poem23 Mar 2015 06:27 am
"Cetonia-aurata" by I, Chrumps. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cetonia-aurata.jpg#/media/File:Cetonia-aurata.jpg

“Cetonia-aurata” by I, Chrumps. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cetonia-aurata.jpg#/media/File:Cetonia-aurata.jpg

 

Blessed is the day. Blessed is the bitterness
of burning leaves. Blessed are the lonely
notes of iridescent insects.

Do not mind the crow, his fierce bark.
He will guide us through the ghosts.
He is the patron of the lost and potsherd.

Blessed is the desert. Blessed are the blind
their fingertips touching warm fruit.
Blessed are the scarlet blossoms.

Bees thrum in and out, trembling
the flowers. They are scentless, dusty,
like the eyes of the prophesied dead.

Blessed is the dawn scattering its flushed seeds.
Blessed is the light that cups our breasts.
Blessed is the milk.

The morning hours will evaporate
these spirits like frost, will shed their skin
until there is only hunger.

Blessed are the forsaken, the hollows
where their hearts have seized.
Blessed are the stones which sow this sad earth.

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poem16 Mar 2015 10:15 am
"PikiWiki Israel 12326 Plants of Israel" by צילום: אורן פלס, Oren Peles. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PikiWiki_Israel_12326_Plants_of_Israel.jpg#/media/File:PikiWiki_Israel_12326_Plants_of_Israel.jpg

“PikiWiki Israel 12326 Plants of Israel” by צילום: אורן פלס, Oren Peles. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PikiWiki_Israel_12326_Plants_of_Israel.jpg#/media/File:PikiWiki_Israel_12326_Plants_of_Israel.jpg

Their barbed-wire brambles cutting into your skin,
they hold you tight as you heave and gasp for air.
A guardian brushes away the sweat on your forehead,
his fingertips soft and round like acacia leaves,
leaving rubbings of soil grains against your skin.

The flowers can start to erupt any time now –
you can feel their stems coiled in your throat
like a tickling, disconcerting promise of the future,
soft springs wound up and crickets clicking time.
Small insects move in your stomach and heart.

A weeping willow cries out the signal to begin
and the guardians press you down on your knees,
the undergrowth catching your calves, attaching –
like to the like, kin to kin. You can feel the forest
spread into you as your breath pushes out.

You shudder more with promise than with pain,
and – eyes closed – you miss the first glance
but hear the appreciating hisses from the trees.
You do not need to see flowers to recognize them
from the touch they leave behind on your palate.

White flowers unfold from between your lips
and green stalks strain outward. This plant you like,
more than the complacent oats and sunflowers,
well-rounded fluffy marigolds and dusky roses.
It emerges from you and eats you from the outside.

Morning glory. Ololiúqui. The Christmas vine.
Xtabentún. Turbina corymbosa. Many names
but only one sensation. The vines will invade,
breaking your skin, turning calmly on you,
their root and singular life-source. Their parent.

You cannot scream, only whimper and gasp –
there is no room for sound except in your thoughts.
The guardians lower your body onto a rough bed
of weeds and decay. You cannot move any further.
Insects crowd out your nose and take to the treetops.

Rain patters on you softly, tree-branches opening
to the night sky, allowing you peace and rest.
Your mouth is sweet with nectar and ambrosia
and you smile as tears wash over your face.
The bursting season will soon arrive again.

Bogi Takács is a neutrally gendered
Hungarian Jewish person who’s recently moved to the US. Eir speculative
fiction and poetry has been published in venues like Strange
Horizons
, Apex,

Scigentasy and GigaNotoSaurus. You can visit eir website or find em on Twitter, where e runs a semi-daily recommendation series for #diversestories and #diversepoems.

Payment for this poem was donated to Keshet.

