Sunday, 29 March 2009

a poem by Simon Kewin

Curled up asleep there
as seraphic as
the furled e in serene.
Crossed feet for
perfectly drawn serifs,
your soft body
a rune of tightly cuddled limbs
as you revert to
the bliss of the huddled womb.
A quiet quotation mark
at the start of a life's long speech,
the hushed susurrus of a slowly drawn breath

Simon Kewin, Herefordshire, UK

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

The Ghost Within Us by Amir Elzeni

Digging yesterday
to find ourselves

beyond expectation,

memories vivid
as rain to the blind,

living between rhythms,
trying to dance
to a tune:
we all
seem to know,

cannot quite

Amir Elzeni, USA

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Resurrection by Lisa Zaran

Silent afternoon, nothing unusual
with the weather except a possible
chance of rain. Probably not.

I wash my car anyhow.

An entire world portraits itself
outdoors. Children hustle past
with little faces like thumbprints
on Gods memory.

I roll up the pant legs of my jeans,
get to the gladness of bubbles, white foam
on a red automobile. Think about the cost
of things. My daughters schooling, my sons
habits. My husbands countenance, even though

countenance is such an old fashioned word.
I practice thinness. Pretend to be so far gone
that even those who've never taken the time to notice,
notice me. How thin she is, they might exclaim.
I hardly recognize her elements.

I think I'll grow up now. Stop pretending
I am so far gone that love is an awkward myth.
I know it exists, can blossom
in bones so old, the body surrounding them
might burst into color
like a rose.

Take away love and our earth is a tomb, Browning wrote.

The scene now after the rain: children reemerge
as the chorus of their voices
sound like thunderclaps, faces shine
through broken clouds.

No chance of desultory weather.
No spot on redemption.
In my grief I think I'll re-wash my car.

Lisa Zaran, Arizona, USA

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Grackles by Robert Demaree

Persuaded by a bogus theology,
Believing that God inhabits all things,
We have at length given in to the grackles.
No longer do I tap at the window
Lest they devour seed meant for the goldfinches,
Who can take care of themselves.
The grackles cast an oily, blue-black glance:
You put up bird feeders? We’re birds! Where’s the problem?
Sadly, I no longer argue.
With the squirrels, though, it’s a different matter

Robert Demaree, USA

Monday, 16 March 2009

Forgive the Birds by Paula Ray

They do not know
windswept cries
are anchor stones.

Even music poured
from wounded clouds lifts them;
unlike you and me.

Paula Ray, North Carolina, USA

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Haibun by Shirla White

A bird, both feet planted firmly on a telephone wire, stares into the lavender void that enfolds him. Every half-minute or so, he turns, as though orbiting a planet nestled under his wings, tugging on a string wrapped around the moon, lifting it up for the prairies. Tonight, he is Atlas' assistant, coaxing the cosmos to comply with tired nations.

the sleeping bird
with raised wings

Shirla White, Saskatchewan, Canada

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Up-And-Doing by Christopher Barnes

(after This Unimportant Morning by Lawrence Durrell)

Leaving you
I open the door to a shift-work of bark beetles.
Sun’s cramped,
The crater’s knick-knack blue as it airs.

A cockleboat ruffles the orangey pool,
A sample mail van’s put-up.

In two hours I’ll relocate
A columbine thaw will suffuse
Over siltstone, sea wall
Reviving in pepper breath.

You pout away sleep
Deep space slackens its twirls,
An airborne miller moth
Will have its pupa.

Christopher Barnes, UK

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Terrestrial Illuminations by Constance Stadler

(for Duane Locke)

Grass tuft, will you not speak to me?
A blue and brown tit jumped on my table
Near the Arno and shared
.........................My sandwich
As a full bosomed poppy floated by.
Wilted corn stalks in vermillion light
Thrill as magic
Snowy egrets dance in pond surrender
To cabbage palms.
Flickers seeking to mate rustle, uplift
The molting oak branch.
Baby black snakes break their eggs
And slither in new born delight.
Beetle, I watch you, too
And gasp at the black rainbows
That o'er span the black rivers
Of your glowing wings
Oh why when I, so willing to
Yield to the luminescent
Beckoning of the
Firefly promenade
Should be so sashayed by?
Beholding Blake's sedimentary infinities
The 'mind-forged manacles'
Slip, a bit.
.........But London comes
With Ferris Eye and
Carnival freak shows leaving
Me wistful
For wild swan glimpse
Refracted sky
In a puddle
Of stagnant rain water.

Constance Stadler, VA, USA

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Burying the Dog by Taylor Graham

sonnenizio on a line from Frost

One of my wishes is that those dark trees,
their darker roots reaching into grassy swale,
be full of darkling birds at evening – phoebe,
nuthatch, thrush – to sing the bright-dark
elegies of greenwood. A place darkened
by bones leaching into rich dark earth held
fast by rock, dark as dead dogs gone. Here
the young buck pauses, dark-set eyes alert,
sniffs the air, then springs away into darker
shadow-thickets. As afternoon darkens
under passing clouds, the dark-light dance
of oak leaves rises to a darkening breeze.
Time for the dark homing. A young dog marks
his master’s call. Roots touch the deep darks.

Taylor Graham, California, USA