Farce begins at the base: broad shoulder
Mariner, sprung beard, soft braided cap
Over chin-length hair. He stares across
Bright Ribatejo meadows. Older
Than replanted pine forests, their sap
Dripping like tears, he’s an albatross
For what twists overhead: roots of cork
Oak gripped by rough hands. The architect
De Arruda carved the sea: coral
Wreath, kelp frill, half-heart shell. Mast rope’s torque
Strains as it ascends, buoyed to protect
The one-sided story, cool moral
Code tucked beyond the peephole lattice
And armored emblem. Artichoke crown
Tops open sail of trim caravels
In wild pursuit, an apparatus
Of heaven—armillary sphere—down
Wind from the Order’s stubborn Cross. Hell’s
Moss-wound breach: looking out or looking in?
Meryl McQueen is a recent Seattle transplant with roots in South Africa, Italy, and Australia. Her work has appeared in Dunes Review, Crack the Spine, Ginosko, Phoebe,RiverSedge, Sugar House Review, Sanskrit Literary-Arts Review, and others. A tree-hugging polyglot, Meryl loves space science, big skies, and unrelenting rain.
Some Mistakes Take More Than Mere Regrets to Mend
I created a world for myself
since you wouldn't let me live
Tell me another story.
Tell me a better story:
Once upon a second time.
Stumbling towards reality
out of the night that covers me
I hear you, I hear you, whispering
"I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.
I want you back."
I am not empty, I am open,
floating past the days
having these delicious thoughts.
Such gorgeous stories-
the beautiful goodbye,
the weight of the secret.
Everything wants to be water.
I just had to give you back
to the sea.
Known primarily for his Japanese-style micropoetry, Bill Waters also writes ekphrastic poetry, found verse, book spine poetry, and all manner of short prose. He lives in Pennington, New Jersey, U.S.A., with his wonderful wife and their two amazing cats.
This poem is from Bill Waters' chapbook, The Luzajic Variations, an unusual ekphrastic collaboration with Lorette C. Luzajic. Waters wrote a collection of poems using only the titles of Luzajic's paintings as words. In turn, Luzajic often names her paintings from found text, overheard dialogue, and lines of other people's poetry. The poem above, after the painting below, is thus a blend of Bill Waters, Lorette C. Luzaic, the bands Lone Justice and James, Pablo Neruda, graffiti at a Toronto pub, poet William Ernest Hemley, Michael Jackson...to name a few.
The limited edition chapbooks contain a handful of poems like this one, along with full colour illustrations of their respective paintings. There is a different painting on the cover of each book. There are still a few of these gems left- get yours for $10, shipping included, at Etsy, by clicking here.
I am here to unsteady your desolate doorstep
To shrine shabby fatigue under winter’s white wool
I seek no permission to bleak burden your passage
To blanket pour my diluted corporeal leftovers
I am the lotus-eater grown indolent with divine devotion
To strain under the laden sky
All mocking stars most flimsy moon
I seek no apology to mend my intimate faith
Bleached blank under an eroding sun
Emily Reid Green
Emily Reid Green's poetry, creative non-fiction and flash fiction have appeared in publications including: Skipping Stones, Common Threads, The Font, The Linnet’s Wings, Khroma, Gravel, andSkive Magazine. An unabashed bookworm and avid knitter, she lives with her family in Toledo, Ohio.
White on White
From afar, she might be a nun praying over a rise
of thuribled frankincense, her meditation pure, lofting
through the vaulted sanctuary. Or a noble costumed
in sedge hat and ceremonial robes, giving her the mien
of a caryatid. Expectant mother asking blessing?
Haloed angel come to earth? We move closer:
claret nails, rouged lips, kohled eyes.
Bedecked in silver fibulae, she raises a jeweled finger,
assures our distance; perhaps her trance aphrodisial,
she, a courtesan—tented veil a gesture of lift
away from stone and marble, the mean limits of the day.
Halted in this sacred moment, the soft-lit afternoon--
contemplating an ecstasy, lush arc of a lover.
Bernadette McBride is author of three poetry collections, her most recent, Whatever Measure of Light, Kelsay Books 2016. Her poems have appeared in the UK, in numerous U.S. journals and anthologies, and on PRIs The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor. A three-time Pushcart Prize nominee, her work has received several honors, including selection as the 2009 Pennsylvania Poet Laureate for Bucks County, and taking second-place for the International Ray Bradbury Writing Award. She serves as poetry co-editor for the Schuylkill Valley Journal, and welcomes your visit at: bernadettemcbrideblog.wordpress.com
This is the Last Picture that Van Gogh Painted Before He Killed Himself
In the desolate wheatfields,
the sorry crows turn their black backs to our gaze
as they fly off into the corner.
