The Temporary Nature of Poetry, by Holly Day

The Temporary Nature of Poetry
by Holly Day

there’s no need to balance color
to be paced to a danceable beat

just turn the page
prepare the wooden frame
wrap the painting around your thoughts
pound the nails in one at a time

there’s no need to labor to match words
to music, to craft lyrics of need
just close your eyes
stop talking.

Holly Day has taught writing classes at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, since 2000. Her poetry has recently appeared in Big Muddy, The Cape Rock, New Ohio Review, and Gargoyle, and her published books include Walking Twin Cities, Music Theory for Dummies, Ugly Girl, and The Yellow Dot of a Daisy. She has been a featured presenter at Write On, Door County (WI), North Coast Redwoods Writers’ Conference (CA), and the Spirit Lake Poetry Series (MN). Her newest poetry collections, A Perfect Day for Semaphore (Finishing Line Press) and I’m in a Place Where Reason Went Missing (Main Street Rag Publishing Co.) will be out late 2018.

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Those Clouds, by Marilyn Braendeholm

Those Clouds
by Marilyn Braendeholm

As seen from
those folds and rolls

of clouds that skate
the sky, a slate puzzle

fitted and tucked,
jigged and jointed

like language strung
into long sentences,

into a bridge from
this horizon to where

I am your audience.

Note: Written in response to Red Wolf Prompt 409.

Marilyn (aka Misky) Braendeholm’s work is regularly published in monthly issues of Waterways Poetry in the Mainstream, and Ten Penny Players.

Earthworms, by Robert James Berry

Earthworms
by Robert James Berry

When the ground steams after rain,
that is when the earthworms come.
They are rope-thick, blind,
crows peck them off.
If you sink a pitchfork in the soil,
it teems with them.
But when the earth cakes up
they’re gone, their inscrutably
subterranean ways begun.

Robert James Berry lives and writes in Dunedin, New Zealand. He is the author of nine collections of poetry: Smoke (2000), Stone (2004), Seamark (2005), Sky Writing (2006), Sun Music (2007), Mudfishes (2008), Moontide (2010), Swamp Palace (2012) and Toffee Apples (2014). His latest collection, Gorgeous, is out from Sylph Editions, London http://www.sylpheditions.com (https://www.amazon.com/Gorgeous-Robert-James-Berry/dp/1909631213). His poetry has appeared in literary magazines such as Stand (Leeds, UK), Poetry Salzburg (Salzburg, Austria), Westerly (Perth, AUS), Rattapallax (NY, USA) and Landfall (Dunedin, NZ).

Robert was born in the UK and educated in England, Ireland and Scotland. He holds a PhD in English Literature from the University of Stirling, Scotland and MA and BA degrees from the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland. He has lectured in English Literature at universities in England, Malaysia and New Zealand. He is married with three sons.

Owls, by Robert James Berry

Owls
by Robert James Berry

There is a hide on the peninsula
where you can view owls.
I love to watch them roost
and blink their barmy eyes
and swivel their perfect heads.
That a creature so cuddly
could be a killer
mystifies me. But
the bush is littered
with their murdering.

Robert James Berry lives and writes in Dunedin, New Zealand. He is the author of nine collections of poetry: Smoke (2000), Stone (2004), Seamark (2005), Sky Writing (2006), Sun Music (2007), Mudfishes (2008), Moontide (2010), Swamp Palace (2012) and Toffee Apples (2014). His latest collection, Gorgeous, is out from Sylph Editions, London http://www.sylpheditions.com (https://www.amazon.com/Gorgeous-Robert-James-Berry/dp/1909631213). His poetry has appeared in literary magazines such as Stand (Leeds, UK), Poetry Salzburg (Salzburg, Austria), Westerly (Perth, AUS), Rattapallax (NY, USA) and Landfall (Dunedin, NZ).

Robert was born in the UK and educated in England, Ireland and Scotland. He holds a PhD in English Literature from the University of Stirling, Scotland and MA and BA degrees from the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland. He has lectured in English Literature at universities in England, Malaysia and New Zealand. He is married with three sons.

Otter, by Robert James Berry

Otter
by Robert James Berry

Sleek, solitary
whiskered like a cat
not maternal
a gourmet for shellfish
grooming her fur
on the strand
inexpressibly lovely
smelling me
gone with a splash.

Robert James Berry lives and writes in Dunedin, New Zealand. He is the author of nine collections of poetry: Smoke (2000), Stone (2004), Seamark (2005), Sky Writing (2006), Sun Music (2007), Mudfishes (2008), Moontide (2010), Swamp Palace (2012) and Toffee Apples (2014). His latest collection, Gorgeous, is out from Sylph Editions, London http://www.sylpheditions.com (https://www.amazon.com/Gorgeous-Robert-James-Berry/dp/1909631213). His poetry has appeared in literary magazines such as Stand (Leeds, UK), Poetry Salzburg (Salzburg, Austria), Westerly (Perth, AUS), Rattapallax (NY, USA) and Landfall (Dunedin, NZ).

