where were we when the planet became death
remember the small dark seed that shaped
a new way remember when small and weak became
large and capable and that when we tell the dead
we see them the […]
At times I almost convinced myself the Whitman
photograph, signed, would be mine,
instead of the Longfellow which hangs in the big room
in airs chilly and wintry, night falling,
as I listen for […]
“A man is only as good as his word,”
my father used to say and I’ve tried
to live up to that—even now I hate
telling the smallest, inconsequential lie.
In a scene from How Green Was My Valle […]
which birds are out? you can count on
your favorite ones, usually some finches
all-colored by the thicket
from other people’s timbered
properties & short-lived
playgrounds, when it wil […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 c […]
Meet Your Local Poets: Spotlight on Linda Verdery
Linda Verdery, a Bremo Bluff, Va. resident, is a career educator with graduate degrees in English and Humanities. As an undergraduate she studied Art History […]
I wondered what it could mean
that on my first view of the ocean
a dog lay dead in the surf. Bloated
and caught on the sand, its black
body swelled gently in the come here
of waves, its hair an aura […]
Meet Your Local Poets: Spotlight on Mary McCue
Ivy resident poet Mary McCue is originally from Norfolk, Virginia. For many years she focused on her beloved violin and played in chamber ensembles. When hand […]
Men in oiled slacks come shuffling
down the mount in droves.
Combed in purple milk the sky
rolls up like bad reception
clear from gaveled hits. […]
Where Does Sorrow Take You?
Three of us sprawled on the carpet
aisle six of Barnes and Noble, Self-Help section
after Religion, before Psychology. To my side
a shopping bag of new dresses nestled in […]
A national obsession, a billion dollar industry
and here I am participating
no pushups or planks, no pills or prayers
have helped, though Lord knows I have tried
haven’t I, O Lord
Not losing weight to b […]
Walking in Queens, I stop, make a snow angel
in a quiet lawn, flakes coiling like crystal—
Above my head trembles a black bough
I start: from the house, an eruption of singing
two girls, a mother, a father w […]
“The world is charged with the guilt of god & country,”
that from the hanging judge is a quote
that skulks into mind with startling regularity.
In a moment freed of time, in that moment,
how dark must the […]
Teachers said I’d be okay,
if I follow the rules.
No turnstile jumping.
Perfect change for bus fares.
No hoodies. No song.
No fights for my name,
nor my girl’s.
Walk straight. Down the […]
The struggle with what they call the mind
opens new fronts. Migration, which should drop
new birds into my garden,
has not yet started, and the residents
have made themselves […]
“The rose is red because it rejects red.” —John O’Donohue, Beauty: An Invisible Embrace
Van Gogh’s White Roses were meant to be pink,
the faded madder red sold to him by a charlatan
Eventually I find the shovel
upright in the blackened pile
of compost behind the garage.
It’s hard to see in this light,
but everything looks much as
I left it last fall–shriveled ears
of orange peel, a few […]
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