The Full Moon of June 25th
by Erin Dorcy
Lunar light fills spaces that the sun has never seen,
In places we could never sit waiting in anticipation to catch it.
The moon’s glow is as fleeting and wondrous as the quickness in our hearts and in our breath at those moments where we fall in love and wonder:
“How did it get to be so late, so soon?”
In our eyes, in its infantry, we sit in amazement.
Loving in its presence, and yearning in its absence.
Celestial, illusive, love.
It waxes and wanes over time.
In the beginning, growing and brighter, pulling us closer.
Its light shines on paths that we run through alone, walk through together, from which we call to each other at each end.
Celebrating the solstice until eclipsed by our world of worries.
Sometimes we forget.
Feeling the paths through the darkness, walking blindly.
Imagining the way we remembered when there was enough light.
With our eyes closed, reaching forward to catch ourselves.
Love is never gone, it is only hidden.
In the darkest night, preparing to be new.
To grow from a crescent spark into full, pure white.
Pulling us back together.
To count the days, to celebrate the nights, to illuminate new paths for us to learn.
Together we memorize each branch and root as we walk, slipping and catching each other.
“Careful here, I’ve got you.”
“A little to your left. Are you ok?”
And as the nights grow darker again, as we knew they might, we trust her to return.
Holding tighter as we walk, remembering the turns she showed us before.
The root that you tripped over, and the slick rock where I fell into the mud.
I remember, you laughed.
One night, as we were walking, the moon appeared, and shined brighter than ever.
Showing us each other as we had never seen before.
Features and spaces that filled with light and made our hearts and breath quicken.
How did it get to be so late, so soon?
The light was shining so brightly on our faces.
Not because we needed it to see which way to go,
But because we finally looked up.
The Diversity of Poetry
by Steve Johns
Throughout the centuries, great poets have
Written stories on many topics.
No one can agree on how poetry
Should be written. Some poets think that rhyme
Should be used in all forms of poetry.
Other poets believe that there’s nothing
Special about rhyme schemes in poetry.
Poetry can be either long or short.
The longest poem is 200,000
Lines long, while the shortest poem is made
Of just one word. Poetry is diverse.
Poetry is the art of making words
To send a message to an audience.
Poetry is not just something written,
Poetry also exists in our speech.
Whenever we converse with someone else,
We are quite literally speaking “with verse.”
Poetry will continue to thrive through
The ages. It is up to all of us
To inspire the next generation
What has been produced in today’s world.
City of Particles and Atoms
by Abigail George
The leaves are new in
a pale September but
after leaving Johannesburg
behind me in winter I grew thin.
The energy of life wasted
upon me. So was John Updike.
Speaking of the watermelon
season. Psychology is dry there.
The signs are clean. Exalted.
Sucking watermelon juice
between our teeth. Frustration
the go-between of our fresh,
alive, new expectations. When
you hold it up, away from
yourself clearly the alphabet
of gods is somewhere in the
details.Listen to the old,
decaying branches. This is
our country. Sinful. All of
it. Melancholia. Woman speak.
You were built for it. Lovesick
for meat country. There is
something unspoken about the
language of psychiatry. The
city was an impostor. Fake.
A cowardly, sad hostage taker.
Life was in need of
a bipolar filter.
That works best on my memory.
Years of silence that could
fill a thimble. The gossamer thread
that joins lovers. The origins
of smoke and mirrors. A view
of the Hudson on a cold day.
I looked into the eyes of a dead man.
He buried dead people.
Came into contact with them
all day long. That's why
he was a warrior. He faced
death all day long. That
meeting point of strangers.
Nature's divide and conquer.
That complex divide and conquer.
There is an image that
remains in my head. Golden.
The citizens of summer coming
out to the beach. Volcano
people even in this heat. A child
does not sit and wonder
if harm will come to them.
Unbeknownst to them they go
in search of it.
Shergar's Last Race
by Jo Burns
Note: In Farsi, Sher means Lion or Poem, Gar denotes possession.
The shape of the half moon,
a ramp lowering as clicks of hoof and calk
are hushed through worm hole,
stretching a track too fine.
The half moon,
blinding jute pulled over the crescent
from crest to withers, blinkered,
trust thrust through the round noose of a chain.
