Tag Archives: Poetry

Incandescence and I am an Onion, 2 poems by Priscilla Melchior

Photo of blurred hanging lights
 

Incandescence Few will understand. Light bulbs, for heaven’s sake. But I was awash the night I found spares waiting to meet my need and remembered when need was swallowed by the dark. My little stash of lumens in flimsy boxes leaned in tilted testament to the day shadow vanished from my life and I fairly danced to the lamp to replace the dead gray globe and twirl in luminescent grace. Even now, I rejoice anew not when a light dims, but when I reach out knowing another waits to shine. I am an onion but … Continue reading Incandescence and I am an Onion, 2 poems by Priscilla Melchior

Liquid Bandage by Michele Riedel

white bandaid against pale blue background
 

Brush a thin film over the slit on your papered skin— ………..feel the throbbing start to numb. Shields against……………………………..daily scrapes ……………………………………………………blisters and callouses ……………………………………………………prickles ……………………………………………………exposed nerves I scan directions for protection from…………………………….splintered remarks lodged so deep they remain hidden until the skin regenerates……………….pushing the sharpness slowly ……………………………………………………toward the surface Search for……………………………………toxic comments from others …………………………………………………..places not yet recovered …………………………………………………..pummeled layers from sharp tongues turned red to purple to blue to yellow from deep tissues that ooze their spew. Scars that never faded, alleyways from the past. My palms sweat as I touch the thick callouses … Continue reading Liquid Bandage by Michele Riedel

Some Day We Will Replace That Hideous Window by Virginia Watts

thin stemmed yellow daisies
 

  My mother has forgotten about the sun Her gaze gauzy, living room window a bay shape she has always detested Here comes the mailman My father is in the Rehab Center Our king and conqueror of transient ischemic attacks Your father’s strokes are just mini strokes Stacked in a corner of oil stained garage Forest green plastic lawn chairs unparted for cobwebby eons Virginia, what are you doing out there? On the small concrete front porch of that one bath, three bedroom rancher I place two empty chairs in the sunshine as white spiders … Continue reading Some Day We Will Replace That Hideous Window by Virginia Watts

Tender by Sara Dovre Wudali

curved pale green fern in sunllight
 

My friend looks like he stands tall and straight. But for fifty years, he’s lived in his brain. He can’t bear you to know he can’t bear his body. Hidden inside, a fiddlehead, curled to protect a tender secret it’s not in vogue to keep. After the death of one parent’s wits and another parent’s heart, he tries on the latest fashion. But bravery carries a price his sister makes him pay. And with half a century of silence, his fetal back is broken. Unfurling is nothing but pain. Sara Dovre Wudali is a writer … Continue reading Tender by Sara Dovre Wudali

Bullfrogs and San Juan Island, 2 poems by Brooke Dwojak Lehmann

cloudy moonrise over deep blue swamp
 

Bullfrogs Always in discord, they are summer’s yellow-throated singers, so deep in distress, I cannot tell if the voice is mine or theirs cannot even tell if it is fright or sorrow, the pained thrum which gives to a humid night echoes in the eardrum, a reverb as haunting as an owl or one’s racing heart, which lingers when they sleep during the panting heat of day while the moon seeps silent under the bright horizon what remains is close to sweat and skin, a dizzy reminder of hidden pasts, sounds of the South and … Continue reading Bullfrogs and San Juan Island, 2 poems by Brooke Dwojak Lehmann

The Value of Stones by Michael Quattrone

black stones
 

  It’s never what they weigh; it’s not the depth of silence they have known; it’s not the round- or hardness of their edges, certain color or uncertain age that proffer worth. Metals, crystals, precious on their own, may dwell within the body of a rock, but never mind those false alarms of wealth. The treasure of each stone lives in its skill: the subtle art of timing, moving even still, invisible for eons—until now, when heavy, sad, I sought a place to put my head, first walk without the old dog; not wanting to … Continue reading The Value of Stones by Michael Quattrone

Cemetery Road by Ann Webster

Dusty terrain, fence post reading Gallilee Cemetery
 

  Turn at the sign–Galilee Cemetery– a flat, packed-down dirt road the weary color of clay not a person in sight just fields, blowing dirt fields dry bones under hard sun. Turn again where, on the right there’s a dark puddle big as a pond The crows standing round it will startle and scatter in flight cawing while you keep going. Ahead there is shade at last pines, cedars, oaks with moss shadows over graves in safe family clusters. They pass the day that way. Leave on the same pale road you came in on. … Continue reading Cemetery Road by Ann Webster

Bardigues by Pui Ying Wong

France

By the river a sign warns
of sudden flooding
because of the nearby
nuclear power plant which looms
over tree farms and poppy fields.

Years back the utility company
built a new road and park,
giving out enticement like soldiers
do with candy bars
in occupied zones.

Now most town folks work there
and pray nothing bad happens.
We are in the next village,
one as pretty
as the guidebook says.

We sleep easily in a house
scented by a lush garden.
We too pray but sometimes
a squadron of black smoke escapes
into our dream and stays.

plume of smoke over tree tops
Smoke by Gary Cycles. CC license.

Pui Ying
Pui Ying Wong is the author of two full-length books of poetry: An Emigrant’s Winter (Glass Lyre Press, 2016) and Yellow Plum Season (New York Quarterly Books, 2010)—along with two chapbooks. She has won a Pushcart Prize. Her poems have appeared in Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Plume, New Letters, Zone 3, among others. She lives in Cambridge, Mass. with her husband, the poet Tim Suermondt.

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Poised by Barbara Saunier

owl partially in shadows
 

Cosseting daylight tousles her hair, chucks her under the chin, pinches her cheek. Won’t let her cross the road without a firm hold—even at the corner when she looks both ways. Once night rises, shadows from headlights overlap shadows from moonlight overlap shadows from kitchen incandescence. Overlap flashlight’s narrow way. Only in light are there shadows. With the yard light’s firm hold on the drive, shadows tousle her eye, chuck foreboding. Dark waits out the routine just around the corner of the shed, behind the tree, the other side of the truck. So much distraction … Continue reading Poised by Barbara Saunier

The Trees Are a Better Mother by Genevra Levinson

Black and white photo of bare tree
 

Genevra Levinson is an Honorable Mention in Streetlight‘s 2020 Essay/Memoir Contest It is autumn. I think of Mary Oliver’s river of loss as I watch the trees burn fragrantly and allow themselves to be naked in their distance from the sun. I wonder about this kind of graceful dying, and how we humans grapple with death and the strangeness of our own faces during the fall season—the dying season. The ghoul-masks, monsters, blood, and skeletons no longer thrill me darkly as they did when I was a child, nor fill me with dread as they … Continue reading The Trees Are a Better Mother by Genevra Levinson