Daily Archives: June 20, 2010

“After a Blizzard” by Annette M. Krizanich

It was a long walk through the cloud
that came to my knees. But at the top of the slope
the board wouldn't move: too much
snow. So I sat and was

very still. I could hear leaves rattle
on oaks that threw blue
shadows on the hillside. The branches
held the sun—an orange ball.

I lay back, strangely warm.
Cars passed on some distant
road beyond the frozen
lake, and I thought I could sleep.

But I didn't. When I sat up
the shadows were longer.
I began to walk.
The trees had gone

silent, the snow turned a shade
of marble. Not even a crow.
But the pattern:
when the time

was right the trees
would send their lives
forth, together;
the light, return.

“All Soul’s Night” by Annette M. Krizanich

For a while the sun was inside
the water: submarine flood-

light. It wasn't alone; the other one
hung above it. I sat in the room

the woods made. All was brown
and down at last, and the silent

air delineated my breath. Shadows
sprawled behind me. When I stood

to leave, mine was the only one
moving. Then the other shadows

fused. Now they're all one:
the earth's. Leaves hurt my ears.

Is this air or dark glass?
The fullness of the moon surprises

me: fragmented by black hawthorn
and maple branches. When I step

from the trees, it follows, whole
again. No matter where I go

it's over my shoulder:
it's the face of the one I can't forget.

“This is in Whisper” by Christina Johns

He waits.
A bit past the corner
of the building shaded
by noonday buildings, side by side,
almost on top of one another. And he straightens his coat.
The long, well worn gray piece has been erratically lightened by the sun
But in this chilly spring draft he doesn't care.

He knows.
Each day they pass here
with their laughing and giggling,
they pass here with their little girl tales
and fresh little girl smells they don't know
him as he waits with the gray trench now pulled tightly, but he knows them. He knows them well. And he watches them. And he waits.

Gina is the first.
How could they know?
Nobody knew as she was walking home
alone from catechism class she was missing
more days than some, fewer days than others
and neighbors searched quite frantic parents tried
hard not to panic before the body was found, but eventually it was found torn and mangled. Left like a piece of trash on a cool autumn day.

Still, he waits.
And he keeps watching.
Some days he doesn't know,
something happens inside him and
watching isn't enough anymore till quietly,
he calls to them. Asks if they want candy, asks
if they want a new friend-- a grownup who will understand.
Unlike all of those too busy to listen and appreciate them, he will be different. Though most of the children move away, swiftly and soundlessly, there is always that one, confused and alone, left to fend for herself in this darkly mad world. That lost and sad and lonely child will remain.

This is the one.
The children travel in packs
like wolves now and practice using
household items as weapons
Mom finds her best potato peeler
in the right front pocket of an over worn pair
of blue jeans (size eight slim) and Janie has been playing
with and studying her father's gun. Joey learns bomb-making and terrorism 101 on the Internet and all around society cries, wondering why kids know too much and seem to grow up way too soon.

Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring.
He is always there. Fidgeting with
his buttons, fumbling with his fly. Watching
and watching and watching.

He waits.
Because he can,
a bit past the corner of the building
shaded by noonday buildings, side by side,
almost on top of one another. His coat a long,
well worn gray piece has been erratically lightened
by the sun. But he doesn't care. There is an unbelievable dampness under his feet and it is spreading, and growing fast and furious.
He checks his fly.

He can't wait much longer.

“Window View” by Anita Wender

I took the train from Florence to Rome
window seat facing backwards
touring outward, feet squared forward
toward the couple opposite
who spend the hours leafing pages.
Tourists too, more frequently
than me perhaps, they spare no glance outside
where Italy's wonders age
undetected, under looked.
I turn away unwilling to trade
small talk for railside rapture.

“Thought Naught” by Anita Wender

As I switched on the TV, I thought about
numbed brain cells
and how Socrates kept sharp by his own petard
enough to cut holes in ruling theories
by rubbing against the grain.

He could have swallowed words instead of hemlock
but the poison would have worked
still shutting him down.

His days could have been many
sunsets over the Aegean
and mine now looking east
counted by ideas and eloquence are few,
small courages to face dislike or death.

“Ancient Tribes” by Ron Koppelberger

Made by markings and ancient tribes in consort with
Wolves and clans of secret desire, the passionate urge to pass the warmth
Of settled fire, by eyes and fond touch, by sighs
And huntress weary depths of fancy, by the children
Of born futures and circles of howling rant,
In the day and evening-tide way, by gasping teeth
And tender dissident metamorphosis, by the
Love of sunrise souls and dewdrop dreams.

