Sycamore

Submitted by Jill C. Lyman

We come to the place
we call Silent
to forget the sound
of cars on the highway
setting up our camp chairs
with an eye toward
the water
where a heron fishes
squirrels tatter over territory
The wide hand of a sycamore leaf
drops from the tree
lands at my feet.
Its scent lingers—
summer’s green spills
on my hands
as I peel the flesh
along the veins, pouring
its dust onto the breeze.
Only the thin bone
of a stem remains.
A new breeze gallops
before the cold front, rustles through
Silent —
a frantic four or five fallen
leaves mount the wind,
crossing the grass.
They gather at my feet
expecting.


 

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Photo Credit: Sycamore Hill, Winterthur – Geraldine McKeown

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White Roads Sunday

Submitted by Barry Fentiman Hall

High above the white roads
Hawks dance and screech
Breaking cover over poets
Lost in a stew of rubble
Where the memories of childhood
When we became girls and boys
Are obscured by 
Squashed tomatoes and 
Spent ammo from Friday nights
We go to tend the gardens
Through fire damage
And fading ribbons
The ways are not clear
Where the weeds hide the barriers
They dig for victory here
Over what I cannot say
The corn is eight feet high
And love and light fades on the old school ties
These are the only certainties
As the hawks court ever higher
And pass through Sunday clouds
Higher
Higher
Lost
Out of reach


 

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Photo Credit: Charles Courtney Curran – The Lanterns

Sonnet

Submitted by Ann Neilson

Soft moonlight bathes mine muse’s form, his
Dignified gaze approvingly peering
O’er feeble lines, lithe fingers sifting the
Runic words of mine poem, careering.
A hushéd murmur invades mine mind,
Delicate critique avec pensive hum—
Palpitating heartbeats quiver and pine
For him, whose own heart recalls to the drum.
I beg of God to find mine muse, whether
Entrapped in the shroud of Heaven’s graces,
Or, if, on his native streets he may walk there,
I pray to embrace his ghostly, echoed traces.
In dreams, in dreams we are ne’er to part—
Behold me, muse! blood of my beating heart.*

*This line is derived from poet Charles Fenno Hoffman’s translation of “Indian Serenade,” published in A Winter in the West, 1835.


 

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Photo credit: Carvaggio – boy with basket

In the Days of Rain and Roses

Submitted by Ronald E. Shields

There was this once
before the writing dried up
and I became wet with beer piss.
Once when the words showed up unannounced,
dressed to kill the boredom between benders.
They were holidays
stifling yawns on Monday at the office.
Words came like children on sleds in snowfall,
like young boys
in the hands of young girls.
Came like answers to prayer flags,
or prayers on the lips of the old woman
as the priest leans in with oil,
the scent of almond on his breath
and an answer to the question she wants to ask.


 

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Photo Credit: “Still Lide of Roses,” by Edward George Handel Lucas

Week Nine in Review: Statistics, Call for Submissions, Competitions, and More!

What a week! Let’s take a look at how it all unfolded:

STATISTICS

We reached 6,300 all-time views this week (2000 WP visitors) compared to last week’s 5600 (1,800 visitors)–that means we brought in 700 views this week 200 unique visitors (about four poems a visitor). We pulled in over 130 likes this week from WP users, and over 200 unique visitors from Google and other search engines, not including the WP visitors listed above.

SUBMISSIONS

This week we published:

The Web by Ronald E. Shields

Ephermera by Thom Kerr

Silver Trees by Shaun Clamp

Early Freeze by Ann Christine Tabaka

Brain Fluff by Willie Smith

Doorways by Sarah Connor

COMPETITIONS

Our Monthly Paid Competition is coming to a close on the 30th of this month! There’s a lot of competition, so send in your best work! We’re excited to have the ability to pay you for your work in a world that seldom can, and we hope this competition drives traffic to our site, thus to our talented submitters’ work! You can find more information here.


 

Stay tuned, we have some great poems coming!

Doorways

Submitted by Sarah Connor

Passing through this doorway
is an act of remembering
and of forgetting. On this
threshold I stand poised
between the two.

 Back then, there were magic
doorways that led
to wonderlands. I dream
of passing through,
from this dull monochrome
to glorious technicolour.

Right now, time becomes space,
space becomes time:
the living room is full of my childhood;
somewhere in the kitchen
there’s a sleeping baby.

In an upstairs room,
my younger self is standing,
looking out across
another city. Waiting
for life to start.

My grandmother presses
a crumpled note
into my palm, and whispers
urgent wisdom.

Back then, there were dark
doorways that led
to underlands. I dream
of passing through,
from this mad technicolour
to the bleak purity
of black and white.


 

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Photo Credit: Edward Hopper – Rooms by the Sea

Brain Fluff

Submitted by Willie Smith

Dandelion fluff,
dandled on a breeze,
toys a bit with my nose,
snapping me out of supposing
how today goes. A
cumulus
bites the sun,
shades the pavement,
cools the air, while
the fluff floats off
to where I fail to care,
now I, stopped,
care but to recall
what it was I was
today to do.


 

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Photo credit: Edward Hopper – Clamdigger