Sunday 31 March 2013

Animals by Kevin Cadwallender

Animals don’t do heaven,
That’s just us frightened apes,
Building the persistent myth
Of continuation which means nothing
And haunts us all of our beleaguered

Animals don’t do heaven
And it suits them,
Honestly breathing in and out
Over their allotted existence.
A philosophy that brooks
No philosophy other than
Being, and they are content.

Animals don’t do heaven,
But we do, in denial, in fear,
In case it’s there, in situ, indecisively.
Look at the T.V., it’s all there,
Our pettiness, our terror of being alone,
Of not being alone. It makes no difference.

Mourning the loss of the intangible,
The animal that died inside of us
And made us this stricken, bone-bag
Riddled with guilt and excuses.

Kevin Cadwallender, Scotland

Sunday 24 March 2013

Elegy for Piper by Taylor Graham

In the last days she was leaving
into the place old dogs go,

when love of master's hand and the daily
joys of walk and dinner bowl

become forgetful; 
when without wishing the ears

muffle over master's voice,
and curtains silver-glaze the eyes against 

daylight - painless 
but wandering from her life

into a new one without us. Solitary
unless every cell 

of fading body feels at its walls
the tremor - the soft pad 

of others on the far side, their heads 
lifted to an unworldly 

breeze that already 
bears to them her approaching, 

her remembered scent. 

Taylor Graham, California, USA

Sunday 17 March 2013

the naturalist by Micah Cavaleri

(for Anne Gorrick)

I have finally come around
to write this book
of yellow and red illustrations
of green palms
only centuries late
How have I forgotten what I discovered
on a ship as if I was on a ship I forgot

Fried (green) plantains taste like (yellow) honey
although I did not
sit down to write
a cook book. These
illustrations are
illuminations of
a voyage I never
expected to make
until I saw the boards
of the hull. Now
I am lost at sea.

Micah Cavaleri, USA 

Sunday 10 March 2013

Die Back by Gram Davies

Over ale, he tells me, 
Ash burns wet. Downpour. 
Trains in disarray, villages 
silenced. The English seem 
forever unprepared. To reach 
a bus stop needed waders. 

A website showed you 
how to spot the rot: patches 
in bark like porter soaking
shirtsleeves; twigs’
black fingernails bared
above canopies. 

We fought flash floods
on roads which closed like zips 
behind us, to this inn fire 
under these ceiling beams. 
Some things appear changeless;
we have no tales of tomorrow.

But in lanes, overhung by ashes’
banana-bunch branches...
a creeping flame. Another ale –
he tells me there were fewer
floods, back in his day.

Gram Davies, England

Sunday 3 March 2013

When the Sun Rises by Doug Draime

I want to hear
the bird’s song, that’s all. The
meadowlark in the dense dark oaks,
or the whippoorwill crooning
to and fro in the sun
of the sycamores. I grow so damn
weary of the human sound,
flashing on with its artificial light

and the rat-tat-tat sound
of the collective Ego,
spinning on its
perpetually bloodied,
nowhere wheels. I want to hear
the blue jay high up
in the maple tree, squawking
a shrill celebration. A thrush singing
to me from the birch tree.

Doug Draime, Oregon, USA