Archive for ‘Relationships’

Sunday, 29 May 2022

After the Funeral by Peter Paul Everwine

We opened closets and bureau drawers
and packed away, in boxes, dresses and shoes,
the silk underthings still wrapped in tissue.
We sorted through cedar chests. We gathered
and set aside the keepsakes and the good silver
and brought up from the coal cellar
jars of tomato sauce, peppers, jellied fruit.
We dismantled, we took down from the walls,
we bundled and carted off and swept clean.
Goodbye, goodbye, we said, closing
the door behind us, going our separate ways
from the house we had emptied,
and which, in the coming days, we would fill
again and empty and try to fill again.

From: Everwine, Peter, Listening Long and Late, 2013, University of Pittsburgh Press: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, p. [unnumbered].

Date: 2013

By: Peter Paul Everwine (1930-2018)

Friday, 27 May 2022

This Glittering Grief by Robert Liddell Lowe

This glittering grief is all I have
Of you who went before a wave
Would go. A frightened fox in flight
Were not so swift. This sorrow, bright
And shining, is my legacy.
You are a muted memory,
A testament inscribed in sand,
A syllable the lightning’s hand
Wrote transiently across the sky.
You are no more than these—and I
Must mimic now the minor note
Of grieving water’s silver throat.
O little grief, be great. O small
Diminished sorrow, tower tall—
Lest I forget this vanished one,
Too lovely for oblivion.

From: Lowe, Robert Liddell, “This Glittering Grief” in Poetry, Volume XXXIX, Number 1, October 1931, p. 14.

Date: 1931

By: Robert Liddell Lowe (1908-1988)

Thursday, 26 May 2022

Dog Thoughts by John Hazard

What if my speckled dog
who loped six years in the meadow
now sat in a rocker, staring
at books, for hours, or TV’s
news, practiced all the bright morning,
or cook shows, cop shows, show shows,
and even sports?
What if my speckled dog
gazed out the grey window
and twice a day
woofed his deep thoughts
to the empty street?
Or whined longingly
to the yellow Lab trotting by
on the far side of the glass?
What if I had a dog?


Date: 2020

By: John Hazard (19??- )

Monday, 23 May 2022

Train & Pool by Brian Johnson

The train standing in the rain: sad, but I know something worse.
The pool of rain-darkened leaves. It is real sadness—

I mean the empirical scenery of it, the ripening
In a season of mist. With the generalissimo. With the silent-film actress.

Their faces are so strangely impassive, remote, blazed-out
Over the pool and its crepuscular leaf-mass.

Meanwhile the pool house, with its French doors open, standing in the rain—
Its fan whirring—the robes still on the white-strapped chairs—

Sequestered no more than an hour ago, perhaps two—
The pool house we frequented, in our savage youth.


Date: 2020

By: Brian Johnson (19??- )

Sunday, 22 May 2022

Romantic Evening for One by James Gaynor

Twilight birds turn into frogs
or they in their voices do
singing secrets known only to owls —
as dead-eyed in the darkening
a snaking silver fish with teeth
listens to its next meal

While on another shore
In a different forest
it’s hard to tell
under the feathers and tulle
who’s a swan and who’s a princess
because here in some confusion
so often they are both

There’s a wizard there’s a queen —
always a wizard always a queen — and
her pale flock dances in military formation
while one of its number molts into
her human other then into yet another other
perplexing a prince unaware
he’s half of an interspecies couple

At this lake nothing ends well
but time after time I hope —
just this once —
love might triumph
because well you never know
at least until now
stranger things have happened

but then
there are evenings
of uninterrupted music
when the indifferent unseen
fills with fractured light and

the end of everything isn’t


Date: 2021

By: James Gaynor (1948- )

Saturday, 21 May 2022

Poem With a Backbone In It by Donelle Dreese

I want to celebrate the person who says
what everyone else is thinking

the person who knows thoughts are not Gregorian chants
or mint leaves sweetened with lime frost

even if it strikes the piñata of polite conversation
until truth hailstones to the floor

even if it sounds like crows flapping their wings
inside the hollow of a bell tower.

