Posts tagged ‘2018’

Sunday, 28 April 2019

These Mountains by Ion Corcos

In this still bay, limestone blue,
the fall of mountain steep with scree.

Clumps of hard grass grip the slope, shorn
like valleys I have seen in eastern Turkey.

Don’t tell the Greeks, don’t tell the Turks;
some of them at least. The far mountains,

covered in a haze of sun and clouds,
look like the Anatolia I have seen.

In this still bay, mountains rise,
while men sit around, drink coffee, complain;

until one day the earth trembles,
rips the land apart, and the mountains

sink into the sea.

Birds roost in caves, menace to keep their space,
until they too move on, or are banished.

We talk about this place, but we talk too much.
This place is about mountains, born from the sea,

from Venetians, Ottomans, Turks, Greeks;
everything that belongs to yesterday.

Everything that belongs to today.

One day a volcano exploded under the sea,
raised mountains. The volcano is still here.


Date: 2018

By: Ion Corcos (1969- )

Sunday, 24 March 2019

You Have the Tools, Use Them by Carol Moldaw

Meanwhile, while we were off
practicing mindfulness, a deer
staggered half-way up our drive
and collapsed on the front lawn,
most likely struck by a car.
Robin left it on voicemail,
asking if she could remove the deer
for us, in exchange for the meat
which she would butcher up then
and there. The meat, she said,
was pristine, so far untouched
by flies. She was impatient
to reach me, to get going
before a mountain lion found it.
At first I heard only “deer”
and called back thinking
she just wanted to let me know
she was there with the dogs
and had seen some deer
rubbing against aspen bark,
chewing the orchard grass.
That was almost that, until
she went through it all again,
this time making sure I heard.


Date: 2018

By: Carol Moldaw (1956- )

Saturday, 23 February 2019

Another Episode Buried at Sea: Overhead by Jeanne Larsen

shearwaters veer, debating his chances, his girlish
facile infidelities, which they admire,
pass on. He passes on, or will, our mobile
Odysseus, remembering immemorial singers,
how they placed in the sea’s abyss the whole
in small: lie well & learn; feint & stay true;
forgotten is dry bones. But what song’s that
for a sailor boy, sea dog, pollywog, old tarpaulin,
storm-scoured gob? Those gals are fathomless.
Out of control, they break the code. They offer
mooring—a new unauthorized field of view.

Maybe sisters, maybe lovers, they show us
every song’s a chronicle of Sing!
Show, on their unnamed island, wasted Troy’s corpse.


Date: 2018

By: Jeanne Larsen (1950- )

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Personal Effects by Dilruba Ahmed

Tattered voting ballot. Business card smudged
with coffee. Medicare card. Senior center
card. Senior shuttle ID. Power port card
with implant date, reference number,
doctor’s phone. Expired coupon for coffee.
Receipt for overdue book fine. Torn fortunes
pulled from hollow cookies. Photo
of next of kin. Pizza card, fully stamped,
tenth slice given free. Bonus shopper card.
Library cards from another county. Pharmacy
savings card. Library due dates. Dentist reminder
with calendar sticker. Jotted notes: items
for sale (“Coffee table in decent condition”).
Scuffed faculty ID, permit for parking.


Date: 2018

By: Dilruba Ahmed (1970- )

Saturday, 12 January 2019

The Magnolia by Lee Rossi

O . . . great-rooted blossomer
are you the leaf, the blossom or the bole?
— W.B. Yeats

“I hate this tree”—the first words from my new neighbor
bending over the ground cover beneath her magnolia,

Belle of the Old South, “sweet and fresh,”
subtropical exile to our fertile desert.

She was 80 or 85, the tree half her age
and tall as a three-story house,

still dropping leaves and seed pods
like a teenager with a bad case of dandruff.

“It killed my lawn,” she said,
a violation twenty years in the past, which she held onto

as if it were last year, or last week. It soothed
and fueled her anger, I imagined, to pluck the brown

papery leaves from their hiding place in ivy
and stuff them in a green bin. I wondered if Sisyphus

hated his rock as much as she hated that tree.
I knew how much I hated my job, eight or nine

hours every day trying to lift the world another inch.
And every night more leaves would fall, leaves

and pods, those sexual hand grenades, those
pregnant cluster bombs. And yet she could no more live

without the tree than she could without her anger.
They were like an old couple, so deformed

by their love that they couldn’t want anything else.
Every day after work I’d come home and find her,

bowed or kneeling, or toward the end just sitting in the ivy—
city of beetles, city of mice—and see the tree,

blazoned with sunset’s gilt, its orange
and ruby ornaments a flaming candelabra.


