The Man of Double Deed Thought to be the oldest poem ever written, “The Man of Double Deed” has many versions. One included in poetry.com includes a lion and an eagle. The one sung by children in Northern Ireland is shorter, leaving those two creatures out while changing the title. In any case, the original poet is unknown, and can be added to or limited by the person speaking. This seems an excellent first poem to begin our observance of […]
A Promise By Nancy Chesnutt Matsumoto Distant trumpets herald the return, as my eyes, eager witnesses to the scene, scan the sky high above the tree-tops. A chevron of bodies fills the air, signaling a final destination. Then my worn and winter-weary soul, pauses, breathless, in silent awe. Undisturbed by the turmoil below, flying far above famines and feuds, pandemics, politics and pain, thousands of these wonders on wing, announce the commencement of spring.
By Linda Varsell Smith We head north on our Saturday ride. Four hours under an ever-changing sky. Billowy, white cloud sculptures mix with banks of gray clouds bearing rain. We drive up the valley with wide vistas, of flat farm land, orchards draping moss-covered trees with loped off limbs. We are not able to detect what fruit will bloom. Two bonfires burn branch debris. Roadside and forest areas have fallen trees from an ice storm. Limbs litter […]
DIAGNOSIS: ALZHEIMER’S By Carolyn Powers My brother, sitting beside me is going away. His body will remain, but his person– the very essence that is my brother– is leaving us both. There is urgency to speak, to share memories while we still can. Unspoken love must be made real, a lifeline to grasp before the heaving sea of disease engulfs us. What can I say? How can I comfort him–and myself? I want to grasp his hand and say “Before you go […]
Another Day in Paradise 2020 By Keri Hakan In a quick rain; I am alone. I am not without friends, neighbors or family. I am alone in a new world of masks, no touching and inside voices. I am a fortunate one. I have a home, a cloth mask, a soft voice. Somewhere out there in a cold rain— I have a friend playing guitar, another writing poetry; and another sipping coffee wishing it was with me. Somewhere— Out […]
TATER’S by Clemens Starck Country music and bacon are on the menu at Tater’s Café along with a Denver, a Western, or a Florentine omelette. I go there sometimes when I’m feeling low. It’s surprising what a three-egg omelette with hash-browns and whole-wheat toast will do.
The Pandemic: A Memoir By Rene Mullen I learned, over time, I control almost nothing of what keeps me alive find yourself unable to protect what was built to save the hoards of nothing we hold so close No Such Thing As Vampires By Rene Mullen When the last woman, man, and child is safe One politician screams This garlic saved us from vampires! See, no monsters! The other cries We were lied to by scientists! See, no monsters! The […]
PANTLESS ROOSTER He rules the roost. Not a Charles Atlas kind of guy, but he rules the roost. His physique is odd for a ruler, better than average height but skinny legs. Body type not well defined. He works hard around the house, but never has a sweat producing profession. He wears suits, not sports coats, to work at the Cudahy Packing Company. Daily he prepares himself for his job, getting roused at 6 a.m. by the bell tower by […]
What Smart Dogs Know By Roger Weaver When to sleep, where to go, what toys to keep, who their friends are. Leaving By Roger Weaver It was a quarter after eleven and time for him to go. He who had bonded with him was leaving. Stubborn, I knew it was coming, his departure, but when it came I was elsewhere, and most there at the same time. Parting without departure and welcome our next time together.
