Daily Archives: November 3, 2013


“Tigers Waiting” by Zach Fechter

There’s a flicker in sight,

The last carrying crows emerging on the cross;

There’s a break in the earth,

A floating woman in the valley;

And there’s a room up there,

A silent still waiting bear;

And I see blurry things,

And from them a vision:

 

Twenty centuries hence,

A boy above a red sky

Stares down the path,

Quiet in the wreckage,

And he will see a tree-lined avenue

To the stairs of the last pyramid,

A final transport from old Alexandria,

Calling for everlasting life,

Calling with a faint voice,

And he will fall in love with the faint voice.

 

And twenty centuries hence,

When the king chases foxes

Among brown leaves,

And the boy climbs the dirt

Steps to the blinding sun,

And the skin is slick with sunscreen,

And the strong take his hand,

And they turn into the next.

 

And across the desert

The great lasting of the boy,

The great green collapsing

With an old breathe,

And the blackened eyes

Of a now brown boy

Looking upon the silent

And shifting dunes,

And he sees what we

Will all see:

Tigers waiting in the crumbling wind…


“The Rain Drops of Yesterday” by Lance Laub

Upon a drowsy awakening one February morn,

A soft blanket of cloud rolled across the heavens.

The dark giants cast their shadowy hue

Over the expanding oak-covered hills.

They watch and wait in the firmament above

Until that hour draws them to sprinkle

The rejuvenating showers of life and

Water the seeds of Spring.

The Raindrops of yesterday

Make beautiful the world today.


“Winter’s Touch” by Linda M. Crate

i wish this lonely

hall of angst

would collapse inward

on itself, pushing all

the haunting memories out forever

so that peace could wing

her way across my eyes so insomnia

didn’t hold me in her constant

vigil as i sit bathed in the cold embrace

of moon silver’s outstretched hand —

dragonflies used to fly

across my soul, we used to get along

for our shy awkwardness was

so very similar;

they’ve abandoned me in these tears

of melancholy, not knowing

what to say for silence

is an improper response yet so are words —

this house is a funeral pyre,

and i’ll throw myself on it’s wooden doom

should i be left in this winter gloom

forevermore;

white fields of broken corn hold wisps

of promise i tried to collect,

your mocking laughter seduced me to tears

erosion wears on my heart

as i sit in this lamentation

not knowing how to rescue myself

from these dark winds

threatening to tear the threshold of joy from me

forever more, woodpeckers steal the nuts

they’ve burrowed deep within trees

walnuts cracked litter spring’s grass and flowers

bloom their joy as sun star gold sings his song

yet i will not be moved —

winter has reached out and touched my soul robbing

me of the topography of a smile,

i’ll never remember my happiness until you return.


“Beauty” by Calysta Buchanan

We want something,

So we do what it takes to get it.

Even if it means destroying it in the end.

We take perfection of raw beauty,

And grind it down,

Paint it up,

Fix it,

Pass it on,

Overlook it,

Until there is nothing left,

But a horrible shadow of what once was.

Then we toss it out behind us,

Not looking twice at what we created.

Ashamed to think about

What we destroyed.

And we move on to the next fascination,

Hoping to forget,

If only for a moment,

What we know will happen.


“Death in Germany” by Gary Beck

My grandfather, Ventus,

fought on the winning side

at the battle of Philippi,

was rewarded by the victors

with a plot of land in Spain.

To his misfortune

he wasn’t a farmer,

just a poor town boy

who had joined the legions

rather than go hungry,

then loyally served

Marcus Antoninus.

 

He followed Marcus to Egypt,

leaving my father and his wife

to try to eke out existence

in a hospitable land,

but he also wasn’t a farmer.

With news of his father’s death

at the battle of Actium,

my father gave up the soil,

joined Octavian’s legions,

leaving his wife and young son

to manage as best we could.

At least he sent some of his pay,

until he died in a skirmish

somewhere in Germania.

 

The soil wasn’t kinder to me

than to father or grandfather,

so one bright morning

I kissed mother goodbye,

promised to send my pay

and joined the legions.

I was lucky early on

and met some old timers

who were friends of my father

and claimed they heard of grandfather.

They were probably telling soldier’s tales,

but I didn’t care. They adopted me,

protecting me from the usual abusers

who tormented all recruits.

 

I guess the legion was in my blood

because I took to the soldier’s life

as if I was born to it.

I became a good soldier,

made good friends who’d stand by me,

as I would stand by them.

 

One day a rumor spread like wildfire.

Our cohort was ordered to Rome

to join with the border legions.

When preparations started

excitement raced through the ranks.

We really were moving out.

Even the usual cynics,

claiming we were off to Britannia,

couldn’t stop our enthusiasm.

None of us had ever seen Rome

and we babbled endlessly

about what we’d do there.

The Games at the Circus Maximus

were the choice of most of us.

 

We marched with Roman efficiency,

so eager to see the legendary Rome

there was no grumbling in the ranks.

When we got near

we camped far from the city,

only the many lights at night

convinced us Rome was nearby.

It became clear we wouldn’t get leave

and angry voices were raised in camp,

with muttered talk of mutiny.

But before things erupted

our new commander, Varus,

sent orders to join his legions

somewhere in Germania.

Of course we marched around Rome.

 

By the third day with the legion

even the greenest recruit

knew Varus was a bad general.

We stopped early and often,

didn’t palisade the camp,

officers drank the night away,

and the lax discipline

made all of us careless.

When we came to Teutoburg Forest

we hadn’t even posted scouts.

When the Germans fell on us,

howling and screaming war cries,

we didn’t have time to form ranks.

 

They did great slaughter that day

and only a handful of us

managed to flee through the forest

and evade the blood-mad Germans.

We headed for the nearest outpost

and some of us swore a great oath

that if we escaped with out lives

and if Varus survived,

we would murder him

in the name of the good soldiers

who died by the thousands

because of a bad commander.


“No Excuses” by Glenn Halak

Attic windows with spider web cracks

and eyes black as night.

A woman looks for her heart in a moving box.

Some man is on the roof with a hammer.

He is nailing the last of their dried children

where the rain gets in.

They have years to go

before dementia proves fatal

so they waddle back and forth

filling in the silences with hope

and everything they’ve forgotten.

Kudzu has climbed over the fence

and the neighbors don’t care.

Even when the dinosaurs

were laying eggs in the swamp

it was like this, a desire

for an unbearable silence.

The smell of a freshly gutted fish

leaks out into the yard.