Monday, 28 November 2011

The Conclusion of Certainty by Ken Poyner

The day before the sun blew up
We took breakfast late, watched
The twenty-four hour news channel,
Considered doing nothing.
You placed on the back porch
Our cats' left over food
For the stray that has been
Looking in across the patio glass
Days, sun and rain, for a week.
Our cats have excess, and, as with all
Your other backdoor bowls of generosity,
Never has any bowl gone less than empty.
What do you think that cat
Feels for us now? Nonetheless
For as long as we could, we were
Committed to doing something, something
Sheepishly cliché, even knowing that the end state
Would be that it was the process that mattered.
Or perhaps it was the other way around.

Ken Poyner, Virginia, USA

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

The Buyers by Lee Stern

The buyers are here
and they want to be sure there is something to buy.
If there’s nothing to buy, they’re going to go back to their sad houses
and line up behind the other sad buyers.
So please try to keep that in mind
when you have something ill to say about them.
Let the buyers advance for the good of humanity.
And let them reconcile their obligations
even when it is still the morning hour for us
and we stand amazed at the quality of the light.
Let the buyers settle their affairs
using the most advanced principles of modern accounting that we are able to relate.
And let the things they have bought settle down easily on shelves.
Let the dust that accumulates become the surface for the road that we keep.
And let the super abundant boxes
sail nightly through the shores of the heaven we can name.

Lee Stern, California, USA

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

absolute velocity by Linda King

sometimes it is enough
this pull of distance its bitter wind
flung past evening driven
beyond the off ramp

even the gods are unhappy
at the broken places
where solitude collects

lean out your window sing
to the street lamps
the half moon dangles
from barren branches

between the lines
memories are written on the bodies
of those plastic flaxen-haired women
the ones that young girls crave

their stories compose a world
where violence becomes a verb
wrenched from another language
all scars and bruised knees

inherited disasters
passed on passed down
like heirloom silver
and those long ago neighbourhoods
where the hard summer grass remains

Linda King, Vancouver, Canada

Monday, 7 November 2011

Lotus shoes by Jan Harris

Li combs the elm tree’s roots apart
as Ma Ma once teased tangles from her hair.
She prunes them short to fit the shallow pot
and soothes the severed tips with soil
like arms around a weeping child.

Annealed copper shapes the trunk,
as if it’s growing from a windswept cliff
where clouded panthers climb with ease.
Li twists the boughs with care.
The cracks and tears will heal with time
and all will wonder at its grace and style.

Tonight she’ll lift the Penjing from its plinth
and carry it with tiny steps to her betrothed.
She’ll wear her golden lotus shoes -
two crescent moons of satin silk,
embroidered figures dancing down the sides

Jan Harris, UK