Category Archives: Poetry

Markings by Donna Isaac

Photo of group of ducks on water

Duck prints score the pond, the one out my window, the one where an egret roosts come spring, the one where a blue heron fishes in summer, the one where nuthatches sip drips on the shoreline. It is still winter. I don’t know tomorrow except for penciled-in plans, scrimshaw on a calendar. I don’t know the future but for forked feet. Donna Isaac is a teaching artist who organizes community readings in the Twin Cities, Minn.; she curates and hosts the reading series, Literary Lights. Published poetry includes Footfalls (Pocahontas Press), a paean to growing … Continue reading Markings by Donna Isaac

New Garbage Disposal by Barbara Conrad

stainless steel sink with soggy green weed lying in it

I don’t know why this simple apparatus makes me smile. After months of scooping out lemon rinds and soggy granola with bare hands, there’s something sweet about the soft buzz of a motor mushing up the day’s drudgeries. It’s a mind, body, spirit kind of thing, don’t you think? I mean, when another active shooter splatters our headlines red and migrants get stored in cages while the planet sizzles and viruses roam the earth a garbage disposal seems to have an odd way of leveling the playing field. Barbara Conrad is author of three poetry … Continue reading New Garbage Disposal by Barbara Conrad

First Sonogram and How Family Stories Go, 2 poems by Eric Forsberg

Photo of long table set with food

First Sonogram Seen from your upper window, down the block at some remove, an Edward Hopper black and white and grainy through the screen, a street lamp’s cone shines down. There, you notice a figure, indistinct, possibly familiar, curled as if to tie a shoe, and wonder who it is . How Family Stories Go A cured and hanging ham, one of several, drawn from a dark larder in the back of a paid-down clapboard house. Hard. A little shrunk. With a flourish it’s revealed on the cutting board. Each time, descendants of the first … Continue reading First Sonogram and How Family Stories Go, 2 poems by Eric Forsberg

A Turn by Carol Hamilton

Photo of bird on wire fence

There is a perfection to the mockingbird’s song dropped from a black wire, to the white slashes of his spread tail feathers against this deep, clean blue. The choral repertoire of his hopes is chanted over and over and over and over and over and over through the night on and on, a desperation sharp edges finely stropped to rip open even the loveliest sigh. Carol Hamilton’s poetry appears in Louisiana Literature, Southwest American Literature, San Pedro River Review, Dryland, Pinyon, Adirondack Review, Commonweal, Broad River Review, Fire Poetry Review, Gingerbread House, Main Street Rag, … Continue reading A Turn by Carol Hamilton

Revolution and Persephone’s Abduction, 2 poems by Cindy Yarberry

Photo of old RV

Revolution He watches the tail lights of her car disappear down the rutted driveway, throws a hammer after her yells don’t come back He turns towards his trailer weeds pushing through the metal steps propped up on cinder blocks a hole punched in a cupboard door a cracked cell phone screen testimony to long nights with her back turned to him and anger that seeped into his dreams In a few hours the first birds will start to sing before it’s even light the snow will keep melting in the mountains on its way down … Continue reading Revolution and Persephone’s Abduction, 2 poems by Cindy Yarberry

Farmstead by Mark Belair

Photo of old house on hill

Alone, timeworn—but still standing, even if its paint-scuffed radiators give no heat and its window frames leak and its doors don’t shut tight, everything foundering since its elder keepers died, the next generation, though paying the property taxes, too dispersed to steward or even sell it, the farmstead’s absent presence like a stark stare from the back end of old age, from a hardened place that sees our younger, ongoing lives— no matter how well built— as false fronts set for collapse; sees our blossoming memories forming, like the farmstead’s (love in the bedroom, children … Continue reading Farmstead by Mark Belair

Blunt Force by Lisa Low

hazy, summer field

  From a distance I saw a frog, standing like a soldier in a field of summer grass. Up close, the creature looked alive. My curious dog sniffed its warty behind. I, too, touched its stiff and tailless end with the blunt unfeeling tip of my white summer sneaker. Later, we found another: the stretched-out skin of its helmeted head, arched above its shoulders round; its fore and hind legs spread, poised like a soldier for action. Closer inspection showed death: a flat black disc of missing eye and fat, red tongue in locked jaw … Continue reading Blunt Force by Lisa Low

Doña Chuy and How I Remember “Inti” is the Kichwa Word for Sun, 2 poems by Eric Odynocki

old abandoned church steeple with bells

Doña Chuy For my grandmother, after her favorite song, Solamente una Vez. You were never one for sitting down. And long after it did not work out, you showed who could wear the pants better and built a house. Your hairdresser’s eye arranged an enclosed patio with a lemon tree as its centerpiece. Is this the huerto in which your hope glittered so many years later? A clock of citrus suns by which to measure his ill-timed return. And when the church bells sing in the plaza, you will them to be as faint as … Continue reading Doña Chuy and How I Remember “Inti” is the Kichwa Word for Sun, 2 poems by Eric Odynocki

Locusts and Island, 2 poems by Linda Laino

white feather on sand with small water droplets

Locusts One day I’ll hear you are dead. It will come from some benevolent phone tree or on the wings of locusts, an army of ill will. They will deafen my ears so I never hear my name from your crooked mouth again. Only the endless circling and whirr of wings wailing like a heart beating itself to death Island Leafing through the journal I found a forgotten flamingo feather scavenged from an island filled with sienna skin skin like yours, skin I still smell in sleep. Considerable light is absorbed In the soft dark … Continue reading Locusts and Island, 2 poems by Linda Laino

Midnight at the Antiquarian Book Shop by Gary Beaumier

Photo of antique books

“I was most grievously undone when I lost my footing on the shelf and swan dived to the floor splayed and back broken”, says the complete works of Shakespeare who now leans against the cash register “We are—so many of us—a musty assemblage of forgotten words. Trees pressed into paper to hold our messages. Conceived by some dreamy word dabbler long gone. Escorting the appreciative few from womb to tomb Yet now shorn of dust jacket now a deterioration of spine dog eared pages and torn scripts Are we soon to be consigned to a … Continue reading Midnight at the Antiquarian Book Shop by Gary Beaumier