Last of three poems included in “Through Layered Limestone” – alongside the work of favourite poets Robert Okaji and Stephanie L. Harper – edited by d. ellis phelps and available for purchase from Amazon here.
I’m thrilled to have my poem A Tandem Hang-Gliding Pilot Fails To Clip His Client’s Harness On included in Volume 8 of The American Journal Of Poetry! Many thanks to Robert Nazarene for his enthusiastic acceptance of this poem! This poem is my short take on a real incident – my longer take on it actually won the Difficult Fruit Poetry Prize in 2016. I am in the company of many poets I’ve long admired, so please check them out (Stephen Dunn, Bruce Bond, Robert Wrigley, Kyle Laws, Alexis Rhone Fancher, to name a few). And Happy New Year!
At a table, over wine, two women
bent their heads toward each other
(willowy rose and chrysanthemum),
hushed words drifting down
upon two hands entwined
above the gift of a ring,
as steadily they leaned
into the garden
that chose them,
young stems glorying
in the bud of a caress, full bloom
of love upon their faces, and we,
a table of husbands and wives,
were as helpless as them
to turn our heads away
from such a graceful rain of light,
so firm a reach of roots
across forbidden ground.
This much older poem recently found the perfect home in the anthology “Smitten – This Is What Love Looks Like”, a hefty volume of over 300 poems, edited by Candice L. Daquin and Hallelujah R. Huston and available for purchase on Kindle and Amazon here
Call joy a liquid detergent, washing
the worst away, and it becomes
my soul’s iodine, deterring a dark night.
Of all the emotions, it’s the ruby
that can’t be bought, the jam that’s
passed, spreading over my daily bread.
Call it love’s lava, as bold as a smear
of lipstick on a cheek, and it’s the wax
that seals us together, like an envelope its letter.
Call it a river, and it’s as necessary as blood,
branching from my heart into the body
of the world.
This is an older ekphrastic poem, inspired by the late artist Lenore Conacher’s painting “Joy Is A Liquid” and has now found a home in the 2019 Joan Ramseyer Memorial Poetry Anthology, edited by Brett Ramseyer, the theme of which was joy.
Let us grant that the pulsing rain wells
from a cavernous heart. Now the tulips
peering redly through my basement window
stoop slowly, nodding amid the blades of grass
as I curve to red yawns and the green stretch
of a lip, artfully shaping soundless appeals
to these guardian sentinels, this crimson grail
from which I drink and dream. Let us believe
there are upheavals in the dark: a bell ringing,
tears gathered in the urgent arch of my heart,
the congregation, at last, rising to sing.
I’m thrilled to share that this poem has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize by editor Robert L. Penick of the print journal “Ristau: A Journal Of Being” where it first appeared in January of 2019! Oh happy day! Here’s what the Pushcart Prize is about.