I. No one will remember
this death, this long
carnage of innocence.
The heart’s pail
of laughter sinking.
The body’s well
or grief’s deep
gallon; no one is
The inches of a loss,
who counts them?
The rule, the meter
What is the measure of a loss?
II. Saudade, the eighteenth year,
with what dark cotillions
you arrived waltzing
on my heart’s opening sod.
I was hoping for
a constant garden.
How could I dream
of my sudden decline
wrapped in the wings of a dove?
III. A dove or a
Why would an angel write to a girl?
Why would Almeida’s girl
cover her mouth?
What thought is so unspeakable?
Why would an angel write
to a girl trapped in a black shawl?
IV. Or was I too careless with time?
Did I offend the sanctity of clocks?
Arrange my feet in a curse?
Were my steps so ever doomed?
The first close of regret
is a measure.
Such is the dance of Saudade!
V. No one will remember this death,
it will lodge in the stone
sea of life, the fretting sea
of trouble and love.
The years will forget
this year like crimes.
But will I always bear
the mark of a stun?
The stoic sigh,
the earthless lung?
This gloom that shuttered
and shall I say I was touched?
VI. When I was lost and crying,
the earth troubled me
more than I ever troubled it;
I was erased by so much
I think I will live
to remember this death
longer than forgetfulness.
Summer Edward was born in Trinidad and Tobago. Her writing has been anthologized in Whaleheart: Journey into the Night with Maya Christina Gonzalez and 23 Courageous ArtistAuthors and New Worlds, Old Ways: Speculative Tales from the Caribbean, edited by Karen Lord, and has appeared or is forthcoming in The Missing Slate, Horn Book Magazine, Duende, Bim: Arts for the 21st Century, Matatu: Journal for African Culture and Society, sx salon, tongues of the ocean, The Columbia Review, The Caribbean Writer, Obsidian: Literature in the African Diaspora and others. She was shortlisted for the Small Axe Literary Prize, nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and was selected for the NGC Bocas Lit Fest’s New Talent Showcase, spotlighting the best emerging Caribbean writers. She divides her time between Trinidad and Philadelphia, USA.
without hands or face
it says Soft
it says Woman
curve on curve
crevices of pearl
and yet surprising
with an adamantine
refusal to be
anything but stone
Mary C. McCarthy
Mary McCarthy has always been a writer, but spent most of her working life as a Registered Nurse. She has had many publications in journals, including Earth's Daughters, Caketrain, and The Evening Street Review, among others. She has only recently discovered the vibrant poetry communities on the internet, where there is so much to explore and enjoy.
This poem was written as part of the ekphrastic 20 Poem Challenge.
The Miss Havisham Effect
It was years ago that I took this photograph of her.
She had found out the wedding was off — on the
very day! He wasn’t coming, didn’t want to marry
her after all. The doctor gave her a sedative. See
how languid her hand looks, almost as if she was
sleeping but she wasn’t, just staring straight ahead.
I had to clean the cigarette ash from the oriental
carpet; she could have burned the house down!
See how lovely her dress was, all the little flowers.
She wore that dress for months (well, years)
afterwards; she never left the house. I know, I was
with her. We were so close, don’t let anyone tell
you otherwise. She never did get over him leaving
her at the altar. She pined and pined for him. Such
sadness. I never left her after he jilted her. Not
that she ever thanked me. Or really ever noticed
me. How much I cared. Still, there was no one
else. Her ashes are there, on my mantel. Oh, I
have lots more photographs of her through the
years — would you like to see?
Tricia Marcella Cimera
This poem was written as part of the 20 Poem Challenge.
Tricia Marcella Cimera will forever be an obsessed reader and lover of words. Look for her work in these diverse places: Buddhist Poetry Review, The Ekphrastic Review, Foliate Oak, Fox Adoption, Hedgerow, I Am Not A Silent Poet, Mad Swirl, Silver Birch Press, Stepping Stones, Yellow Chair Review, and elsewhere. She has a micro collection of water-themed poems called THE SEA AND A RIVER on the Origami Poems Project website. Tricia believes there’s no place like her own backyard and has traveled the world (including Graceland). She lives with her husband and family of animals in Illinois / in a town called St. Charles / by a river named Fox.