The half moon
arch of the young eye in balaclava,
joined to fight a war. He has never
seen adrenaline quite like him before.
The half moon,
careful curved strokes, brushing
the white blaze brown from the kink
in his half moon swirl
to the inflected smoking nostril.
The half moon,
beams spread circumferent
around iron grill bars,
fixing the stallion.
His white eyes roll up
to see Equuleus waiting.
The half moon
his hock pulls as he kicks breeze block walls,
demented, all out, roaring,
hind fetlocks torn, a coil unwinding,
wailing, for a soft voiced stable boy.
The half moons
of torchlight dissecting
kildare turf, tipping farm sheds
up, turning swivel hooks
and hangs of abbatoirs.
A small girl bends her neck
in arc after hearing news,
to pray for his return
with both curved ears.
The half moon
bolt slid back through a semi-circular catch,
kick latch curled open by black issue boot,
the rasping hinge strains to unfurl
on it's rusted axis.
The half moon
of a pushed stable half door,
an arc of sawdust disturbed
by one heavy, dutied, foot.
The half moon, an Armalite strap
of a widow maker as the vertical night
is pulled, under crook of armpit,
The half moon,
of a trigger caressed by an index finger
which had never stroked the curvature
of a velvet muzzle nor held
in the bow of thumb and palm
a galactic pulsing, racing, pastern.
The half moon,
flailing around fulcrum,
on the sloppy going of his own gore,
cannon’s running every race over.
The bend of heaving, steaming,
lead filled flank falling to the floor.
The stable clock hands tick one moon more,
until, at dawn, last groans gurgle from girth
to a throat lathered in red foam.
They ring in sinusoidal wave over
the bent curve of an arm,
forcing a spade into the dirt.
Digging deeper and deeper,
for him and the horse.
The half moons
sigh, tick, search, rust, pat the earth down.
They are locked or unmasked, hang, point back to floor,
and the Theta star of Pegasus stares in a straight line toward Orion.
The Voice Instructor Said
by Joanna M. Weston
breathe the music
don’t drag it
from your toes
learn to inhale sound
through sun-shaped mouth
let the crescendo
soar out and up
make an aria
by Lavana Kray
when the sun sinks low
refugees' shadows conglobulate
over the wired border...
a tender lullaby
softens the wind
*Previously published on Tanka Society of America (Winter 2015)
Love Is Not
by Ned Pendergast
when neighbor knows not neighbor
and man embraces mostly himself
an island is formed,
there is a momentary still,
except for his own breathing,
…a creaking portal opens
what decants is familiar
to a trembling modern world
completely unable to embrace
emerging open hands
and guileless hearts
an aura not unlike
being held prisoner
in a oblique brumous room
that imperturbably keeps
a dead owner's counsel
here thrives lack of symmetry
where inherent disadvantage
relentlessly attends ignorance,
delivering negative propagation
to a hapless intellectual environ
“If I have freedom in my love,
And in my soul am free,
Angels alone that soar above,
Enjoy such liberty.” (Richard Lovelace… “Althea”)
Ice on a Fresh Winter's Morning
by Matthew Bernobich
Ice on a fresh winter’s morning,
Where the whole world sparkles
And I am transported.
That remember the sting of cold
Mingled with melting fingertips.
A burgeoning river
Waiting for her day
To spring forth wine-black and blue:
Not bruised but crepuscular,
A beauty known to sunsets and galaxies
And certain poets too.
Don’t lose yourself in suspended animation,
The long legs of a waterfall
Whose gliding grace walks the river,
You hide hidden motion too.
Morning’s misty now
As the poetry flies away,
Off to freeze in another’s field.
I inhale it one last time,
Imbibing the waterfall fog.
Imitation of E. A. Poe
by Dustin Pickering
Full of invention, sweet,
I roam with contention--
my eyes so bright and smitten
yet speaking with no mention
of the gloom of what is written
in these dismal pages.
While my love rages
on, rages on,
solemn Dian sings over the warp
of deeper dread long.
Her voice echoes thru the clouds
echoes still, echoes loud,
Her voice still as an untouched harp.
