Poetry

The Flying Geese

By on Nov 25, 2021 in Featured, Poetry | Comments Off

  for Gertrude Williams According to folklore, “wild geese flying south always fly in the shape of the initial letter of the island to which they are going.” I thought these stitches would last forever, like her full-throated laugh that still echoes deep through my days, the heart’s proof of what is not forgotten. Etched fine as black scrimshaw, her fingers, that once snapped weevils dead in the hot Alabama sun, slipped thread through needle through scrap until the very end. Nothing was lost — the cast-off shirt became the wings of wild geese; the red curtains were cut to size, a...

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Fall Thunder

By on Nov 20, 2021 in Featured, Poetry | Comments Off

There is power in the thunder tonight, kettledrums. There is thunder in this power, the powder blends white lightening flour sifters in masks toss it around. Rain plunges October night; dancers crisscross night sky in white gowns. Tumble, turning, swirl the night away, around, leaves tape-record over, over, then, pound, pound repeat falling to the ground. Halloween falls to the children’s knees and imaginations. Kettledrums. Hear Michael read his poem Fall Thunder by Michael Lee Johnson by Alyce...

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On The Island of No Internet, We Went to Listen to Poetry

By on Feb 21, 2021 in Featured, Poetry | Comments Off

Poems sprinkle out from the spice canister High yellow vowels, sand scarred s’s, Antigua blue cocktail beaches, Montserrat Black rivers of ash, small consonants And heavy wet k’s with clicks and slides. The sounds gather round the bonfires And the dancers, the drummers, the singers, The storytellers and women of poetry. Trade winds lift the soft vowels And thick consonants high into the air. Words form into imagery and breath, Into word tones, natural rhythms, themes Of courage and love, joy and hope, Greatness and happiness, and somewhere A rope breaks and the poem sets us...

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Aria

By on Feb 21, 2021 in Featured, Poetry | Comments Off

Not once have I wept over art in the Louvre, Uffizi or Met. Well, almost over van der Weyden’s Descent in the Prado, Mary’s grief, but that may have been indigestion after Madrid’s tapas, the Museum of Ham. A lithograph in Chelsea, Kathe Kollwitz’s dead mother and child splayed, stiff, discarded on the curb, brought a single, quiet tear. At the reception, the gallery on Water Street, I am at first preoccupied with drawings, paintings, prints, porcelain; delicate, curious assemblages, diminutive Constructivism; with wine, cheese and those gooey sweets with marshmallows, coconut and...

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Rehearsals

By on Feb 21, 2021 in Featured, Poetry | Comments Off

Why do I hold my clean hands under hot water until they sting? My tongue aches from rehearsals. Silver chutes shoot my open eyes. Stiff slanting wings lift our bodies resting above clouds — breathing, dreaming. Trust loosens our shoes, unpegs belts cinched around our expanding profit motives. Trust will settle us down to Earth. Bright shields of elastic goose flesh. Wet maps wrinkle in my hot palms. I would dovetail all my hinges! Lets love our flaws above each wave. Counting freckles until we land...

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The Cemetery Gardeners

By on Jan 17, 2021 in Poetry | 1 comment

Last Friday noon we planted cherry trees in the town On a moist lawn for those lost limbs and foundered souls of war. We laid them round, our cherry trees, heeling soon in place By the gate, like green apostles bound in burlap robes. And then with usual care, we champed the sodden earth— Heaving clay, until a stiff procession of barreled steel Passed by; or rather, a big new funeral play complete With chaplain chiming Latin; or come to think, was it Greek? Then boomed three salvos sounding like spit’n damnation. We rested blades and stared as brassy music blared Up and filled the vacuum...

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