Posts tagged ‘2021’

Sunday, 17 October 2021

Tender Ship by Catherine Gander

“We have seen them trying to get water out of the boat … it’s pretty overloaded there – it is pretty dangerous, just the number of people on board that boat.” –BBC’s Simon Jones, reporting from alongside a sinking refugee dinghy in the Dover Strait, August 10, 2020.

I know the difference between a stiff and tender ship
It has to do with balance and a certain stability
The kind that lets you roll into waves and take on water
then sluice it clean off
Or keep it on deck, until it seeks, as water always will,
its own path into the body. A tender ship is harder to correct.
I know the difference between a tender ship and a ship’s tender
How the latter is a little boat that shuttles between craft and shore
turning water into care.
The same and not the same, these tender vessels, like the ship
of Theseus—or Pip, who, treading water, saw God’s foot upon the
treadle of the loom, and was changed. Water is intelligent.
It knows the fluid difference between tenderness and harm
will swallow whole the body it caresses, slip liquescence
like loving fingers between lips and limbs.
No camera, please the man
in perfect English says, scooping water from the crowded dinghy
with wrecked hands. You can see it’s dangerous, the reporter says to the lens
then steadies his body to yell across an oceanic distance
Where are you from?


Date: 2021

By: Catherine Gander (19??- )

Wednesday, 6 October 2021

Migrations by Kathryn Hunt

The pale-yellow blossoms
of the hellebores remind us
of winter’s long resolve.

In the south, the Western tanager
is aflame with nectar. Wasps,
cicadas, love. Bird camouflaged as

guitar lick, a zodiacal sunrise.
Smoke from smoldering tires
in the valley of Oaxaca.

Come, ungovernable blaze.
Little god. Summon us.
Torch the naked branches.


Date: 2021

By: Kathryn Hunt (19??- )

Monday, 4 October 2021

Medieval Dream Poem by Lois Marie Harrod

In the middle of my middle age I awake
to my sister telling me she wears
her street clothes to bed, What’s the point,
she asks, changing? She’s angry.
Someone at the Senior Center
has told her she smells like a dog.

In the middle of the bed I awake
to my dog, wrapped in purple polyester
that she does not shed. She’s smelling
of rancid mutton, which I don’t like,
not even those little lamb chops smothered
in mint, chop chop, says Detective Frost.

In the middle of my mystery I awake
to Detective Frost, my hand numb
where I had grabbed the suspect’s knife,
clenched it as if my life depended on cutting
off my fingers, and in that life, it did.

In the middle of my sullen art I awake
to a knife slicing the Mona Lisa from her frame,
worried as I roll it that the great cameras
of the Louvre, all those pinholes into pictures
will catch me at work and I will pull down
my hood and hobble out.

In the middle of the night I wake
to naked skin, and this time it is you
touching me, gently, as I always wanted you to touch
me. Nothing comes of it as nothing comes
of most dreams, but you touched me.

From: Harrod, Lois Marie, ‘Medieval Dream Poem’ in Gyroscope Review, Spring 2021, Issue 21-2, p. 6.

Date: 2021

By: Lois Marie Harrod (19??- )

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

All I Crave is Intrinsic Peace by Jonathan Otamere Endurance

when i say my body is a parquet
littered with bones, i mean everything
i once knew is dead & what remains
is the fire you left behind.

in the garden, i mistake the redness
of roses for your breath—which
means i hallucinate about our pastime–
& when i touch the lilies by their necks
i realize how much of a shadow
you have become.

your absence: a flickering candle light
whose ray burns best in the darkest of day
which means i carry your absence like
a language left untranslated.

grief is an ageless animal. it’s months
since the ocean swept your remains
to shore, & here i am waiting
for the rain to wash off the bloodstains.

this body: an ignorant child to the touch
of grief. a crossroad between loss and fear.

i stretch my voice across continents
which means i am growing wings again.
which means i am not afraid to cross
borders with my grief, to wear your absence
like it’s the last thing you left behind.


