Category Archives: Poetry

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

CHECK UP OR CHECK OUT and PINE TALE by Charles Springer

Pine floor
 

CHECK UP OR CHECK OUT Friday is library day for Ray who picked Friday because it kinda rhymes with library and other days don’t so much and becoming well-read and new worldly is high up on the list in Ray’s lunch pail. Anyway Ray arrives and says hello to the girl at the desk and beelines over to periodicals where he selects an issue of People and in no time remembers having read this very issue last year, the issue about Brad and his sorrowful breakup and as Ray gets up to make another selection, … Continue reading CHECK UP OR CHECK OUT and PINE TALE by Charles Springer

Still Life with Unrequited Love by Hannah Yoest

Photo of a clock with broken glass on face . Time: 5:12.
 

The oranges are all shaved. Rind showing—not undressed or peeled open, mind you, just stripped for garnish. This is another way of saying you threw a cocktail party—which is another way of saying you got your self wasted while playing hostess—which is another way of saying you tried too hard—which is another way of saying cleverness isn’t a virtue—which is another way of saying the cheese smells worse than when you bought it—which is another way of saying you’re insecure—which is another way of saying the clock is broken—which is another way of saying you’ll … Continue reading Still Life with Unrequited Love by Hannah Yoest

Spring Chill and The Project by Mark Belair

photo of child in city on scooter
 

SPRING CHILL With the spring day coursing cool in the shade, I turn a street corner and, struck by sun, feel a recollection start to formulate, not as an image, or even as an intangible muscle memory, but as from something stored in bone, a skeleton memory of my skeleton childhood-small and summer-warm, a memory radiating out from marrow to muscles and veins and skin to return me— for a full, brimming moment— to a sweet, long lost emptiness.   THE PROJECT A steelworker in an orange hard hat calls down commands from within a … Continue reading Spring Chill and The Project by Mark Belair

Cooper’s Hawk by Nancy Parrish

Cooper's Hawk sitting in branches of a tree in winter
 

I call him Fenimore To remember his species. Each morning I walk to the mailbox And look to see him, Cased against the cold In his feather cocoon of wings and trapped air. He seems less a hawk than An owl with towel-dried hair spiking out in odd directions, Dawn’s white light painting him on his perch Atop the pear tree. Curmudgeon, He is not looking for me, I know, But for breakfast in the fields. I have seen him drop—a lightning bolt— Snatch a field mouse, And sail off to a pine, Without a … Continue reading Cooper’s Hawk by Nancy Parrish

Feeding and What the Birds Know by Mark Trechock

Color photo of Redpoll bird in a bush
 

Feeding The redpolls arrived like Christmas cards scattered beneath our backyard feeder, little red seals atop their heads like wax on parchment. What might be the medieval message they brought to the business of consuming suet beneath our window-sheltered gaze, and what dominion sent it? As if hunger were the lord of all, the redpolls thrust their weightless breasts against the immigrant sparrow population and stayed on, their numbers increasing, establishing a colony. We watched them as we raided the fridge looking for protein, roughage, vitamins we didn’t even think about needing, propelled by a … Continue reading Feeding and What the Birds Know by Mark Trechock