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poem09 Mar 2015 09:31 am

In celebration of the International Year of Astronomy 2009, NASA's Great Observatories -- the Hubble Space Telescope, the Spitzer Space Telescope, and the Chandra X-ray Observatory -- have produced a matched trio of images of the central region of our Milky Way galaxy. Each image shows the telescope's different wavelength view of the galactic center region, illustrating the unique science each observatory conducts. In this spectacular image, observations using infrared light and X-ray light see through the obscuring dust and reveal the intense activity near the galactic core. Note that the center of the galaxy is located within the bright white region to the right of and just below the middle of the image. The entire image width covers about one-half a degree, about the same angular width as the full moon., By NASA/JPL-Caltech/ESA/CXC/STScI (NASA JPL Photojournal: PIA12348) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Spreading, ink blotty,
into the galactic arm,
changing as needed
or fancied, everything drifts,
the walk, the talk,
what you pack into your cells,
what you need to breathe,
till the Talking Faces don’t know what,
even more than they never did.

But what the fuck,
I’m a xenolinguist,:
we only care about real aliens
(which we’ve still never met);
gene-drifted post-humans
are just like the pre-galactics,
who lived & died, stuck on Planet Dirt.

My buds went full methane head,
Jovian diving, looking for
a million floating cities,
some sought deep-space sailors,
suited & suitless,
creeping helium, boiling lead,
und so weiter,
but found nobody home,
nobody BEEN home, dig?

Our ancestors killed off
their hominid cousins,
and no one else crawled out
of the collective unconscious anywhere.
We’ve looked–genus Homo is IT.

And, monkey with the cerebrum as you will,
but the brain-stems haven’t changed,
(oh, we could, we did,
but the uniformly brutal ends of
countless colonies of reversionists
proved we can’t civilize our inner lizards)
we are ourselves, whatever the suit,
the tongue, milieu, or place,
ringing changes on a tongue flick
primal stream of the eternal snarling now.

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poem02 Mar 2015 09:29 am

Walter_Crane07

 

Everyone must sleep at the end of the era
It is the only way that thoughts fly free
making patterns, a new weave
I had to be the template
the apex of the royal line
heir and loom of changes to come

But nothing is instantaneous
Not love, not change
nor the turning of the world’s wheel
So wheel and spindle it was that spun
into a realm of sleep, of make believe
of imagining my freedom

I dreamed a world where days unravel predictably
curses by mad half-women have no weight
and fear of a spindle prick is only for the pain
No uttered prophesy fringes a birthday with dread
nor magic from the craft of one’s hands
and the only spell is one of making

I dreamed a world where love’s blossom has few thorns
All choices made on waking are with full knowledge
of my desires and patterns for my future
are woven of my own designs
Arranged marriages are only made
when all the parties agree

I dreamed a world where princesses have voices
beyond singing from their gilded rooms
and beauty whether sleeping or awake
is not for sale or inheriting lands
Decisions to plant something new twine
respect for intellect and innovation

Worlds are imperfect things
and dreams are circumspect
their stories running counterpoint to logic
warp and weft difficult to disentangle as briar roses

I awoke to find my world consists of one day at a time
Half-mad I’ve grown with menial drudgery
for what else can a disinherited princess do
My dreams and wishes fall on disenchanted air
No craft of mine is better than that of machinations
and the only spell is how to succeed

I awoke to find love is distanced by an apparatus
making a one-night stand unfulfilling
as a prince’s demand for loyalty if not for love
My choices are limited to who might return my call
and arranged meetings are only made
for sex without a need for courting

I awoke to find every girl a princess
demanding the latest fashion as women
smear concocted potions, unguents, dire pastes
and try magics to hold time at bay
I have tried to nurture the shoot of new beginnings
but find it strangled out by greed

Everyone must sleep to escape the nightmares
of the day, to pretend we soar higher
away from a life that pricks us
I made a mistake using the last zephyrs
of magic to dream a simple desire
lacking complexity that living really means

Nothing is easy
not love, not change
nor the turning of our lives
So I dream of the welcoming narcotic jab
that will spin me into a realm of dreams of hope
of imagining freedom

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Uncategorized23 Feb 2015 09:19 am
Orpheus by Forest Rogers

Orpheus by Forest Rogers

Understand, I would not
have followed her through those cold gates,
the horn twisted with the gold,
would have clung to the chill of winter,
the hint of frost.
But her ghost cried to me, called to me,
wrapping herself around my chest.
Not there.

