Saturday 29 March 2008

A Poem Reminded Me by Amir Elzeni

We were in fifth grade,
in Egypt, in our
gray slacks, white
collard shirts, black
shoes, ironed, pressed,
hall monitors,
the future of Egypt,

my best friend
and I sat next
to each other,
one day I can't
remember who started it
but we would take our
index finger and rub it
on the other's
arm, up and down
soft as possible,
slow and nervous,

we said that the object
was to make the other laugh,
and all day sitting in class
we would do it, under the desk,
gentle as boys could ever be,

it didn't tickle, we would
just fake laugh to keep it
alive, to give us a reason,

to keep the moon dancing
inside innocence.

Amir Elzeni, USA

Thursday 27 March 2008

Mama Wearies then Brightens by Gloria Wimberley

I wanted to bathe
(but instead, I bathed in the sun)
I wanted to sweep the floors
but for fun,
I swept away
a stickysilver web
between two trees
and laughing, mused that I'd hurt no one
Then I saw that because of Me
--and my sun-sudden glee,
a hardworking spider was
I wanted to tidy up the house
--pick up the books, dolls, and toys
the Dr. Seuss-esque gizmos that bring mirth of noise
...but I preferred subtle joys
'stead of work, I focused on fun:
my child and I played until the day was done...
Please give my regards to the conspiratorial sun
I don't regret chores undone

Gloria Wimberley, Florida, USA

Monday 24 March 2008

The True History Of Cinderella by Howard Good

Your cheek was pressed to the ground
as if listening for the heartbeat of the earth,

while the king’s soldiers took turns,
a dark wetness, and later, after they departed,

the spreading conviction that there was
a prince, ugly stepsisters, a glass slipper,

not just these medieval woods,

where, whenever you walk,
the weeping unicorn with the crumpled horn,

its throat slashed and bleeding,
offers its garish wound for you to kiss.

Howard Good, New York, USA

Thursday 20 March 2008

African Dream by William Hammett

There is rain on the mountain
rising like an apocalypse.

The sun’s last hour is blue,
the color of wetness, the color of trees.

The herd grazes on a rainbow,
silent in the curves of geometry.

Some forgotten hymn hides in the tall grass,
fireflies praising the electric savannah

rolling into sunset.
Crickets always know the secret first.

Angels in the acacia scatter—
principalities begin their work at night.

The farmer, the oxen, the yoke—
they will carry the sun while the hours sleep.

Stars rise, only to fall on water
under the mountain.

There is a path that wanders from nowhere,
leads nowhere.

At night, the mountain lies with the earth.
Life is once again conceived

in the mind of God
from a lowly African dream.

William Hammett, Louisiana, USA

Monday 17 March 2008

That Moment by Sally Evans

That moment, a deer swam the pool
crossing the river to sunlight
from oak thickets, we stood
as if stricken with awe
yet how ordinary
a part of this creature's life
to return to the herd on the brow
from some simple foraging
in sweet watermeadows, how
that moment mattered because
of where it rippled and splashed
under the ceiling of leaves
in our life
and what poetry was.

Sally Evans, Scotland

Friday 14 March 2008

Primrose In My Garden Grows by Melanie Bishop

silently grows
in twilight's shadows

delicate and frail
not to last the night

And yet it
lingers still
at morning's light

Melanie Bishop, New York, USA

Tuesday 11 March 2008

Ranch Trees by Chris Crittenden

frondy ashes
clasp squiggles of sun,
trickle the heat
across whispers

while breeze
tousles their manes,
airy green foams
above centurial brawn.

who touches these tomes,
learns from the roughs
of their grimalkin bark?
their midlife knotholes?
their sapling dreds?

who remembers them
when dreaming under plaster
as they sentinel midnight,

Chris Crittenden, Maine, USA

Sunday 9 March 2008

Three Tanka by M Kei

quiet now
sleet falling from
the grey sky
no bird flitting
through the trees

two red beaks!
in all that brown,
there must be
a pair of cardinals

snow mist . . .
a brown cardinal
her red beak
spring’s promise

M Kei, Maryland, USA

Friday 7 March 2008

Twist My Words by Michael Lee Johnson

I see the spring dance all over your face in green
you were arrogant before you viewed my willow tree
outside my balcony.
Now you wave at me
with green fingers
and lime smiles.
You twist my words,
Harvard collegiate style,
right where you want them to be-
-lime green, willow tree, and
dark skinned branches.

Michael Lee Johnson, Chicago, IL, USA

Wednesday 5 March 2008

An Abundance of Tides by William Hammett

Sailors know too well
the running of marrow in their bones,
slate-gray dreams heaving them at angles
to the horizon—jagged, rolling—
as they ride meridians and sloping sorrows
to a compass point south of Capricorn.

They know of their blood’s own salt
and the odd rhythms that swell the heart,
tempting it with fathoms,
the same heart once married to soil
and content to split wood on the far side
of some forsaken country lane.

We have all crawled from the deep,
have all spawned amniotic dreams
of that time before minerals became as hard
as a life curved into gravity.
Such an awful legacy—to lumber forth on fins
while ancestors jackknife in foam.

We are all proverbial and pre-ordained,
seasick sailors who nevertheless ship our souls
to the deep where rolls our home
in measured strains from the moon:
“return, ye children of the single cell—

And like Ishmael,
we pause before the coffin warehouses
and spy funerals with a love too dear.
We take to our ships, cast off the lines,
knowing there is an abundance of tides
to help us circumnavigate
the drizzly November of the soul.

William Hammett, Louisiana, USA

Sunday 2 March 2008

First by Davide Trame

Early spring, first warm sun, you look at the sea
with a mixed itch of dread and desire,
you know it’s still very cold.
You wait, fidget with a shell, a pebble
and scan the lulling glare of the horizon.
Then step in and walk on
slowly, teeth chattering, heart hammering, water
at your ankles, calves, thighs, almost up to your breast,
your arms still raised in the air –go, you tell yourself,
go, each instant is a leap
and no way to know for sure you will resist,
go, it’s what the bottomless now of your breath
asks first.-

Davide Trame, Venice, Italy