Category Archives: Poetry

Outside from the Inside by Anne Whitehouse

Photo of Arizona desert with dust storm in the distance
 

From Isamu Noguchi to Man Ray, Poston War Relocation Center, May 30, 1942 Here, in the internment camp in the Arizona desert our preoccupations have shrunk to a minimum— the intense dry heat, afternoon dust storms, and the difficulty of feeding ourselves on thirty-five cents a day. Outside from the inside it seems history has taken flight and passes forever. Here time has stopped and nothing is of any consequence, nothing of any value, neither our time nor our skill. But I must remind myself, work is the conversation I have with myself, and space … Continue reading Outside from the Inside by Anne Whitehouse

Red Road by Dwaine Rieves

Rough road with red dirt with mountains
 

Red Road   From asphalt to gravel, from               Gravel to that barely—what                         I am searching for I do not                                           Know, but I keep driving—                             This land once home, fifty Years back my teacher and Nature, my twang-mouthed               Preacher—hills overgrown, red                             Heaped mud in sun-hardened                                           Ditches, sweet gum and bramble                             Bowing wild before pines, my one               Lane drying into otherness, one I’ll twist leaving my rental’s front               Axle impaled on a stump or                             Windshield bashed head unto after                                           By a pickup, that young                             Driver having thundered up               The crest, some faithful Homebody having no idea               His … Continue reading Red Road by Dwaine Rieves

Paris Nocturne by Pamela Davis

photo of apartment in Paris at night
 

Paris Nocturne   The Eiffel Tower rounds its beacon—platinum to black—platinum to black—waltzes the dark across the room. Upstairs, the couple is fighting loud and rough. A bottle shatters against a wall. I can’t make out what provokes them—her voice rises, splinters apart. He barks. A scramble. Brute door. Every night their danse macabre bruises the floor over my head. Day’s end, hand on the rail, I climb five stories of thready rug to my rental, brick-baked baguette dusting my sleeve. A man and woman on the way down say Pardon, Pardon as I squeeze … Continue reading Paris Nocturne by Pamela Davis

Playing War with my Daughter by Charlotte Matthews

photo of a card-8 of hearts on sidewalk
 

Playing War with My Daughter   I stare at my half of the deck thinking how this game is pure luck, then of how luck is more than itself, how it grows exponentially. At this moment much is on the line. She puts down a jack. I put down a jack. We both flip over three cards, place them face down until the moment of truth: who’s lost what to the other. This morning we carved our initials in the newly poured sidewalk, made the letters so small they’d go unnoticed to a passerby. Some … Continue reading Playing War with my Daughter by Charlotte Matthews

Beauty in the Grey by Benjamin Chirlin

close-up of cracks in concrete
 

Beauty in the Grey   I was born without a shadow. Deftly estranged, The way moisture collects In the soot sky. Relief is temporary But the stark song of the crow Shows beauty in the grey. I saw your reflection In the concrete. Cracks as deep As ocean trenches, Catacombs as intricate As arteries. I heard your voice Within every pulse. You are the mercury rain, A monotone melody On a tin roof. I am the rust Seeping through the pores. You are the alchemist Creating gold armor. I am the rind Enriching the earth. … Continue reading Beauty in the Grey by Benjamin Chirlin

A Tribute to Sharon Leiter, poems from her unpublished chapbook

Magnetic words
 

One of Sharon Leiter’s myriad of roles and activities while living and working in the Charlottesville, VA community of scholars, teachers and writers was to serve as Poetry Editor of Streetlight Magazine from 2004 until her death in 2016. In this capacity, Sharon made the day of many an emerging and hopeful poet writing from Virginia and beyond, always with the intent of offering encouragement and celebrating poets striving toward their best work . During this period of her life, Sharon, a Slavic Languages and Literature professor at the University of Virginia, and then adjunct … Continue reading A Tribute to Sharon Leiter, poems from her unpublished chapbook

Partial Obstruction by John Cullen

cup of espresso with biscotti
 

Partial Obstruction   Four Frenchmen in a Fiat fractured the front of a frieze facing Florence Cathedral. Stupid consonant clusters crowding each other, bragging like teens and gawking like tourists perennially popping pictures. See what I mean! And now two Turkish tourists plow into a Pagini parked parallel to Saint Peter’s Basillaca. There they go again! What will it take to stop them! Fortunately, a shop owner ushers everyone inside and serves cappuccino, offering a selection of mostacciolis, struffolis, baci di damas and ossi dei morti biscottis. Suddenly, everyone speaks Italian and sits on the … Continue reading Partial Obstruction by John Cullen

The Interloper by Bob Elmendorf

forest at night
 

The Interloper   Night is an interrogative. The owl’s questions float in the glen where shadows voiced by the articulate moon stilt their own ground, measure the trees for graves. The back of the interrogatory toad bunched in field grass fouls with its scrawled lozengy my push for ornament, my desire to align. Leaves in conclaves ask what will I do in life after goodbyeing twilight and joining their elopement. I lie in new milkweed troweling out of zigzagged straw. The butterflies and blooms aren’t back yet nor are my hands stained from opened pods, … Continue reading The Interloper by Bob Elmendorf

Eel River Meditation by Ann Michael

two fireflies
 

Eel River Meditation   Above the Eel River, a concrete bridge: every summer we plied humid afternoons with hickory bark canoes. Lying on the sloped bank we paddled between walnuts and hickories— we were on the brink of believing. The Eel was clay-colored in July, and familiar as salt, solid as a Pontiac sedan although some nights, when the frost-glass lamps were lit and warm air was damp it seemed we might find the bridge led lightning bugs across water to a stream of galaxies, sets of blurred moons. While the crickets sang their growing-the-corn-tall … Continue reading Eel River Meditation by Ann Michael

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