Tag Archives: Poetry

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A Tribute to Sharon Leiter, poems from her unpublished chapbook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professor at the University of Virginia, and then adjunct … Continue reading A Tribute to Sharon Leiter, poems from her unpublished chapbook

Partial Obstruction by John Cullen

cup of espresso with biscotti

Partial Obstruction   Four Frenchmen in a Fiat fractured the front of a frieze facing Florence Cathedral. Stupid consonant clusters crowding each other, bragging like teens and gawking like tourists perennially popping pictures. See what I mean! And now two Turkish tourists plow into a Pagini parked parallel to Saint Peter’s Basillaca. There they go again! What will it take to stop them! Fortunately, a shop owner ushers everyone inside and serves cappuccino, offering a selection of mostacciolis, struffolis, baci di damas and ossi dei morti biscottis. Suddenly, everyone speaks Italian and sits on the … Continue reading Partial Obstruction by John Cullen

The Interloper by Bob Elmendorf

forest at night

The Interloper   Night is an interrogative. The owl’s questions float in the glen where shadows voiced by the articulate moon stilt their own ground, measure the trees for graves. The back of the interrogatory toad bunched in field grass fouls with its scrawled lozengy my push for ornament, my desire to align. Leaves in conclaves ask what will I do in life after goodbyeing twilight and joining their elopement. I lie in new milkweed troweling out of zigzagged straw. The butterflies and blooms aren’t back yet nor are my hands stained from opened pods, … Continue reading The Interloper by Bob Elmendorf

Obstructions by Ann E. Michael

Man at typwriter with hed replaced by crumpled papers

Things that get in the way, viz., from Online Etymology Dictionary: 1530s, from Latin obstructionem (nominative obstructio) “an obstruction, barrier, a building up,” noun of action from past participle stem of obstruere “build up, block, block up, build against, stop, bar, hinder,” from ob “in front of, in the way of” (see ob-) + struere “to pile, build” (from PIE *streu-, extended form of root *stere- “to spread”). I’ve been in an odd sort of writing funk–not a writer’s block in the classic sense, because I am writing—both prose and poetry. Drafting, anyway. I feel … Continue reading Obstructions by Ann E. Michael

Eel River Meditation by Ann Michael

two fireflies

Eel River Meditation   Above the Eel River, a concrete bridge: every summer we plied humid afternoons with hickory bark canoes. Lying on the sloped bank we paddled between walnuts and hickories— we were on the brink of believing. The Eel was clay-colored in July, and familiar as salt, solid as a Pontiac sedan although some nights, when the frost-glass lamps were lit and warm air was damp it seemed we might find the bridge led lightning bugs across water to a stream of galaxies, sets of blurred moons. While the crickets sang their growing-the-corn-tall … Continue reading Eel River Meditation by Ann Michael

Malady by Jesse Albatrosov

knitted baby blanket

Malady   He’s never been sick before skin warm and ill-fitting, moist as he sinks into me, that exhausted root for comfort and the fear that he’ll be declining soon. Children know to seek this oath from their mothers, the affirmation when the darkness comes and they feel as though they will never stop ailing. I can feel it swallow him—skin pale, lukewarm and halfhearted the lids of his eyes bending over yellowing whites, each heavy and brimming with unease. I feel him wilt like day old flowers in my arms and at my breast, … Continue reading Malady by Jesse Albatrosov

Charybdis and the River; Between Covers by Anca Segall

splash of foamy white water

Charybdis and the River   Do you hear the gurgling river? All the molecules of oxygen and hydrogen in their special dance, choreographed, washing memories clean, liquid fingers wearing grooves into the banks. White water foams, restless. I, on the other hand, am the undertow, placid above, roiling dark beneath, unpredictable. Soothing sounds hide the maw that swallows without trace. Stillness draws with languor the unsuspecting heart. Remember me, I murmur: I am the scar.   Between Covers   She used to think she could open any man like a book, run her finger along … Continue reading Charybdis and the River; Between Covers by Anca Segall

I Bought Them by J.R. Solonche

close-up of smoke curls

I Bought Them   I bought them, two big books, fat with two lifetimes of poems, not so much to read them, which, over a long time, as is meant, I will do, but just to look at, their bigness, heavy as loaves of grainy peasant bread, and their pictures on the covers, the two old Polish poets, Milosz and Herbert, their beautiful white hair, their beautiful long white fingers, their beautiful white cigarettes, and the smoke like their own beautiful white ghosts. J.R. Solonche is author of Beautiful Day (Deerbrook Editions), Won’t Be Long … Continue reading I Bought Them by J.R. Solonche

Mom Wants to Talk Football; Speaking in Tongues by Ken Haas

group of football players

Mom Wants to Talk Football On the gridiron of family life, she and I stood the sidelines, flanking the husband and father who, fourth and goal in the waning minutes, always called his own number. She, the former German schoolgirl who had fled here in ’36 with her hick-town kin, to major later in garter belts and Maybelline, and who would not at any time have known a pigskin from an eggplant. Though now that the masterful man is gone, and she has her new bed, having slept a single night on his side of … Continue reading Mom Wants to Talk Football; Speaking in Tongues by Ken Haas