Joshua Gray Is Back With A Culinary Offering
My father knew he was the only one
who understood me. I dressed
like a gypsy lady, wore hand-sewn
hippie dresses from Mom’s wardrobe
while my sister found the Poloroid.
I wasn’t gay because of it,
I wasn’t gay, because my father
tucked me into bed one night,
and asked what I think about
before I turn out the lights.
I didn’t say, Boys.
So after the divorce, after
the crying, the rejection, the pain
of abandonment, he took me downstairs
to meet Bennie, because he knew
the way to heal my heart was to
involve French food. It was here
I learned there was more to life
than clams, that a funny way to spell muscle
meant shellfish soaked in white wine.
I learned then that there was yet
another type of mousse, and homonyms
made a lovely theme for a palatable meal.
My dessert was a gift from the gods,
revealing the inferior mortality of pudding.
On our way back upstairs, my father armed
with a better way to make a steak, with a chuckle,
he admitted he may have been wrong all along;
as I sported a wide smile below twinkling eyes.
I felt rather gay.
Read the poetry of Joshua Gray
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Katherine Gallagher: In The Blur, Focus
At the Playground
The March wind whisks against us:
my son, three, starts the roundabout
refuses to get on himself. Today
he has planned ahead, says it's his turn
to push me, watches me on board
and I'm away. I enjoy being passenger,
store all this for later -
the afternoon's lulled moves,
everywhere spring heady
and he in the foreground
racing his years, reminding me
to take care, hang on.
The ground spins, blurs; he begs it
with each command, checks
I'm not going too fast.
'You can't fall off,' he says
I know it, this steady pace
contains us both, days overlap: he will perhaps
never love me more than now.
Read the poetry of Katherine Gallagher
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We Are Pleased To Welcome Poet David Thornbrugh To Our Pages
The Stars My Destination
Though I loved them,
the science fiction writers
of the forties fifties sixties
got so much wrong.
We are not commuting to Moon Base Goddard,
let alone folding space and time
to plant colonists on the crystal moons
circling Alpha Centauri.
The single massive computer
serviced by monochrome high priests
of punch cards has shrunk to the palm
of a tattooed teenager
twitching to the digital beat
of hologrammatic heart throbs,
and the forebrains of the rats
have not yet begun evolving
under the onslaught of the radiation
sparking off the skeletal high beams
of our ground zero cities.
Though the robots are on their way,
they’re not likely to need
a set of rules to restrain them any time soon.
But every day the paranoid dream
of the world as one big factory town
and everyone a resident
forced to buy on credit
at the company store
Every online order of a book
DVD or food item
brings the future closer.
Not the UN we should fear
but discount books shipped free
sports shoes sold for less than the blood
shed making them,
the corporate logo stewing in DNA sweat shops
as we sleep and dream and forget
how close the stars once seemed to be.
Read the poetry of David Thornbrugh
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Poet Leslie Philibert: Two Poems Of Winter
As the snow is
tidal in the trees,
consider the tracks
and the dark tons
asthmatic with steam,
cold as the moon`s slight,
black as the stars are hidden,
perfect as a pulse of wheel;
dead crate of steel
that rests and waits
then moves by magic
quiet through the night
The winter is enamel;
buckets of cold,
sodden pots of forgotten growth.
Trees taut with
tackle of frost.
Earth hard as
the white sea,
adrift and lost
made of ice and sorts
of rain, not going,
Dull and still
Read the poetry of Leslie Philibert
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VerseWrights Warmly Welcomes Poet Phillip Carriere
I Cannot Offer You
Here the winter taps me,
sings sour in the crippled bark,
down to an empty root,
bears the burden in the wrinkled wasted years,
makes thin and runny syrup
that pours upon the cakes
but fills no losing mouth
Here with rheumy eyes,
deliberate piles of ruin,
the words can fill no crest
with florid feathers
blown by early wind
nor change the chancre
of the sullen waiting grave
no matter the childish flower plucked.
Here in deviled brain,
Red Knight seas fall
into mosquito hummed deserts
and the last mask river is torn
from the vein blasted face;
I cannot offer you a painted harbor
nor gentle wind, nor song, nor grace.