Following the Music By Betty McCauley I prop the picture beside the phone. In the black and white snapshot Dad’s white hair shines, neatly parted, and he leans forward in the rocking chair, mouth organ cupped in worker’s hands. Tommy, at his knee, clutches Grandpa with pudgy hands. Just big enough to pull himself up, he follows the music, face upturned and rapt. Thirty-nine years later, Tom phones me in electronic excitement about his new studio, music they’ll record, […]
A Second Marriage Gift By Peggy Mullett A coming together of lives, A helping, a healing, Together with feeling. The real meaning of husbands and wives. Of long walks and honest talks, Of repairs and no “airs” Songs on a hillside, And always side-by-side, No more alone but now “pairs”. Of Christmas trees and memories, Dutch plates and lunch dates, Flights of fancy and real. The way to a heart can be part Of a start and […]
What Is Poetry Charles says it’s about “the lining” and “directional flow,” By Ann Staley Robert Frost says it’s “What gets lost in translation.” He also said, “Like a piece of ice on a hot stove, the poem must ride on its own melting.” That funny poet who wrote as an insect, Don Marquis says “Poetry is what Milton saw when he went blind.” And Gwendolyn Brooks said, “Poetry is life distilled.” The “Fog” poet said, “Poetry is the […]
Stinging Nettles By Charles Goodrich Murky water in the slough, the oily sheen and bitter smell of herbicides and sewage. That deeper stink is the natural putridity of drowned fescue decaying anaerobically, and it rouses me like a whiff of sulphur from hell. I’m here for nettles, for a spring slumgullion of bitter herbs, and the edges of swampy ex-river bottoms are where to go with gloves on and rose snips. The osoberry bushes are leafing out beside heaps of broken […]
The Operator’s Daughter Sometimes a moment opens in her mind and she is little when winter comes her father puts storm windows up where summer screens once were at the bottom of the frame a wooden flap seals off three ventilation holes and in the morning she pushes up the window to lift the flap and press her nose against the holes and breathe cold winter air that smells (she knows) of ozone she holds her hands up […]
Seven Scraps of Sunlight By Gregg Kleiner Below her apartment window, the woman stands alone in the fragile light of dawn, waiting for the monks – shrouded in saffron – to emerge from the mist that settles this time of year along the river flowing through her village. She knows she will see their black bowls first, then their bare feet and ankles, then the golden yellow of their fluttering robes. It’s her birthday today and […]
Our Earth Mother By Orion Olson Our Earth Mother is ill She is sweating Burning up She has a high temperature Affecting each and every one of us Her perspiration it falls fast Freezing everything in its path She still needs to cool herself down Weather patterns have been disrupted By what we put in her clouds Man’s carbon waste clogs her sky Poking holes in her shield Used to protect you and I Mankind needs to […]
Muted By Nathan Tompkins No aerial chants through the window honour another morning, just the canine chorus clog dancing, outside the bedroom…again. Lips, yeah, I read them but that damned book is heavier than a feather, the tonnage wears down the bloodstream. Living in a muted world where captioning flares on a tv screen, it’s a comfort like watching winter fire drink oxygen. Moulded amplifiers wired down ear canals paint shadow pictures of sound on the […]
Stream of Consciousness By Larina Warnock When dust settles over the settlement over the mountain towering between the lovers no one knew were lovers and the others no one wanted to know, a single-lane road will travel from the canyon to the chasm to the hell no one believes in, and they will say that road was paved with good intentions, and tent cities will spring up on either side of the road while someone loads trucks and trucks and […]
Circus 2021 By Lynnette Spicer The circus of old, Shy, quiet, unnoticed. The circus today, Trending, viral, the great big show. The circus come tomorrow, Bleak, with cold bodies lining the streets, Cold souls bouncing out of heaven’s gates. The circus of nevermore, Shows us, we are nothing more than upright animals.
