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Old 05-01-2015, 09:22 PM View Post #411 (Link)
lostbookworm (Offline)
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“The red sun rises
without intent
and shines the same on all of us.
We play like children under the sun.
One day, our ashes will scatter—
it doesn’t matter when.
Now the sun finds our innermost hearts,
fills us with oblivion
intense as the forest, winter and sea.”

Animalistic Hymn’, by Edith Södergran
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Old 09-28-2015, 10:40 PM View Post #412 (Link)
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Another Thing
BY DAVID MASON


Like fossil shells embedded in a stone,
you are an absence, rimmed calligraphy,
a mouthing out of silence, a way to see
beyond the bedroom where you lie alone.
So why not be the vast, antipodal cloud
you soloed under, riven by cold gales?
And why not be the song of diving whales,
why not the plosive surf   below the road?

The others are one thing. They know they are.
One compass needle. They have found their way
and navigate by perfect cynosure.
Go wreck yourself once more against the day
and wash up like a bottle on the shore,
lucidity and salt in all you say.
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Old 10-12-2015, 10:49 PM View Post #413 (Link)
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The Consignment Shop
Sheila Nickerson



We bring in two lamps no longer

wanted and take away another.



Perhaps this is heaven: a second-hand

shop where we can make exchanges

and come back as something else.



At the door we are checked in,

evaluated, committed to a contract,

and then we wait: perhaps

here by the child’s desk,

or there, by the glass table,

the one with gold candlesticks

and yellow satin flowers in a vase.



There are little rooms and large,

all arranged by color and like kind

where we are silently displayed

to our advantage.



Perhaps if someone still alive

remembers us, a light shines

and we are chosen, taken back

into that other world we knew,

once more a different shape,

once more learning how to be.
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Old 11-05-2015, 11:56 PM View Post #414 (Link)
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Still Life with Antidepressants
Aaron Smith

The afternoon light lights
the room in a smudged
sheen, a foggy-eyed glow.

The dog digs at the couch,
low-growling at the mailman.
I’m spelling words with pills

spilled consolidating bottles:
yes and try and most of happy:
Maybe I’ll empty them all.

A woman I don’t know
is having a drill drill into her
skull. To get rid of the thing

requires entering the brain.
How to imagine a story
that ends with that ending?

I don’t know how to live my life,
but at least today I want to.
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Old 11-22-2015, 02:28 PM View Post #415 (Link)
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KEEL BONE
R. T. SMITH


The flag irises were thriving wild in the ditch
near where I was digging their Dutch cousins

and untangling roots to separate clustering bulbs,
when I uncovered in the loose dirt a twist

of bones and fluff, most bits broken—wishbone
called furcula in field guides, also the ischium,

some ribs and skull chips. Buffed between my fingers
they were a small shipwreck, the most prominent

artifact a keeled sternum, its carina sharp,
the whole bone saying vessel and steady.

I knew it as the anchor point for the wing
muscles of what, from size and the usual

traffic, I took for a small crow or songbird fallen
the year before, its skeleton riven by appetites

and more sinister forces. Yet here was one
bone, a keel, a ploughshare for parting wind

or water, apt prow for any hazardous journey,
and how it shone, a blinding blue-white to put

any wildflower to shame. Rubbed on my cuff,
spit-shined, it was a relic of every dream

I ever harbored of flying. Can I say I felt my
own sternum sharpening? Would it seem

like lying? Clavicles and flight bones—
was I about to rise? The flag irises were

bowing with weather, sky overcast then,
resetting of bulbs in earth not half so urgent.

Considering a new direction, I pondered
the wayward keel in my palm and listened

for crow calls in the near yonder saying,
Follow us. My allegiance has long been

to the flowers, but as a boy I slept on feathers.
Now, I thought, is the right moment to rise—

in the spell of keel, plough, cloud—and sing
whatever song I had always been missing.

I felt a lifting. I swear this is not lying.
It is not nonsense. I might yet soar.



From Poetry Daily /Poet Lore, Fall / Winter 2015
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Old 12-01-2015, 01:24 AM View Post #416 (Link)
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Something I’ve Not Done
W.S. Merwin

Something I’ve not done
is following me
I haven’t done it again and again
so it has many footsteps
Like a drumstick that’s grown old and never been used

In late afternoon I hear it come close
at times it climbs out of a sea
onto my shoulders
and I shrug it off
losing one more chance

Every morning
it’s drunk up part of my breath for the day
and knows which way
I’m going
and already it’s not done there

But once more I say I’ll lay hands on it
tomorrow
and add its footsteps to my heart
and its story to my regrets
and its silence to my compass
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Old 12-09-2015, 06:11 PM View Post #417 (Link)
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Martha
SARAH SCORGIE


Our whole lives I have grounded her,
been the roof separating her from the sky.

