Tag Archives: Poetry

Departing in McKittrick Canyon by J.R. Forman

green rocky canyon

you and I bedded down in the canyon the nine ply of heaven folded us in rain the next morning the firewood smoldered with dew as you bathed the stones in the springbed trembled like flowers seen through campsmoke then we parted like petalfall as the gibbous old man looked on still early without yet his companion our horses neighed as they turned away they too are old friends over this land of spines and cactus quills the sun and moon keep moving not finding anywhere a soft seat J.R. Forman’s work has appeared in … Continue reading Departing in McKittrick Canyon by J.R. Forman

How to Weigh Loss by Charlotte Matthews

two side by side broken see-saws

  Even though see saws are a thing of the past. I’ll return to a warm June evening when my brother and I have walked to the local elementary school. We seat ourselves on opposite ends, hold onto the metal handles and rise and descend, one in the air, the other on the ground, small craters where children before us have done the same with their feet. We pull out tangerines we’ve stashed in our windbreakers, peel them in unison, one of us suspending the other, trusting a smooth descent. Years later, on an interstate, … Continue reading How to Weigh Loss by Charlotte Matthews

Tennessee, 2004 by Eric Forsbergh

old bone set atop small stone tower

…..I’m as independent as a hog on ice, and if they don’t let me alone they will be sorry for it. ………………..Journal of Private Sarah Wakeman A Spring plowing incident when something gleams. Oblivion unearthed, a brass buckle bears US. The tractor falls quiet. Only insects hiss. A shovel scrapes a bone. Then two. The coroner assembles all the requisites. From the shallow grave, dirt is troweled away. A small man, maybe a drummer boy. A skeleton, alone, hands composed. Forensics is surprised to find a woman, pelvis telling much. No birth but death. No … Continue reading Tennessee, 2004 by Eric Forsbergh

Peeling Squash by Mark Belair

field of squash with mountains

We had the whole summer afternoon to peel squash in the cool of the barn, me and Mike and Old Ed, the tenant farmer before Mike who still dropped by from time to time in clean overalls to check on the progress of the crops. Mike asked Ed, as I rose to drink freezing water from a dusty black hose, about an old stooped woman he might remember, but Ed couldn’t remember; well, anyway, Mike said, she came back and without even asking set herself to picking fudge just like she used to. Fudge grew … Continue reading Peeling Squash by Mark Belair

The Dumb Have the Advantage by Jim Klein

man and woman kissing in sunbeam

If you were mine, I could do such wonderful things. Oh, the stupid idea of being a human being and having to do all that sucking to stay alive—and then he learns to talk! Howl into the fierce grizzly innards of interpersonal relations. The dumb have the advantage. Nothing but silence won’t hurt. I wished, oh how it could have been, stepping into a gentle night when even leaving was a sociable act with the band playing in the background. I can’t tell you how happy I am in a land of tapping fingers and … Continue reading The Dumb Have the Advantage by Jim Klein

Carnival to Miss Greenstein by Charles Cantrell

blue and purple light swirl at carnival

My brother and I played war in a ditch near the Ferris Wheel while the carnival barker shouted. Our games didn’t take precedence over my wanting to live like a civilized person, but my father couldn’t afford violin lessons for me. Most of my teachers sucked, and we had only cookbooks and a ragged dictionary at home. My father killed so many deer we had plenty to eat, but I still wore a thick jacket in the cold. I can’t say it called me to the world, but I loved snapping the bra strap of … Continue reading Carnival to Miss Greenstein by Charles Cantrell

Here’s to Us by Mark Simpson

Woodpecker in tree

Woodpeckers at it again this morning boring into the cedar clapboard, fascia, cove boards too soft with age, too inviting for the particular family-to-be of the pileated kind, red crest pure blazon and I rise time after time, running outside arms waving yelling Out! Out! and then worse the third or fourth time, my cup of coffee gone cold, page lost in book, and it knows I’ll give it up sooner or later or probably doesn’t care if I wouldn’t but I do, feet dew-soaked from all the running around in the flagrant April green … Continue reading Here’s to Us by Mark Simpson

Passing the 19th by Laura Altshul

Woman and man in black against white city background

His mother’s words: Be a good boy! Whatever that meant in 1920. What did Harry T. Burn know? He was a man now: 24 Republican Tennessee Representative. He’d seen her in the kitchen, kerchief holding back her hair, the kettle’s steam whooshing to her face as she fished out mason jars loaded with peaches glossily preserved for winter desserts. At meals she served herself last. Listened, didn’t ask or say much. He saw her give food to men who came to the back door at strange times of the day. She wore a faded apron … Continue reading Passing the 19th by Laura Altshul

From a Stranger by Linda Lerner

narrow hall with blue carpet

For Marvin Gordon Thank you, he said when I moved well to the side to ensure a safe enough social distance for him to pass, what my ballet teacher did in those early AIDS years by shaking his head motioning with his hands to push me away when I reached out to hug this teacher I adored, just home from the hospital, who’d assured me, all of us he didn’t have AIDS, and being naive and young… but I wasn’t all that young not to get a patronizing if you say so look from those … Continue reading From a Stranger by Linda Lerner

Einstein’s Last Words and Angina, 2 poems by J.R. Solonche

Light flaring against deep blue space

EINSTEIN’S LAST WORDS (Einstein died on April 18, 1955, attended by a nurse who could not understand his last words, which he spoke in German.) Surely it must have been a simple thing, that sort of phrase the ordinary old would say, child-like, such as “More light” or “Bring me, please, water” or “Close the door” or “Hold my hand” or “I was wrong” or “What’s the time?” Perhaps it was a line or two of verse from Faust, or a nonsense nursery rhyme that curved around to close his universe. And if all it … Continue reading Einstein’s Last Words and Angina, 2 poems by J.R. Solonche