EDITOR’S CHOICE: All at Once

EDITOR’S CHOICE AWARD: bringing our favorite previously-published poems back to the front page.

Submitted by Himalia

A breathing mountain
Developed after years of geologic merging,
There is life in the Himalayas.

But this is not a lesson on plate tectonics.
Here is a place to learn freedom.
Every piece of matter is moving all at once.

Even the book on time and space,
Resting on your floor,
Is vibrating.


 

Are you a literary poet or writer? Send your best work to Vita Brevis.
Photo credit: Vermeer – The Astronomer

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Your Mother

Submitted by Jamie Dedes

a tattered memoir in sepia tones
hanging on the wall of your office
a tiny plump sparrow of a woman
by a lone stone cottage
toothless, poor old thing
a warm shawl pulled to cover her head
an apron, worn shoes
from a time long past
from another world
my Turkish grandmother
what was her name?
you never said, i never asked


 

Vita Brevis accepts poetry submissions year-round!
Painting: An Old Woman peeling Pears – by a follower of David Teniers the Younge

EDITOR’S CHOICE: The Last Night Falls

EDITOR’S CHOICE AWARD: bringing our favorite previously-published poems back to the front page.

Submitted by Jane Dougherty

The last night falls, sky thick with cloud,
No stars will light the cold damp earth,
No moon will silver river loud.
The last night falls, sky thick with cloud,
Rains frost on furrowed fields, new-ploughed.
On hedges, fruit-stripped, winter’s dearth,
The last night falls. Sky, thick with cloud,
No stars will light the cold, damp earth.


 

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Photo Credit: The Fog, Voisins – Alfred Sisley

Wander This World

Submitted by Lana Bella
after Jonny Lang’s Wander This World

I arrived on the noise of familiars,
like diving into water, returning home.
Slim-shouldered and late blooming,
I lurched forth on more than mere
instinct to lean back to the extrinsic,
morphine-kind. To hold me here,
I would lose nights into the avenues,
passing through hands with downward
stride, making ghosts by their right-
ful names. Only, I was the dying
of the afternoons, jeweled back-lit by
the city headlights, discarded to
my quaint lurch more ancient than love,
an egress of vagabond in indigo pink.


Painting: Rene Magritte – Empire of Light

EDITOR’S CHOICE: The Owatonna Library

EDITOR’S CHOICE AWARD: bringing our favorite previously-published poems back to the front page.

Submitted by Ronald E. Shields

A black bear rears up,
ponders the long ripple in the grass beyond,
the space of its wake in the grass behind.
A cold hard lamp comes on over the prairie.
Its echo shines through a window miles away.
The Lakota woman hands me a book
our fingers touch,
the footsteps of a thousand generations
pass beneath our feet.


Are you a poet? Send us your best work!
Photo credit: Late Afternoon Prairie – Carlynne Hershberger

Poem Written in Early Spring

Submitted by George Freek

(After Tu Fu)

In the clear water I can see
the fish, swimming near
the surface. There’s purpose
in their meanderings,
but I can’t say what it is.
Apple blossoms fall
like grains of rice.
Perhaps spring stirs the hearts
of fish and men alike.
But my hair is now white.
Some things are best
forgotten. I do remember
the fragrance of roses
and their color
against the lowering sky,
like the purest cotton.


Vita Brevis accepts poetry submissions year-round. Send us your best work!
Painting Credit: Louis Aston Knight, “Spring Blossoms along a Meandering River”

EDITOR’S CHOICE: Ephemera

EDITOR’S CHOICE AWARD: bringing our favorite previously-published poems back to the front page.

A Haibun Submitted by Thom Kerr

The gentle hum of bees fills the air. I sing to them as I slog along the fence guarding Farmer Morton’s trees. I listen, and watch them work. They are tireless. Blossoms perfume the air and each day is a little warmer, a little more fragrant than the day before. Singing is the secret. My mother never sang out here and although her honey was sweet; mine always seems sweeter. I sing with my daughter in anticipation. Where my voice is gruff and low, hers carries the timbre of a violinist; sul tasto: ephemeral, light, airy, delicate and fleeting. Her voice will blend in harmony with the sounds of the workers.

The hives are abuzz
it’s almost time to harvest.
Three frames from a hive
produces about ten pounds
that tastes, as sweet as it looks.


Are you a poet? Send us your best work!
Painting credit: At the apiary – Marchenko Tatyana Mikhailovna