Tag Archives: #NationalPoetryMonth

“as dandelions popped” by Nanette Rayman

Tonight, from a distance, I saw my real life
smiling and walking across the avenue with bells
on, a sound sweet—for her—like the birds chirping
at the last moment of Layla. And without a sound
the blue-green brush strokes of sad altostratus
clouds crosshatched the whole sky. A cassowary
lost its quillish feathers in New Guinea, feet left
to kick anyone in its path and a fortune-teller
heavy with turquoise in a long flowing skirt looked
at me for a long moment. On the other side
of the Atlantic,  the Isle of Hebrides took
on sun and people cried, weathered houses
tilting in the wind, and eyes hooded by hands
ready to caress wives and husbands as I sat
down floppily on an old bench as dandelions
popped, as pink pansies blossomed fuchsia,
resigned and overwhelmed as the human soul.

Nanette Rayman, author of Shana Linda, Pretty Pretty and Project: Butterflies—Foothills Publishing. Winner of the Glass Woman Prize, included in Best of the Net 2007, DZANC Best of the Web 2010 is published in Stirring’s Steamiest Six, featured in Up the Staircase Quarterly. Other publications include: Sugar House Review, Worcester Review, Berkeley Fiction Review, Little Rose Magazine, Rain, Poetry & Disaster Society, Pedestal, DMQ, carte blanche, Oranges & Sardines, Sundog, and Melusine. 

“Post-” by Joshua Allen

Swamp grass and muck rot
shelter a vibrant community.

Brown-speckled wren eggs crack
in six-pack nests beneath

black bag tarpaulins.
Aluminum can abodes dwell

 on shaded confetti lawns.
Insects scurry on tire tread highways;

 reptiles retire to Coke bottle brothels.
Father says, the lost architecture is the most tragic part.

Glossy magazines woven into webs
bridge trees as a canopy

of dates and events. The focused sun
illuminates the particular histories

we have tried to leave behind
during our marsh walk.

Instead, we think of the cooking fire,
the roasting meat, the hum of voices,

 which quiet as we approach, guns drawn.

Joshua Allen is a somewhat wayward soul who is soon to be mercilessly ejected from Indiana University Bloomington into the larger world. He has been published in Gravel, Origami Journal, Lime Hawk, Tributaries (forthcoming), and The Long Island Literary Journal (forthcoming). 

“Porch” by Martina Reisz Newberry

We cast curses at the moon,
watch its face travel over     then behind     clouds,
then come to the fore
as if beckoned
when it most certainly was not.
Booze and blackberries on the front porch
and the cries of dead beasts and warriors out there.

Imagine it                     Hold it in your head
as you do song lyrics and prayers.
The strange scents of late nights
call us to remember our weaknesses
and the ill will we’ve encountered in others.
We talk of these things     bring them closer.

And oh the madness of this porch        how it dares to receive
our complaints and our compliances             how it
rests under our flip-flops and naked toes     how it
shifts under spilled sweet tea     and dripped foam
off cans of Bud Light

Does it make you grin that I’ve said this?

So, the moon hovers and we here below
pull it over us, imagine it soft when            in truth
it’s dense as a mango dum dum.

Inside, we look for rest knowing our mendacity
could pull down the stars                  knowing our joys
are simple masks for grudges
the way they jibe

My God                     The way we consume bitterness
fill our plates, pour on gravies
and sauces of fear and then
dare to sleep on that repletion.

Martina Reisz Newberry’s recent books: NEVER COMPLETELY AWAKE (Deerbrook Editions), and TAKE THE LONG WAY HOME (Unsolicited Press).Widely published, she was awarded residencies at Yaddo Colony for the Arts, Djerassi Colony for the Arts, and Anderson Center for Disciplinary Arts.

Martina lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Brian.

“Absence by Inference” by Duane L. Herrmann

A row of cedar trees
native to the plains
and nearly indestructible,
with a shed behind,
old, ruined,
indicate the absence
of a home
once in the space
the trees protected.
What happened
to this farm?
The missing family?
The tragedy afflicted
on their lives?
And, the children?
What did they feel,
uprooted, scattered,
with the wind?

Duane L. Herrmann is a survivor who lived to tell; a prairie poet with a global conscience.  Recipient of the Robert Hayden Poetry Fellowship, he is published in print and online in several languages and various countries. His collections of poetry include: Prairies of Possibilities, Ichnographical:173 and Praise the King of Glory.

“Things to Be Grateful for During the American Winter” by Michael Brockley

~For K.D.

The portrait of Harriet Tubman burbling in the ink of a twenty-dollar bill. The way hands can be cupped to form eagles and bison when the shadows on bedroom walls slip through the jet stream of your imagination. The way women’s boots never go out of style. The way wallets are cluttered with unclaimed lottery tickets and Chinese fortune scripts. Take pleasure knowing chaos theory honors the wisdom of Japanese butterflies. Cherish this year of lunar wonders. October’s Hunter’s Moon. The November moon so close a heroine could step off of her hometown street into zero gravity. Hold your memory of a president racing his puppy through the White House halls at Christmas. Celebrate the happy accident of the newest blue and the oldest cherished songs. Sing Hallelujah! Thank the fog. Thank the way persimmons ripen during hard frosts. The taste of haiku lingering on your tongue. Take comfort in the assurance that scarves will always fit. Be grateful for the circle of light dancing above your head. It guardians the secrets in your eyes. Be grateful for the photographs of your most embarrassing moments. Be grateful for the impossible challenges before you. Be grateful knowing that, for this hour, gratitude is enough.

Michael Brockley is a 68-year old semi-retired school psychologist who still works in rural northeast Indiana. His poems have appeared in Atticus Review, Gargoyle, Tattoo Highway and Tipton Poetry Journal. Poems are forthcoming in 3Elements Review, Clementine Unbound, Riddled with Arrows and Flying Island. 

 

“Wanting” by Diana Raab

Wanting
I
Rainbow

The rain trickles
down my paned window
as I stand up to hunt the sky
for the stripes of my childhood.
The more I want to touch
that rainbow, the more it drifts away.

II

Persuasion

When you wonder about
what you want anew
try persuading yourself
and the answer will come to you.

III

Wishing Well

Yesterday I released a penny
in that deepest tunnel
of darkness, crossing my fingers
and begging for wellness.

Diana Raab, Ph.D. is an award-winning poet, memoirist, blogger, essayist and speaker.  Her book, “Writing for Bliss: A Seven-Step Plan for Telling Your Story and Transforming Your Life” was published in 2017.  Raab is a regular blogger for Psychology Today, Huff50 (The Huffington Post), and PsychAlive. More at dianaraab.com.

 

“Night” by Jerry Wemple

Night falls suddenly when the sun declines
behind these granite hills. The boy sits on
the river side of the flood wall, his back
to the town. He smokes a cigarette, counts
the cars and tractor trucks on the state road
across the water. Wonders where they’re bound.
The boy would like a car, some way, any way
to leave the town, to drive past the farms
until the hills grow and the woods thicken
and sit beside the tiny stream that is the start
of this half-mile wide river. The boy rises,
heads into town. He walks past the little park,
a few blocks up Market, enters a tiny hot
dog restaurant, nods to Old Sam, who started
the place after the war. Sam knows, fixes
one with everything, uncaps a blue birch
from the old dinged metal floor cooler,
while the boy fingers the lone coin in
his pocket. Outside the wind rises and shifts.

Jerry Wemple is the author of three poetry collections: You Can See It from Here (winner of the Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award), The Civil War in Baltimore, and The Artemas Poems. His poems and essays have been published in numerous journal and anthologies. He teaches in the creative writing program at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania.