Posts tagged ‘2009’

Friday, 25 January 2019

Dark Matter by Jack Elliott Myers

I’ve lived my life as if I were my wife
packing for a trip—I’ll need this and that
and I can’t possibly do without that!

But now I’m about
what can be done without.
I just need a thin valise.

There’s no place on earth
where I can’t unpack in a flash
down to a final spark of consciousness.

No place where I can’t enter
the joyless rapture
of almost remembering

I’ll need this and I’ll need that,
hoping to weigh less than silence,
lighter than light.


Date: 2009

By: Jack Elliott Myers (1941-2009)

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Sprout by Linda Parsons Marion

The gardener I never reckoned on, she sows
with the fire of a zealot—rows cowlicked
in garlic, snow peas fence-latticed, mounds
studded gold—my daughter bends to earth’s
pure bidding. She’s living up to her baby name,
called Tater for the sun-brown quickness on nose
and arms. She means to mine these coffers
for yields unborn, sequin the counter with
a gracious plenty. Her reach is the surest we know,
to feed and be sated, even as she nurses
a sprout on her belly’s milk, all of us waiting
for the fruit made flesh, for the muskmelon
to twirl its sweet mouth in pearlized clay
yearning toward first harvest.


Date: 2009

By: Linda Parsons Marion (1953- )

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Gone by Peter Makuck

Walking through maritime forest,
he tops the ridge dune, beach empty,

ocean blue as the ink of her last letter,
that perfect nun-schooled cursive,

this last aunt, gone with family
stories he should have listened

more closely to. Afternoon shadows
thicken in the white sandy hollows,

sea oats at his back and far out
a sharp line that divides two worlds.

He is thinking of a Polish uncle escaped
from Nazis when, as if sent by a deity,

appears a woman in a blue wetsuit.
She drags a red kayak out through the wash,

hops in, and paddles out
to the eight footers that

tip her over and send her back
boiling in a white seethe to the sand.

At last she finds her feet, staggers
and retrieves the kayak. Again

she launches out and again goes upside-
down in the loud pound of the surf zone.

All this emptiness but for sandpipers
that suddenly rise, as if with one will,

twist and head in a new direction,
then swirl down a hundred yards east.

When he looks back
the red kayak is beyond the breakers

in a field of sun sparks pointed west, slowly
appearing and disappearing far from shore.


Date: 2009

By: Peter Makuck (1940- )

Friday, 21 September 2018

The Romance of Middle Age by Mary Meriam

Now that I’m fifty, let me take my showers
at night, no light, eyes closed. And let me swim
in cover-ups. My skin’s tattooed with hours
and days and decades, head to foot, and slim
is just a faded photograph. It’s strange
how people look away who once would look.
I didn’t know I’d undergo this change
and be the unseen cover of a book
whose plot, though swift, just keeps on getting thicker.
One reaches for the pleasures of the mind
and heart to counteract the loss of quicker
knowledge. One feels old urgencies unwind,
although I still pluck chin hairs with a tweezer,
in case I might attract another geezer.


Date: 2009

By: Mary Meriam (1955- )

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Middle Age by Jason Shinder

Many of my friends are alone
and know too much to be happy
though they still want to dive
to the bottom of the green ocean
and bring back a gold coin
in their hand. A woman I know wakes
in the late evening and talks
to her late husband,
the windows blank photographs.
On the porch, my brother,
hands in pockets,
stares at the flowing stream.
What’s wrong? Nothing.
The cows stand
in their own slow afternoons.
The horses gather
wild rose hips in the sun
the way I longed for someone
long ago. What was it like?
The door opening
and no one on either side.


Date: 2009 (published)

By: Jason Shinder (1955-2008)

Sunday, 19 August 2018

There Was No Funeral by Ash Bowen

because death doesn’t stagger, it walks
on arched toes, hangs sheets
over mirrors,

because soon the house will fill with no one
who saw you lift your skirt, wade
into ether,

because I will undress the bed, thread
by thread,

because I still have business
in this world.

            Shirl Brunell (1934—2006)


Date: 2009

By: Ash Bowen (19??- )

Friday, 11 May 2018

A Poem by Subo Acharya

Men do live and men do die
good men live and bad men too
bad men die and good men live
good men die and bad men live
how men come to harm and what is harm
the secret fever rises in my heart
my empty skull is crooked and tired
bones in my cracked skin also crack
men do live and men do die.


Date: ?1963 (original in Bengali); 2009 (translation in English)

By: Subo Acharya (19??- )

Translated by: Jyotirmoy Datta (1936- )

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

The Lilac Thief by Young Dawkins

She is aghast
as I explain that once each year,
just about now,
I drive slowly through the neighborhoods casing likely targets,
and when I find one,
I park just across the street and walk over
with a great inner calm.
I use the very sharpest snips possible,
and cut one, two, but never more than three
clumps of perfectly bloomed purple lilacs,
then move on until the lead-heavy scent
inside the car makes me almost dopey.
I bring them home and arrange them in vases,
place them where they will find afternoon light.
But, she cries, that is just wrong!
Lilacs belong to all the people.

Yes, I say. Yes.
And I am one of the people.


Date: 2009

By: Young Dawkins (19??- )

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Another Easter by Hayden Saunier

The bones of the buck lie where he lay
by the creek last fall, wounded, licking water.
Small mound of carcass in the meadow’s sweep
sunken, smaller now, undistinguishable

from the wrack of winter wheat.
No flag left, spine bare, stiff fringe across the ribs,
his strong legs stripped and milk-pod pale.
Seeds of his last meal deep in rot.

And so it is with our grief.
Extended exhalations, slow dissolves,
the stubborn skull protecting memory,
like last meat, in a bony cave.

And something rooting down
inside, ready to rise.


Date: 2009

By: Hayden Saunier (19??- )

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Meanwhile by Jack Gilbert

It waits. While I am walking through the pine trees
along the river, it is waiting. It has waited a long time.
In southern France, in Belgium, and even Alabama.
Now it waits in New England while I say grace over
almost everything: for a possum dead on someone’s lawn,
the single light on a levee while Northampton sleeps,
and because the lanes between houses in Greek hamlets
are exactly the width of a donkey loaded on each side
with barley. Loneliness is the mother’s milk of America.
The heart is a foreign country whose language none
of us is good at. Winter lingers on in the woods,
but already it looks discarded as the birds return
and sing carelessly; as though there never was the power
or size of December. For nine years in me it has waited.
My life is pleasant, as usual. My body is a blessing
and my spirit clear. But the waiting does not let up.


Date: 2009

By: Jack Gilbert (1925-2012)