Posts tagged ‘2020’

Wednesday, 15 December 2021

Driving to Galesburg by Ellen Stone

Mother says okay, okay
all across the prairie
steadying herself
her brain wrapping
around white barns, silos,
distance like black locust
fence posts or this barbed
wire gathering in the sheep.

These barns look new
she says, and I say, no.
No, they have always
been here – thinking
of her disappearing
over years, slipping
by. These numbered
markers tracking us.

It’s so large, she gasps.
Of the sea of corn.
Of the sky’s tumult.
Of the grassy, plumey
world, waving & wind
whipped, a wild mare –
frayed mane, tail glowing
behind her like a flag,
or some kind of signal.


Date: 2020

By: Ellen Stone (19??- )

Monday, 18 October 2021

Dementia Walks into A Bar by Diane Shipley DeCillis

De men are in dementia, don’t cha see,
and should you anagram it further you’ll find
a dime for a matinee with a maiden
who isn’t a meanie. All sound better
than Alzheimer’s. Al’s Heimer. What’s
a heimer, anyway? Urban dictionary says,
a girl who plays a guy without having
any real interest in him. Poor Al. What about

jingleheimer, those annoying tunes you can’t
get out of your head? Or, dingleheimer,
a dingbat with a crusty dingleberry mustache,
like Hitler. And there’s dingledodie, Kerouac’s
word to describe those with a madness born
of passion: But then they danced down the street
like dingledodies. . .

better than dinglefoot,
that’s when you step in dog shit with bare
feet and get a case of the dinglefoot
which is what I’m doing now, stepping in it.
Because dementia is no laughing matter,
even though I’m trying to find a way for it to be.

Have you heard the one about the guy who sees
a doctor for a checkup? “I have bad news, you
have cancer and dementia.” The man
replies, “Well, at least I don’t have cancer.”


Date: 2020

By: Diane Shipley DeCillis (19??- )

Thursday, 14 October 2021

Midlife by Cynthia Shutts

We are both terrified of loneliness in middle age
So, we snag the first driftwood that happens by
I carve you into a piece of art for the mantlepiece
And you use me as kindling.


Date: 2020

By: Cynthia Shutts (19??- )

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Theory of the Disappeared Man by Maya Phillips

who looks like my father or
his father or an ex or neighbor or
someone I’ve never met at all—

We’re facing an epidemic
and the drugs are still in clinical trials
(or would be if the doctors could find them)

but now we’ve all grown accustomed
to loss, saunter through empty rooms,
arms spread, saying, Just look

at all this space! Studies show
this is catching. The man susceptible
to a vacation or a trip to the store or

a sudden drive just around the corner
when the corner’s two counties a
country a lifetime away—

Why can’t we all just stay in our homes,
lock the doors, grow old with clasped
hands in safe quarters?

When he is antecedent to the leaving,
all evidence points in the direction
of men I think I know—he, whichever man

who lives in the in-between, the unseen
space where I can’t follow, I could
love him, have loved him before, all my life.


Date: 2020

By: Maya Phillips (19??- )

Sunday, 10 October 2021

I’ve Got an Asinine Affinity (Infinity?), a Clumsy Love Song by Ronda Piszk Broatch

The bees of the heart weave stillness into a conversation.
String theory is smaller than the bees in the honey tin,
larger than the bats hanging from the DO NOT DISTURB

sign. If I wasn’t so tired, I’d rearrange my family’s lives
above the upright piano, would spring a new theory in a blue-
me world, where wandering beyond the yard sets my laughing

gear in motion. If only my iPhone had a zapper app
I’d deploy it at the movies, but for now I just use my keys.
Tell me about your everyday love, and I’ll tell you how

the worm bin is haunted, and the fact that I hid the rules
in back of the cider house, in a can of Lyle’s Golden Syrup. Sticky
sunrise, and UPS brings a broken administration all the way

from the America, the box intact. I miss my life, I really do.
The bees of my heart sing the Mad Girl’s Love Song
so often my quarantine has an earworm, and the rat

in my compost pile steals the worms. If I wasn’t so tired
I’d be detachable, capable of reliability, but that’s debatable.
In an old insane world, the able are constantly bewitched, which

is good, in my book. Close your eyes, pots and pans, running
water. Can’t you hear the phone ringing? The Mad Girl’s
in the Bee Box, and I’ve got a sloe-gin theory about that.


