Poetry

Ewuare X. Osayande 8-02-2013

Excerpt from Stand Our Ground: Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander

Leigh Donaldson 7-01-2013

Early morning
before he unlocks the church gate
the rector kneels before
the gridiron fence surrounding the Cathedral,
not in prayer
but to collect empty wine bottles,
snack bags, and used condoms.

Gene Fox 6-05-2013

Detail from "The Sea Stopped Raging," by Barry Moser, from Pennyroyal-Caxton Bible, 1999, used with permission.

From the midst of the nether
world I cried for help.
 —from the Book of Jonah

A gray whale blows off Cardiff Beach,
just beyond the glamour homes,
boutiques, and drive-thru windows,
valet service and all-u-can-eat sushi.
I want to swim out and be swallowed.

 
Jonah’s whale wasn’t Ahab’s, all
tripey white and peg-toothed, but
a strainer of phosphorescent shrimp,
which lamped the reeking gut, like
fireflies we swallowed once, in jars.

Rose Marie Berger 5-11-2013

Mass in Las Choapas, Mexico

Bree Devones Hsieh 4-03-2013

Photo by Clay Patrick McBride

I

The crumpled woman pushes through the door
and sees your plump limp limbs

held tight in my buckled arms.

She remembers holding
such sweet eternity.

II

His temple:
life's bright beating softens here.

Some say it holds the place of time,

watch springs wrapped tight
under the bone.

III

Waking, he is held by his father,
whose arms have newly borne

weapons made

to breathe heavily
into our enemy chest.

Betsy Sholl 3-14-2013

Blindfolded and gagged, tossed in the back / of a car -- it's how they gather up young men /

Joseph Bathanti 2-11-2013

Hemorrhaging from the concertina / crown, brass knuckles, scourging, cigarette burns, / lurching the last meter of Golgotha

Judith Werner 1-07-2013

Deep with one savior’s death, how many more?
In observance of which, the Dresden burghers
as usual held Shrove Tuesday circuses
around Our Lady’s Church, the Frauenkirche,
eating pancakes before their fast for Easter.

At midnight, Allies drew ash from their firestorm
on a hundred-thousand heads. Remember,
the Good War’s firesticks on Dresden’s timbers
in revenge for Coventry, where in embers
Ash Wednesday passion plays were once performed,

Theodore Deppe 11-27-2012

A GiveBox in Berlin / Sally McGrane

Something called a GiveBox appeared / this fall on Falckensteinstrasse, and my first gift

Sandra M. Tully 11-02-2012

You wait a long time for Christmas morning
drifting asleep even as the ebony slate of sky
shatters in clarion silence
Glory, Hallelujah!
and shepherds in the hills cast down their rods
look up at angels and find themselves
no longer huddled in darkness
but lucent between the stars.

You, no longer a child but still drifting,
enter the mystery that is darkness
willing to open the gift inside your own singing
recognizing the song of songs from the first Eve—

     We all live for the Light

Elvis O. Alves 10-03-2012

He uproots teeth primordial in nature and that eat his soul
with appetite the size of mercenary forces plundering a city

whose inhabitants do not fight back because most of them
are women, children, and animals that creep on all fours.

He knows of a city not spared and is without name, unlike Nineveh,
whose repentant king decreed:

Human beings and animals shall be covered with sackcloth,
and they shall cry mightily to God.

He thinks of what to do but knows that he is not the prophet

Mark Hiskes 9-01-2012

About love she was all wrong, / the old capitalist, patron saint / of the self-made rich. How well / she misunderstood the paradox deep / as mothers’ grief:

Maritza Rivera 7-01-2012

"There is nothing casual / about casualties of war."

D.S. Martin 6-01-2012

You can’t desire to catch the sacred fish / as much as he desires to be caught / & yet / he darts through the dim depths / with tail swerve & swish

"Denial / This has nothing to do with blackness. / This has everything to do with blackness."

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers.
                                                                —Wordsworth         

Belle Fox-Martin 3-01-2012

We are the lay of the land— / pocked, hilled, knowing every ember / and seed imprinted on our bones.

R.M. Blair 2-01-2012

While he was in jail, two policemen / came to his apartment, took / all his books, sat at his kitchen table / drinking his coffee, and cut out / the forbidden words: kitchen / was first to go;

Annie Deppe 1-01-2012

There were two sets of stairs: the front ones curving and formal while the backstairs rose steep as a canyon wall. As a girl, I used to fly from their heights when I wasn’t falling.

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