Tag Archives: Poetry

Letter to the Body by Roselyn Elliott


 

Letter to the Body   If only you were the pure self, we would not have to bargain or pray, offer up good deeds for relief of pain, or apologies for spasms and expectorations. The cells could absorb and discharge at leisure. Whatever waste washes ashore in the brain or in the heart, would, without shame, increase the one being. No struggle to justify, no explaining we’re really much better than our hunched back, our protuberances, just the material presence, occupying space, insular and detaching, floating away for a day on the sea’s silver face, … Continue reading Letter to the Body by Roselyn Elliott

Two Poems by Charlotte Matthews


 

Self Check-out   Of course I have my doubts, but when no one’s looking I pretend I’m someone else: the tightrope walker, The Great Farini, crossing Niagara Falls with a man on my back. Or the veiled beekeeper squeezing the bellows of my smoker to calm the hive. I wish I could reverse time to meet the doctor who, so eager to rid my mother of scarlet fever, told her to cut her rocking horse’s mane, told her it would grow back. I’d explain how a lie rearranges the world, and in a very dangerous … Continue reading Two Poems by Charlotte Matthews

Teresa Lewis; Choosing the Nude by Lisa Ryan


 

Teresa Lewis   They are raising amnesty signs along the courthouse road portraits with her missing lateral incisor filled in perhaps to make her look more like themselves perhaps taking back the tooth-for-a-tooth. In their silence I recall her singing “I need a miracle” and her voice is not empty more like a bowl with overflowing reminders of how long it’s been since I sang for anything. I will be eating artichokes when her veins drink that final cocktail devouring the heart while the maple leaves shout with their loudest colored voices, falling quietly on … Continue reading Teresa Lewis; Choosing the Nude by Lisa Ryan

Sunday School; The Passion of Bursars by Michael Chitwood


 

Sunday School   Here’s what I’m thinking: Why does a duck need an ark? What’s a flood to a duck? The teacher says I ask too many questions. I raise my hand again, thinking if we didn’t have teachers would we ever have to raise our hands? I won’t eat tomatoes. The slices in a white bowl are like pieces of someone, Saint Somebody of the Better Boys. I might go out and play David and Goliath this afternoon. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to be the giant. Everybody wants to be … Continue reading Sunday School; The Passion of Bursars by Michael Chitwood

Three Poems by Sharron Singleton


 

Rehearsal   The best thing about the house I grew up in was that it sat at the edge of a small weedy lake where my mother and I would row to a raft through a thick tangle of water lilies, their white cups floating above green saucers. She would tie a rope around my chest, hold it taut and walk the edge of the raft as I flailed in the water learning to swim. Now I walk the tight perimeter of loss, love’s ligaments stretching between us as she prepares to swim out of … Continue reading Three Poems by Sharron Singleton

Poetry as Reprieve


 

[frame align=”right”][/frame]In my twenties I thought of language as a bridge, not from one place to another, but above an abyss. The damnation waiting below was ordinary chaos, the dissonant march of hours, the rush of unsorted, simultaneous emotions – terror, desire, depression, exultation – swirling together without structure or purpose. Raw consciousness, natural and unimpeded. I needed some artifact of the patterning mind to survive nothing more terrible than my daily life, and I found in words the material for these necessary shapings. I had always loved words, found them concrete, caressable. Never a … Continue reading Poetry as Reprieve

I Revise; Critic; Happiness by Jean Sampson


 

I Revise   I revise because images, like moth wings, grow, hidden in secret shrouds, because the sun never stops seeking an oak in every acorn, because milkweed, beautiful in bloom offers wind-borne gifts to the earth in autumn. I revise because the sky molds and re-forms clouds the way a sculptor works wet clay. I revise because the Muse is a shape-shifter who lifts me up on eagle wings at dawn. By dusk, we crawl the ground as ants. I revise because I like surprises, poems that turn themselves inside-out like tee-shirts ready for … Continue reading I Revise; Critic; Happiness by Jean Sampson

Letterpress, Bangor; Herd, Sheepscot; Vibrations, Crystal by Kevin McFadden


 

Letterpress, Bangor   I, too, discern it: an impression of the impression left on leaves, the broadside’s bite, an invitation through the mail in a bygone, backhanded braille. The leaden shadows that hide there, in our words. Type lives on, thank Gutenberg, in our unsubtle century, with a pass through Whitman’s fingers— This latent mine—these unlaunch’d voices— but rarer and rarer, slipped shophand to shophand, rarer and rarer is the specimen in recto that spares the verso. We don’t look verso, indent-bent. The LED is our screen, it projects only forward, the LEAD is some … Continue reading Letterpress, Bangor; Herd, Sheepscot; Vibrations, Crystal by Kevin McFadden

A Tomato, Like Love; Balm; Answered by Michael McFee


 

A Tomato, Like Love,   starts small, a fuzzy flimsy seedling sneaky worms would secretly undercut. You could almost miss its yellowish blossom that becomes a fruit, hard and green at first, slowly ripening in increasing light, growing fuller and rounder and smoother. A tangy air, not altogether pleasant, and a certain prickliness surround it. One day it simply falls into your hand, that thin taut skin barely able to contain the sticky red juice that wants to burst out at the slightest pressure of the very tip of knife or fingernail or tooth or … Continue reading A Tomato, Like Love; Balm; Answered by Michael McFee

Popillia Japonica; Naivete by Angie Hogan


 

Popillia Japonica   For rows of sun-buttered, glistening corn, red and green trimmed vines of tomatoes wrapping themselves around silvery rusted poles, thick fields of gummy blooming tobacco, tangled thrusts of okra and lean stalks of string beans, plump pumpkins and cantaloupe, they came. Some think they rode over, camouflaged in the beautiful, murderous kudzu. Others that we brought them here purposely, despite or unaware of their hunger, like gems. Papa called them pests, bastards, Japanese—beetles no different from morning glories or Johnson grass, or me puffing the fluffy seeds of dandelions. Instead of apple … Continue reading Popillia Japonica; Naivete by Angie Hogan