Robert was born in the UK and educated in England, Ireland and Scotland. He holds a PhD in English Literature from the University of Stirling, Scotland and MA and BA degrees from the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland. He has lectured in English Literature at universities in England, Malaysia and New Zealand. He is married with three sons.

Castaway, by Robert James Berry

Castaway
by Robert James Berry

I should like to founder
on a coral atoll
bathe my big toe
in glistening turquoise sea
paddle with dugongs
maybe dolphins
eat salty anemones
admire the rush of tropical sunsets
never get rescued.

Robert James Berry lives and writes in Dunedin, New Zealand. He is the author of nine collections of poetry: Smoke (2000), Stone (2004), Seamark (2005), Sky Writing (2006), Sun Music (2007), Mudfishes (2008), Moontide (2010), Swamp Palace (2012) and Toffee Apples (2014). His latest collection, Gorgeous, is out from Sylph Editions, London http://www.sylpheditions.com (https://www.amazon.com/Gorgeous-Robert-James-Berry/dp/1909631213). His poetry has appeared in literary magazines such as Stand (Leeds, UK), Poetry Salzburg (Salzburg, Austria), Westerly (Perth, AUS), Rattapallax (NY, USA) and Landfall (Dunedin, NZ).

Robert was born in the UK and educated in England, Ireland and Scotland. He holds a PhD in English Literature from the University of Stirling, Scotland and MA and BA degrees from the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland. He has lectured in English Literature at universities in England, Malaysia and New Zealand. He is married with three sons.

Deep, by Robert James Berry

Deep
by Robert James Berry

Deep ocean creatures
enthrall me.
If you haul them
to the surface,
they implode,
into distorted monsters,
far-fetched freaks
to disquiet your dreams.

Robert James Berry lives and writes in Dunedin, New Zealand. He is the author of nine collections of poetry: Smoke (2000), Stone (2004), Seamark (2005), Sky Writing (2006), Sun Music (2007), Mudfishes (2008), Moontide (2010), Swamp Palace (2012) and Toffee Apples (2014). His latest collection, Gorgeous, is out from Sylph Editions, London http://www.sylpheditions.com (https://www.amazon.com/Gorgeous-Robert-James-Berry/dp/1909631213). His poetry has appeared in literary magazines such as Stand (Leeds, UK), Poetry Salzburg (Salzburg, Austria), Westerly (Perth, AUS), Rattapallax (NY, USA) and Landfall (Dunedin, NZ).

Robert was born in the UK and educated in England, Ireland and Scotland. He holds a PhD in English Literature from the University of Stirling, Scotland and MA and BA degrees from the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland. He has lectured in English Literature at universities in England, Malaysia and New Zealand. He is married with three sons.

I am here, by Diane Jackman

I am here
by Diane Jackman

Here among the trees, the city smoke fades
to a distant memory, purple wreaths
beyond the hills and out of sight.

Slipping into unaccustomed ways,
embracing the new landscape, people,
fitting in snug as a bespoke jacket.

Home is not always where we first saw light.
We can find it elsewhere, in a place
of sudden welcome, of deep belonging.

Diane Jackman’s poetry has been published widely in magazines and anthologies. Starting as a children’s writer, she now concentrates on poetry and researching lives in the Breckland, England’s desert. Last year she started a poetry café in Brandon, Suffolk.

Sonnet to My Former Dance Partner, by LindaAnn LoSchiavo

Sonnet to My Former Dance Partner
by LindaAnn LoSchiavo

How perfect was your choreography:
Those steps that led away from me, the waltz
Of loss. You shed your youth, which didn’t halt
Your appetite for living. Legs slowly
Refused your body’s gracefulness. Your knees
Rebelled. Bright hoping failed to see assaults,
Damage within. A dance card filled up, no fault
Of nurses. Healers bowed apologies.

Assigning places to emotions, you
Would spin around the numbers: the hours
Remaining for your performance.
A dress rehearsal, a final curtain drew
Closer. Time had me fooled. Love lost power,
Escaped routines. Youth never learns this dance.

Process Notes: When the most graceful individual in your life dies, you give your sorrow to the paper and pray the Petrarchan sonnet becomes a hyphen between the silences.
.
Native New Yorker LindaAnn LoSchiavo has work forthcoming in Literary Manhattan, Flatbush Review, Indian River Review, and Adversus Press. Her chapbook, Conflicted Excitement, is a forthcoming release by Red Wolf Editions. Blog: https://MaeWest.blogspot.com

Death of a Poet, by Debi Swim

Death of a Poet
by Debi Swim

I have become an empty cistern
A dry river bed, bleached bones
Have forgotten the smell of rain

I am words stuck in the throat
A horse without a whisperer
A pot untended, boiled away

I am parched, athirst, panting
Where is the well that I may sip
Where is my Erato?

Am I singing my swan song?

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