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Showing posts from June, 2020

Working Tune: a Catholicon, a poem by Bethany Brengan

Working Tune: A Catholicon I step forward on my left foot, and my left foot says: “Things fall apart the center cannot hold.” I step forward on my right foot, and my right foot says:             “All shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.” If the apocalypse arrives tomorrow, and the Lord lifts his few, fortunate faithful on invisible wires; if Cinderella makes it to the ball in a dress like the sun and impossible slippers— or if the apocalypse arrives tomorrow, and we are left quaking under wars and rumors of wars; and Cinderella must sort seeds, without help (because all the birds have died), in the blood-light of the moon— or if tomorrow the gears of the world don’t fall off, and the mills of the gods still grind to their tedious gain; and we all awake covered in the gray stars of last night’s ashes— even then we must remember to water our mother’s grave, tend her trees, buy the milk, bake the bread, fill the mouths that,

Summer Solstice on the West Coast of Ireland, a poem by James Green

Summer Solstice on the West Coast of Ireland This afternoon the sun is more a rumor, probably still high behind a stretch of somber clouds in shades of dappled grey. The wind is brisk and plumes of ocean spray rise against the cliffs and sea foam drifts all the way to the bog, settles on the stubble of freshly cut hay and backs of sheep that face to lee, huddled against the day marked as the longest since the age of hoary-haired men dressed in ragged wool capes who aligned boulders to measure their place in creation, who tuned their lives to follow the light like the lilies on the bank of the estuary. It’s why I’ve come here, a blow-in like the neckless starlings motionless on the wire.   Sometimes they fly to a standstill against the wind before suddenly rising as one winged flight into an updraft, turning with the precision of a drill team, becoming specks then disappearing. Yes, it’s why I’ve come here.   I come here to be neither here n

Unrhymed Sonnet, a poem by Andrea Lee Dunn

Unrhymed Sonnet You march to condemn barriers, murder, ancient contracts that cuff your liberty. I run fencing around my garden, not sharing peppers with squirrels, damn rabbits. Later I add cheese to the burgers, smoke rising off the grill. You join hands with strangers, block cars, then choke down more tear gas, dodge bullets while I mix up my second gin gimlet, freshly squeezed lime juice. “Enough is enough.” My daughter says grace, asks God to protect all the frontline workers and protesters. She prays please, please help with injustices. And I go to my soul’s dark room, spotlight on my complacent inactivity. Andrea Lee Dunn is from Indianapolis by way of the Texas-Mexico border and North Carolina. She studied creative writing at Texas Tech University and now enjoys trying to balance a writing life with raising three children. In addition to poems previously published by Flying Island , examples of her work can be found in New Mexico Review

George Floyd, a poem by Jared Carter

George Floyd Unmantled now, and broken, I           lie naked here, Awaiting no more enmity           or spite, no fear Of prejudice that would betray           this moment. Show My life as something to be weighed           by those who know What difference is, what justice seeks,           what must be done. Show me to those who now will speak,           whose time has come. Jared Carter lives in Indiana.

The Photographer Considers His Mother's Gift, a poem by Roger Pfingston

The Photographer Considers His Mother’s Gift His mother was a squatter well into her eighties, adept at crouching to a tight fold: rummaging a bottom cabinet for that now-and-then pan, edging the grass away from the sidewalk, even patiently removing the tough-minded dandelions in the rock driveway, her stand against Roundup and other killers of flora and fauna.        Genetics, of course, but also his early years of watching her do what comes natural… thus his tinkering with the underbelly of the mower or just hunkering   down because it feels good—a meditative stretch at the lake’s edge—and always those butt-low shots like yesterday,    moments after a truck pulled away in the Kroger parking lot, oil slick shining up at the camera’s eye— a rainy-day puddle glazed with a dark rainbow. Roger Pfingston is the recipient of a poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and two PEN Syndicated Fiction Awards. His most