Poetry

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.

As Far As You Know

A. F. Moritz

 

When you last saw me I was waiting
and now that you will never see me again
for all you know I still am. The time
it turned out was the last time I was sitting

Animal Kingdom

Amy Roa

 

The first finback whale took an evolutionary leap onto land,
and the president was on TV,
shaking the whale’s fin,
all sleek and blubber.

Middle of the Movie

Andrew Saviano

 

The TV is on mute: a slender man
in a towel shoos a moth from the sill
of an open door, while on the porch appears

After Seeing the Irish Modern Dance Theatre’s Lear

Catherine Staples

 

Slow light is breaking
beyond the donkey’s pasture.
Inside the darkened house
brightness rims the shutters.  

Hurricane

Catherine Staples

 

The harbor hardly sleeps at night, what with
listening in, glittering. Masts hover and sway
while keels answer in watery knocks, their own way

In a Hurry

Catherine Staples

 

It’s the peeling birch and the lake glimpsed through it,
sheets buckling in wind, the emerald seams of moss
between pavers, three children rounding a bend.

The Nest in Winter

Kimiko Hahn

 

In the Father’s shadowy hoard
pillows belch feathers across
mattress and floors:

What Feeds on Want

John Rybicki

 

I row with the wind in my apple-wood skin,
maw on crow’s dust and raw turnips.
What feeds on want behind the masks of houses?

California Christmas

Noah Warren

 

A year of rain in an hour.
Then dawn. On the Quikcrete
patio a leaden mirror.