Read the poetry of Phillip Carriere
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We Warmly Welcome Poet Ramesh Anand To VerseWrights
from Selected Haiku
my infant fingers
the fallen petal
my child stretches
the end of play
the elders swing dance
in the neighborhood
cut off kite
the sound of children
fading with it
Read the poetry of Ramesh Anand
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Three New Haibun From Poet Angelee Deodhar
The arid landscape, an endless plain of fractured hillocks and cracked river beds as the distant horizon hovers on uncertain light, the whopping thrum of rotors scissors the sky and suddenly in a dust cloud kicked up by the helicopters’ wash, all hell breaks loose . . . the speakers repeat the staccato gun fire from the four corners of our home theatre system.
Was it like this for my father, a prisoner of war of the Japanese in Malaya? But over there the jungles were lush with bungarus, mosquitoes and fever soaked dreams . . .
the aromatics of Kashmiri
Read the poetry of Angelee Deodhar
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Want Fame? Read Steve Green's Verse First
Life on the Median
There comes a time
in every life
we achieve the tranquility
found in that moment
of pure epiphany
When we finally
accept the reality
we'll never be
a famous celebrity
No quote seeking
a cheesy TV
when we die
Happiness is accepting
that the ultimate victory
spunky little cog
in ordinary anonymity
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A New Poem From Poet Marie Anzalone
In the Flesh
I saw a prayer on Sunday.
It was sitting on the sidewalk
hand beseeching me
the scent of madness in its eyes,
the calculation of a
on its mouth.
presence strips desire
to its basest element:
have money to spare.
he was angry that I did not;
lips turned to snarl,
the 5th such, that day
and I wished to know his poem,
but more, I wanted
there to be a way
to share mine, too, with him
not a walking bank card
that already, 3 families
take what little I can spare:
often, there is not enough
for me, that shadows cut deep
all ways, in all directions.
I saw a prayer, and in my honesty
I could not be its answer
that day- and what hurts most
is the not knowing
where and how to direct
a wellspring of righteous anger-
by rights, his-
the prayer turned to poetry
the poetry was lost in dust
and the day’s refuse
and maybe, indifference won
Read the poetry of Marie Anzalone
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Charlie Brice And Zorba—The Z Man (with audio)
Catching Jesus ☊
Ohhhhhh Jeeeeesus, I’d yell,
and Zorba would redefine desire,
reconfigure yearning, reconceptualize predation,
and lose it in the way only a 95 pound
white German Shepherd who thought
that Jesus was a squirrel could.
After “sit,” “come,” “stay,” and “down,”
I’d taught him that the true vicar of Christ
on this earth was a squirrel.
Interrupting his wails and squeals at the door,
his psalms of religious fervor, I’d imitate
a southern Baptist preacher. “Do you believe?”
I’d ask. “Do you accept Jesus as your personal savior?”
“Yes!” he’d bark, “Hallelujah,” he’d cry.
When his zeal reached launch-strength
I’d let fly the door. He’d scream down our porch
like a Comanche in those old racist westerns,
or like fat Auntie Ursal when she caught me
spying on her flesh-folds during her bath.
Imagine a young squirrel
as this white toothy blur blasts
across the yard; a vision of massive jaws
closing on its soft, crunchable, body.
Imagine the shrill realization
of being food. Even before terror,
the squirrel brain transmits scram,
guides it to the nearest tree
where safety hides in tall branches.
Their parents, who know this game,
wait until the last second,
then bolt up a sycamore
leaving Zorba to dance,
a squealing sparring partner,
roping-a-dope for Jesus.
He’d stand guard, like a soldier
on Mount Olivet waiting to drive
his sword home, although the Z man
would never vinegar a wound.
At night, when raccoons and skunks
made it too dangerous to let him
run untethered into our yard,
I might yell “Oh Jesus” anyway,
to test the verisimilitude of his faith.
The Zorbster would run panicked circles
round our living room, screaming
and moaning, dog language for,
there must be some way out of this house
without relying on these human nitwits
to open a door. Clearly he was hoping
for a miracle, the parting of the walls,
the dissolving of the windows, or visions
of many Jesuses dashing around the house,
on top of the bed, under the bed, in the bathroom,
caught in the sink, ready to sacrifice themselves
on the altar of his ferocious delight.
But there were no miracles for Zorba,
whose happiest moments were
with us, wherever we were.
Last week his great legs finally failed.
