Tag Archives: #NationalPoetryMonth

“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.

“Do Not” by Barbara Lawhorn

Don’t fall in love ever again.
Maybe, don’t trust yourself.
Maybe only believe in what is
tangible. Don’t use similes
and metaphors so much in speech. Don’t

let others know what you are thinking. Feeling.
Doing next. Don’t plan ahead. Don’t plan meals.
Don’t think. Don’t think the wind rustling the dead
leaves, still hanging on, is God. Don’t

expect. Anything. Don’t expect anyone.
Anyone to make room for you in the homes
of their lives. Or you for them. Get small. Get quiet.
Work on disappearing into yourself. Think.
Think bomb shelter, canned goods, flashlights, and sleeping
bags. Zip yourself up. Listen. Listen. To the water rising
in you; all that blood. Be a dead leaf casting away, first on air
then on water. Use as few words as possible. As necessary.
You aren’t a tree. Words aren’t branches. Words are icicles.
Only hang them coldly, where they are really needed. Don’t

press your body to anything or anyone. Let your body only
be lodging wherever and whenever you are in the world. Don’t
talk. Don’t send a telegram to the world; send one to yourself.
Don’t smile unnecessarily. Set your face. Your skin isn’t Silly
Putty. Much of the world is unfunny. Don’t

laugh. What foolishness
you swam in. How dare you? You wore optimism like a bikini
that didn’t fit you. Take it off. No one will look at you,
much less touch you, in your nakedness.

Barbara Lawhorn is an Assistant Professor at Western Illinois University. She’s into literacy activism, walking her dog, Banjo, running, baking and eating bread, and finding the wild places, within and outside. Her most recent work can be found at The Longleaf Pine, BLYNKT, Nebo: A Literary Magazine, and Naugatuck River Review. Her favorite creative endeavors are her kids, Annaleigh and Jack.

“Dance in a Drugstore” by Anne Whitehouse

The dark-eyed salesgirl at CVS
jumped into the toy collection box,
bobbing like a jack-in-the-box,
tossing her long, dark, silky hair.

She jumped out laughing,
flirting with the salesboy,
inviting him to dance
to the background Muzak.

Under the store’s fluorescent glare,
they swayed and twirled,
overcoming the boredom
of a slow Sunday night
in a dead-end job,
in step with an old love song.

Anne Whitehouse is the author of six poetry collections, most recently Meteor Shower (Dos Madres Press, 2016). She has also written a novel, Fall Love, which is now available in Spanish translation as Amigos y amantes by Compton Press. Recent honors include 2017 Adelaide Literary Award in Fiction, 2016 Songs of Eretz Poetry Prize, 2016 Common Good Books’ Poems of Gratitude Contest, 2016 RhymeOn! Poetry Prize, 2016 F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum Poetry Prize. She lives in New York City. www.annewhitehouse.com

 

“When Freedom Fails Me” by Lisa Masé

Because I have died and been reborn,
because rarely, I get to glimpse the calm
that precedes worry,
I take the beauty way home today.

Once, I trusted some safety beyond myself
as my ear pressed against your broad chest
to hear another steady beat.

I am left with my own heart
leaning into a sunflower
that beams yellow
from its head of diamond nectar.

When did it ever go easily?

Maybe as a baby,
before my spirit remembered fear
and started clutching at time’s skirts
as they swirled
to let thoughts wrap me
in their brocade of desires.

Lisa Masé has been writing poetry since childhood. She teaches poetry workshops for Vermont’s Poem City events, co-facilitates a writing group, and has translated the poetry of writers from Italy, France, and the Dominican Republic. Her chap book, Heart Breaks Open, was published by the Sacred Poetry Contest.

“Mirror Image” by Dilantha Gunawardana

You look at the glow of the super moon,
At a flawless circle, epitomizing perfection.

So was by legend, Cleopatra, and by myth, Helen of Troy.
We all like to see some beauty in us, outer or inner,

Like that feeling which sponsors effervescent mirth,
From a one-way transaction with a roadside beggar,

Mirrors are ubiquitous; in the bedroom, above the sink,
On the outside of a car, some hand-held, some hung in the soul.

All are badgering truth machines, inescapable, almost
Like the nagging sun during the daylight hours,

And mirror images are far from idyllic sculptures,
Only an offering of honesty, of a fine glass-like reality,

A reflection that you look at, either directly or with tilting pupils,
In a myriad of deft angles, gazing at a familiar creature,

Who fails to meet up to your high expectations.
Still, you graft a tongue-full of flattery,

Harvesting an eyeful of dishonesty from a mirror’s face,
Oblivious that deception is like a daffodil,

A blooming Narcissus.


Dr Dilantha Gunawardana is a molecular biologist, who graduated from the University of Melbourne. He moonlights as a poet. Dilantha wrote his first poem at the ripe age of 32 and now has more than 1700 poems on his blog. His poems have been accepted/published in Forage, Kitaab, Eastlit, American Journal of Poetry and Ravens Perch, among others. He blogs at – https://meandererworld. wordpress.com/

National Poetry Month Call for Submissions

Zingara Poetry Review is celebrating National Poetry Month this April by publishing a poem every day of the month and wants YOUR submissions.

  • Send 1-3 previously unpublished poems 40 lines of fewer in the body of an email, any style, any subject, to ZingaraPoet@gmail.com with National Poetry Month as the subject of your email.
  • Include a cover letter and brief professional biography of 50 words or fewer, also in the body of your email.
  • Submissions will be accepted through April 30th, unless otherwise announced.
  • Simultaneous submissions are fine, but please let me know immediately if submitted work is accepted elsewhere.
  • Published poets receive bragging rights and the chance to share their work with a diverse and ever-growing audience.
  • Submissions which do not follow these guidelines will be disregarded.
  • If accepted work is later published elsewhere, please acknowledge that the piece first appeared in Zingara Poetry Review.
  • There are no fees to submit. All submitters will be subscribed to the Zingara Poetry Review monthly newsletter and digest.
  • Check Zingara Poetry Review every day in April to read great poems and celebrate National Poetry Month.
  • Send me your twitter handle and follow Zingara Poetry Review @ZingaraPoet and I will tag you the day your poem is published.

I look forward to reading your submissions. Happy National Poetry Month!