I want to celebrate the person who pours water
over tombstones so the souls of the dead are not thirsty

the person whose mind tracks the natural curve of the spine
anything else is artifice or disease
a scoliosis of the brain.


Date: 2017

By: Donelle Dreese (1968- )

Friday, 20 May 2022

San Juan Capistrano Mission by Paul Lieber

The chipped façade of cream brick.
The uneven plaster reminds me
of my apartment on 17th,
those little hills for floors,
the toilet in the hall and
dreams of the tenement swaying.

Forget stiff interpretations
of the bible and the slaughter
of infidels. Stay with the mortar,
stones and age, the adobe couches,
those motherly laps
in the garden
away from the burn
of sun and the mission
of this mission.

I hear my father through the archways.
“Religion killed half the human race.”

I stroll into the gilded chapel
as narrow as that flat downtown
but the ceiling, with its primitive
beams and mismatched lines, climbs
to the heavens and Latin chants
swirl so,
so I pull up a tier
and pray
as involuntarily as any seduction.

The winding chant pulls me further
to those holy stories, to the creepy almighty,
calling, and I, obedient music, am summoned

past the rape of aunt Jenny,
past the repairman fiddling with a hinge,
above the bombings to the east.
I’m over the ruins,
above the gift shop,
above the bells.

A single note.
An infidel.


Date: 2015

By: Paul Lieber (19??- )

Thursday, 19 May 2022

Meteor, April 2020 by Amy Miller

In the year of our plague, we saw a light. Like a plane on
fire, west in the sky, just after sunset when Venus and the
moon were trying so hard to touch. There, flashing on the
lids of the trash cans—sudden, moving, in flight—
something meeting its end, crashing to earth. I looked up
and said What the hell. Not Glory, not Thank you.

Sometimes they say
a mixed blessing, which means
you’re screwed. Or Careful
what you wish
. I only wished
that the rest of that rock
would miss us.

Starlight, not night, and the leaves on the maple so tender a
green you know most of them won’t make it—frost coming
again. Light, light, green, and the blue of not quite night.
Our night lit by this startle. Or spike.

The hardest thing
is how the fever
keeps making you think
it’s over, then flares
again, a fire that comes
just before sleep.
Then sleep flies off
to somewhere far
from your troubled
crown of night.

After a shock, sometimes you look back at the place it
happened as if it bled some lingering print. I still look there,
wonder if it landed, the gouge, the burn. Mixed. Be careful.
Stars wheel down, a slow newsfeed. The story is
developing. I’m out here with no mask, big sky, big dare,
alone. And aren’t we all just lone pillars, the billions of our
parts improbably combining, surviving? Like those lights,
dragging all their lives behind them out of the dark.


Date: 2020

By: Amy Miller (19??- )

Wednesday, 18 May 2022

The Long Dead by Doug Ramspeck

Mostly we smoked with our backs
to the fence, watching our classmates
filing out from the school grounds,
or we exchanged pills for a handful
of dollars, or we made rude remarks
to the girls we liked. One was named Marlene,
and nine years later she took her own life
in a bathroom of an apartment house
where she was living with her boyfriend
and their son, though back in high school
she would give us the finger or pretend
she might flash us. Her brother ended up
doing time for check kiting—a term
I didn’t know until he went away for it—
and decades later I saw him at a YMCA
with his clothes off, as fat as a walrus,
and he reminded me of a time we’d almost
stolen a car then had chickened out,
reminded me of a time we drove
to Wisconsin where the drinking age
was eighteen. Apparently he struck a car
in the parking lot before we headed back,
though I had no memory of the accident.
Mostly I nodded while he stood with a towel
draped over his shoulder, and we talked
about the long dead, including his sister,
and I imagined my back against the fence
as she was walking by, and I remembered how
she would turn as we called out, her mouth
undecided whether it were angry or amused,
and the clouds above her seemed a reliquary,
the earth spinning out on its wheel.


Date: 2018

By: Doug Ramspeck (1953- )