She could spend hours dreaming
her way to the well, clay jug
waiting to be filled.

They say, now, that I was wrong.
That while I braided the bread,
my sister’s undone hair was her salvation.

I stood in the doorway,
watching her anoint his feet, perfume
glazing my clean floor,

and thought how badly
they need us—the hands that pour
for the lips that drink,

the careful scaffolding
for their irresponsible miracles.
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Old 03-24-2016, 03:26 PM View Post #418 (Link)
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He Tells Tales of Meroe by Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi

As if his croak sounds from stone itself
As if his voice in darkness is stained with the timbre of eternity

When I first saw him alone, lost in thought,
poised behind glass,
I recalled how his sperm had once spawned from the suck of motherly mud
to snatch prey with spit
A camouflaged trickster,
awakening each spring with his mates
to a spring of mating

Now an enigmatic relic behind glass,
perhaps he tells tales of Meroe –
witness to that city’s sad trajectory from glory to dejection

In this, his last siesta,
he readies himself for life
with his new cloak, a new tongue and his crown
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Old 03-25-2016, 09:18 PM View Post #419 (Link)
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Sundial by Larry Sawyer

...The poet will seek to clothe herself in sparrows.

A motor in each leaf
distills autumn’s engines and we’re off.

Upstart cartoon morning;
...these various roosters scratch inside the eyelids
...and declare beneath the streetlamps that their
...moats are filled with vowels.

That the life alone is not wasted but
rich with a pageantry of else.
Who absconds with our best sense
and seizes us by the throat as we untangle ourselves
from lovers and, draped in fever, split the
night into halves?..................Each contains a commercial
advertising just that.

........................Despite his tactics, fully rejecting experience
the candid creator winces at the audience’s heightened
passing.
.......Remain, in secret,

a pea of concern, in some harbor of ghostly direction.
........There lurks an I among those hours.
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Old 03-28-2016, 03:38 PM View Post #420 (Link)
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April to May
BY JOYCE PESEROFF

1.
It is cold enough for rain
to coagulate and fall in heavy drops.
Tonight a skin of ice will grow
over the bones of the smallest bush,

making it droop like the wrist
of someone carrying a heavy suitcase. This moving on,
from season to season, is exhausting
and violent, the break from the Berlin Wall

of winter especially. Like a frostbitten
hand coming to life, I color
first with warmth,
then with pain. Thawing, letting

the great powers go
their own way, in rivers and in flesh,
frightens me, as this day
warns me of an icy night.

2.
Each year I am astonished
at the havoc wrought
on other lives: fathers
made tiny by cancer;

a mother swollen around
a bad heart "brought on by aggravation."
To suffer is to do something new
yet always the same—

a change of life
from the sexual dread. Some women
wish they were men, some men
wish they were dead; still,

there is coin in suffering . . .
It makes us rich
as Croesus in his golden tears,
and we are rarely hated for it.

This coin I store in a purse
made of my mother's
milk and flesh, which God says I must not mix.
I use it instead to seek pleasure.

3.
Walking around with this thing in me
all day, this loving cup
full of jelly, waiting for you
to come home—seven o'clock,

eight o'clock, eight-thirty . . .
What could be more important
than love? I can't imagine; you can.
Not a good day, not about to get better.

4.
The bird comes complete
with heart, liver, and neck-bone
wrapped chastely in white paper.
Still half-frozen,

the legs are hard to separate.
Inside, wax paper sticks to the ribs.
I reach like a vet delivering pigs,
or a boy finger-fucking a virgin.

5.
Air the same sweet
temperature inside the house
as outside the house.
Stepping up from the cellar

with an armful of sheets,
I listen for the dirge of flies
under the chittering birds,
both painfully loud. There is a stridency

that's stubborn in a life
grown by inches: the fat
little fingers of buds bursting;
ugly ducklings; the slow war

of day against night.
As I pin the swelling sheets
with clothespins damp and too
narrow at the mouth, I wonder how

flies know to come out
to feed the birds, and feast themselves
on the new stillborn, this stubborn
great chain of being.
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