Archive for ‘21st Century’

Sunday, 2 October 2022

Distances by Steven Ratiner

“Between this anchored pain
and the white-capped vial,
standing like a lighthouse on
the bedside table: an arm’s length,
a thousand nautical miles.
Water, water, everywhere and not
a drop to drink.
I call out
and my daughter strides across
the waves, a brimming glass and
two chalky tablets, her cupped palm
bobbing like a toy boat.
Down I go, fathom after fathom,
shafts of weak sun my Mercator.
But I am not alone. Wrecked hulls
and split masts litter the bottom.
All these broken hearts choked by silt.
And now you are calling me again, my sea-girl,
wreathed in seaweed red and brown.
What lovely syllables. My name
is a white sail somewhere, luffing in the wind.
But the distance, love, between your pale lips
and my wet pillow: unfathomable.”

From: https://pleaseseeme.com/issue-2/poetry/two-poems-steven-ratiner/

Date: 2019

By: Steven Ratiner (19??- )

Saturday, 1 October 2022

Abuela, Mi Muerta by Amaris Diaz

I find you here,
In the gardening section at Lowe’s.
Not the house where my mother learned her silence
Or the backyard with water hose for sprinkler.
Not the crippled languages of my youth
Or the eight-house-long walk to stained glass windows.

You, clearance rose bush.
No longer a myth.
Not ghost or bone,
Only wilt. No drown or surrender
But ungrowing.

Today, my own unbecoming.
I cannot make promises on blood anymore, Abuela.
I’ve stopped asking the trees permission to climb them.
I’ve forgotten to water the plants
To call each flower by name.

Today, your own death in another body.
I’ve nowhere to bury you.

From: https://www.theparisamerican.com/amaris-diaz-poetry.html

Date: 2013

By: Amaris Diaz (1995- )

Friday, 30 September 2022

SONNET FOR SILVIA FEDERICI by Anne Boyer

HOW DO WE COLLECTIVIZE REPRODUCTIVE LABOR?
IS THE FAMILY ENOUGH FOR YOU?
IS THE COUPLE ENOUGH FOR YOU?
WHAT WILL YOU DO WHEN YOU ARE OLD OR INFIRM?

WHAT STANDS BETWEEN YOU AND THE COMMUNE?
WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE IF YOU HAD WHAT YOU NEEDED?
WHAT IS OURS?
HOW TO GET IT?

HOW TO LIVE LIKE ELEPHANTS WITH ARCHITECTURE?
HOW MANY CHILDREN WOULD YOU CARE FOR IF THEY DIDN’T
HAVE TO BE YOURS?
HOW MANY MOTHERS, SISTERS, BROTHERS, and LOVERS WOULD
YOU LOVE IF THEY DIDN’T HAVE TO BE YOURS?

HOW DO WE END THE TRAGEDY OF OUR ATOMIZATION?
HOW DO WE END THE TRAGEDY?

From: https://jacket2.org/poems/sonnet-silvia-federici

Date: 2018

By: Anne Boyer (1973- )

Sunday, 25 September 2022

Goethe’s Last Words Were “More Light” by Janelle Tan

for N, a golden shovel with frank o’hara

there’s heaven, and there’s you. standing in the light and
holding a tupperware of soup. kin: the sound of someone
leaning against me in the late afternoon—this evening, it is you
and not a woman to kiss alight coming into my living room. love,
i know—we keep trying to die at the door of heaven. then, god enters.
america taught me: being an immigrant is to kill the
person you used to be. in this room
the december light dies in my lap, like the days i used to dream, and
isn’t being queer saving ourselves from dying? my father says
gay is sin, sounding like the chinese word for heart, and wouldn’t
you also hear: light is dimming while you
stand in it? the apertures are opening and closing. like
the visa officer’s window. like the technicolor of my imagined life. like america, the
light keeps changing its mind. i had faith once, and healthy eggs—
now, i offer my fingerprints and a scan of my face for a
brightened evening at the bar. you and the hours cool across the little
booth. maybe heaven will be different
this time tomorrow. maybe it’s this: more time. more today.

From: https://splitlipthemag.com/poetry/0522/janelle-tan

Date: 2022

By: Janelle Tan (19??- )

Saturday, 24 September 2022

Ars Specifica by Connie Jordan Green

When silence moves
on her little cat feet
through the absences
in your house, offer
her a bed, preferably
where sunlight patches
the room, moves
in its own quiet pattern
down the wall and onto
the braided rug, the one
an elderly aunt created
in her own solitary life,
her nimble fingers stiffening
with the years. Serve
your visitor tea and blue-
berry muffins, the first
rich with the cream
she prefers, and even if
she refuses the muffins,
notice how the berries
stain your hands when
you clear away the dishes,
a blue map you will study
for days to come.

From: http://www.stilljournal.net/connie-green-poetry2022.php

Date: 2022

By: Connie Jordan Green (1938- )

Friday, 23 September 2022

Walls by Fide Erken

The World of complex ideas,
different faiths,
little tolerance,
mostly, lack of complaisance

Look at the flowers with every colour,
full of love, together
flowers have easily climbed over
all the walls!