Yet I saw her, I saw her
everywhere:
the cry of a bird,
the snatch of song,
a colorful rag,
her favorite figs –
Her. Her.
No. Not there.

I saw her. I saw her everywhere,
heard her, heard her everywhere.
Lingered over her every word, her every move,
lingered, lingered over every thought,
squeezing my memories like grapes,
until only the driest, darkest ones remained.
Each shadow –

Her.
Not her.

Caught, my breath, caught.
I slipped singing through those cold cold gates,
past the slow slow river, the endless shades,
the slow boat to the cold grey halls.
I sang, I sang, and fetched her ghost,
watched it merge with the shadows I clutched,
slowly spinning from my mind.

You ask why I turned, why I did not wait
for another glimpse of the cold blue skies,
to hold her beneath the trees’ sharp shadows,
beneath the living wind. Why I turned
at the very gates, the far sun shining
on my hands. I turned.
I had to know.
Her ghost, or the shadow
of my weaving,
a shadow of
my memory and song?

Bound, she and I, to earth and dust,
I, a little longer, until I slip past those gates a second time,
and grasp her shadow, not our mingled own.

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Uncategorized15 Feb 2015 05:25 pm

I’ve got a batch of poems ready to go up over the next few weeks that I’m very happy about.

And more happy news — Mary Alexander Agner was nominated for a Rhysling for “Worlds Apart”, published here last Spring.

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Uncategorized10 Aug 2014 12:57 pm

I haven’t forgotten you, I am just having a hellaciously busy summer. I will be back as soon as I can.

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poem09 Jun 2014 08:47 am
202px-A.C.La_Primavera
Meet me on the edge
Of my frozen world where
Your green is tipped in
White
So I may speak my love
For you before Time’s tides
Drag me away

Even our toes may not cross
Into one another’s space
But if our lips brush
Feather-gentle on the line
We’ll share lightning in
The snow

 

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poem02 Jun 2014 08:19 am

William_Blake_-_Abraham_and_Isaac_object_1_Butlin_382

Before my mother died, a visit from Athena─
“For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror”
─Rilke

There are moments: A veil is lifted and we see
through eyes of the immutable: Call it fate
or play it safe, imagine it was a waking dream;
then you evade believing in this terrible awe . . .
But inside that dream you wake, and change
is here; you saw Her face and knew Her power.

Now all the names used to describe this power
are tamed. It is a Lamb of God we see,
not the God of Abraham whose sword of change
spared Isaac, who sent the Ram of Fate
to die in Isaac’s stead. Abraham shook with awe
and Isaac lived. The iron sky was no dream.

The Ram bowed in obedience to the dream
in Abraham, that from his seed a nation’s power
would grow. And when that faith made way for awe
another question grew. Was Isaac the first to see
God’s mercy stay a father’s hand, or had fate
denied lay in wait for the Lamb? Beyond change

and bargaining prayers, nothing could change
death that was sealed in that sacrificial dream;
no deed or love availed to bend that Son’s fate . . .
They watched Him dragged and nailed to power
as Isaac might have died; that Son would see
the face hidden from Isaac and enter into awe.

The one I called She was a herald to awe.
I saw the wings of her helmet and the change
in her eyes from blue to imperious gray and did see
what she revealed. I saw the future in my dream;
a mercy then. Death came with indifferent power
and took one I loved. Events moved on with fate

seen as murals for the passing of a queen, her fate
prepared by those who rule the realm of awe
where fear and love share transcendent power . . .
And we wait as children for days that will change
our daily lives by the prescience of a dream . . .
Where rams with golden horns die so we may see

a change in those who turn blind suffering to fate . . .
The gods who dream our lives give the gift of awe
that we may see with hope, and dare to live with power.

 

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poem26 May 2014 08:04 am

30_Doradus,_Tarantula_Nebula

Properly, it should be
seductive
- repay all the
trouble
of perception.

It should have no
beginning, must
at the very start
be already in
motion;
and no end.

Its theme should be accessible.

Whether it should have Time
is a question;
the pathos
and Death, its companion,
so often betray
poor taste.

Properly, it should
resonate
- clear; like all the
bells ever cast,
intertwined,
purified.

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