Date: 2020

By: Ronda Piszk Broatch (19??- )

Thursday, 7 October 2021

Sonnet by Aaron Novick

Listen: you can hear
the silent thunder gathering
before the clouds unload the loud, rude ring
that stupefies the ear.

Not yet insensate, here
in the slurred rain, you feel each thing
that cannot be becoming, thickening
from nothing, drawing near.

What world is this, that streams
with solid fog? What empty glut
of all just as it seems?

And, when real thunder fills
the sky, and these things vanish—what?
It is your mind that stills.


Date: 2020

By: Aaron Novick (19??- )

Tuesday, 5 October 2021

Her Lot by Alwyn Marriage

Genesis 19

Fleeing a city’s devastation with his wife
he was witness to her transformation,
stopped in his tracks aghast, then tentatively
took two steps backwards without turning round.
He spoke to her, gently at first, then cried
with rising panic in his voice,
put out a hand to touch her cold white form,
but withdrew it as he felt the sculpture burn
with the salt tears of strife.

Licking his fingers in disbelief, he briefly savoured
twenty shared years in which she’d added flavour
to his life. Ozymandias in the desert wastes
couldn’t have looked more lost and isolated
than this woman he must now leave behind,
as abandoning the strange and yet familiar
column of solidified sea water,
he set his face to the impassivity of rock
and continued on his desert way, without looking back.


Date: 2020

By: Alwyn Marriage (19??- )

Saturday, 2 October 2021

Wealth by Dianne Stepp

It was an ordinary day riding home on the bus,
the sun slanting low through the window
where I sat reading a book, listening
with half an ear to the murmur of commuters,
the ring of the pulled bell, the driver
calling out the stops. I didn’t notice her
at all until she took the seat in front of me,
until the sun darted through the glass
to lay its brush in the deep plums of her lavish hair,
igniting tiny filaments of gold, molten reds,
burnished umbers, causing them to arc, crackle
a firestorm of snapping lights.
I remember how my body woke then,
how I wanted to dance, stand in the aisle,
shout and wave my arms, everyone to look.
And when her hand reached for the cord,
I remember how desolate I felt, yet grateful,
even then, when I was still ignorant,
how rarely, a gift like this,
how randomly, over a lifetime.


Date: 2020

By: Dianne Stepp (19??- )

Thursday, 26 August 2021

Knossos by Helen Thurloe

If you asked me what I recall of the Minotaur’s labyrinth,
and the faded frescoes of rock-star bull-leapers, I would say:
it was my daughter’s blue and white checked dress,
which she pulled up all day, to inspect the band-aid on her knee;
and the fierce sun that we squinted past in every single photograph;
and the ginger stubble of the Ancient History teacher I ran away with
in the year after high school. But mostly I remember the stink
of cabbage from the neighbouring fields (sharp enough to kill Ulysses
and his legends, sufficient to repel Arthur Evans from his digs);
a miasma of stench, ripe as the stains on my canvas-bound Bury’s –
A History of Greece to the Death of Alexander the Great.


Date: 2020

By: Helen Thurloe (19??- )

Friday, 2 July 2021

Abrasion by Jennifer Avriel Kemarre Martiniello

blue seas, green islands—
the governance manipulator’s dream of
paradise, the high ride on the wave
from grass to greenback on the tropic
cancer of poverty—
and in Australia the downers
(put them down and keep them down,
extract the juices from the ripened flesh
of the socially engineered to be exploited
and make them pay for the privilege)
spout fancy rhetoric
to the gullible about the betrayal
of democracy, about sanctions for sins
as if God alone, through the agency of his
corporate deputies, has given holy unction
to their own dis-graces;
and in Fiji
and Samoa and Tonga and the Solomons
the rich blue/green carpet of the Pacific
laid out under the throne of governance
where the coloniser sits, is wearing thin—
its patience threadbare; and once the strong
rough fibre of its weave is exposed it becomes
abrasive to walk on
with soft, white feet clad only
in the paper-thin currency
of words.


Date: 2020

By: Jennifer Avriel Kemarre Martiniello (1949- )