Uncategorized25 Mar 2019 08:00 am
created at deepdreamgenerator.com

Marcie Lynn Tentchoff

I was his first,
that means a lot to certain men,
and, for a scientist,
Paul has a love
of all that’s old –
done right, he says –
traditional.

He’s kept me well.
My cubicle’s luxurious and plush,
and properly maintained —
the maids all vie
to keep the polished
luster of my walls
gem clear.

And though I’m forced
to watch the newer models traipse about,
bedecked in jewels, and chrome,
and circuitry,
en route to dinners
or to plays
to suit his whim…

I know I was his first,
and that, while he keeps their upgrades fresh,
there’s so much to be said
for antique amber,
vintage verdigris,
unadorned, and classic
in the box.

Share
poem18 Mar 2019 07:50 am
Anonymous – Camille FlammarionL’Atmosphère: Météorologie Populaire (Paris, 1888), pp. 163

David C. Kopaska-Merkel

We slept for centuries in metal tubes,
10,000 dreams of waking in the ship,
To find a planet we could make our home,
A ring of rocks that could have been a world,
Or outpost of an empire old as time,
Whose warriors were armed with weapons strange,
Or empty human colonies and dust
Of countless years since people last walked there.


At last we wake in orbit round a sun,
We find a world the blue of salty seas,
Its moons are small, no cities anywhere,
Bright green its hills, its valleys, and its plains,
But many of us stand in troubled thought,
And wonder when we’ll think we wake again.

Share
poem11 Mar 2019 08:00 am

Deborah L. Davitt

A giant loomed in their sky, swollen,
striped, and possessed of white-staring eyes;
the children of the trees paid homage to their titan
with bark-strip baskets filled with fungal cakes
each time he stole and ate the sun,
hoping to fill him up enough with sacrifice,
that he’d vomit her back up again,
release his hostage,
as they huddled in their homes.
 
In the long dark, the cold came,
and strange things flew upon the air,
screeching creatures who swooped down
and stole the unwary, who strayed too far
from the safety of the Tree’s mazy branches,
inward-turned and crooked into a labyrinth
that only the children could follow.
 
When the sun peered over the horizon,
staining the air with bronze, the youngest gamboled
in the maze, leaping and gliding, branch to branch,
finding leaves and fruits to eat, stockpiling mushrooms
against the titan’s appetite, and drank sweet sap
from under the bark that they stripped away,
while their elders hunted the huge and clacking beetles
that bored into the Tree’s heart;
they traded those shining carapaces,
those iridescent wings,
to the maddened children who’d forsaken their Trees
for lives of stone and metal in the mountains
or lives spent wresting crops from the ground in the plains.
 
The mad ones told the children that a house of stone
was proof against the nightflyer’s rage;
that if you traveled long and far, there were lands
in which the titan never ate the sun;
the children laughed to hear such tales,
proof of the mad ones’ insanity.
 
But when their crop of fungus failed,
they wept, for they knew the titan’s hunger;
to ensure that the sun would rise once more,
they prepared for him a greater feast,
selecting the youngest of their number.
 
To their dismay, he fled the honor
of being sacrificed to the swollen monster in the sky;
he fled to the mountains before night fell,
and found to his surprise,
more welcome in a house of stone
than he’d ever felt within his Tree.
 
Three hundred cycles of light and dark passed
before he returned to his ancestral Tree,
carrying blades of blackened earthblood
and with stories and truths to tell.
 
But when he arrived, he found that his Tree
of all the forest, stood withered and sere;
the tribes who lived in other branches,
claimed that all those who had dwelled within,
had set upon each other two hundred cycles past;
some had fled to other Trees and other tribes—
the rest had fallen to lie among its roots.
 
He found their skulls and vertebrae
tangled among the lowest vines—
he asked them softly, what had passed,
if the titan had indeed punished them,
if their deaths were, in some way, his fault.
 
The wind soughed in the branches,
but the dead ceded him no answers.
And looking up at the titan above,
he left his ancestral tree once more,
never to return.

illustration is Megalith Grave in Winter by Johan Christian Dahl 1824
Share
poem04 Mar 2019 08:00 pm

Bruce Boston

Wind from the blast
ripped half the roof
off the venerable
building and broke
most of its windows.
Shelves have fallen.
Others are leaning.
Books have toppled
to the floor, spilling
their cargo of words
to an indifferent sky.
 
Snow, rain, and wind
have entered freely,
and the dampness
has invaded all.
Even deep in the
stacks a faint stench
of mildew prevails.
Wild mushrooms
sprout in the dark.
 
Librarians have long
since fled this shattered
ruin in the shattered city.
There are no students
hunched over their studies,
no old men leafing through
newspapers from cities
where they once lived,
no bored wives searching
out romance novels.
 
Yet the deserted library
still has many patrons.
Creatures small and pale
come in great numbers
to tunnel through one
volume after another,
devouring one letter
at a time until they
have the last word.

