In Memory of Tom Lux

The People of the Other Village

hate the people of this village
and would nail our hats
to our heads for refusing in their presence to remove them
or staple our hands to our foreheads
for refusing to salute them
if we did not hurt them first: mail them packages of rats,
mix their flour at night with broken glass.
We do this, they do that.
They peel the larynx from one of our brothers’ throats.
We devein one of their sisters.
The quicksand pits they built were good.
Our amputation teams were better.
We trained some birds to steal their wheat.
They sent to us exploding ambassadors of peace.
They do this, we do that.
We canceled our sheep imports.
They no longer bought our blankets.
We mocked their greatest poet
and when that had no effect
we parodied the way they dance
which did cause pain, so they, in turn, said our God
was leprous, hairless.
We do this, they do that.
Ten thousand (10,000) years, ten thousand
(10,000) brutal, beautiful years.

Poem by Tom Lux, rest in peace.

Poem by Hannah S. Wiseheart

June 1907
                                                  For Phebe Durham Patterson 1871-1909
 
 
She sits rocking by her open gauze-framed window,
looking into summer night,
her head tilted, listening,
for her theatre of dreams, longing for lighter lungs.
In her white lap of soft worn muslin, a hairbrush.
She picks it up and begins,
strokes from scalp to ends trailing the floor.
Outside, tiny blinking fireflies and constant sister moon
float in darkness,
illuminating garden and fields beyond.
Her sightline is distant, even at dusk,
following a starlit stream, water sounds feeding her ears.
She sighs a faint smile, remembering herself as a light young thing.
 
Her small son pads in, pauses, whispers “Mama?” bringing her back.
.
She sighs a faint smile, remembering herself as a light young thing,
following a starlit stream, water sounds feeding her ears,
her sightline distant, even in at dusk,
illuminating garden and fields beyond.
Floating in darkness,
outside tiny blinking fireflies and constant sister moon.
Her strokes from scalp to ends trailing the floor,
she begins, picking up a hairbrush from a soft lap of white worn muslin,
longing for her theatre of dreams, for lighter lungs,
her head tilted, listening.
Looking into summer night,
she sits rocking by her open gauze-framed window….…
 
© Hannah S Wiseheart,  January 2017
 
This poem introduces the forthcoming book by the same author:
Looking for Phebe: Uncovering a Nineteenth Century Woman’s Hidden life
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Poem Written As Wind Rises by Judy Katz-Levine

Poem Written As Wind Rises
in memory of Denise Levertov

It could be done. Wind rises
and the broken tree.

Shame rattles in the hands
of those with soulless eyes.

You are walking, the silence
when thinking of another tune.

“I’ll be seeing you” in
night’s black orchid.

Nodding, what is understood,
what is not forgotten.

And by the waters, the roiling
breaks into great gentleness –

the grin of the woman who writes
and writes on night’s infinite parchment.

Judy Katz-Levine

Beethoven’s Tempest: Poem by Miriam Sagan

pianist in red
plays Beethoven’s “The Tempest”
sometimes
there is sheet music
sometimes you’re driving at night
in fog,
not remembering the rule
about high beams,
the child in the forest
survives
but who left us
and why did they lie
about how breadcrumbs
are permanent as pebbles?
you say you are just an hour
outside of Clayton, New Mexico
and will be home
before I am,
something is missing—
my mother’s memories
my fake pearl earring
the fondness I should have
but like an ellipse
what is gone
flares
crescent moon
as if the sky
were a flag
and the polluted harbor
floated with stars

To read more–http://www.flatbushreview.com/miriam-sagan.html

Three New Poems by Kenneth P. Gurney

Silver

A cigarette flicked at responsibility
from a passing car window
skids across the roadside sand and gravel
to come to rest upon the slope of an ant hill,
not far from my booted foot
and the dry buffalo grass 
that creates wind-driven whorls
around a faceless quarter
without a band of lesser metal
visible from a sideways angle.

***

Just Thinking

If all the people of the world died overnight,
all the American buffalo left in the world
would have to relearn how to be true buffalo
and how to migrate north to south and south to north
along the great plains that would eventually return to grass
from fields of modern wheat and corn.
That is if the American buffalo ever figured out 
that they do not belong all year in mountainous places 
like the Tetons and Yellowstone.

Maybe they have some ancestral memory 
locked behind those thick skulls
of grazing along the Delaware river
and by the gulf in the Florida panhandle.

***

Equal Rights

Leon dreams John Wayne shooting him
through the head
at eight hundred and seventy two yards
with a Henry rifle—
not a Winchester,
not a Spencer,
not a Sharps.

Only John Wayne in a Hollywood movie
could make that shot.

Last night it was Humphrey Bogart
with a snub nose thirty-eight,
up close and personal
to liberate an encaged black bird.

The night before that, Errol Flynn
on the Santa Fe Trail
on horse back, at a full gallop,
with a Colt revolver.

Leon prefers his death dream
bullet passing through his skull
to be fired by some anonymous source,
not his black and white Hollywood heroes
garnered from too many hours 
watching Turner Classic Movies
with a twelve pack and two bags of chips.

Maybe tonight it will be sharpshooting Annie Oakley
as played by Barbara Stanwyck
who splatters his brains across Buffalo Bill’s
Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders.

Kenneth P. Gurney lives in Albuquerque, NM, USA with his beloved Dianne. His latest collection of poems is Stump Speech (2015). He started up the poetry blog Watermelon Isotope. His personal website is at kpgurney.me.

Post-Truth by Megan Baldrige

Post-Truth by Megan Baldrige
 
 
The Truth went out for a long walk,
after the humidity
of two presidential conventions
exhausted her.
She got lost in a Florida suburb,
evaded alligators,
almost didn’t make it home ,
safely.
 
But return she did,
unrecognizable.
Was it the slight Russian accent?
The shades that shielded
her bruises from our inquiring eyes?                                                                                                 Was she the victim of the brawl
or was she the vanquisher, the bully?
No one knows.
 
We could see her beauty had faded:
graying skin,
hair tinted orange,
peeling nose–from new sunburns,
new earphones pulled tightly over her ears,
so she couldn’t hear
the swirling cacophony
surrounding her.
 
 
No one wants to take selfies
with the Truth,
anymore.
She so lifeless–
even her former friends
refuse to recognize
the Truth.
They’ve renamed her: Post-Truth.