Category Archives: Poetry

Flowers in a Crystal Vase by Les Bares


 

3rd place winner of the Streetlight 2015 Poetry Contest. Flowers in a Crystal Vase – Manet, 1882   At the members only showing of flower paintings, we old folks dress for comfort. Women in flats and boutique slacks, light sweaters, conservative colors, but still striving for a sense of style. We men—not so much. A leather jacket seems to be the best we can do. As if somewhere in the back of our memory, a whisper tells us this makes us debonair, perhaps a little dangerous, walking among still-life flower arrangements. The young guards herd … Continue reading Flowers in a Crystal Vase by Les Bares

Rubble by Pernille Smith Larsen


 

2nd place winner of the Streetlight 2015 Poetry Contest. Rubble   The water found a home in our wreckage.                  Our city, once a bastion of high times—       colored lights on strings, avenues smiling              all year churches, bars, and streets filled with strutting horns, jerk sauce and hips—                  now choked in trash bags       whistling like reeds on a wade-through,              snaring limbs, dragging us down. Remain                   calm, we say, dragging strangers       from the rubble. Our founders, rebels, saviors              in bronze and silver toppled. Straight-backed stoics                  fighting silent acid tears,       reduced to river-street ruck              floating alongside bright orange … Continue reading Rubble by Pernille Smith Larsen

Hum by Julie Ascarrunz


 

1st place winner of the Streetlight 2015 Poetry Contest. Hum   Out of the blue, he gave her a recording. She thought there was something wrong with it, but they had only slept together once, she wasn’t even divorced yet: she didn’t know how these things worked. Do you tell someone there is something wrong with what they’ve given you? She didn’t know Glenn Gould how he hummed what was in his head as he played. Maybe the recording wasn’t very good or she was not listening well. She couldn’t really tell much but that … Continue reading Hum by Julie Ascarrunz

Temple Age by Lisa Russ Spaar


 

Temple Age   Sycamores phrasal, ashen, strap, bi-chromatic, this cross-hatched, argent patch of woods. Respond with hard answers, please. My season is upon me. Green in there somewhere, yes, even red, if I hash around? Goodbye beauty, I might also say. Depart loveliness, at last. Passing by pallid fields, I confess I dreamed of us. Precarious weeks, these, yet you never want me small. Or parceled. Rather all.   Little Song   Who dies but once? Evening bears the brunt of incinerated prayer, endless as a tale unsnared by denouement, in closure small as the … Continue reading Temple Age by Lisa Russ Spaar

Phone Sex in Three Acts by William Knudsen

Poetry
 

Phone Sex in Three Acts   Act I. There is nothing noble about having phone sex with your ex-girlfriend in the bathroom of a friend’s apartment. The shower curtain looks offended. Tile ashamed to touch bare feet, toes curling. Mildew in the bathtub corner is judging me. This is no bad porno. No fictional pleasure. I am only flesh, muscle, and blood. A collection of parts that ache and spill over. She loves him now. But we still search the static of each other’s lonely, trying to pull and honest fuck out of the phone … Continue reading Phone Sex in Three Acts by William Knudsen

A Wild Thing And A Tended One by Maari Carter

Poetry
 

A Wild Thing And A Tended One   We can talk about these corduroy pillows and how I want to shoot marbles with the ball joint of your right shoulder. Last time I tried to tell you about the guy who came in the Deli, duct tape holding his shoes together, carrying this tarnished bird cage, a finch inside and how his loose laces left a winged trail across my just mopped floor as he went to sit next to regulars, who shifted their metal chairs, and how the ice machine dumped cubes into the … Continue reading A Wild Thing And A Tended One by Maari Carter

Conveyance by Julia Kudravetz

country landscape
 

Conveyance   Between the bones of the plat and the sale of our land, so much needs to be done to make the title clean. The deed marked what everyone knew then—the creek to the quarters to the graveyard; they agreed with a handshake and the natural boundaries quilled in red. No one recalls, so imagine those lives in metes and bounds. On the bank they pulled fresh water, broke ice in winter, carried evening hymns over the field to the arms of the great oak. And now we see encroachments, bramble, the soft roads … Continue reading Conveyance by Julia Kudravetz

Then I Returned to the House of the Slow Letting Go by Irene Wellman

dried flower
 

Then I Returned to the House of the Slow Letting Go   I went out into the evening, walked alone with my clippers to dead-head the marigolds the peonies, no longer spinning planets, and the now brown-leafed rhododendrons. I picked up my watering can to slake a thirsty fern, pulled yellow aromatic leaves off the pink geraniums, surprised a brown thrasher in the grass, bent to weed a circle of flowers. The house stood filled with the presence Of the dying man. It was his garden he’d brought back from wildness, tended with the dry … Continue reading Then I Returned to the House of the Slow Letting Go by Irene Wellman

Stevie Nicks by Ann Robinson

Stevie Nicks
 

Stevie Nicks   Under the strobes guitar hands, neon blonde. She sings like a forty-year-old child, wears a witch’s cape. Tosses back her jukebox tenor to the audience. We stone up, all the freaks in the back row, breathless. Where was I going before I heard her music? Back when the world was hunger, and we only took. Ann Robinson’s work has appeared in American Literary Review, Connecticut Review, Fourteen Hills, Hiram, Poet Lore, Spoon River Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and Whiskey Island Review among others. Her poetry book Stone Window, by Bark for Me Publications, came out … Continue reading Stevie Nicks by Ann Robinson

Back from Wales by Marti Snell

kestrel
 

Back from Wales   To headline news of health care, guns, and Syria, the coastal path slipped away, sea breeze ceased, only traffic noise, but I remember— Ahead of me behind me dominion over roads runs the hard brown path that scores cliffs, heather, gorse, and thrift, that joins villages and masters fog. Walkers I pass have small drugged smiles, sheep mill and dine in ordinary splendor. How perfect the Kestrel kiting, brown triangle pinned to sky, backlit feathers steady, spread, balanced with wind, only the head shifts in his search of prey, then unpinned … Continue reading Back from Wales by Marti Snell