Tag Archives: Poetry

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

All the Things We Do Not See by Megan Atthowe

empty beach, a dog, a few people

  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 around it. No one stirred. Sipping drinks, laughing as though it wasn’t right here, catching the breakers, walking the beach. Why don’t they drag it away? Does nobody see it but me? The tall lap swimmer proclaims at dinner: I saw the dead dog float out to sea. Relieved for us all, … Continue reading All the Things We Do Not See by Megan Atthowe

Burning the Spiral Notebooks by Irene O’Garden

flaming black and white coal

In spite of the impending blizzard, my friend and I agree, “Today we have to burn our spiral notebooks.” Those tortured scribbles of our youth haunted our attics like madwomen, voices of the grieving girls we were, maps of the clumsy steps we took. On fire, their beauty took our breath away. Fire turned fear and wound to flaming peonies. Sweat rained. Casting book after book to the fabulous heat, casting off anguish like souls between lives. Fire turning pages in farewell, wavering ash like shirred silk. Suddenly, laughter collapses us, sprung like the spiral … Continue reading Burning the Spiral Notebooks by Irene O’Garden

Figs at Christmas by Irene O’Garden

Photo of purple figs

                 for my brother Jim On the rattan tray from California every Christmas Gramma’s boring gift arrived. We dug into the pink- and-green-foiled dates first—moist, at least—then gnawed the rawhide apricots, the gritty Newtonless figs, their dry deathly sweetness bitter even to our young tongues. Her present satisfied us only once: last week. We’d both flown to salve another sibling— her twisted brain, your rheumatoid insomnia became my grief, shared later on my husband’s shoulder, which he may transfuse in a play that critics abuse, and the pain … Continue reading Figs at Christmas by Irene O’Garden

Sparrows by Bill Glose

gray and white sparrow perched in reeds

When baby sparrows tumbled from our eaves onto soft clover, my sisters and I rescued the brown dollops fragile as fluff we blew from dandelions to make a wish. ………………….Pale downy plumage of the black-throated sparrow ………………….reflects harsh light of the desert sun while ………………….grassland sparrows—sharp-tailed and seaside— ………………….skulk through marshland thickets, choosing ………………….to hide from prying eyes. Sparrows adapt ………………….to any environment, some living entire lives inside ………………….warehouses or in coal mines half-a-mile underground. Eyes closed, heartbeats visible through velvet skin, hungry beaks gaping for milk-soaked bread. We eye-droppered food and swaddled a shoebox … Continue reading Sparrows by Bill Glose

Standard Oil by Gary Duehr

Old Standard Oil service station with two men standing out front

There’s nothing here to see. Relax. Beside a Coke machine, a guy who acts As if he’s in a movie Puffs on a Marlboro Light. It’s moody; Nothing’s happening except For blue sky, gas pumps, asphalt. Here’s the precept: “Nothing comes from nothing” (Lear) If there’s no plot, no drama here, Then what is there to witness Other than the act of witnessing? Unless: Like Ruscha’s oil of LA’s County Museum on fire, His Standard Station goes up as well, higher And higher the orangish flames, the pall of smoke— A kind of art world … Continue reading Standard Oil by Gary Duehr

The Only Version by Michael Olenick

A tram speeding down a blurred narrow street

The only version of us that remains are the nightly replicas that appear randomly as my sole consolation prize. Last night we visited a country that was a cross between Costa Rica and Switzerland. After a walk through the banana forests of Zurich, we could not remember where the car was parked, and as we searched, the streets got narrower and narrower and through a sunlit slash at the end of the road we saw our children on a passing tram. They were somehow older than us, and were trying to brush Lindt off a … Continue reading The Only Version by Michael Olenick

Dead Men Missing Women by Nate Braeuer

Man and Woman from the knees down, striped cat between them.

Men in oiled slacks come shuffling down the mount in droves. Combed in purple milk the sky rolls up like bad reception                                       quaking clear from gaveled hits. Dead to hover sun-gray deserts. Hardened skins that settle in the darker crease of echoed canyons.              Dusting fields in phantom scrimmage.              Threading creeks up meadow’s twilight.              Wingtips rippling through the surface. … Continue reading Dead Men Missing Women by Nate Braeuer

Where Does Sorrow Take You? and Barred, 2 poems by Martha Snell

Two chairs at dusk overlooking a dark mountain range

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 black. We are looking for an atlas, a guide to where one goes when the father dies, when a husband’s suddenly gone. No maps here. Neither in Travel. We sit closer on this journey than in recent years. We look into each other’s faces, we listen without interruption. Between us there is comfort, there are answers. Barred She arrives in … Continue reading Where Does Sorrow Take You? and Barred, 2 poems by Martha Snell

The Pines and Finish Line, 2 poems by Frank William Finney

Photo of pines against clouded sky

The Pines Behind Snow Drive, rusty needles led to a pine grove, where we made little circles with dirty rocks and lit little fires with matches lifted from the corner store. These days the pines that survive make little circles of shade in a trail of three-car garages and realtors’ signs. The old store stays open in our heads. Finish Line The knees will need braces. The bones rebel. The memory turn traitor: rust to dust. Hoops and hurdles. Heartbreak Hills. Fast as a mayfly or slow as a sermon. Either way, you’ll finally cross … Continue reading The Pines and Finish Line, 2 poems by Frank William Finney