The words I dare to mutter
the words I dare to mutter
as I wipe away the tears:
"The trembling essence
of thought and silence
reflects thy still and sweet compliance
with dumb and dismal fears—"
by John W. L. Toivonen
Standing stanchion owls sit sentry
above the grass, moss, and stone.
It is serene with the sound of crickets
chirping against a night otherwise devoid of sound.
The large eyes of the owls take in the night,
viewing, evaluating, and then
passing judgment on rolling funnel snakes,
and other reptiles not cursed and legless.
Now is not yet the time to unfurl
their galactic wings and fly to make murder
of so many animals that are feared
by so many more minute than they.
Now is an unspoken and still conference
in the Olympus of the grand birds
who rest above the leafy tapestry
and those so much more mortal.
by Karen Bingham Pape
Love is a green tomato,
tartsweet, scented of gardens
after the fall;
I savor its juice as it runs
down my chin. It's a bite
into Sangre de Cristo; into you,
bone deep leather and honey.
No, love is a jagged moon,
a boomerang in the eye
of a distant storm,
a slice of green tomato pie,
a fly in rubber cement.
Love, my friend, is you,
on the edge between
speed and pillows.
Because of you, eagles
forget to glide; they
hide above the thermal;
Socrates isn't a man;
all men aren't mortal.
The silver church of benediction
holds Bogey and Bergman in fog.
I bend myself backward, touching
my nose to marble floor;
my reflection is Barb, barbed-wire.
She'll pluck her borrowed
eyes from their holes,
lick the salt from your wounds,
prune the moon into square submission.
Vaya con Dios, mi hermano, todo sera bien.
The pen calls me traitor, refuses
my pleadings, as the green
taste of love blades my tongue.
by Jonel Abellanosa
Stone pyramids bear witness.
Inscriptions on temples,
Tales of blood drawn into papyrus,
To feed fear’s fire:
Your king’s covenant with
The underworld god –
For sun to rise, rains to fall,
Crops to grow.
With temples and pyramids you
Marked the sun’s path, moon’s faces,
Stars mirroring myth
Of time’s linear passage.
Time churns your wheels
To December 21, 2012.
Questors ask what really happened.
Neither war nor God’s finger
Fated you to oblivion.
You must have disappeared en masse
Into jungles beyond your ruins
And left a bushy trail to the truth:
Your civilization founded on faith
On a king who failed his people.
by Waldeci Erebus
Nonluminous material that's postulated to
exist in space and could take any form, if it is true,
including weakly interacting, dark, cold particles,
or hot, dark, random, moving things, Post-Big-Bang articles.
It is a hypothetic substance that cannot be seen
with cosmic telescopes, or for that matter, anything.
It is inferred from noting gravitational effects
on visibles and radiation in the cosmoplex.
It don't emit, it won't absorb, electromagnet rays,
and so mysterious no body understands its ways.
by Jessica Majernik
I felt the earth again.
I felt the roots coursing
between my toes,
wrapping my ankles together.
The stems entangle my body
until I can't tell the difference
between where my sinews end
and the branches begin.
As sanguine mixes with jade,
blood meets chlorophyll.
The rings and layers enclose me
And I am incubated.
I feel the mother's ache
as her fruit falls to rot or to be
consumed without a second thought.
by Kimberly Sithebe
If only days
were like prophecies
Written by gentle
Just Another Word
by Anton Frost
everyone beds down
those they find meaningful
with whom they are passing
or they bed down
up as long as I can,
wringing the darkness
of its agonies,
watching the fire
in the woodburner
the way I would like to die,
and the stars
spackling the carpet
the way paint flings itself
off the brush.
the quieter the world goes
the better I feel.
at night it’s just me
and the distant
crashing of waves,
the meaningful silence
of a recording
as it plays nothing
I put on some music
and drink some
is just another word
there is a vague holiness
to a half-pain
when you’re left alone
tomorrow I will meet
and they will ask me
what I do
and I will try to answer them
by Alexander Duensing
“Quicken the mind to sing its flowers.”
I thought .
But, as I pursued my method
did I consider
every song that emerged
might not be mine to pluck?
A false lyre
doesn’t play true.
to the garden.