Share
Uncategorized25 Feb 2019 08:00 am
The Slave Ship by JMW Turner, 1840

W.C. Roberts

his chin thrust out like a ledge over the chasm 
between them, their child 
a tiny figure cut out of stone and blackened in a fire
that burned their house boat
to the water line 
he glares at her, eyes like flint and steel 
but the sparks do not so much and singe her hair 
the woman takes up their child 
and cradles him in arms 
not yet turned to stone, but thunder in a confining space
shakes the soot from his brow 
-- the child stirs

there was a time when the men on the banks of the river
would have died for them, and their stories told 
to frighten children who hadn’t the good sense to turn to stone 
when the fire comes and their thatched huts burn down
to the ground

from these ashes we are enjoined, and one of the ravens
he watches over us 
and we, who’d live for ages, and cannot live under the water
that comes to bury us alive
we, who’d live for ages, and cannot live 
in the crook of his elbow like a firearm
we look away, and he looks for us, as the storm’s fury 
shards of a white porcelain heaven breaking 
and they come down on the water, without hardly a splash 
knowing the bottom well, and the chasm between them
who’d take a drink from this well? and know

     what’s left of the sky

father, father, says the child, in the child’s lisping way  
why have they turned against us? are we not good 
for them?



he swallows, as if thinking of his answer;
he steps into the chasm
and is gone
Share
poem11 Feb 2019 08:14 pm

Marsheila Rockwell

The statue of the selkie in Mikladalurm, photo by Siegfried Rabanser

The clouds roll in
Soot and silver
As he sets the table
For two
Candlesticks and roses
Their subtle perfume lost
Beneath the scent
Of impending rain

It’s their pearl anniversary
Thirty years
Since he met her
On a tempest-tossed sea
The grey-green waves
Reflected in her eyes
Her long, dark tresses
Mocking their fury

He pulls the chair back for her
And waits
As she makes her way slowly
Across the kitchen
Leaning heavily
On a driftwood cane

She is about to sit
When the storm breaks
Lightning flashes
Thunder
Once distant
Booms
Shaking their seaside home

The power goes out
And suddenly he sees her
As he had
Once before
In all her feral
Otherworldly beauty

Limned with electricity
Night-black locks
And sea-hued eyes
Shot through with sparks
Commanding the elements
To turn aside
From his crippled vessel

Then the lights blink back on
Her image resolves
And she is herself
Hunched and wrinkled
Her eyes bright with wit
But nothing more
Her white hair captured
In an untidy bun

He adjusts his glasses
“I think
I need to get
My prescription checked,”
He says
Shaking his head
In bemusement

“Yes,” his wife
The earthbound
Lovebound
Storm goddess
Replies
With a gentle
Secret smile
“Yes, you really do.”

Share
poem04 Feb 2019 08:00 am
photo of statues at Suissa, By Amitabha Gupta – Own work, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=64364171

Lisa Bradley

Chipping gems from the eyes of angels
Leona ransacks the sacred statuary.
The night guard was easy to overcome.
On the ceremonial brazier halfway through
his circuit of the gardens
Leona lobbed a handful
of sweet-smelling pellets.
When he warmed his face and hands
wrinkled as walnuts
the resin laid him out.
Anyone who finds him will assume
he's been felled by sleeping sickness
leaving Leona free to flit idol to idol
prying with chisel and knife
until the collection of precious irises
clicks in her pouch like chatty insects.
 
Ever testing the limits of colleagues,
Desi tries to change the terms:
Will Leona consider a trade instead?
On offer, a vial of powdered
unicorn hoof and horn said to heal
sleeping sickness if sprinkled
on the sleeper’s tongue.
No doubt the powder is real;
Desi is wily enough to source
commodities others kill for.
But Leona demands coin to buy
bread needle thread, ale millet meat,
knowing Desi haggles out of habit
(forgiving him is her own)
and the Entrepreneur of Illegality
might even think he’s doing her a favor.
 
Coins chiming like bells in her pouch
Leona crosses the cemetery.
No one dares follow after dark.
On the other side, on cobblestone streets
Leona trails millet from her pocket,
awaiting a crackle under other boots,
a shadow flushed to the corner of her eye.
Once home, she leaves her boots on.
Mama won’t mind the mud.
Mama’s sleeping and has been for months.
Even so, Mama’s eyes shine, moonlight
glinting off the mirror shards
Leona, laughing, lodged under each brow.
Why would she want Desi’s cure?
For the first time in Leona’s life
Mama looks happy to see her.
 
Share
Uncategorized14 Jan 2019 07:36 pm

I will be at Arisia next weekend. Sunday at 4 I will be on the Genre Poetry panel. I’d love to meet anyone who is around. I won’t be able to stick around too long after the panel but there should be plenty of time during the weekend for conversations so please look me up. There won’t be a post next week because I will be too busy having fun.

Share
poem07 Jan 2019 08:00 am

echo of thunder and those
seaside sirens going off
and you and I will have to talk
since past misdeeds are too often
buried in shallow graves

I should’ve known
and I should’ve guessed
I’ve known you too long
to play at ignorance

you grew those flowers out of old bones, didn’t you?
old bones and rotting flesh
it all makes good, black earth
until they bring out their spades
and start digging

illustration is a street mural by Alexis Diaz and Chilean artist INTI
Share
poem24 Dec 2018 08:02 am

She once was
Winter’s bride to be,
but she gave her heart
to Autumn.

She knows
Winter’s wrath,
his bitter-cold breath,
knows she is bound.

Winter was not pleased
to hear of her betrayal.
So with one icy blast,
he tore a hole in her throat
& then blew out her eyes.

She longs for
sweet September mornings,
sleeping lazy, sleeping late,
the smell of Autumn’s skin,
his dear touch just before
he entered her
with the bounty of
all his knowing.

illustration by Enrique Meseguer, darksouls1 on Pixabay.
Share

Next Page »