you didn’t mean to make snakes,
but that’s what everyone else saw. You spread clay
on a wall and watched as weeks evaporated mud cracked
a slithering path you named River.
I meant to wait for a love sleeping in the dirt. I felt
the pull of it—that river under the earth. You say
A river is not bound to water,
It’s the flow, not the water
Hiking the Peten Jungle through rivers
of mud up to my thighs I imagined my love’s
face in front of mine. I followed him. My boots
caked in slick gray Mayan clay and his head above
the trail, floating beyond my stride. His sweat
dripped from the vines—sweetened the rising
smell of mule shit. Andy, in 1992
you covered the floor of a London gallery in clay. Then
in ’96, a wall in San Francisco. You thought the clay would
crumble, but it held on. You say
It remains fixed to this day
Despite the occasional earthquake
You learned how cracking time over surface earth gives
birth to channels beneath. You let time teach the art about
patience. I know this--
for five years I sat staring at a wall covered in mud, trying
to draw out my river. Trying to suck the moisture
with only my eyes. To me, it was the Nile under there.
Though I was flood-white under neon
light I imagined the green basin around me. I opened
my eyes like red lotus flowers. And just yesterday,
the moment the air syphoned all the water
from the clay I could hear the dry pop
and then nothing. My Nile scene sunk
out of view. I was only sitting in a carved canoe
on a museum floor. No river swelling beneath.
Just the outline of all those years in clay.
The snaking path: a drying relic of two
parallel cracks: one forever chasing the other up a wall.
Veronica Lupinacci grew up in Sarasota, Florida. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She has taught writing at the university, high school, middle school, and elementary level. Her poems have recently appeared in The McNeese Review, Haiku Journal, The Pinch, Northwind, and Eunoia Review.
fire on ice
from an unyielding sky
her resolute race west paused
her fire dances across
the melting ice
her glimmering flames
more than illusion
splash nothing but cold light
flickering against this wet veneer
her light lay puddled
in momentary reflection
reckoning day with twilight
Barry DeCarli has been writing poetry for fifty years. More recently, he has added his own photographic content to some poems, or he has written specifically for a photograph, as is the case with the above submission. This poem and photograph were shared on Barry's Facebook page.
Chagall’s Poet With the Birds
The wistful poet implored, “Please sing to me
of windswept sapphire skies and phantom wings,
of gold-spun silk beneath the emerald trees,
and glowing fields of stained glass shimmerings,
glimmers of blade and leaf. In tapestries
that float above the village green, where magic
flute and troubadour weave reveries,
reveal young lovers cast upon a mystic
sea, whispering words of love. Paint me
a medley of dappled blooms in floral bouquets
where lyrics nest like childhood memories
of fragrant sweetgrass, warm-wind summer days.”
The painter knows the poet with his muse
awash in azure shades of luminous blues.
dl mattila is the author of Quietus, a collection of poems. She holds an MA in Writing from the Johns Hopkins University.
This poem was first published in Blast Furnace.
Night Walk in Bella’s Woods
Spindly trees thicken above snow,
blue-black sky smeared
with moonlit clouds.
See this filigree above our eyes,
a web splitting air into a thousand shapes.
Our boots kick through scrub
and undergrowth; we move closer,
shoulder to shoulder in the cold.
Breath rises before us, winter souls
climbing through icy air.
Even now, in February dark,
we sense the green ghosts of leaves
struggling from branches bare
and frozen, as if the night womb
stirred and called them home from sleep.
Steve Klepetar’s work has appeared worldwide, in such journals as Boston Literary Magazine, Deep Water, Expound, The Muse: India, Red River Review, Snakeskin, Voices Israel, Ygdrasil, and many others. Several of his poems have been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize (including three in 2015). Recent collections include My Son Writes a Report on the Warsaw Ghetto (Flutter Press) and Return of the Bride of Frankenstein (Kind of a Hurricane Press). His new chapbook, The Li Bo Poems, is forthcoming from Flutter Press.
The Ekphrastic Review
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