Date: 2021

By: Jonathan Otamere Endurance (19??- )

Sunday, 26 September 2021

My Mom Buried a Saint in the Yard by Laura Villareal

Not like you think, but yes, he’s upside down.
St. Joseph faces my childhood window.

The internet says he should face
what must be moved.

My mom buried him 20 years ago to sell our house.
I use the same trowel to plant seeds in the garden.

There must be something to it,
holy intervention,

because the grass where he’s buried
stays green when July browns the fields.

But the house never sold & the only one
who hasn’t stopped moving is me.

My mom prays to St. Anthony when I don’t text back.
She believes in woo woo like I trust in vanishing points.

I pack her remedies with me wherever I go.
I’ve beckoned St. Anthony when love is lost

& I can’t be found. In church
I read Revelations, as a kid, while everyone prayed the rosary.

Forgive me, mother, for I often forget to text back.
Glory be to the suitcase, the postcard, & care package.

I buy a St. Christopher medal for my partner
when his flights get cancelled three times in a row.

I know I should dig St. Joseph up,
but some things are better unmoved.

A novena candle melted in my car, the pink wax filled each corner
of a cardboard moving box & honeycombed the bubble wrap.

Our Lady of Perpetual Wandering,
should I settle like this wax or overflow?


Date: 2021

By: Laura Villareal (19??- )

Monday, 20 September 2021

Orpheus by Graham Foust

To sing’s to field thought’s
failed arrow, then drop it,

as sadness surprises,
as always, then doesn’t,

its record all rumors, bits
of lithic in its meat,

and floats me dream-dead
to this, its constant room.


Date: 2021

By: Graham Foust (1970- )

Wednesday, 8 September 2021

In the back of this poem by Penelope Susan Cottier

there’s a dog,
not a kelpie, balancing,
but a fat Staffie, snuffling.
The poem goes fast around corners.
It picks up words and slings them
into the back (move over fattie!)
There’s room in the front for two,
but it’s better when the poem drives itself,
not Tesla-y, but with its own unseen hands.
It grips the wheel, at 10 and 2.
Red as any riding-hood, red as pox,
this poem revs its V8, musically,
and sometimes even plays its horn.
A utility poem, it can do all sorts.
Climb in the tray (move over fattie!)
lie down snug, lest there be cops,
and it’ll take you out, out for a spin,
far from any pastoral routes,
into the clustered streets
and through slim, light volumes of thought.


Date: 2021

By: Penelope Susan Cottier (1962- )

Friday, 3 September 2021

Outcropping by Nathan Mifsud

How strange, memory,
that when lava came
it wasn’t heat that burned
your senses
but patterns on the bark,
a butterfly, sweetness of dirt.

fleeting scents.


Date: 2021

By: Nathan Mifsud (19??- )

Thursday, 2 September 2021

Plovers by Grant Fraser

They are pensioner birds of considered gait,
Who studiously avoid stepping in something unpleasant,
Whilst searching relentlessly for the bright worm.
They so carelessly dropped those years ago.
Not for them the high safety of nests and trees,
Their freckled eggs are laid at austere rest on the ground
For all the world to ogle:
The cost of their improvidence is eternal vigilance.
From beneath their pastry snoods
They squawk their manic alarms
Raising the bluff of their spiked wings — a feathered canopy
Above the reddish knobble of their tiny knees.
You might have heard them at evening as their cries
Lacerate the transit from day into night.


Date: 2021

By: Grant Fraser (19??- )

Tuesday, 31 August 2021

Toppling by Indran Amirthanayagam

Give me your elbow. Take the Host in your hands;
but, Man, the Pope just spoke the sermon from
his living room, on video tape. This matter
is turning extreme. A taxi driver got infected
from his ride. Can we really shut down a city,
a region, the whole world? Be prepared
we are told. We were waiting for fire, a bomb,
icebergs breaking up; but this virus is more
insidious, a slow shaking and swaying
of the building in the mind before it falls.


Date: 2021

By: Indran Amirthanayagam (1960- )