His decline was swift. He still sought Jesus,
but a viewing reduced him to a mournful howl,
front paws painfully raising his kingly chest,
then back down. He could do no more.
His execution was scheduled
for 3:30 in the afternoon.
At 9 that morning he made it
20 feet down our walkway.
“We can’t do this today,” I told my wife
who, always more connected to reality,
shook her head.
At noon he soiled himself in our front yard,
his sphincters deadened by his diseased spine.
His desire to please puddled in shame,
he turned away from us, the lake, and life.
I held him when the doctor started the injection.
He took it sitting up, too regal to lie down.
I told him how much I loved him,
and what a good dog he had been.
He’d catch Jesus now, I said.
I told him this and patted his soft white fur
until he no longer felt my desperate touch.
Tim Buck, Land-Locked, Contemplates The Ocean
I have not seen the ocean in 40 years.
The ocean makes quite a différance.
A difference between time and open wind.
A deferment endless into the faint horizon.
Derrida's word of distance confuses the seabirds --
white shards twisting unseen within the airy tube
of an infinite kaleidoscope, where nothing is settled.
But being landlocked makes roots groan and Death grin.
If one lived beside the ocean it might be different.
Enigma and great liquid might bring a calm delirium.
Disappearance would no longer be such a problem.
Touching vastness with actual eyes halts questions.
And the far roll of waves in psychosis and liturgical play
has nothing in common with country ghosts
of how heavy they felt before dying, with no boats in ...sight.
Beside the ocean one most likely has no time
for dry moods and sad heaves of rooted hours.
It must be so open there that even birds recover.
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We Welcome Poet Laura Lynn Brown To VerseWrights
Physics for Poets, Chapter 1: Entropy
“Physics is hard. Commendably, Piel does not reduce the subject to metaphor; this is not physics for poets.”
-- Washington Post book review
German scientist Rudolf Clausius coined
the word in 1865. He took
en- for contents, -trop- for transformation,
meaning “contents that have been transformed.”
He thought the meaning would always be the same.
The second law of thermodynamics says
heat can’t transfer from a colder body
to a warmer one. Emily Dickinson,
having read true poetry, felt so cold
no fire could warm her. The poem took
the top of her head off, where her heat escaped.
But she could pour her heat into her poems,
which in turn can suck heat from her readers
and leave them with that absolute zero feeling,
so maybe that’s not a good example.
To understand entropy, think of teens.
Thermodynamically, entropy also means
measuring the amount of thermal energy
that’s not available to do work. A teenager,
a lump in the bed late on Saturday morning
unable to help carry the groceries in.
In information theory, entropy means
“A measure of the loss of information
in a transmitted message.” A group of kids
play the gossip game around the table.
It starts “Mr. Shafer has hair in his ears”
and ends “Mr. Shafer is here and he’s queer.”
Entropy is how much truth got lost.
Disorder or randomness in a closed system
is another meaning. The rest of the house
gets regular airing and frequent traffic,
but all are forbidden to enter the teenager’s room.
the floor is obscured with clothes – who can say
Whether they’re dirty or clean? Yet the CDs
are neatly filed in alphabetical order.
Mainly it means what most of us think it means,
“the smashing down of our world by random forces
that don’t reverse.” The universe winding down
like an old-fashioned wristwatch. Energy lost
that can never be regained. A teen’s first car,
beautiful in the sun, until she sees
a dent on the driver’s door that wasn’t there
yesterday. It will never be the same.
Read the poetry of Laure Lynn Brown
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Marsailidh Groat On Forming The Formative
Once, you were very young,
and your skin was soft and pliable;
every step was new, and so there wasn’t time
to be scared of uncertainty, as long as
the warmth of your mother’s arms were nearby.
Grown ups would carve messages into your body,
and they would stay there, even if
their words were soft and their touch gentle,
because what else could you know of the world
than the words of those who had already seen it?
Don’t sit like that. Your father’s told you before.
How soon did you learn
that your body isn’t yours?
Did you have long to play in the mud,
to look out at the world
rather than down at yourself?
It isn’t ladylike.
He isn’t drawing pictures because he’s a boy.
A small child, dressed in dungarees,
asked: why is the screen blurry?
He needed glasses,
couldn’t see the shapes on the page
but how could anyone have known?
He’s more interested in the cars and trucks.