Date: 2018

By: Lee Rossi (19??- )

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Searching for Light by Yao Feng (Yao Jingming)

The light retires to the lamp
and suddenly all is dark again
who out there has caught the night-moth
and instructs it in shadow?

After countless drills
the torn-winged moth
no longer knows how to fly
and trails through the twilight
crawling snail-slow
toward the light.


Date: 2018

By: Yao Feng (Yao Jingming) (1958- )

Translated by: Julia Sanches (19??- )

Friday, 5 October 2018

Bottle of Wine by Carl Dennis

I like to park a few blocks from the house of my hosts
And walk with my bottle of wine the tree-lined streets,
Anticipating the dinner with friends that awaits me.
A bottle of wine showing not only that I’m grateful
To be included but that I’m eager to do my part,
To offer a gift that won’t survive the evening,
That says I’ve set aside the need for transcendence
And made my peace at last with living in time.
Soon we’ll welcome the evening with a toast.
Soon we’ll be toasting it in farewell
As it starts on its journey into the near past
And then the far. Do the houses I’m passing
Regard me as a creature about to vanish
Into the realm of shadow while they have resolved
To hold their ground? But the bottle I’m carrying
Shows how the past can enhance the present.
The grapes it was made from were plucked and pressed
Seven years ago in a vineyard in Burgundy
According to customs already in place for generations
By the time these houses moved from the realm
Of blueprints and estimates into brick and wood.
The bottle will testify that traditions once honored
Are being adhered to still, with patience, with pride.
And if the past is present this evening, isn’t the future
Present as well in the thought that the ritual
I’m helping to pass along will prove enduring,
That however much the world around it may alter,
Guests will still perform it in eras to come?
I hope I feel their presence in spirit
Under these trees later this evening
As I walk back to my car with empty hands.


Date: 2018

By: Carl Dennis (1939- )

Saturday, 22 September 2018

The Tale of the Earth by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland

There is an earth inside you
and he howls until his feet
pierce the space
between your hips.

You scream.
It sounds

Three pushes and he’s out,
face-down, slippery
as though covered
in huckleberry jam.

Put him to your breast,
lean back against the tree.
Introduce little Earth
to ancient Earth.

Tell them both how
they have oceans
and moons. Tell them both
how they’re held with stars.


Date: 2018

By: Raquel Vasquez Gilliland (1986- )

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Origin Story by Kaya Lattimore

I am from southern islands.
I am from migration, from tides low enough
to walk on sand bars across countries.
I am from the curved horizon, from the sudden
descent of dusk, hazy as smoke.
From hands rough as palm tree bark,
from the young green coconuts, fresh as seawater.
I am from my mother’s crowded mouth, her
crooked teeth and many accents; from my father’s folklore
and five languages. I am from a dusty town, from handfuls
of kin, their history and blood.
I am from rice paddies and floods.

I am from brown-skin summers.
From native tongue and too-good English;
I am from bamboo borders, the hallowed crossing.
From ancient rivers with Antarctic-ocean veins, from
a mountain-walled city and my many names.
I am from the culture shock, a mouth too crowded
with language to speak.
From blue passport and airplanes,
from the “where are you from?”
I am from the waiting.
I am from unlearning every word for home.
I am from my oldest memory, this chameleon skin.
I am from the roots where every story begins.


Date: 2018

By: Kaya Lattimore (19??- )

Sunday, 10 June 2018

On Luve by Alexander Arbuthnot with rough translation into modern English by flusteredduck

He that luifis lichtliest,
Sall not happin on the best.
He that luifis langest,
Sall have rest surest.
He that luvis all his best,
Sall chance upon the gudliest.
Quha sa in luif is trew and plaine,
He sall be lufit weill agane.
Men may say quhatever thay pleis,
In mutual luve is mekil eis.

On Love by Alexander Arbuthnot

He that loves lightest,
Shall not happen on the best.
He that loves longest,
Shall have rest surest.
He that loves all his best,
Shall chance upon the goodliest.
Who so in love is true and plain,
He shall be loved well again.
Men may say whatever they please,
In mutual love is much ease.

From: Pinkerton, John, Ancient Scottish Poems, never before in print. But now published from the Ms. collections of Sir Richard Maitland, of Lethington, Knight, Lord Privy Seal of Scotland, and a Senator of the College of the Justice. Comprising pieces written from about 1420 till 1586, with large notes, and a glossary, Volume I, 1786, Charles Dilly: London & William Creech: Edinburgh, p. 148.

Date: c1550

By: Alexander Arbuthnot (1538-1583)