the fever-coloured sky remembers the thrill of birds
apocalyptic shapes impaled on flames slip
over the hill crawl towards me well-oiled tongues
lap at stones spit songs that bounce bitter and barefoot
crooked tines of bottled nightmares like rib bones
cage fruit’s flesh isolated rotting
bitter earth with a dearth of joy
a refrain like liquid fire laps at me
repeating a chant yellow and black that cracks
the land homeless headless sightless i eat the skull
like bread hollowing out the eyes
and weep for stillness beyond the stars
this is no time for despair a door
we all pass through and so i do and so i do
Elizabeth Kirkpatrick-Vrenios is professor emerita from American University, having chaired the vocal and music departments. Vrenios’ solo recitals throughout the US, South America, Scandinavia, Japan and Europe have been acclaimed. Recently featured in Tupelo Press's 30/30 challenge, she has been published in such journals as Clementine, Cumberland River Review, The Feminine Collective, The Kentucky Review, Unsplendid, Edison Literary review, Passager, NILVX, Unsplendid and featured in such anthologies as The Poeming Pigeon, Love Notes from Humanity, Stories of Music, the American Journal of Poetry, and was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her chapbook Special Delivery, prize winner with Yellow Chair Press, was published in 2016, and her chapbook Empty the Ocean with a Thimble will be forthcoming in April of 2021 with World Tech Communications LLC. As the artistic director of the Redwoods Opera in Mendocino, California she has influenced and trained vocal students across the country.
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