Read the poetry of Marsailidh Groat
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Poems from Milenko Županović (in English and Croatian)
The truth shines
covered with ash
of burned lies
the eternal fire
na vječnoj vatri
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Poet E. H. Ford: Making Sense Of The Past...
Tears down the walls of my
Running from you feels the same
as running toward you.
Comfort for a time seems a sweet
savor and then the knives
in my mind fillet reason across
the splinter of time remaining between
Miles and memories mixed equally
form a preparation to be shared
amongst future patterns,
closed to all but the most intense lovers.
Dusty memories piled high in a steamy
jungle of pain.
Dreams rot fast
in hate’s temperate zone.
Faces too young to have seen
that which was spent so willingly
by so many.
Thoughts shift easily from tomorrow to
yesterday, by-passing today’s miracle.
I’ve run away so many times
my dreams need sleep.
What is there to see
once the day to understand
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A New Poem From The Pen Of L.L. Barkat
What if the only way
she could write again
required a white cup
And the cup,
would she pour herself
into it? Or, rather, bring it to her lips.
What if she held the cup very close,
by its delicate white handle,
and whispered into the hollow.
I was five, and he said
pick mulberries with me;
I could show you the tree
on which they weep and sway.
And her mother held her chin
and said, tell him no...
it would spoil your hand-sewn dress.
Read the poetry of L.L. Barkat
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Neil Fulwood Finds That Crime And Verse Can Go Together
The Collected Poems of Cody Jarrett
They’re real short, see –
just the few things
I managed to jot down
in stark lines –
short like the space
between the cosh
and the skull,
between the finger
and the trigger,
between the getaway car
and the state line.
And if any
of you cheap bums
says I’m ripping off
The Hollow Men,
you’ll be wearing
your face backwards.
This is how I see it –
a man’s what he is
and if the law
don’t allow for that,
things heat up.
But what a man is
to his Ma,
when it ain’t about guns
or money or liquor,
So I tried
to put it down pretty,
use the words
like they were flowers
not spent cartridges.
I tried, Ma.
The best of ’em
or just quit writin’.
Rimbaud gave up
everything he had,
done with poetry
at twenty and ready
to take on the world:
man of business.
You get to thinking
what they’ll say
as they lower the box.
You get to thinking
about what you did,
how it was shaped
by where you came from
and the folks you knew.
You get to thinking
about what matters,
whether you made it
to the top of the world
or whether the world
blew up in your face.
Read the poetry of Neil Fulwood
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Ana Caballero Gives Us Yoga With A Difference
Bikram Love Triangle
Five minutes late to class and we got spots,
spots apart. But, a mirrored column in front,
so we could check
each other out.
I watched you get hot in Ardha-Chandrasana,
as you poured your head
upstretched arms. Then cut a sweat
with the six hip Utkatasana
dips, but by then,
you were primed.
is your most improved:
right toes wrapped
around left calf,
as you pulled both shoulders
down and back.
Because of a displaced disk, Dandayamana-Janushirasana
cannot be, but your Dandayamana–Dhanurasana
could be the figurine
on the hood of the first Rolls Royce.
is Sanskrit for Balancing Stick. With this,
your face confirmed last night
we had too much to drink.
When I took my Dandayamana-Bibhaktapada-Paschimotthanasana
bow, I bowed deep for your face
and the knowing of how it thinks.
A lycra girl spread into my view
in the Trikanasana
but you reemerged, bold,
for our Dandayamana-Bibhaktapada-Janushirasana
In frontal Tadasana
I surveyed your chest with the remembering look
reserved for carved stone
and snowy boulder crests.
Once more, in Savasana,
I thought to tell you that Pavanamuktasana
is called Wind-Removing Pose,
so you can laugh and say
I should do it every day.
The belly-flat series of Bhujangasana, Salabhasana and ....Dhanurasana
made me want to be your rubber mat
and come between the fake rock floor
and your beech wood back.
Even in Supta-Vajrasana –
be the royal blue under you,
cup each knee and persuade your leather quads.
I delayed my Ardha-Kurmasana
to watch your nose
grasp the ground. You trimmed your thinning hair
but look younger,
even as you hover.
Finally, at Ustrasana,
your eyes and my eyes
and almost there. After Ustrasana,
my eyes. Your eyes, I thought, not
quite there. In Sasangasana,
nothing in your face
asking to be read, my chin between my knees,
all that blood to the head.