“Passion and Faith” by Ron Koppelberger

In quiet repose and smiling passage from the caution of lamenting song
Unto the calm melodies of angels in gushing cascades
Of baptismal force. The hallowed sanctity of silent whispers
In wise advent and tender sense, persevering
By the wont of hungry souls and distant
Twilight years of revolving destiny, satisfied by the wandering
Compliment of wishes and butterfly delirium, by
Souls in transit from the living yield of moments
In passion and faith.

“The Seraph” by Can Turhan

Ill satiation it may be
living in a phaeton bier.
Palpitant Jins and wraiths appear
with proffers that are shaped in your name
for my era in shame.

Temporal Rex is my driver
and Eros is my seraph.
I feed on motes of his hot coal
then lay to rest when I've had enough.
These two will pay my toll.

From trellised buttresses I hear
Faustus sybarites who sing
strophe yelps for the Surfeit-King.
Aroused from sleep I stand to find near
hands outstretched for my ring.

The phaeton halts outside your door
and to the wind I implore
to halt the spirits in their drove
and carry me to the upper floor
to you in the alcove.

On ambo you stand with a glow
and part my lips for a word.
A coal jumps onto your trousseau.
Writing and burning, upwards you're spurred.
Elif Lam Mim,
As it should.
Fades like a dream,
I felt it would.

“…As Tall as Cliffs” by Cesar Zayas

We stood there perched upon growing cliffs,
As I drowned in the greens of your eyes,
And our hands clasped, a touch between the lips,
Daring not to look back into those vast open skies.

Envious stares projected from the throngs,
For they gazed upon your beauty, your perfect attire.
And I ultimately knew a lie was wrong,
So I whispered, "I love you," my cowardice now retired.

Our feet rooted themselves deep within,
Determined to outlast earth and time,
But we broke our gaze and committed sin,
And nothing but you continued to shine.

Forever has not ended, I uttered our first vow,
As I stared into the sea underneath your brow.

“I am a Victim of Cell Phone (a homage to Allen Ginsberg)” by George Anderson

When I'm eating lunch in the office breakroom I hear them
     loud and clear,
"Chrissy said that Lori told her that Ashley said that her
     boyfriend said and blah blah blah!"
When I'm standing in the grocery checkout line with peanut
     butter, jelly and breadloaf the woman behind me yaks,
"Honey, did you find out how much the guy wanted to put in
     the new kitchen? HOW MUCH?!"
Crossing the street on my afternoon walk
I must dive for safety from a woman SUV driver gabbing into
     one of those things in her ear,
followed by a city cop doing the very same thing he should be
     ticketing the nimrod ahead for.
They're everywhere! I can't escape them!
Business deals, pillow talk, hubby-girlfriend word fights.
People forcing me to listen in on the most intimate moments of
     their personal lives when it's really none of my business.
The end is here! God save us all!
The world has turned into one giant phone booth!

“Picking Up the Pieces” by James L. Jones, Jr.

It was visited upon me
in my early twenties—
the breakdown, that is—
as a result
of some very unfortunate circumstances
concerning a relationship
I had with a certain girl,
and it seemed
back then
as if my whole world fell apart
with one fell swoop
when she said,
"It's over!"
and yet I am much older
and more than a decade has passed,
and I am
picking up the pieces
of my intricate, jigsaw, puzzle-world
that she so recklessly scattered about,
and I have been left
to reassemble the infinite pieces,
one by one,
with each poem that I write,
desperately trying to find out why,
but the pieces just don’t seem to fit anymore.

“For Now, It’s Settled Into a Numb Disposition” by Danielle Parker

we're all just trying to play our part,
make each other feel welcome
shun the ghosts
when once i drew from my quiet reside
i now find myself on the outside

you'll find me gone without a trace
drawn and tied with a hint of distaste
so go ahead, get nice and cozy in my place

and even if i hate myself for what i've done,
can passion bring me to the past?
and even if i hate what i've become
will that give me the strength to remember
how to flip the page
turn the rage into something you can never forget
and god help me if i can't remember before my funeral,
how to turn something like this
into something beautiful

“Life After ” by George Anderson

Eventually they'll start to forget.
People will stop talking about what happened
by the following Monday,
when reality calls
and bills begin replacing the sympathy cards
in the mail.

The visits to the cemetery become
less and less frequent,
until only the caretaker is left to care
for the flowers.

Even she will move on, at peace
with a new life and a new love, if only to
keep out of those places
where only those truly devoted live condemned
behind the stone walls.