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

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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.


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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.


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Painting credit: At the apiary – Marchenko Tatyana Mikhailovna

Love & Myth

Submitted by Anna Cates

Before the Maori venerated Io, Maui pulled up from the sea land dripping in seashells, forging islands, stealing fire from the underworld. He ate the flames like the high priest’s morsel from his servant’s instrument . . .

The priest is untouched. The tapu is unbroken. The fire ever burns.

tropical bird calls
the last mango falls
Hawaiian twilight
at a sunset hula
the final aloha


Vita Brevis accepts poetry submissions year-round. Send us your best work!

Painting Credit: Daryl Millard – “Starry Night Tikis”

EDITOR’S CHOICE: The Loyal Honey Bee

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

Submitted by Himalia

There goes the loyal honey bee.
I’ve never tasted your venom,
but I wallow in it just the same.
I’ll spread your wax on my lips
just so the one I love will dictate me sweet.
You collect nectar
like I collect fears.
But I’ll squeeze your endless work into my chamomile tea
just so my taste buds are enthused.
Just for a moment of peace.


Vita Brevis accepts submissions year-round–send us your best work!
Photo credit: Study of Flowers and Insects Balthasar van der Ast

Printemps

Submitted by Ann Neilson

She lilts upon lilac clusters,
wrapped in jasmine, clover, and rue,
and dallies with the daisies,
whilst peonies, blushing, whisper to
breezy winds—“Spring has come.”


 

Vita Brevis accepts poetry submissions year-round. Send us your best work!
Photo Credit: Woman with a Parasol in a Garden – Renoir, Pierre-Auguste