Category Archives: Zingara Poetry Picks

On the Occasion of 50 Years of Poems by Alan Perry

In this season of remembering
what came before us,
I think of snow.

Kaleidoscopes of flakes
that blanket bare spots,
gently fill footsteps

of trails to follow,
and groove the streets
to guide me home.

As each crystal melts,
it leaves a vanishing mark–
a point of clarity condensed

on skin–its final essence
blessing me with a tap,
comforting me with a presence.

But this poem doesn’t adore snow.
It loves the people who stepped
in and out of stanzas,

forming verses and images
of lives between the lines.
Each one’s unique countenance,

like a snowflake found
nowhere else, coming down
to touch the earth

and become it.

Alan Perry is a Minnesota native whose poems have appeared in Heron Tree, Right Hand Pointing, Sleet Magazine, Gyroscope Review, Riddled with Arrows, and elsewhere, and in a forthcoming anthology. He is an Associate Poetry Editor for Typehouse Literary Magazine, and was nominated for a 2018 Best of the Net.

“Houston Snow” by Deborah Phelps

Before dawn, snow tips the loden
Magnolias, the pin oaks, the dying palms.
Frost lies pristine in the ribs
Of the pines.

At daybreak the whiteness recedes
With children out of school
Scraping it off the car hoods
Into dirty snowmen.

This half-inch is the first ever
Seen by these children, and even
Some of their parents, who try
To take as many photos as possible

For future, warmer generations.
Afternoon, the coastal Gulf Stream
Bumps the temperature
Until snow is only barely
Visible on hedge-tops

A lace tablecloth kept for best.


Deborah Phelps teaches at Sam Houston State University. She has published a chapbook, Deep East, and in journals such as Gulf Coast, Comstock Review, and Red Coyote. She lives in Huntsville, Texas.

“Resistance” by Marian Shapiro

Ice whirling in our face. Snow angling side-
wise. We pull our stocking caps deep
over reddened ears.      Tilting forward.
Pressing on.  Everyone agrees:
this wind chill is a killer. Never-
theless, the trees, bare of all but squirrels, remain
still.

Wait until Spring, they murmur.
Then we will dance the dance of leaves. Re-
sistance will be so lovely.

Marian Kaplun Shapiro, five-times Senior Poet Laureate of Massachusetts, is the author of a professional book, many journal articles, approximately 400  published poems, and three books of poetry. She practices as a psychologist in Lexington, Massachusetts.

 

“Coldsurge” by John C. Mannone

            After ‘Heatwave’ by Ted Hughes

Between Huntingburg and frozen Indianapolis
The Midwest plains had entered the fly’s belly.

Like black-eyed rabbits half-buried in snow
My plane shudders in the icy wind.

The illusion of a runway is so real
Trees sprout on it, and human carcasses.

Only droning of the engine
And no beacons for the hapless.

I cannot penetrate the silence till sunset
Releases its raptor

Over the clouds, and birds are suddenly
Everywhere, and my pilot’s flesh

freezes in the breathing-in of great eagles.


John C. Mannone has work in Blue Fifth Review, Poetry South, Peacock Journal, Baltimore Review, and others. He won the Jean Ritchie Fellowship (2017) in Appalachian literature and served as celebrity judge for the National Federation of State Poetry Societies (2018). He edits poetry for Abyss & Apex and others. http://jcmannone.wordpress.com

 

“Under the Weather” by Rachel Barton

remnants of ice fog sparkle like glitter
frost crisps grass and thistle
shimmer of holiday gift wrap ruffs
the bin-on-wheels pulls me in a glide over a sheen of ice
on slippered feet an unexpected ride
down the drive to the curb

this is the day after
pajamas and frizzled ham on a plate
an afterthought of toast and jam
he sips espresso  through a blanket of foam
folds himself back into a roll of fleece
drifts into a dreamless sleep

I survey the counter of holiday sweets
palate dimmed by yesterday’s surfeit
no more rush to prep or polish I pause
as sun rises above the neighbor’s roofline
a weak light slow to warm
the tinsel of silvered grasses

Rachel Barton is a poet, writing coach, and editor. She is a member of the Calyx Editorial Collective, edits Willawaw Journal, and co-chairs Willamette Writers on the River. Find her poems in Oregon English Journal, Hubbub, Whale Road Review, Mom Egg Review, Cloudbank, and elsewhere. Her chapbook, Out of the Woods, was released in 2017. Happiness Comes is just released from Dancing Girl Press.

 

‘Tis the Season by Karen Wolf

Blue eyes dripping sadness stare through dark
rimmed glasses and Daddy’s Mopar
truck windshield. My
running pace allowing glimpses of his
disproportionate pear-shaped scowl. Flashes
of his life imagined
schoolmate cruelties leveled for his
countenance, name calling,
social shunning, tripping, punches. A passing freight
train halts my progress enabling a hello
with Dad as he emerges from the post office, Christmas
cookie in hand. His boyhood
sadness crumbles away.

Karen Wolf has been published in Smokey Blue Literary and Art Magazine, The Wagon Magazine, Oasis Journal, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, The Bookends Review, The Drunken Llama, Blynkt, Raw Dog Press, Street Light Press, Lady Blue Literary Arts Journal, Ripcord Magazine and many others. Her chapbook, “That’s Just the Way it Is”, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2018.

She says that poetry soothes the savage beast and opens her eyes to the beauty that abounds within the world.

“Silent Night Broken Night” by Patrick Cabello Hansel

María stumbles on the road
into town and falls, baby first
on the baked earth.  José
stares at his virgin bride,
his exile, his horn of plenty. He crouches
to help her up, but she shouts “No!”
He must apologize for the strange
look in his eyes, for handling her
like a stone the moment he first
knew her weight.  The stars,

 pin pricks on the skin
of heaven, look down: here
are the children of earth, frozen
in the wounding that precedes hope.
No words redeem the time,
or take the pain away.  There is
sinew and bone break and breath.

 María and José look at each other
in the last dirt before Bethlehem.
Their eyes are cradles where no child
has yet been lain.  José nods,
leans María into his shoulder,
and as the two rise as one, her water
breaks onto her robes and his,
his feet and hers, the dust, the stone,
the river under it all.

They walk, quicker now.  No donkey,
no angel, no choir.  Just the hurried
birth racing like wind. This child
will not wait for shelter,
his name rushes headlong
through the dark tunnel
that billows into waiting hands.

There is hay and straw enough.
His skin will be wrapped
in the softest cloth.  Poor men
will bring songs. No house
dare hold this child.

Patrick Cabello Hansel has published poems in over 40 journals, including Isthmus, Red Weather Review, Ash & Bones and Lunch Ticket. His novella “Searching” was serialized in 33 issues of The Alley News and his book of poetry “The Devouring Land” will be published March 2019 by Main Street Rag Publishing.