Posts tagged ‘2012’

Monday, 30 January 2023

The Sprig by Tiffany Tsao

The man in the photo is a green shoot of a man
a slim-waisted sprig
a pocket-watch spring
with ears like the wings of a jumbo jet.
He’ll take off and you better catch on.

The shades of white and grey can’t hide
his technicolour visions.
Through the creased paper protrudes
a jaunty ambition swelling by the second.

I think his rakish moustache just sprouted another hair.

I know how he’ll unfurl.
He will build empires.
He will populate the earth.
He will feed multitudes.
He will shower the land with dollar bills.
Then: a modest monument, a humble knighthood,
a self-commissioned portrait hanging in the hallway.

But let’s keep this a secret
or he’ll never get over himself.


Date: 2012

By: Tiffany Tsao (19??- )

Wednesday, 30 November 2022

Mercy by Travis Mossotti

~Wildlife Rescue Center, Castlewood, MO

You’d bring us each wounded opossum,
broken jaw, eye gone slack from socket,
prayed mercy for the dying, for the dead.

So often I held it hissing on a sterile gurney
while Regina considered the damage, eye
back in or clipped it, cleaned the socket.

More times than not just loaded the syringe
as I pinned and waited until the pulse ran out,
until I could feel the ghost of it through

the rubber gloves, buried her with the rest
in the morgue freezer. Death is common
as duckweed sloughing a pond in summer.

Life is coaxing a fake rubber nipple down
the throats of pink nothings found inside
a mother’s bloodied pouch, press a small bit

of formula into their stomachs. Opossums
are sluggish, hearty creatures that look up
at each zooming headlight as though salvation

or the afterlife had come to meet them halfway
in your Mercedes C-Class. It’s why they suffer
head injuries. Not because your car represents

the combustion engine, industrial revolution,
angel of global warming that wings dry hillsides
into raging fires. No, don’t apologize.

It makes you look weak, foolish and arrogant.


Date: 2012

By: Travis Mossotti (19??- )

Wednesday, 26 October 2022

How to Paint in the Dark by Rebecca Schumejda

After the hurricane took away our electricity
we open the curtains, sit at the kitchen table
pull out acrylic paint, brushes and canvas.

There are crickets chirping and it is daytime.
I overhear the neighbors to the left of us
discussing the possibility of meat going bad,

pounds and pounds of venison and pork chops.
They will grill it all and invite family over.
Our neighbor, to the right, talks about losing

a bid for a job; this is the third consecutive time;
he just can’t charge any less. He has to pay for
insurance. Now this, the high winds blowing off

shingles, flood waters engulfing cars, seeping
through foundations, collecting and sitting
stagnant, growing foul. Our neighbor behind us

is beating his dog because his wife left him.
My daughter looks out windows; she wants
to see thunder. As soon as I tell her that you can

only hear it, she looks defeated. I wonder why
humans steal each other’s faith. The dog cowers
in the bushes that separate our yards and I know

even if our phone worked, I wouldn’t call the police.


Date: 2012

By: Rebecca Schumejda (19??- )

Wednesday, 13 July 2022

The Day of Gifts by Paul Claudel

It’s not true that Your saints have won everything: they left me with sins enough.
Someday I’ll lie on my deathbed, Lord, ill-shaven and yellow as a lifelong drunk.
And I’ll make a general examination of myself, looking back over all my days,
And I’ll see that I’m rich after all, ripe and rich with evil in its unnumbered paths and ways.
I haven’t lost one single chance, Lord, to make matter for You to pardon.
Now I hearten myself with vice, having long ago sloughed off virtue’s burden.
Each day has its own kind of crime, plain to see, and I count them like some paranoid miser.

If what you need, Lord, are virgins, if what you need are brave men beneath your standard;
If there are people for whom to be Christian words alone would not suffice,
But who know rather that only in stirring themselves to chase after You is there any life,
Well then there’s Dominic and Francis, Saint Lawrence and Saint Cecilia and plenty more!
But if by chance You should have need of a lazy and imbecilic bore,
If a prideful coward could prove useful to You, or perhaps a soiled ingrate,
Or the sort of man whose hard heart shows up in a hard face—
Well, anyway, You didn’t come to save the just but that other type that abounds,
And if, miraculously, You run out of them elsewhere . . . Lord, I’m still around.

And what kind of a man is so crude that he hasn’t held a little something back from You,
Hasn’t in his free time fashioned something special for You,
Hoping that one day the idea will come to You to ask it of him,
And maybe this little that he’s made himself, kept back until then, though horrid and tortuous, will please Your whim.
It would be something that he’d put his whole heart into, something useless and malformed.
Just like that my little daughter once, on my birthday, teetered forward with encumbered arms
And offered me, her heart at once full of timidity and pride,
A magnificent little duck she had made with her own two hands, a pincushion, made of red wool and gold thread.


