Poetry

Chorus from The Birds

Derek Mahon

                        Aristophanes

O troubled people, frantic creatures of an hour,
swift generations, curious growths that flower
and fade in a brief stretch of time as if

Baggy-arsed country

Jacques Moulin

translated by David Ball

A defense of high walls
soft sea lawn
the caress of the grass

Elegy in October

Frannie Lindsay

Suggest we meet inside the library.
The afternoon, aflutter with children
downstairs, sitting Indian style to hear

To My Daughter

Peter Cooley

When they escort you to my body they will burn,
when I am watching from that other country,
when you are weary of embellishments
death insists upon, the wilting pastels,

The Way I Like Best

James Longenbach

Initially the fragments were discovered by Helena,
Mother of the emperor Constantine,
On a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in the year 327.

The Potato Plants

Jodie Hollander

She kept the potatoes beneath the kitchen sink
in a dank place I never dared to enter.
But at fall planting time Mother always sent me
down into that moldy smelling cupboard,

Something Forced

Benjamin S. Grossberg

the amaryllis bulb.  That’s the verb we use:
forced it, its petals just one shade
more pleasing than blood.  Do I mention

“As Are Right Fit”

Benjamin S. Grossberg

Because in her delirium, she raked my beard
with her nails and called me aba, I know
my mother travelled backwards into her death.

The Wedgewood, the Watches

Benjamin S. Grossberg

Wedgewood didn’t matter, my mother says,
speaking to me in a dream.  The little vases
and ashtrays, the boxes littering the house,

Rough Plaster

Bernard O’Donoghue

We spend our summers in a house once owned
By a couple who never spoke a word
To each other. And we have wondered if,

Five Goldfinches

Karl Kirchwey

for Bill Patterson

There’s an apple tree in the salt meadow,
            its trunk backswept by the years

Three Sarcophagi

Karl Kirchwey

            (Palazzo Altemps, Rome)

                                                I.

In this broken trunk of Proconnesian marble,
            the queen is in love with her stepson,

Storm Warning

Randy Blasing

Last night my son, celebrating his marriage,
descended with his Turkish bride from a mid-
century Bel Air to U2’s “All
I Want Is You” & danced under the stars

Bulgur

Peter Balakian

Why did the chipped grains
swirl in butter with onions,

How Much I Love You

Peter Balakian

when your shadow walks through the wall.

when my heart is a false beat

Dear Millennium, of Edible Blossoms and the Unborn

Karen An-hwei Lee

The unborn who never make it into this world are edible
blossoms in the orphic throat of God, garlanded by floral
seraphs.  Yes, the sky-blue borage, the cilantro and fennel   
and calendula, the crystallized viola and skirted zucchini,

I Was Waiting for You Outside the Post Office

Jessica Greenbaum

I was waiting for you outside the post office
A gray morning, nothing special about it
Except everything, since we were traveling

Dissonance

Barry Goldensohn

At a party the random tumbling voices
of friends gathered from distant places
together in one room, my son weaves
through the room with wine, kissing and pouring,

The Duchess of Malfi

Barry Goldensohn

In another dispensation among the old
withering codes a young American woman
walked as if she balanced a gold cage
of singing birds on a coil of her hair

Chaos Theory

Barry Goldensohn

In the disorderly lives of our friends a marriage
of youngsters gallantly blinded by lusts consummated
in bawdy places, never beds—on hay bales,
on the back stairs of a dorm, or coal cellars,

Cassandra in San Francisco

Henry Sloss

The city as I see it rises and falls,
taking its shape from the underlying dunes
swelling in ridges like irregular welts…

Ernest Lawrence

John Canaday

To peddle a better beater. Broader
shouldered and wasp waisted, its cradled
double floats in struck-up loops set snug
in frame limb, driven by a winged shaft

Some Letters to Cabeza de Vaca, Shipwrecked on the Texas Shore, 1528

Kevin Honold

Letter #19

The bank towers downtown gaze
like tungsten-eyed idols over the city

The Tablecloth

Giovanni Pascoli

translated by Geoffrey Brock

“Dear child,” they’d say, “take care
never to leave it spread

Midwinter Letter

Geoffrey Brock

Dear son of mine, dear daughter,
            the forecast called
for a fine evening, and we
did laugh at first, but then we bawled;

Revenge

Nathaniel Hutner

I am not supposed to be writing poetry,
I am supposed to be turning up my nose
And taking revenge.

D. and Dog

Lynne Potts

D. consciously left temporarily the death idea kept
as dogs in houses. Phenomenal D. did. Who could
fathom it on a scale of empty? Nothing fit.

“The moon has set”

John Kinsella

 

          via Emily Brontë

Such rights are set on texts
outside copyright, and that lake
is its own sphere of influence.

Ballet and sawhorse

Elizabeth Smither

 

The house was being added to: one
widened room, new wider windows.
I held onto the sawhorse to practice ballet.

Verkeerdekraal

C. J. Driver

 

So did we get it wrong, those years ago?
That’s “we,” the brainy boys and girls, elite
And blessed in every sort of way, judgmental
To a fault, agnostic to be sure.