Voracious Verses - 2002
Sometimes something bad happens to force something good. Kevin Kline I heard it in a movie called Life as a House -- where a man is learning to die by building a reason to live. He pisses at dawn over a cliff -- into a sea he's coming to trust to carry him out. Planing the knots in fossils of love. Patching the quilts his hatreds have torn. Washing a window of sugar and salt -- both are so white with satin and grain. He hugs his son as if he is an envelope with one last lick and one last stamp. The end of the body's a folding chair. It catches a thumb, increases the pulse, enlivens the bend, the rust in a joint, demands that a river be found. Perhaps we all get to that edge -- where flight engages the wing, where hope is an eagle and truth is the crow. Where stars are horny for light, where a moon is more than its rock. You're eighty plus; I wish to roam among our weeds, find a path that has a crumb of touch or two. Your posture stays an island palm. I'm certain we have coconuts. Here I sit, the circling boat with splintered oars; we might've been the crossing from a heavy drought to morning dew before the freeze turning to steam in adamant light. Before I can sniff the nectar and note, the rose will be in its grave.
© 2002 Janet Buck
The Poetry of Janet I. Buck
Chalk drawings stretch out at my feet layers of color on my hands fill my fingerprints seperating me from my touch Embryo angels caught in amber sunlight always moving towards the ground Someone told me they go straight through but it doesn't seem like they go anywhere The chalk is dust and my hands are those knick knacks on the shelf whose detailed faces are shrouded by the time spent sitting there The largest part of household dust is made of human hair and skin it gathers on the table tops Dead cells are our table cloths and wiping them away only grinds them in
© Jennifer Barnes
The sweat of others sticks to you From the green vinyl seats if lucky Standing is worse thrown side to side Like slaughter house pork on hooks By driver rage conditions of things unknown. Off to the curb covered in filth Three blocks in the ice Past steel and graffiti shut stores Needles in sidewalk cracks You work with the mad The insane those Forgotten by those Who once professed love The crazy the terrified the sick The lonely the bored the tired The ones who rock in broken chairs Through the hours in rented rooms Some take medication Some do not Mainly it is a paycheck And some Latin words Behind a cheap plaque on the wall That separates us all.
© Rich Furman
July at Tramore
Sea shells, crushed, washed Melody of waving anemone silenced Into the fine grain of wheat sand, Yielding and remembering our passing feet For a speck of moments We see the same colours in the wet grasses The purples, pinks and yellows, Shrouded by an unforgiving lead shot sky, By mean clouds misted down On sulk water that sighs and pouts In one passing day We breathe waves of sunshine, Lapping through ruffled spun Candyfloss clouds, And savour the sharp smack of seaweed, Green and brown twined The colours of your eyes, And I know like a hunger, we must be In the pinks, yellows and purples Must thrive like spike thistle
© Mark Leeney
Stones have slow thoughts a static that can take an age between each spark as they slowly wear to sand a boy picks up a white stone that reflects the sun and he lets his finger follow a dark line strata inlaid a million years before he takes it home where it sits sixty years as a memento of a sunny day the stone does not notice
A Man Named for His Father
a man named for his father is using his fists again he is breaking fine crystal in the kitchen and throwing food in the pantry watching the colors blend into ugliness only then is he able to rip his facade of lonliness from the dark shadows and carry it about the house as a trophy from the rage he has bolted the door and pressed the chain lock whatever follows him now will have to knock loudly from his vantage point at the cracked pane window he can see love pausing quietly in his garden he is enraged anew at this trespass and the way her hands open for an explanation
© Phibby Venable
in my dreams my whitewall tires are always bright and clean and I have both radio knobs. but the hills are higher and more rising, like an amusement park’s Viking battleship: “whoop-see-daisy, whoa-see-daisy” almost like falling off the back of a chair. and I fancy that like a child’s plastic yacht upon the bathtub sea, someday we’ll really founder and all hands will be lost in the depths of someplace I can’t fathom to say.
