Monday 28 September 2009

second avenue subway construction or: is there silence anymore in New York by Nanette Rayman Rivera

As my sweet sausages and peaches drop
through the construction pit, the air that anneals
ash accelerates over sludge, gives its body
to the workers of the chasm. When I moved
up here from lower Manhattan, far from hip portico,
I beamed at clean trees that marked this garden
of calm. Beyond my known coterie
of cool juice bars, fawned over lady boutiques:
all fierce I was, all claw and blade,
so unlike any sparrow who nests.

Regardless, I’ve been lost in the downy
slick of a woodpecker’s red head, lost in the bone
- coffined shins of sawed off trees. A new weeping
willow just de-catkined, its riled blonde like liver
disease stealing along the chain link fence
reveals a watermark in a disease of fatigue.
Silver-dollared Calendulas watercolor rats out of their league.

In any case I’ve been writing about surrender—
I wonder what being a bird is like – wings,
clap loudly compasses, outskirts and ruffles of down
Ring Neck Doves, white lips on tail feathers—
The ornithologist who plied bird liming, viscid, adhesive
substance for the sake of circumvallation.
That word is behind me now
along the construction, the brown
and cream round earth.
I’m a bird astonished by all the stars there are,
all frost and steel.
The one billion free razors of my reveries.
Ah! How I bleed.

Nanette Rayman Rivera, USA

Friday 25 September 2009

Throat by Wendy Noonan

It's pitching in the wind again,
by a house with quiet shutters.

There, the girl runs through
stalks of wheat moving

through invisible fingers.
The dog lopes along ahead,

and she has known him,
has spent many an autumn night

combing burrs from his hair.
The wheat has a secret;

the sky will not tell it.
In old photos, when her words

are carried off on the backs of birds,
the child is more still, she must

be so still for the nulled
voice climbing down the well,

nails torn, covered in petals, leeches.
It will need to offer her

a gift. Here is the new throat
torn, and the dress sewn

for her, it is a solid yellow.
Now she is calling you Sister.

Wendy Noonan, Oregon, USA

Monday 21 September 2009

late night shifts by Alishya Almeida

late night shifts, and
we are not ourselves
girls with too many hearts
blue in destruction mode

her smile catching in webbed
light, mangled hope
causes sunshine depression

but this connection is
better-fall in love with
the dying, homeless,
future home wreckers

this is your shadow
rummaging through
my thoughts

make a sound to
pull me out of inhibition

redhead, golden dress
want to runaway?

Alishya Almeida

propagation by Angie Werren

you flash those cherokee eyes / black as kentucky coal
and run barefoot up the boatdock / bluegills and malboros
in your hands / you grab a dishtowel from the clothesline
honey, wait / let me put some hens-and-chicks in a box
I canned some of those hot peppers too

tonight / you’ll sit in the dark and stare at the moon

my yard is full of dogwoods that make me think of you
weeds fight for space with hens-and-chicks / I’m trapped
in my skin / sore feet and tired old eyes / I spent all afternoon
planting daylilies / see what that is / rustling leaves over there
I guess it’s just the creek running

tonight / I’ll sit in the dark and stare at the moon

she looks up / equations in her dark eyes / plants propagate
numbers in that child’s head / she’ll grow maple trees on mars
someday / she counts the hens-and-chicks / oh there’s so many
like a star cluster / can I take some with me when I go
I want a big house by the river

tonight / she’ll sit in the dark and stare at the moon

Angie Werren, Ohio, USA

Saturday 19 September 2009

On Waking by Wendy Kwok

everything i have put into hibernation
has realised that winter is yet to come;
it is closing on my heels and chasing the
summer sun into earlier afternoons, my
hands guilt and guile gliding over wasted
leaves and painted eaves without shelter.

the light is a motion movie playing in strips,
clipping the scenes i cannot grip so my heart
is insulated. but my mouth is already baited
and my core is slated for reconstruction;
the wind is cold on my tongue where resolution
dissolves her iron ill over sagging will wily with time.

you are wiping the grime so i can see your name,
your shame written on windows closed to me and
i am learning to read backwards, to bend slack words
into recognisable shapes where we have convoluted
circles without realising the one-way roads coasting
away from slain lovers are leading us right back to each other.

Wendy Kwok, Scotland

Thursday 10 September 2009

Universe by Neil Ellman

The universe expands, contracts,
Curls back upon itself,
Crashes in thunderous jolts
Unheard in spaceless space.

The universe begins and ends
Begins again somewhere
Where there is no where
And ends where it begins.

The universe gives birth
To cosmic eggs, itself an egg,
A progeny of stars and nebulae
Racing to the end of endless time.

The universe unfolds, a dream,
Traveling at the speed of light
And standing still while it surveys
The loneliness of strings.

Neil Ellman, NJ, USA

Monday 7 September 2009

Natural Selection by Bill Graffius

Watching dark ash and dust devour the sun
was a hard lesson for Rex.
Strength, claws and incisors
were no match for the advancing ice
and his reign ended.

We were prey, not predator,
running bent, adrenals pumping,
hoping to avoid being supper for the tigers.
But, we learned, and knowledge became power,
a subtle, but awesome substitute
for sinewed muscle and sharp teeth.

Once life was a struggle for food and shelter.
Successful procreation was a clear measure
of the success of the species.

Now, Nature begins to stack the scales
in counterbalance as we foul our nest
and eat the seeds of next Spring's harvest.

New viruses are multiplying,
reproduction is no longer a hope for the future
but a gamble with extinction.

Like poor Rex our blood has betrayed us,
beginning to freeze.

Bill Graffius, Oregon, USA

Saturday 5 September 2009

Raining Moon by Jessica McWhirt

And the water that
fell from the skies,
drowned the moon,
cutting it in half,
shooting it to Earth,
and no one panicked,
and no one cared-
The slice of the moon
lacerated the blues
and browns sending
one half forward,
the other half back,
and no one seemed to mind,
and no one was alarmed-
You were on one side
and I was on the other,
while you moved forward,
and I jumped back.
Eventually one of us
will be engulfed by
a black hole
and spat out on the
other end of time
and we’ll never know
what we missed,
but the people don’t care and
they don’t seem to mind.

Jessica McWhirt, Colorado, USA

Thursday 3 September 2009

Songs by Kelly Shepherd

we'll light up songs
by the campfire
I'll throw you a poem
across the field
we'll wash stories
in the waterfall
then send our dreams
to the moon

sing me a song
with your quiet smile
with your rising side
with your crying eyes
sing me a song
don't tell me the words

Kelly Shepherd, British Columbia, Canada