From: http://www.thanalonline.com/en/page.asp?ID=219

Date: 2011

By: Fide Erken (1967- )

Thursday, 22 September 2022

Pomegranate by Diane Gage

Every day on my walk I would touch
a pomegranate tree, think of Persephone
and Demeter and my own mother,
her mournful fondness for my girlhood.
Was my sunny husband, like Persephone’s,
a dark Lord? Not in manner, perhaps, but

in secrets held and guarded. And in my choice,
however natural, Demeter’s betrayal.
How I love the smooth burgundy leather
of a pomegranate! And the long slow work
of consuming its bright blood-red seeds.
How refuse such an offer, whatever the cost?

It’s been a long time since my life
was close to my mother’s. She died,
my husband and I divorced, someone
chopped down the pomegranate tree.
For years I have walked past the bare spot,
but this soft spring morning I saw shoots

with small leaves, new signs of life.
We’ve had a winter of remarkable rains.
I thought I had moved beyond that old story
but my daily rounds brought me back
to the place where its mystery emerges
trembling, again, on the brink of breath.

From: https://silverbirchpress.wordpress.com/2014/10/11/pomegranate-poem-by-diane-gage-mythic-poetry-series/

Date: 2014

By: Diane Gage (19??- )

Wednesday, 21 September 2022

Don’t Look Down by Ellen Webre

You head toward a life you won’t be living.
— Kim Hyesoon

The hand in your hand is already a ghost.

What you don’t know keeps you running
on air after the cliff gives way.

Confession: there is no truth that will keep
you and your joy in the same sky.

The ghost in your hand is flickering,
begging, drowning. Do you know?

Your joy is crying, is overwhelmed.
Your joy is taking off his face.

Don’t look down.

He is still behind you. But you do not see him.
He is waving goodbye. But you do not turn.

You hold your hands and head toward a life
you won’t be living because all you believe in

is the indigo night of a future
you will never get to hold. Because

your muscles are made of prayer,
and gravity knows your worth.

From: https://culturaldaily.com/ellen-webre-three-poems/

Date: 2022

By: Ellen Webre (19??- )

Tuesday, 20 September 2022

Healer, Healer, Witch by Sally Rosen Kindred

1.
Katharina Kepler
is mother of Johannes—
astrologer, alchemist, keeper of planets

and their laws—and mother
of Heinrich, Margaretha, Christoph, matron
of Sun Inn, of candles and locks.

Married a mercenary
out the door in four years to Flanders, Corfu.
Dragged him back once to Weil, but he left again.

Married tough greens and a broom full of rain.
Is a healer. Is a healer.
Not a witch.

Wakes in the dark to tend the cows and clear their stalls.
Makes spelt-cakes on Fridays, makes cabbages and bread,
makes hay and carries it by hand

from the outer barn on her
own, because the children are always
small, pox-weak or off at school—

is a healer sleepless
during fever weeks, her thumbs on the town’s damp
lids, the pestle, the poultice, until a boy at the market

eats roots from her winter hands
and gets sicker.
Is a place on no one’s map

of the moon. Wants to weep
for the planets now, dangling as they must
from her son’s hard mind. Wants

to know what’s in the letter
he’s sent from university, but when
she begs the schoolmaster to read it

he says No.
Later he’ll say her voice burned ice,
then her breasts melted red through his door.

Wants to be called Daughter again, hear her common name.
Does not care anymore how the planets move,
though once she showed her sons the evening star,

once she worked beneath it in summer winds
picking up speed with the scythe as the fields went dark,
bent and swinging,

the children already in their beds.
Out of love she moved in the scythe’s lit song, believed
none of them would wander.

2.
Katharina Kepler
dreams she does not dream.
Lies down on the prison stone in 1620,

chain at her wrist like snow. Lies
down at last and does not rise
for choleric cows or children. Tonight

she heals no one. Heinrich
has accused her to the court; Christoph gave
her up. Margaretha sweeps a far hearth, busy

with her family. Only Johannes
is awake somewhere, thinking of her, his mind
in the same stone dark. Let him think.

She has her hands on her own face,
can feel in sleep her skin buckle, harden, can feel
herself become the churchyard hill

she climbed once to see the comet—
dreams she wakes now cloud-furled,
dreams she flies

through space, finally a body burning ice.

Johannes stands far below on the hill, a boy again
lifting his hand to her, tender,
tipping his chin to her sky.

Does he hurt down there? She heals
no one—
she can only scorch and fly—

and now she is a girl, running through black grass
to a witch whose silk arms
stretch out to claim her:

in this ring of daisies flaring
under stars, she arrives into warm folds. They hold
each other and are held

in the cape of night, in a meadow made
from blooms and her own voice, from a cauldron of herbs and Mother air—
her song, her shroud, this nevertheless.

From: https://www.bearreview.com/sally-rosen-kindred-two-poems

Date: 2018

By: Sally Rosen Kindred (19??- )

Monday, 19 September 2022

Take the Bait by Adele Elise Williams

A student asks for eulogy guidance.
The next day, I have a brother and
we discuss sociopaths, cold worms,
how we ended up so undisturbed.
Memory. Now that’s a thing a girl
can get behind. I remember caring
for the strays under our house, coaxing
the squirrels out from the alabaster
walls. Always sick and on the edge,
I’d watch them die as we all should
—alone and unsophisticated. Was my
interest in salvage or ritual? Officious?
A sort of wasted communion? Or was
I simply a child whose home was framed
furred and alive. Memory. I remember
the first poem I ever wrote—a clementine
full-faced and gasping as I consumed it
whole, even the juices hollered.

From: https://www.guernicamag.com/take-the-bait/

Date: 2021

By: Adele Elise Williams (19??- )