So I gave meditating face
in the Janushirasana, Paschimotthanasana,
flow, a mature woman devoted
to her personal growth. But when I caught you will,
but not reach, the Ardha-Matsyendrasana
twist, again, I let you get big.
upturned palms upon my lap.
Lips pursed, exhaled hard.
A seated disciple with third eye bright
and practiced breath
that yields its fire.
Read the poetry of Ana Caballero
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Mike Jewett's Poem, The Flood And The Fish
(tidal pool) 1471
backward-flOwing river heaVes
water, Knee-deeP night, in bloom-
rains (tORrents) floodinG- brackish
over( starless) flowing( skies)
surPrise! of fiSH-
(in our pool)
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We Welcome Poet Ram Krishna Singh To VerseWrights
A Selection of ........................Tanka
She is no moon yet
she drifts like the moon, takes care
of him from the sky--
meets him for a short, waxing
leaves him for a long, waning
Yearning to meet him
she turns a silk-worm spinning
love-silk in cold night--
stands in a shade melting tears
like a candle, drop by drop
At the river
she folds her arms and legs
resting her head
upon the knees and sits
as an island
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Richard Biddle Writes Of A Nightly Ritual
Oiling Her Ears
They could be curled up creatures gently
dreaming or softly scalloped mushrooms eased
bracket-like from your fecund silva moods.
Whisper-warm with gossip and furred like fruit
mould, they swirl into waxy-dark muteness.
I nuzzle these lobes of jellybean flesh –
With these tools: bottle, pipette and cotton-wool
we perform our aural ritual. You turn your head.
I draw the amber lube up into the glass tube and
squeeze its fluid salve into your gluey lugs for relief.
From deep inside your blocked chambers, air
rises and pops; reminding me of trapped, drunken
spirit-level bubbles. Ironic that after all these years
I’ve failed to hear you. As I dab the oleaginous
overflow from your cheek and neck, I listen to your
breathing, my deafness a different disease to heal.
Let me restore the balance here too. For now though,
sleep submerged in your underwater-head and when
morning comes and with it your audibility, you’ll
talk and with all our senses, I’ll be open to you.
Read the poetry of Richard Biddle
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From E. Michael Desilets: A Little Episode in Paris
At lunchtime Laura’s left lens
fell out and shattered on Rue de Furstemberg. Her ....French
was Hackensack bad
but she pronounced “merde”
with Edith Piaf perfection and at that moment
fully grasped the concept
of “le mot juste.” She gasped
and spent the rest of the misleading afternoon half blind
misreading emails, headlines, pursed lips,
furtive glances. Well,
c’est fucking dommage
and all that Parisian whatever. She had exhaled
the entire day
by the time she confronted
François in the boudoir.
He removed her one-eyed glasses
and proffered her a glass
of Grand Cru Red Bordeaux and a glance
she loosely translated as What’s the good word?
I have a “mot” that is “juste” for you, my little baguette,
she said naked to the gorgeous bowing and vowing blur
he had become. It tickled her
to let it trickle into his ear.
Read the poetry of E. Michael Desilets
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Shan Ellis Shares Her Poem, "Poetess"
Solitary chewed end pencil
sedately perched on desk,
yearning tap tap of fingers in thought
waiting for rhythm and flow
to return with the muse,
missing in action
hidden beneath a velour vail
of strung together ideals.
Tendrils of hair cling
spiraling around her weapon of choice,
her most precious object,
collector of angsts tendrils
thoughts accumulated in strings
plucked from a weary scalp.
forgotten? Scribbled forms in tatty
Avant garde notepads battered
dogeared doodles –
Questioning her own reality
against a tirade of other people’s ideas and ideals.
These idiosyncratic semi autobiographical meanderings,
an honest reflection of one woman’s perception,
Or her illusion of what life is like
through tired blue eyes.
