Gender Wars No More, by Debi Swim

Gender Wars No More
by Debi Swim

What if I’m not what I’ve been taught
a bookend to prop-up, balance, support,
a half that fits perfectly another half,
Eve, made just for Adam who came first,
an afterthought, a helpmeet, a second
fiddle to harmonize? Maybe that’s not
what God had in mind but man deducing
from man’s point of view.

What if I was meant to be a whole, not half,
a single stand of woolen yarn, full of its
own strength and color? And what if you
too were meant to be a whole? Two twin
buildings standing tall, two thick oaks facing
the storm, two strands of woolen yarn
twined, strength doubled, against the fray,
yet strong alone if that’s meant to be.

A warrior woman. A warrior man. Defending
each other back to back, a sword in one hand
a shield in the other. And even if one is lost
a whole remains.

Note: Thoughts after reading “Love Warrior, A Memoir” by Glennon Doyle Melton. By way of response to Red Wolf Poems, Prompt 211.

Debi Swim writes primarily to prompts. She is a wife, mother, grandmother and happy WV poet.

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What I Leave Behind, by Debi Swim

What I Leave Behind
by Debi Swim

Maybe it was the mist rolling
low over the fresh mown field
obscuring fine details of day,
pressing a cool hand against the
brow of an Indian summer.
Or maybe it was just the faded
colors and imminent coming of
winter that awakened the sadness.
And yet, not really sadness, I think,
but a kind of surrender, a concession,
to the pattern of life, beginnings and endings.

The seasons come and go, come and go,
each with a story to tell, a work to do.
And the earth remains, though I will not.
Maybe this is my abiding work, to tell my story
in prose and poem and memory.

Note: Written in response to Red Wolf Poems, Prompt 210.

Debi Swim writes primarily to prompts. She is a wife, mother, grandmother and happy WV poet.

What The Heart Knows, by Debi Swim

What The Heart Knows
by Debi Swim

When you can look at the star-splattered sky and watch the phases of the moon… hear thunder growl a warning, then bay a rumbling attack… when lightning zags in fiery tongues of sizzle and illumines streaks of rain… when fireflies on a warm June evening flash their serenade silently… when a smile, a touch, a kiss… when the taste of a strawberry, the scent of a rose… when these things and a hundred others no longer touch your soul with their bewitching magic, their humbling strangeness as miraculous hallowing… Then. Then, the heart knows you are a wraith half dead.

Snow lights on my nose
the faintest tickle I feel
life is tender sweet.

Note: Written in response to Red Wolf Poems, Prompt 208.

 

Debi Swim writes primarily to prompts. She is a wife, mother, grandmother and happy WV poet.

Graceful, by Christopher Hileman

Graceful
by Christopher Hileman

I am normally
too clumsy but when it comes
to you, my love, grace
happens and I can
undo the ribbing around
your heart as though it
was not welded tight
by your own tensioned device,
by how the years fell.

 

Christopher Hileman moved to Oregon in 1973. He has retired to live on the volcanic bluff overlooking Willamette Falls in Oregon City, Oregon. He ascends the stairs from his basement digs to improvise on his Yamaha keyboard or the house Playel grand when the calico cat releases him from below. The part-Irish Wolfhound here likes him.

How Can I Survive This, by Debi Swim

How Can I Survive This
by Debi Swim

tsunami of pain
like a refrain
on continuous play
it flays
me raw
I draw
a ragged breath
at the slow death
of hope
how will I cope?
I simply will.
Still,
it will leave a mark
a dark
bruise.
Dues
paid.
I limp through life.

Note: Written in response to Red Wolf Poems, Prompt 204.

Debi Swim writes primarily to prompts. She is a wife, mother, grandmother and happy WV poet.

Simple Is Best, by Patricia McGoldrick

Simple Is Best
by Patricia McGoldrick

On a cold winter morning
He makes a quick trip to the market
Returning with a brown paper bag
Filled with red fruit and veggies
And shiny red-wrapped chocolates
Buttery croissants with
A creamy slab of local white cheese
Topped with a crimson ribbon.

Note: It seems to me that the heart really does know. Originally, I wrote this for a love theme poetry prompt at Poetic Asides blog site. Later, I shared under my name on February 16th, 2010 at 7:25 am on Poetry Ireland Guest Blog.

