Tag Archives: Poetry

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

Near Biržai, in the Astrava Forest, 8/8/41 by Ben Sloan

Forest at dusk in Lithuania
 

I have removed my shirt and am kneeling in a pit looking up at a man pointing a rifle down at me. Quiet, everything is eerily quiet now, the morning’s hissed commands and scrape of shovels long gone. Why will he shoot me? He will shoot me because he has learned he eats better if he does what he is told. He has learned when he drives to the assigned work site and sees along the way twelve vultures competing to rip apart a deer corpse, in the afternoon when he returns he will see … Continue reading Near Biržai, in the Astrava Forest, 8/8/41 by Ben Sloan

Untitled by Sherrell Wigal

Color Photo of a feather close-up
 

After I die, prop the bones of a beautiful bird in my mouth. Call a medicine woman back from my home star. Offer tobacco, cedar, sage, sweet grass, the seven silent petitions of passage. For all these words are only feathers that fall from the dark hollow of my throat. Plumes which wait for a wing, a way to lift, rise, fly. To soar from the lips, the fingers, to become a prayer of fire hitching a ride homeward. Sherrell Runnion Wigal is a poet originally from Roane County, West Virginia, now living along the … Continue reading Untitled by Sherrell Wigal

Outside from the Inside by Anne Whitehouse

Photo of Arizona desert with dust storm in the distance
 

From Isamu Noguchi to Man Ray, Poston War Relocation Center, May 30, 1942 Here, in the internment camp in the Arizona desert our preoccupations have shrunk to a minimum— the intense dry heat, afternoon dust storms, and the difficulty of feeding ourselves on thirty-five cents a day. Outside from the inside it seems history has taken flight and passes forever. Here time has stopped and nothing is of any consequence, nothing of any value, neither our time nor our skill. But I must remind myself, work is the conversation I have with myself, and space … Continue reading Outside from the Inside by Anne Whitehouse

Red Road by Dwaine Rieves

Rough road with red dirt with mountains
 

Red Road   From asphalt to gravel, from               Gravel to that barely—what                         I am searching for I do not                                           Know, but I keep driving—                             This land once home, fifty Years back my teacher and Nature, my twang-mouthed               Preacher—hills overgrown, red                             Heaped mud in sun-hardened                                           Ditches, sweet gum and bramble                             Bowing wild before pines, my one               Lane drying into otherness, one I’ll twist leaving my rental’s front               Axle impaled on a stump or                             Windshield bashed head unto after                                           By a pickup, that young                             Driver having thundered up               The crest, some faithful Homebody having no idea               His … Continue reading Red Road by Dwaine Rieves

Paris Nocturne by Pamela Davis

photo of apartment in Paris at night
 

Paris Nocturne   The Eiffel Tower rounds its beacon—platinum to black—platinum to black—waltzes the dark across the room. Upstairs, the couple is fighting loud and rough. A bottle shatters against a wall. I can’t make out what provokes them—her voice rises, splinters apart. He barks. A scramble. Brute door. Every night their danse macabre bruises the floor over my head. Day’s end, hand on the rail, I climb five stories of thready rug to my rental, brick-baked baguette dusting my sleeve. A man and woman on the way down say Pardon, Pardon as I squeeze … Continue reading Paris Nocturne by Pamela Davis

Playing War with my Daughter by Charlotte Matthews

photo of a card-8 of hearts on sidewalk
 

Playing War with My Daughter   I stare at my half of the deck thinking how this game is pure luck, then of how luck is more than itself, how it grows exponentially. At this moment much is on the line. She puts down a jack. I put down a jack. We both flip over three cards, place them face down until the moment of truth: who’s lost what to the other. This morning we carved our initials in the newly poured sidewalk, made the letters so small they’d go unnoticed to a passerby. Some … Continue reading Playing War with my Daughter by Charlotte Matthews

Beauty in the Grey by Benjamin Chirlin

close-up of cracks in concrete
 

Beauty in the Grey   I was born without a shadow. Deftly estranged, The way moisture collects In the soot sky. Relief is temporary But the stark song of the crow Shows beauty in the grey. I saw your reflection In the concrete. Cracks as deep As ocean trenches, Catacombs as intricate As arteries. I heard your voice Within every pulse. You are the mercury rain, A monotone melody On a tin roof. I am the rust Seeping through the pores. You are the alchemist Creating gold armor. I am the rind Enriching the earth. … Continue reading Beauty in the Grey by Benjamin Chirlin

A Tribute to Sharon Leiter, poems from her unpublished chapbook

Magnetic words
 

One of Sharon Leiter’s myriad of roles and activities while living and working in the Charlottesville, VA community of scholars, teachers and writers was to serve as Poetry Editor of Streetlight Magazine from 2004 until her death in 2016. In this capacity, Sharon made the day of many an emerging and hopeful poet writing from Virginia and beyond, always with the intent of offering encouragement and celebrating poets striving toward their best work . During this period of her life, Sharon, a Slavic Languages and Literature professor at the University of Virginia, and then adjunct … Continue reading A Tribute to Sharon Leiter, poems from her unpublished chapbook