Thick, violent lines, scratching out the darkness
Anger, loneliness, sadness, locked inside
Assaulted by the images hiding in the darkness
given life by imagination, mutated/interpreted from outside
I see You there, not the You I want to remember, but
the You that attacks me when I close my eyes,
the You that defined Rending and Gnashing in your final days
Not the You that taught me about life, fairness, and not judging by sight
Not the You that shaped me with kindness, patience, and love,
but the You that was decimated by cancer - locked You inside your own head,
called the medication that mutated the world You imagined You saw
It is not the loving life I see, but the goodbye that haunts me.
It’s the regret that locks me inside my own box,
Hastened by sadness, loneliness, and fear of the future and the past,
Mutated by the fear that projects self-judgments into the eyes of others.
Tony Daly is a DC/Metro Area based creative writer and federal writer/editor. He has an MA in Creative Writing from SUNY College at Brockport and a BA in English from the University at Buffalo. He has had a few short stories and poems published in collections in the US and the UK. Most recently he had a poem published in the Rat's Ass Review.
(with a line from Jane Kenyon)
Jane, there are days I want to shout
that like you, I too have found
the gray hair in the wash bucket
and the drop of dried gravy on the boat lip.
My man’s shirt tail, as well, is lucky
tucked as it is, into his pants waist.
Modern ears are stoppered
to the whispers of daily delights
and miseries. The agenda of every day
is not enough. The wash line is not flag
enough to raise. The bird at the feeder,
the rippled pond, the thrum in the chest,
none of these enough.
From you, I learned there is no need
to clash cymbals and rattle bars.
On a good day we can hear
the rustling step of others.
I have heard yours—for me
that is more than enough.
It might have been otherwise.
Poet's note: "In 'Plains Truths,' images were taken from the poetry of Jane Kenyon, including a line from her poem, 'Otherwise.'
Editor's Note: This poem was inspired by the poetry of Jane Kenyon, not by the image shown, which was an editorial decision.
Carol McMahon is a teacher and poet who has been published in various journals (Prodigal, IthacaLit, Unlost Journal, The Wild Word, Blue Collar Review) and has a chapbook, On Any Given Day, published by FootHills Press. McMahon received an MFA in Poetry from the Rainier Writing Workshop in Washington State and when not teaching, reading or writing can be found out trail-running or on the water rowing.
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En Plein Air- an Ekphrastic Haibun
The morning chill steeps into my tea, hands cupping the bowl slowly start to warm, but my toes are still freezing. In this predawn quiet along with the muzzein’s litany I hear a crow call, then another and still another while an all enveloping opalescent mist rises beyond the widow makers.
In the harvested field I see a haystack with its belly open, excavated, hollow.
I am reminded of the 25 canvases of ‘Haystacks’ painted by Claude Monet in Giverny to show the difference of light in various seasons. The one that attracts me most is "Wheatstacks (End of Summer)." It was one of the paintings discussed by the docent on our free Seniors Art Tour Day at the Art Institute of Chicago. Monet’s genius with the subtle colours displayed there are the same as those I now see in India.
Then Van Gogh’s last painting "Wheat Fields with Crows," also painted in 1890, comes to mind and a deep desolation engulfs me. I look at the dark lowering sky with crows over a wind-whipped wheat field. I wonder what angst drove him to shoot himself that day.
It is time for the Shradh to begin. For the next two weeks we will fast, pray and give offerings to the Brahmins, birds and animals in their name, seek blessings from our ancient ones. This year, I will add Monet and Van Gogh to my list of souls.
autumn equinox –
above the lightening
the last koel’s song
Poet's Note: Shradh is one of the most significant times to remember our ancestors and pray for the departed souls to rest in peace.
This haibun was first published at Nature Writing.
Dr. Ms Angelee Deodhar is an eye surgeon by profession as well as a haiku poet, translator, and artist. She lives and works in, Chandigarh India. Her haiku, haibun and haiga have been published internationally in various books and journals, and her work can be viewed on many websites.
Autumn fills the kitchen –
golden onions and Ma’s copper kettle
warm the dimming light.
makes me cry, she says, but I know
Soon the savory aroma deepens.
Carmelized onions turn the broth a beefy
brown. She adds thyme, a splash
of apple cider, starts the slow simmer.
Our noses feast long before our tongues.
The memory makes my eyes water.
This poem was written as part of the 20 Poem Challenge.
Alarie Tennille was born and raised in Portsmouth, Virginia, and graduated from the University of Virginia in the first class admitting women. She became fascinated by fine art at an early age, even though she had to go to the World Book Encyclopedia to find it. Today she visits museums everywhere she travels and spends time at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri, where her husband is a volunteer guide. Alarie’s poetry book, Running Counterclockwise, contains many ekphrastic poems. Please visit her at alariepoet.com.
Blue Green and Brown
She wonders what is intimate
about an enormous canvas hung
up on a museum wall.
Museums are silent except for
garbled conversations, docents’ lectures, spills
of sound from someone’s device.
Nothing is intimate, not even
silence, the pristine space between
each person in a public place.
She sits at home with
the image on her screen,
all other lights off. In
twilight, blue, green, and brown
envelop her, keeping her company
in this humidity. Cicadas call
each other. Indoor and outdoors
blend : buses’ wheeze, the washer’s
slosh. She feels the space
between her and them dissolve.
This poem was first published in Setu.
Marianne Szlyk is the editor of The Song Is... , an associate poetry editor at Potomac Review, and a professor of English at Montgomery College. Her second chapbook, I Dream of Empathy, was published by Flutter Press.
Her first chapbook, Listening to Electric Cambodia, Looking up at Trees of Heaven, is available through Kind of a Hurricane Press: http://barometricpressures.blogspot.com/2014/10/listening-to-electric-cambodia-looking.html .
Her poems have appeared in a variety of online and print venues, including The San Pedro River Review, Cactifur, Of/with, bird's thumb, Truck, Algebra of Owls, Setu, The Bees Are Dead, and South Florida Poetry Journal. Two poems have received nominations for Best of the Net and a Pushcart Prize respectively. Recently she was artist in residence at The Wild Word: http://thewildword.com/artist-in-residence-marianne-szlyk/ .
She hopes that you will consider sending work to her magazine. For more information about it, see this link: http://thesongis.blogspot.com/
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