Patricia McGoldrick is a Kitchener, Ontario, Canada poet and writer, inspired by the everyday. Patricia is a member of The Ontario Poetry Society and the League of Canadian Poets. Visit her blog at patriciamcgoldrickdotcom or on Twitter @pmcgoldrick27. Recent publications include the poems “Limerick on Laundry” and “haiku on home” in Verse Afire print issues; online titles are posted at commuterlit.com and in Red Wolf Journal you’ll find her poem “Urban Upcycling”.

Cocktail Hour, by Sanjeev Sethi

Cocktail Hour
by Sanjeev Sethi

Your ingress
generates
Zen-like stillness.
Is this because you aren’t expected?
Have my hankerings been met?

This evening an aperitif will do.
Your entry
has quenched me.
Though I can spot
other longings swell.

Sanjeev Sethi is the author of three well-received books of poetry. His most recent collection is This Summer and That Summer (Bloomsbury, 2015). His poems are in venues around the world: Off the Coast, Drunk Monkeys, The Beatnik Cowboy, Right Hand Pointing, The Blue Mountain Review, Squawk Back, The Five-Two, W.I.S.H. Press, Easy Street, Mad Swirl, Your One Phone Call, Scarlet Leaf Review, The Ofi Press Magazine, Expound Magazine, Postcolonial Text, and elsewhere. He lives in Mumbai, India.

Woozy Whistle, by Sanjeev Sethi

Woozy Whistle
by Sanjeev Sethi

When I am drenched in drink
dysanagnosia strikes me.
I begin to see old meanings
in new words
like foibles of my former lovers.
Of the present one
I never spot anything.
This is the unique thing about love.
When in the loop
one is as on a happy day
all smiles and silly stuff.
In a sense heart is ho-hum.

Sanjeev Sethi is the author of three well-received books of poetry. His most recent collection is This Summer and That Summer (Bloomsbury, 2015). His poems are in venues around the world: Off the Coast, Drunk Monkeys, The Beatnik Cowboy, Right Hand Pointing, The Blue Mountain Review, Squawk Back, The Five-Two, W.I.S.H. Press, Easy Street, Mad Swirl, Your One Phone Call, Scarlet Leaf Review, The Ofi Press Magazine, Expound Magazine, Postcolonial Text, and elsewhere. He lives in Mumbai, India.

Refluence, by Sanjeev Sethi

Refluence
by Sanjeev Sethi

Whelk in your eyes more expressive
than betrayal ever could be. I’m used
to grief. It’s my alter ego, my emollient.
I understand its guidelines, crisscross
between said and unsaid. But to steer
the sighs of one’s other heart? To regulate
its remorse? Love is okay, logjam begins
when one is in love.

Sanjeev Sethi is the author of three well-received books of poetry. His most recent collection is This Summer and That Summer (Bloomsbury, 2015). His poems are in venues around the world: Off the Coast, Drunk Monkeys, The Beatnik Cowboy, Right Hand Pointing, The Blue Mountain Review, Squawk Back, The Five-Two, W.I.S.H. Press, Easy Street, Mad Swirl, Your One Phone Call, Scarlet Leaf Review, The Ofi Press Magazine, Expound Magazine, Postcolonial Text, and elsewhere. He lives in Mumbai, India.

Lost On Earth, by Edilson Afonso Ferreira

Lost On Earth
by Edilson Afonso Ferreira

Nothing is sadder to a soaring eagle,
used to flying above the highest ridges
and to defying the top of the volcanoes,
than to be obliged to walk on earth,
like men and those other animals
that live on the ground floor.
Crooked by the suns, rains and snows
of countless days, nights and seasons,
it is unable to raise that ultimate flight
to the last sleep on the rocky caves,
around its native country the skies.

Mr. Ferreira is a Brazilian poet who writes in English rather than Portuguese. Recent works have appeared in Red Wolf Journal, Right Hand Pointing, Creative Talents Unleashed (Featured Poet), Indiana Voice Journal, The Lake, Young Ravens, Whispers, Every Day Poems, Dead Snakes, The Basil O’Flaherty (Featured Poet), among others. Ferreira lives in a small town with wife, three sons and a granddaughter and, unhurried, is collecting his works for a forthcoming book. He began to write at age 63 (nine years ago), after retirement as a Bank Manager.