it will startle and scatter in flight cawing while you keep going. Ahead there is shade at last pines, cedars, oaks with moss shadows over graves in safe family clusters. They pass the day that way. Leave on the same pale road you came in on. … Continue reading Cemetery Road by Ann Webster