Date: 1915 (original in French); 2012 (translation in English)

By: Paul Claudel (1868-1955)

Translated by: Jonathan Monroe Geltner (19??- )

Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Winter Morning by Richard Meier

Shyly coated in greys, blacks, browns—
to keep us out of sight of the cold—
we weren’t expecting this this morning: sun
and shadows, like a summer’s evening, like summer
teasing. And not quite under the shelter on
the northbound platform, an old man, the sun
behind him, just his crown ablaze; and heading
southbound, a woman inching ever nearer
the platform edge, the light a tear
across her midriff, ribcage, shoulders, closer
and closer that dearest thing, completeness,
all her darkness light at the one time.


Date: 2012

By: Richard Meier (1970- )

Monday, 21 March 2022

The Rehabilitation Hobbies Room by Helen Burke

This is re-cuperation then, this is rehabilitation.
Here by learning how to re-tie my own anxiety into bows
I will be made whole again.
From all the hobbies on the hobby table
I shall choose sand.  Sand and ribbon-reading.
By my ribbons they will know me.
I send back the mirrors made from pasta twirls.
I send back the soft toy dogs made from
cotton wool and silly tape.
The gnomes and plaster cast of Jesus (the champagne
corks still wobbling) I eschew.
These are the glories of the hobby room
where we must come before they sign us out, we damaged moths.

I must sketch my own silhouette in beer can tops and
draw my own eyes with sea-foam and silicone.
I must re-join my bones with cement and sloe-gin.
I must position my mended shadow on the wall of reason.
I must play football with my own spleen,
badminton with my own kidney.
I must leave a sample of my own cheerfulness in the cup provided.
I must fashion a prophecy from eggshells and straw.
My hobby is leaving – this is my choice.
I will not choose another.
My lilac wings are beating a pattern in the clear space above my head.


Date: 2012

By: Helen Burke (1953-2019)

Friday, 25 February 2022

Another Boundary by Cristina-Monica Moldoveanu

the old men left
the young hearts boundaries
stones broke out from their roots
like a dry bread split on the knees

the dough didn’t rise anymore
under the hand stitched towel
brick dust is sifted slowly
on a spider’s nest
in the bread oven’s window

next winter will pass quickly
everything will freeze under cold chimneys
like in a dry ant mole
cut with a scythe

only in March when the earth
will germinate its fangs
the house vineyard will cry
with cold sweat in each new shoot

at Easter all great grandchildren
barely having learned to walk
will step over dandelion flowers
burning in the yard
lightly and without traces


Date: 2012

By: Cristina-Monica Moldoveanu (1971- )

Monday, 3 January 2022

Lines on a Skull by Ravi Shankar

(Haiku Erasure of Lord Byron’s “Lines Inscribed Upon a Cup Formed from a Skull”)

Start spirit; behold
the skull. A living head loved
earth. My bones resign

the worm, lips to hold
sparkling grape’s slimy circle,
shape of reptile’s food.

Where wit shone of shine,
when our brains are substitute,
like me, with the dead,

life’s little, our heads
sad. Redeemed and wasting clay
this chance. Be of use.


Date: 2012

By: Ravi Shankar (1975- )

Wednesday, 29 September 2021

For the Buyer of Breakfasts in Salem by Colleen Michaels

I wish for you a lifetime of eggs
over easy, poached, sunny side up
on a raft, scrambled with Vermont cheddar

I wish for you that every time you walk
into the diner on Washington St.
somebody says, “What do ya know, Jo.

You’re that guy, the one who secretly
shelled out to strangers. Just ‘cause.
Hot ticket. Mayor of the counter.”

I wish for you that when the story gets
english muffin dry and day old stale
you will still be known as a lumber jack.

Pass him the sports page, pass him the syrup
give him a warm up, little creamers on ice.
No, bring him the real milk from the cooler.

Every small generosity is now yours to pocket:
parcels and postcards, secret santas,
the resurrection of men’s hat departments.

All those hats worn by other nice men
who will search for you on sidewalks
just for the opportunity to tip a brim in your direction.

I wish for you full satisfaction:
not from the silver-dollar pancakes
which are on the house at my thank-you counter,

but because, when I took your cue
and bought dessert for the couple two tables over,
it tasted sweeter than cannoli.


Date: 2012

By: Colleen Michaels (19??- )

Tuesday, 17 August 2021

Temperature by Rose van Son

if the weather clears
she will take the sea road
walk along cliffs
hang out near rocks
where seals swim with purpose

if the weather clears
she will tie a line
behind the chook shed
hang dirty washing
in the sun

she will smother weeds
walk to a neighbour’s house
slide her heart in her pocket
hide it under a red jacket

if the weather clears
she will smell the last rain
tie her hair in a scarf
catch the last train
leave a letter behind


Date: 2012

By: Rose van Son (19??- )