As Do I
by Joseph Lusi
The luna moth
In preparation for
A jacket is made
from silk, becomes
a coffin, a womb.
In the dark, in
It’s own time
The moth dissolves
Into living water.
When the moth is
The smallest ocean.
The luna moth
Has no mouth
It lives off what it ate
In the frenzy of youth.
For a week
it makes a nightly trek.
In search of love
No voice to save it.
It counts each beat
Knows the breeze by name
Looks up at the moon
And makes not a sound.
by Kelly Wilmer
On the tip of the mount I stand,
Or a cliff, so to speak.
I can feel my soul ascending like burning sage,
As waves engulf the shore beneath me.
Is it human to feel so free,
So disconnected from mankind,
That one cannot even recall a time before the present?
As if a past has never touched me,
And I am marble slate polished and clean.
But one must know,
That the present is only but a glimpse of time,
And not an eternity.
As I turn around to my dismay reality is in my vision,
Smog and the piercing clanking of steel.
I swiftly revert to my previous position.
What a peril I'm in,
I stand on cliff,
At the top of a cliff;
Grinding machinery behind
And an engulfing shore beneath.
It's a Fact that Comets
Poehemian: a poet or artist who does not adhere to the norm; a bohemian of poetry or art; a poet or artist who is quite possibly (subconsciously or consciously) inspired by the great Edgar Allan Poe.
"With me poetry has not been a purpose, but a passion." -Edgar Allan Poe
"Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things that escape those who dream only at night." -Edgar Allan Poe
"All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream." -Edgar Allan Poe
"Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development,
invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears." -Edgar Allan Poe
"Experience has shown, and a true philosophy will always show, that a vast, perhaps the larger portion of the truth arises from the seemingly irrelevant." -Edgar Allan Poe
"The death of a beautiful woman, is unquestionably the most poetical topic in the world." -Edgar Allan Poe
"The true genius shudders at incompleteness - and usually prefers silence to saying something which is not everything it should be." -Edgar Allan Poe
"Science has not yet taught us if madness is or is not the sublimity of the intelligence." -Edgar Allan Poe
"Were I called on to define, very briefly, the term Art, I should call it 'the reproduction of what the Senses perceive in Nature through the veil of the soul.' The mere imitation, however accurate, of what is in Nature, entitles no man to the sacred name of 'Artist.'" -Edgar Allan Poe
"It is by no means an irrational fancy that, in a future existence, we shall look upon what we think our present existence, as a dream." -Edgar Allan Poe
"There is an eloquence in true enthusiasm." -Edgar Allan Poe
"I would define, in brief, the poetry of words as the rhythmical creation of Beauty." -Edgar Allan Poe
"Never to suffer would never to have been blessed." -Edgar Allan Poe
"It may well be doubted whether human ingenuity can construct an enigma... which human ingenuity may not, by proper application, resolve." -Edgar Allan Poe
"All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of fraud, fear, greed, imagination, and poetry." -Edgar Allan Poe
"I wish I could write as mysterious as a cat." -Edgar Allan Poe
"We loved with a love that was more than love." -Edgar Allan Poe
"Years of love have been forgot, In the hatred of a minute." -Edgar Allan Poe
"And all my days are trances, And all my nightly dreams, Are where thy dark eye glances, And where thy footstep gleams -- In what ethereal dances, By what eternal streams." -Edgar Allan Poe
"Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December; And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor." -Edgar Allan Poe
"Can it be fancied that Deity ever vindictively, Made in his image a mannikin merely to madden it?"
"The most natural, and, consequently, the truest and most intense of the human affections are those which arise in the heart as if by electric sympathy." -Edgar Allan Poe
"The customs of the world are so many conventional follies." -Edgar Allan Poe
"Either the memory of past bliss is the anguish of to-day, or the agonies which are have their origin in the ecstasies which might have been." -Edgar Allan Poe
"Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence—whether much that is glorious— whether all that is profound — does not spring from disease of thought—from moods of mind exalted at the expense of the general intellect." -Edgar Allan Poe
"The realities of the world affected me as visions, and as visions only, while the wild ideas of the land of dreams became, in turn—not the material of my every-day existence—but in very deed that existence utterly and solely in itself." -Edgar Allan Poe