Poetry

Nicholas Samaras 1-04-2018

Enter this room and call it a cell.
Fold yourself and put yourself away.
For your whole life, you will be an amateur.
But be an amateur striving.
Enter this room and call it vigilance.
Make your ego the threadbare rug you walk on.
Before your quiet face, hold
the fane of your folded hands.
Fold yourself and put yourself away.
Become the parent to your parents.
Cast their names on the wind of your breathing.
Enter this room and be alone with dialogue.
Take the name of silence and let it speak.

Isaac S. Villegas 10-30-2017

In the beginning was the end
and in the end, silence
and the silence is God.

 

9-21-2017

A way of binding books that will prevent
breaking of backs.

Betsy Sholl 7-29-2016
Andreas Gradin / Shutterstock

Andreas Gradin / Shutterstock

       

Richard Schiffman 6-30-2016
Lightspring / Shutterstock

Lightspring / Shutterstock

   

Gary W. Hawk 6-06-2016
gashgeron / Shutterstock

gashgeron / Shutterstock

     

D.S. Martin 3-23-2016
My Images - Micha / Shutterstock

My Images - Micha / Shutterstock

      

Muriel Nelson 3-02-2016
courtesy of Jill Krementz

courtesy of Jill Krementz

           

Tobin Marsh 1-29-2016
S-BELOV / Shutterstock

S-BELOV / Shutterstock

       

Julia Alvarez 1-04-2016
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 9-23-2015
Maniola / Shutterstock

Maniola / Shutterstock 

what do you call
a skeleton
unburied, performing

a slow dance
in the wind,
limbs akimbo?

Geri Doran 8-10-2015

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 6-08-2015

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 5-06-2015

(Duybox / Shutterstock)

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 4-01-2015

(Zurijeta / Shutterstock)

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.

Gene Grabiner 3-09-2015

(R. Gino Santa Maria / Shutterstock)

Mother, mother / There’s too many of you crying / Brother, brother, brother / There’s far too many of you dying            —Marvin Gaye

then they stomped
          John Willet
as he lay on the sidewalk
hands cuffed behind his back
and shot
                      Michael Brown

who was on his way this fall to college

Stop and frisk
Stop and frisk

and used a chokehold to kill