humpty dumpty by dinaz rogers On a very high wall nice and tall sat Humpty Dumpty painted up like a doll; poor egg … a sight it looked a fright. Cheeks: two dots of pink Eyes: in deep-black ink Lips: all blue one black felt shoe other a bright ecru. Then came all the King’s horses and all the King’s men who stood as guards lest Humpty fell and broke in shards. ‘Cause Humpty without: health coverage, catastrophic […]
Sonnet to a Viral Spring by Louise Cary Barden These days will leave their mark one-hundred years from now: this time of dark, even in the sun, when we know death appears around the corner with a simple cough before a flash of fever and a sudden loss of breath. Some days we sit trembling at home, in isolation without escape. We’re marked. Doctors say we will fall victim to inevitable contagion in a week, a month, maybe […]
Death By Sally K Lehman Soylent this or that doesn’t have nothing on it Life afters and life durings and ping-ponging your way through life Intruders in the soul cavity of every man, Any man, my man, her man Jesus, man, just hold it up a minute Look at the dead guy in a coffin Let’s prop him up sitting so we can all see Maybe take a poke Maybe he flinches Dead men telling tales of Lazarus […]
Hit or Miss By Jessica Rich (For Richard Finney, 2009) We are always hit or miss, you and me. Hot and cold. Sometimes we talk for hours, discuss philosophy, music, art. Laughter filled our mouths as quickly as your whiskey glass emptied. Other times, most times, conversation was a shy child in the company of too-friendly adults- silent and awkward. As I lift you into the passenger side of the truck and take my turn in the driver’s […]
“Poetry is paying attention, sharing discoveries with word-play”Linda Varsell Smith True to her poetic heritage – family members in the USA and in Sweden wrote poetry – Linda Varsell Smith spoke in rhyme at three years old, dictated rhymed quatrains to her mother at six, and finally illustrating her poetry booklet. With a degree in Elementary Education from Central Connecticut State College in New Britain followed by a master’s in Educational Psychology from the University of Arizona in Tucson, Varsell […]
“Upon The Dawn of Winter”… I. Upon The Dawn Of Winter, I held the satellite Deimos In the palms of my hands As you radiated,the magnetism of Phobos. I am an infant. Of what language do you metaphysically speak? Vietnamese? English? Japanese? Are you raw, like me? A hard rock, compressed by the atmospheric density of Love’s Resident Goddess? What is this feeling? I hate it. It tastes like Arm & Hammer Baking Soda… Guide me, guide […]
All it takes is a long coat, a large umbrella, and rubber boots. It doesn’t matter if it is a drizzle or downpour, just swing with it: through the stippled curtain notice the deepened green of the wet hills, the darkened trunks, the dripping, moss-covered branches, swing your head right to left: savor the scent of fir, of mushroom, molder, even that trace of far-away wood smoke, swing your arms as you splash through the muddy puddle, your feet’s drum […]
Freshly Poured When past depresses and future frightens, when news is bad and weather dreary, morning coffee, fresh from pot, makes my life feel good and cheery. ~ Peter Burke Beyond Gender At a poetry celebration I spy a slender youth. Reserved, watchful, black vest, white shirt, bright eyes, pale skin, hair like fine fur. He or she? I cannot say. I choose a name – Morgan. Morgan stands and speaks. “I am a trans […]
What Are Your Challenges Here Perhaps Like Dante’s Seeker You Safely Masked Staff In Hand As Vaporous Discharges from Mountains of Piled Detritus obscure Your Passage You Respond To An Ultimate test Descend To the Inferno Followed By Wonderings Through the Purgatorio until Purged triumphant Ascent to stellar reaches the Paradiso where You Hold True The Medieval Maxim lucero non uro I shine not burn
Digital Dilemma By Betty McCauley Brendan has a new watch. “Hurry,” I say. “It’s almost a quarter to eight – we’ll be late.” “No Grandma – it’s only 7:43.” He examines his digital watch with grave certainty. Years ago his Grandpa Jim, whose clock ran down before Brendan was born, prophesied concerning digital clocks. “They’ll never learn cycles,” he’d say. “How will they understand unending circles of nature? How will they know that next year’s buds under […]
Liberty Tree By Rene Mullen Gardener protects plastic perennial for winter, cuts plant at its base, discards elm sucked clean of liberty to repress urges to overthrow itself. Thinks it’s bootstrap bee balm, economy says it’s nepeta. Each hibernating life born on this land plowed into concrete, called native, called something else. Told it was cut down in 1775. Driving Dean Martin Downtown By Jessica Rich Our voices are vines on buildings that are too grand for anything other than […]