Poetry

My Sweet Accompanist

Li-Young Lee

We were alive together once.
I thought it was that way from the beginning
of time. And I sang
my songs for him, and he rocked,
squeezing and pulling the accordion in his lap,
while his eyes glistened, shining.

Physics of the Breeze

David Baker

A slight wrinkle

A Portrait of My Father in Seven Maps

David Baker

Here I heard them. Here the big rocks.

In the cottage

Kathleen Winter

a thrush is caught beneath the glass ceiling—
must be a she because of the irony, plus
her coloring is nothing fancy. The racket
woke me at 5:20, I thought a horse

swing-shift ruckus

Kathleen Winter

cool mud    a cut
whose red hugs bone
where slag rock sank
through his leather
hide below an eye
all spilling out

The Coming of Age

Henry Sloss

West of the handsome house the land descends
sharply, levels off in a broad flood plain
above Antietam Creek, and then becomes
its sheared-steep bank. The house and land are mine.
For three or four days following the battle
the Creek ran red, from thousands wounded, dead.

Ode on Inheritance

Kate Partridge

It begins, as usual, with the narrative of water:

The Marvel of It Is

Henry Walters

Not two inches tall, a conquistador’s horse,
stepping as high through his terrarium
as any life-size bronze in monument.

Crime Scene

Henry Walters

Ephemera the wind forms out of snow

Night Swimming

George Witte

Midsummer, wind across the lake
the humid morning breath of thunderheads.
Too small for awkward jutting oars
I rowed in futile circles, out of synch.

Three Sonnets

Robert Thomas

Sonnet with Swan and Long Tall Sally

What if we’re the crux, the diamond lynchpin?
What if creatures in other galaxies

Something You Left to Me

Owen McLeod

This box of apothecary vials with black rubber stops.
A strip of masking tape runs the length of each vial.

Breakup at the Starfish Brasserie

Owen McLeod

You imagine yourself the simplified figure
in this future person’s false romantic idea
of the present moment.  You’ve even stopped
believing you know where the sculptures end
and the furniture begins.  Well, bully for you
is all I can say—that, and have a good one.

On Being Told: You Must Learn to Love the Violence

John Sibley Williams

Like a man who sets himself on fire
on purpose every night without quite
achieving ash. This is something like
saying every stain, every scar makes

On Being Told: You Must Learn to Pray

John Sibley Williams

For the occasional carcass
dragged skyward by crows.

All those little mouths hungering
inside our mouths. The silence

Roundabout

Chad Davidson

As Odysseus finds his portal
to the underworld,

delivers his libations, I kill time
just down the shore,

For a Dog

Ryan Wilson

You’d wake us up—that shrill, insistent bark
Driving away whatever dreams had fogged
Our vision—and we’d rise in the true dark,

All We Are Not

Geri Doran

Offshore, beyond the breakwater, past guiding pylons,
where the bottom sand drops to depth and the fog collects
dense and more wet—

There

Rush Rankin

The ineffable and haunting sublimated

Concave Decades

Steve Barbaro

But of the many, many (the un-sundry, soap-glossy) plates at hand

Quadratic

Steve Barbaro

So with the thickly throaty, curt finality of a deity

Next Moment

Marie Borroff

Tentative, the finger of the mind
Dabbles the water, future. The water wavers,
Assumes all shapes in seeming, but, being water,
Releases all, remains yet undefined;

Ars Poetica

Marie Borroff

He who would frame the corded lyre must take
Not of his bone, but some more steadfast thing;
There is no bended rib of body’s make
To stretch such string.

Noah’s Flood

The Gawain Poet

Translated by Marie Borroff

Then from the bowels of the abyss boiled up the big waters;
Each wellhead spewed wide its wild-racing torrent;
No bank but burst apart, by river or pool;

December Morning

W. S. Merwin

 

How did I come to this late happiness
as I wake into my remaining days
another morning in my life with Paula
taking me by surprise like the first one

Variations to the Accompaniment of a Cloud

W. S. Merwin

 

         Because I do not hope ever again
to pass this way I sing these
notes now in silence
each in its own time

Here Together

W. S. Merwin

 

These days I can see us clinging to each other
as we are swept along by the current
I am clinging to you to keep you from
being swept away and you are clinging to me

Losing a Language

W. S. Merwin

 

A breath leaves the sentences and does not come back
yet the old still remember something that they could say

Native

W. S. Merwin

 

Most afternoons
of this year which is written as a number
in my own hand
on the white plastic labels