Poetry

Brian G. Gilmore 01-31-2017

You shall love the Lord your God with
all your heart, and with all your soul,
and with all your strength, and with
all your mind; and your neighbor
as yourself. —Luke 10:27

such is the lawyer.
we need to know.

road less traveled.
not robert frost.

in that space.
like a typewriter

on table, sewing
machine sitting still

this is why i do this
work. not the walking

dead. not some george
romero extra. like the

young troubled girl in
my neighborhood just

last week. no one reached
out. they called the police.

locked their doors, windows.
they became priest, levite

on the other side of the
road. it was like when

i was 13 standing on the
high dive. gravity take

over. send me to water
below. don’t be everyone.

ask of myself each second:
will i cross the road? “it is

written in the law.” heart
& soul. love. neighbor.

even if they aren’t nice. another
chance to hear that answer.

Patricia Byrne 12-21-2016

I see you but you do not see me
I am made invisible by your special powers
Not mine. I have no power.
Your shiny car passes me
It does not have a speck of dirt
But I am filthy
Only my sweat shines at the bus stop
As it did today in the fields
I smell like dirt
I know you are not hungry
Because I see you in your red car
Driving to a fancy restaurant
You do not know I am hungry
Because you cannot see me
I had no lunch today
My belly hurts
But you cannot hear my emptiness
You only hear the music in your car
I see you but you do not see me
Perhaps all of me was left
In the woods where I slept last night
Or maybe the mosquitoes sucked my life away
One by one as they found me on the ground
Because I had no blanket to cover me So I itch. They saw me though you do not.
I dream of home. My mother and my sisters
Hungry, waiting for the money I will send for food.
“America ... you will make lots of money
Our stomachs will be full
And your sisters will have shoes”
I hope my boss pays me this week
I look at my boots
These boots took me 15 days through the desert
Now they will bring me through the fields
And I wonder ...
Is it the car that makes me invisible
Because I see you but
You do not see me

Helen Mirkil 12-01-2016
Radiokafka / Shutterstock.com

Radiokafka / Shutterstock.com

Wedged in the crevices
of each day
there is terror
and everywhere
fresh pieces of communion
go uneaten.

 

Pamela S. Wynn 11-01-2016
Artem Z/ Shutterstock

Artem Z/ Shutterstock

Lighting these candles—porous and buoyant—
Grounds us

Flames draw our eyes to heavens dotted white
With celestial thought

To look back in time through the stars
Hundreds of light-years away

To glimpse God standing
On the shore of God’s self

With outrageous visions and promises
Of hope that strain our belief

What can we do with such promises?
With tradition that grounds us in hope

In stars       in candles       in souls set alight?

Mark Hiskes 09-30-2016
Indypendenz / Shutterstock

Indypendenz / Shutterstock 

Here, nobody stands
for the national anthem.
There’s no debate about
universal healthcare,
no talk of bigger border
walls or who will pay.
Here no one snapchats,
sends selfies or sexts. Google
steals no one’s idle hours.
No political parties here,
no signs to say white
lives matter too: everyone
gets it here. There’s no
NRA, no second amendment,
no bumper-sticker zealots
declaring “if you can read
this you’re in range.”
                                 No,
here at the Pilgrim Home,
just across from the summer
play of a city pool, it’s all
cut-granite reverence
for beloved son, daughter,
dearest husband, moeder,
madre. On this level
expanse no fences
separate black and white,
they enclose. In this green
space the Mexican lies down
with the Dutch, and under
fresh rectangles the refugee
rests with the rich.
                               Here,
old, sleepy spruces cast
long layers of shadow
among the graves. Lilies
and orchids and roses revere
each silent name and date
and the brief dash between—
briefer than an evening walk,
than a child’s splash.

Betsy Sholl 07-29-2016
Andreas Gradin / Shutterstock

Andreas Gradin / Shutterstock

       

Richard Schiffman 06-30-2016
Lightspring / Shutterstock

Lightspring / Shutterstock

   

Gary W. Hawk 06-06-2016
gashgeron / Shutterstock

gashgeron / Shutterstock

     

D.S. Martin 03-23-2016
My Images - Micha / Shutterstock

My Images - Micha / Shutterstock

      

Muriel Nelson 03-02-2016
courtesy of Jill Krementz

courtesy of Jill Krementz

           

Tobin Marsh 01-29-2016
S-BELOV / Shutterstock

S-BELOV / Shutterstock

       

Julia Alvarez 01-04-2016
Laborant / Shutterstock

Laborant / Shutterstock

They steal more than our cash who steal our money, dropped bills
slipped in a finder’s pocket, a wallet emptied of its fill;
they steal a kinder world where we look out for each other,
call to know: How did your date, or, surgery go?

Kemmer Anderson 12-07-2015
Ryan Rodrick Beiler

Ryan Rodrick Beiler 

 

            

Linda Pastan 09-23-2015
Maniola / Shutterstock

Maniola / Shutterstock 

what do you call
a skeleton
unburied, performing

a slow dance
in the wind,
limbs akimbo?

Geri Doran 08-10-2015

Lay me down, oh lay me down bankside—
scratched by the blue wildrye, I hear the freshet-rush
of the river drunk on winter’s waters, what lie
it makes of a hushed name.

Cricket

SARIN KUNTHONG / Shutterstock

One by one the stars come up over the Mekong,
and the Buddhist novices,
finished with the evening prayers,
rush out to the water in their orange robes,
and stand with their hands over their eyes,
as if the light were too much for them.

Their master tells them,
Boys, if you want to dream to the stars
you must ask the universe as you go to sleep.

Aaron Brown 06-08-2015
Micael Nussbaumer/Shutterstock

There’s a photo he carries for long journeys
like this one, for trips on loaded market lorries
where the passengers take their seat, perching
on top of cargo, or sitting on crude benches
inside the buses coming from Sudan with names
like “Best of Luck” or “Mr. Good Looking.”

Richard Schiffman 05-06-2015

The Greeks know how tightly coiled
are circumstances with many windings
before tragedy’s spring snaps.
The horse bolts flame-like from the gate;
we do not see its years of training.

So too, the thunderhead today slow bloating
and thickening with muffled rumblings.
The steeds were restless, but the reins
held tight, until a crack of the whip
unleashed the pummeling flood.

 

Lisa Dordal 04-01-2015

You hear a voice speaking
about a bird dragging its dark universe
of feathers across your yard,
and you realize it must be you

telling the boy how you carried its body
beyond the ambit of your dogs.
One eye, round as a coin,
fixing fear upon you, the other,

half shut. How the bird hauled
its body back into your yard,
dying with a will you could only
admire. Am I the bird?, the boy asks.

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