Wednesday 29 September 2010

The Elephant Who Could Have Been Pink is destroyed in a First Grade Classroom by Taryn Spencer

I didn’t have a grey crayon


I could not envision


In their bodies
They live


Through flourished

They stomp
Olive plains
In herds

Amongst mangy hyenas
Amongst curious jaguars

While cultivating thoughts Of cooling
Sweaty trunks in magical waters-

In between a world of Colorful lives hued in blues and greens-
Shunning jungle disputes and dull human beings

As for you

Depriving me of a creative moment
Of a haunting vision that danced
In my head

Like ballroom girls
In the midst of Eden.

Taryn Spencer

Thursday 23 September 2010

A Letter to the First Graders of 2100 by Kasandra Larsen

In Yosemite National Park, we are saying goodbye to the oldest and largest trees;
they must be gone by now. This was a protected place, meaning the vanishing
of branches happened slower. Once upon a time, America was beautiful, blanketed

in green, ripe for harvest because everywhere is virgin territory if you draw the map
yourself. That's what our ancestors thought as they chopped, burnt, built their houses,
made this paper. That was the beginning. Worse came later. At first we were

industrious, not fat. We invented improvements to horses and feet, upgraded to sleek
and shiny cars that idled for hours every year on flat black landscapes, highways
with tiny pines shoved off to the side. Innocents who inherited the earth, still young,

still meek, have you been to the graveyards, hangars full of big tin cans with wings
that flew us almost everywhere we wanted? We never did find new planets with plenty
of trees. Light bulbs were fired by electricity from plants burning coal. Even our

impressive architecture emitted carbon dioxide. Every city had a bunch of Burger
Kings, McDonald's; we raised thousands of heads of cattle for their supply, grew
abundances of rice, blew methane kisses to what we thought was an endless sky.

Kasandra Larsen, New Orleans, USA

Sunday 19 September 2010

Retrograde by Michael Carychao

Ovens, refridgerators, washers and dryers,
dishwashers, microwaves, tv's and cars,
computers, phones, stereos, remotes and speakers
buzzed, fumed and lurched,
fell and never got up.

We looked to each other and saw our ancestors
pushing sleeves over elbows,
planting feet, tilting shoulders,
thinking of seasons
and laughing at clouds.

Michael Carychao

Wednesday 15 September 2010

Construction Site by Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt

The sky has finally lost its mind,
wind lashing out at our sin.
There are not enough trees
to hold back the dust we
have birthed with our earth
moving mothers, no cord
or tube or pipeline to breathe
for us, connect us, to feed
us anything other than sand
from their steel and muddied
breasts. There is no air in this storm.

The golden eye of lightening glares down
upon enemy us, while dirt from undressed
ground grits over our pupils, our streets,
our houses, our eyelids. We remember a time

we used to complain, write to leaders, hold signs
in the narrow streets, but our justified revile
is paved over, our words chucked into landfills,
our yards track-marked into caustic lime.
Our throats have been sanded to silence.

There is not enough left for us all.
There is nothing we can say to the sky.
But there is plenty of sand in the world,
enough to dust us away.

Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt, Virginia, USA

Friday 10 September 2010

Answering the Question by George Bishop

I was thinking
of the lizard walking
on water in the pool,
how it can dash across
a mirror or scale a wall—
yet, it couldn’t find a way
out this sky-blue cell.
There it was, doomed
to die while I watched.
Of course, my friend
wouldn’t let that happen
and neither would I—
she performed the rescue,
setting it free to live out
whatever was left of its tiny,
prehistoric life. Returning
to what she asked,
if I believed in the afterlife,
I said yes, without life.
I heard someone call it
The Hereafter somewhere
and something inside nodded
its bare, inside head.
She told me they were just words
and that it was either
the water or the rat terrier.
I hadn’t noticed the dog,
just the lizard and how
deceptively clear it can be
to touch two surfaces
at the same time.

George Bishop, Florida, USA

Monday 6 September 2010

Outside by Chris Crittenden

pain melts
into the yellow of the sun.
the birds, too, are flames
and grass in the wind
supple wicks.

everywhere movement.
branches bob like cello bows.
wind hums across lindens
as if waking bassoons.

meadow golds
blur into festivals that could be.
the sky blooms into bees and flits,
each humming a line
in a polyglot play.

tragedies come and go.
romances upend.
what we thought were last acts
prove the dearest creations.

Chris Crittenden, Maine, USA

Friday 3 September 2010

Red Deer by Gordon Mason

Red deer graze
the Jackson mere,
cinnamon aftertones
on slow waves
of midday light.

Velvet damp, a stag
raises his head.
His twin,
a debarked willow,
stands stiff jointed.

On the wrong side
of the thyme tracks,
he turns to face a storm
that will wash
into September ditches.

As if startled
by a sudden snail,
he strides a slow ballet
into the wings,
reed curtains.

Gordon Mason, Scotland and Spain