Title Unspecified: After a Sculpture by Hans Arp
This is the body as it was at the beginning--
neither male nor female, all soft folds.
A bulging bag full of eels,
it becomes as we watch
an elbow, a knee, a head
tilted upward, blank face
shining like the shadowed moon.
This poem was written for the 20 Poem Challenge.
Robbi Nester is the author of an ekphrastic chapbook titled Balance (White Violet, 2012) and other poetry collections. Her work has been published widely in journals and anthologies, including Cimarron Review, Broadsided, Silver Birch Press, Poemeleon, and Inlandia.
At My Stepmother's Deathbed, Twice
I search for metaphors while she lies there in a coma.
Perhaps she is a female Jesus just brought down from
the cross. We are the twelve apostles gathered together,
preparing to go out into the world and spread her Word.
She would have loved that one. Not being a poet herself,
she would not have quibbled about the specifics. Simply
the mention of her Lord's name would have been enough
to keep her happy. I picture her smiling when her eyes
suddenly open. Someone must have forgotten to tell her
the news that we had all rushed to her bedside expecting
her to die. Not for this. This is discomforting. It means
we will all have to convene one more time. Such a lack
of consideration seems unworthy of her. Her sons prop
up her head with pillows. They raise the top half
of her hospital bed. A male nurse enters to help out.
He asks her what she would like to drink as if he were
the executioner in Jacques-Louis David's painting
The Death of Socrates. She passes on the hemlock.
Instead she asks for a glass of cranberry juice. I sense
a slight twitch in the nurse's face. Is it possible he has none?
No way he would ask a dying woman to make another choice.
When he returns, he helps her to hold the small glass
in her hands. She lifts it to her lips. The tiniest possible
sip coats her tongue. She opens her mouth and says,
"Aaaahhh, that tastes so good." I am taken aback. I realize
the most alive person in this room is a terminally ill woman.
Never have a few drops of fruit juice tasted so good to her.
I call it The Cranberry Moment. In the beginning was the Word
of The Cranberry Woman. She who defies death. I am her disciple.
I dedicate myself to spreading her message for almost three months
until the day arrives when she begins to resemble another
David painting: The Death of Marat. Only this time there
will be no Cranberry Moment. Loaded up with morphine,
barely conscious of this world, she will become nothing
more than a suffering human being meeting face-
to-face with the massive indifference of the universe.
Jimmy Pappas served for the Air Force in Vietnam from 1969 to 1970 as an English language instructor. After his service, Jimmy received a Master's degree in English literature from Rivier University. He is a retired teacher whose poems have been published in many journals, including Yellowchair Review, Shot Glass Journal, Kentucky Review, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Off the Coast, Boston Literary Magazine, The Ghazal Page, and War, Literature and the Arts. He is now a member of the executive board of the Poetry Society of New Hampshire.
This poem was written as part of the 20 Poem Challenge.
Deborah Guzzi is a healing facilitator specializing in Shiatsu and Reiki. She writes for Massage and Aromatherapy publications. She travels the world seeking writing inspiration. She has walked the Great Wall of China and visited Nepal (during the civil war), Japan, Egypt (two weeks before “The Arab Spring”), Peru, and France (during December’s terrorist attacks).
Her poetry appears in Magazines: here/there: poetry in the UK, Existere - Journal of Arts and Literature in Canada, Tincture in Australia, Cha: Asian Literary Review, Hong Kong, China, Eunoia in Singapore, Latchkey Tales in New Zealand, Vine Leaves Literary Journal in Greece, mgv2>publishing in France, RedLeaf Poetry, India and Travel by the Book, Ribbons: Tanka Society of America Journal, Sounding Review, Kyso Flash, The Aurorean, Crack the Spine Literary Magazine, Liquid Imagination, Poetry Quarterly, Page & Spine and others in the USA. Her new book The Hurricane is available now through Prolific Press.
The Ekphrastic Review
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