Smaller and smaller they grow
while our eyes strain to see the point.
What if I showed you this without words?
What if the crows and fields were all you knew
and the harsh and jumbled strokes
spoke for themselves?
What if we did not know anything of death or sight or canvas?
What if we looked into everything and saw only ourselves--
like van Gogh saw himself as a tiny, fading bird?
Christian Reifsteck's work has appeared in numerous journals, including The Copperfield Review, Written River, and The Wayfarer. His first book of poetry and photography, Turning Turf, was published by Shanti Arts Press in 2016. View more of his work at www.illuminatedmanuscript.wordpress.com.
New leaves tremble with promise
in the egg shell crystal of air,
silken breeze pearled
with damp umber scents
of lately turned earth in
honeyed early summer.
My shabby rocking chair,
Worn cushions the pale blush
of a child’s ballet slippers,
waits with rose compassion
to cradle me oyster-like.
Iced tea melts into amber
as I join my garden
in opalescent early evening.
Tuxedo cat stalks
an onyx burnished beetle,
her chest snow in the dusk.
The dog, face grizzled,
plume tail curled safe
from metronome rockers .
I settle, now home placed,
violet and pumpkin streaks
measuring sunset’s margin.
Close by, the garden transmutes
with day’s advance
into colours I will not name.
This poem first appeared in Peacock Journal.
Victoria Crawford is a writer and poet now retired in Chiang Mai, Thailand. For many years she was a resident in California’s Monterey Bay. An active gardener, she has always enjoyed the evening peace of enjoying her plants and flowers. When a friend recently sent her picture of a classic California garden, she recalled her old home and her joy in it. The picture is a California landscape by artist Alice Best.
This once translation grasps
the thread: woman and spineless
man at one, essentially alone.
Schiele’s hand all over –
pornographer’s eye, death mask stare
limbs that don’t belong.
Life study; art of the possible.
I think of Lowell
lying on your electric blanket
head in hands. Giovanni stands
weaponless, his wife supposed
by touch, the hidden couple
over-exposed. It doesn’t last,
art; marriage forever
Note: While writing this piece, the poet also had in mind Robert Lowell’s ekphrastic poem, "Marriage," about van Eyck’s The Arnolfini Marriage.
Thomas Day teaches English at Eton College, where he also runs the Praed Society for poets
and songwriters. He is the editor of the English Association journal The Use of English. He
has poems forthcoming in Agenda and English in Education, and has published critical essays
and reviews in Essays in Criticism, The Cambridge Quarterly, The Warwick Review, the TLS
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Danielle Nicole Byington
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Robert L. Dean, Jr.
John Scott Dewey
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Grace Marie Grafton
Emily Reid Green
Rebeca Ladrón de Guevara
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Judith Lee Herbert
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Brandon D. Johnson
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Olivia J. Kiers
Loretta Collins Klobah
Kim Peter Kovac
Jean L. Kreiling
Stuart A. Kurtz
Tanmoy Das Lala
John R. Lee
Gregory E. Lucas
Lorette C. Luzajic
M. L. Lyons
Ariel S. Maloney
John C. Mannone
Mary C. McCarthy
Megan Denese Mealor
Patrick G. Metoyer
David P. Miller
Stacy Boe Miller
Mark J. Mitchell
Mark A. Murphy
S. Jagathsimhan Nair
Heather M. Nelson
James B. Nicola
Bruce W. Niedt
Kim Patrice Nunez
M. N. O'Brien
Pravat Kumar Padhy
Daniel J. Pizappi
Melissa Reeser Poulin
Rhonda C. Poynter
Marcia J. Pradzinski
Anita S. Pulier
Amie E. Reilly
Ralph La Rosa
Mary Kay Rummell
Janet St. John
Lisa St. John
Kelly R. Samuels
Christy Sheffield Sanford
Janice D. Soderling
Kim Cope Tait
Mary Ellen Talley
Liza Nash Taylor
Janine Pommy Vega
Sue Brannan Walker
Martin Willitts Jr
William Carlos Williams
Morgan Grayce Willow
Shannon Connor Winward
William Butler Yeats
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