© 2002 Gordon Purkis
The signs were thick that warm June morning, though I failed to see them, did not feel you tug at my shirt sleeve, try to get my attention, ask a child's question. A torrid thunderstorm's indignant wind, tore at the house that day, like an enraged ghost of a forgotten lover, before gray night followed like the quiet of a place you always thought you'd been, but could never really remember, only its grassy smells trapped in dampness, holding your confessions last hollowness, bloods regret and determination to end your blue revolving pain. I knew before I answered the short knock, knew we would be reconstructed, corrugated, left only marble memories on which to scrawl your name. After hearing, "It's just you and me now brother," all sound became amber-red, shattered blood of stained glass. The coffee table crashed somewhere down the hall, splintered into a hundred pieces of skull. There were no words, only howls, as primitive as who we truly are.
© 2002 Michael Ladanyi
It is heard within the metric synchronised ticking Of the clocks; or The swaying movements amoung the lazy leaves Of the willow tree. It fondles my fingers when they play Beneath the earth and sew seeds; Sometimes revealing itself when toes plant firmly Into the sand while challenging a crashing wave To inebriate me into its Undertow. Such things mimic a definition of comfort That be Incomplete until: You remind me on an eighth day 'morn, That clocks of these species Need someone to rewind them. Or The willow tree that hangs its branches Low and lazily, Plants its roots under Our own backyard. And on a summer's day, You let fall from your hand, A seed, Which will lie inside the burrow That my muddy fingers have just spaded. And my dear lover, It won't be the thew of the waves that Causes limp my knees into the sea, But, Simply the crush of your body upon mine as My ocean-drenched skin pulls you ever closer into me. This be complete The comfort I seek. The comfort within you.... Within us.
© 2002 Aaron LaFlora
Prayer to an Infant Grandchild in the ICU
-Thou hast made the voyage; thou hast come to shore. Get out.- Marcus Aurelius I move, as old as you are young Through days that you lie still among And where night's brightest stars are hung The heavens part. Brave child, I am in all songs sung The winter's heart. Three weeks you lie in sleep's disguise To dream of glories past surmise. Your tiny hands brush each day's rise Back into night. O come, come capture day's surprise, Come seize the light. A fold of angel's wings, a thrill, A little madness of the soul Tell us hope directs the will To pierce the dark. Return to shore where winds are still And disembark.
© 2002 Diane Engle
The Pronouns of Marriage
We have settled into each other after several years, so much so we needn't name things: It needs replacing. He wants to go out. Call him to come fix it. We know the cartography of our kitchen, how linoleum conforms to our feet now, and not our flesh to floor. And in scripting our sleep we breathe each other's names. Listen: It beats still, and strong.
© 2002 William Dubie
The service is a short cough with a hideous ball of phlegm. I am three. My sister's four. Our smiles of pointed innocence zigzag on the black cloth. What sprigs remain of Father's hair are losing their places in swimming holes. His head sags on the neck's vine, last tomato aiming its cheek at stony ground. Gist of his summer in bruise. We are flipping through hangers like shoulder blades. I can feel you wince ten feet under the groomed soil. Hear you breathe dreams for his flesh to go on --- marching chin up to stolen sun -- loving another whose breasts won't crumble in callous urns. His eyes now scars, rehearsed and hard, above the wound. "Burn them," he says. Nothing now to keep him from shredding the silk. She kisses his okra thumbs from the cold grave, reminds him of life in an instant of loss, moist memory still staining sleeves. He stands in perfumed oceans of dresses and robes -- a colon perched ahead of no phrase.
© 2002 Janet Buck
sunflowers outside these years are now dead and Neal Cassady tee-shirts are quite brazen against the days and the nights the grass was blue and the sky was green the flush cackles all the while in all those washrooms all over the place the wash colors wearing a smirk and an infatuation dead with kaleidoscope eyes she is wet in her laughter and dead like nobody’s business the day the music died so bye-bye Miss American Pie she was not really the sun and nothing under the sun was in a tune the days and nights are making out on the rocks across drizzles and used rubber her cheeks prized open and her hands in prayer
© 2002 Prasenjit Maiti