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Joanna Suzanne Lee's Latest Poem: "your heart"
has grown old.
worn down by the lonelinesses
of a hundred empty homes,
fallen too long asleep
in a hot bath.
do you show me
stained on our back door,
and not kiss me?
there is no monitor
love. tell me: when
was the last time
got a running start
of chasm, of canyon,
of the finish,
the fear, the flatline?
plays its thud-thump
through limp veins,
how to thunder.
if i could see you
the way the lightning
sees, from inside the storm,
i would find it
damp and dark,
with slow rivers
and huddled walls,
a crumpled fist
written with little scars
but untouched, too,
Read the poetry of Joanna Suzanne Lee
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A New Poem From Poet Edjo Frank
the rain waves goodbye
in the chill of early morning
a narrow strip of light
stands out against eastern horizon
footpath in the swamp
marriage between gravel and mud
nettles to hide the curves
snakeweed lures me to the waters
white sheep sail a blue sky
the wind holds her breath
at the far end of the field
the gundogs rush a grouse
nature’s heart counts time and space
unchallengeable its creation
to feel and touch the pulse of life
embrace my loneliness
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"Alkali," A New Poem From Poet Emily Hone
The water lies
and still on the highway, glistens, then evaporates as you draw near.
O’er the left,
to a brittle chalk white, that barren floor of alkali.
Just to the right, subdued, honey-hued,
a flame that doesn't glow as bright.
Clamped by the vice
as the road before us spread, farther than our own eyes ....would bear to see.
Wisps of feelings had,
trapped hot against the
on the hills
rolling by, beside and beneath.
Misplaced words, quipped obliviously, snuffs, buries
This soul sits
riding across the highway,
as dry as the ghost of that sea.
When you draw near...... You end me.
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A New Poem From Poet Narendra Kumar Arya
Split Me Apart
Make my million pieces
Flush them away,
In Tsang Po, to the hungry seas
Where grow carnivorous trees.
Under your global intellect,
Reducing me to pulverized anonymity;
I am a narrative of infinitesimal impact
Continuously retarded by your quizzical sense.
I am as scattered as the earth
Hyphenated, impoverished, gendered, hypnotized,
From the enchantress of development,
Of ideological lullabies,
Doomed to experience
From Hobart to Havana.
Read the poetry of Narendra Kumar Arya
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From Wally Swist: A Man, A Dog, And...Peace
Ed is leaning against the chain link
Of the portable cage he has moved
To the grass in the barnyard where
He is speaking to the Rottweiler,
The aging rescue dog, who cocks
His head, and holds his muzzle up
To listen to what Ed is saying to him,
As he coaxes him back to health
After the surgery in which the massive
Fatty tumor was removed from
His back and side. Ed speaks to him
With as much care as he solicitously
Places the old faded tablecloths
In the bed of daffodil shoots, whose
Spears have been warmed these nights
Of late April frost. Through Ed’s
Tenderness, the Rottweiler has nearly
Grown into a dog whose visage bears
The look of supreme loyalty, even with
A glint of gentleness mitigating
The ferocity in his steely brown eyes,
Although it would be against
Anyone’s better judgment to stick
A finger through the woven steel
Of the dog pen. When Ed unlatches
The lock and walks into the cage to place
The shiny metal bowl and the plastic
Water bucket on the ground, the dog
Backs away to make room then sits down
And looks up again in tribute to the man
Who has taken him walking the meadow
Behind the barn late past twilight
And into many a dusk. The stiff April
Wind blows through Ed’s white beard,
That flutters against his chest, and his
Shoulder-length hair. The dog’s eyes
Sparkle as Ed rubs his head and beneath
His chin with one of his calloused hands.
When the wind lets up, everything appears
To be resolved again, everything seems
To have been restored to its proper place,
Within the sacredness of the day.
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A Moving Lyric From Tracey Gunne Probes The Denouement
After Everyone Left
you searched for me
in the backyard
the cellar door open
but not all the way
did I try to leave?
the words you offered
after too much wine
if only I'd given you
my heart to wear
or carry in your pocket
then allowed you to bury
beneath the willow tree
where the dandelion, red clover
will hold our secrets
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Cheryl Snell's Latest Poem, With Artwork By Janet Snell
She enters a room
as if it’s an undiscovered island.
"Where is my other house? I want to go home."
For her losses, I grieve. I cannot bear to
watch her wander, lost in her small places.
I remember how
she loved the panoramic--
the prairie she was born to,
the cathedral ceilings in the living
room, Mosquito Lake cradling our sailboat.
Space made her feel safe. Now
when she reaches for it,
she tells me she doesn’t know how to leave;
even as she steps her feet
into my brother’s big shoes
and slides them forward as a child might
each one a boat
she’d like to glide away in.
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