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Poetry

February evokes mediations

on mortality: not only the cold,

but the bleak crunch of ice on fastened boot,

plumage panicky at the bird-feeder,

lowering slate clouds that appear endless,

bare skeletal trees, frozen local pond,

hungry sweaters gathering food and fuzz,

dwindling stack of logs by clanking woodstove.

 

Sometimes overcoming February

brings out the best in me as I shovel

mounds of snow into sensible pathways,

fill the stew pot with vegetables and herbs,

talk to myself like I’m in asylum.

The latter is what really keeps me sane.


We will all lay our heads down in brown leaves,

hoping that from our decay flowers bloom

over us, but much more importantly,

hoping that those who are younger than us

will embrace our memory with fondness,

seek to imitate or best qualities,

and inform their life with the joy we had

when we walked and breathed morning air at dawn.

 

I frequently talk to my dead parents,

even though I’ve little to say to them.

Likewise, I talk to numerous dead friends

with poignant content, longing for answers,

but that is like looking at a full moon,

knowing nothingness can be beautiful.


“Here’s the longest icicle you’ve ever seen.”

“Can I touch it?”

“Yes, feel its wetness.”

“It’s cold.”

 

The warmth of mid-winter meltdown

swells the heart with joy, optimistic slant.

Merciful respite from freezing.

Toes want to dance in mud.

 

Drip, drip, drip goes the song

as birds, frantic in wing, skitter

on icy mounds of melting snow.

Lungs retrieve confidence.

 

Yet I want to know

what a child thinks

of flux in this world

as he stomps in puddles.

 

But what can a child know

about flux, waterfalls of time,

those labyrinthine turns,

many-sided decisions a man must make?

 

Winter will soon return with cold blast

and its bone-shaking, bleaky chill.

Only wood enough for stove burning

can keep the heart warm and kind.


The bass provides musical foundation

for string and winds, prime springboard for rhythm

that propels the vector of instruments

to follow, build, dance with elegance.

Without good bass other players are lost.

 

The bass player is an unsung hero

who shoulders the base of a pyramid,

allowing others to sing unfettered.

A bass player is the soul of a band,

the psychologist of an orchestra.

 

Cool bass has unexpected energy,

dynamism beyond explanation,

the kernelled conundrum in a question.

Is not bass always asking questions?

Is it not asking you to dance for joy?

 

And does it not ask you sometimes to weep?

Bass can be a sad cave-sound resounding….

Don’t we all blink twice at a bass player

lugging his instrument at an airport?

Without bass our intellect cannot fly…. 


Is this really me making a snowball?

Or is it some routine childhood relic?

Showing my three-year old how to-do-it:

compacting snow, scrunching it into ice,

so that one can launch a circle to air,

or feel its splattering impact on cheek.

We toss snowballs like cartoon characters,

yet cold frost weighing on our nose is real.

 

The heated life indoors appears more real.

The woodstove becomes a philosopher,

wise with dryness, delicious warmth of air.

Impatient toes can’t get enough of stove.

An old man can’t get enough of childhood;

a child can’t get enough of the word would.

 


by Kevin T. McEneaney in Poetry
Sun Jun 19th, 2016

Let’s celebrate the hero on the floor

 

My father was a machine steel-cutter.

He would often arrive home with splinters,

sometimes as many as a deep dozen.

 

My...

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Goodbye to the Lamb

Wheat, apricots, immediate love,

the April lamb’s insouciance,

whatever the sun can manage —

 

I want to stay . . . with the rushes

along...

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Senior Moments

                for Cherry

You forget the name of a character in a Trollope novel

but that’s understandable.

You forget the name of the company that provides your electricity...

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Say Hello

 

Like flowering seeds in tornado breeze,

not all soldiers survive their assigned task.

And not all civilians offer their thanks

to those who have survived their brush...

by Kathleen Weaver in Poetry
Mon May 23rd, 2016
That man
 
              that I may reduce the monster to myself  
—Stevens
 
What is his game? what horse 
can carry him,...
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Buttercups bursting in greeny meadow,

oriole chattering in oak above,

geese squawking and euphorbia prolix

under golden orb setting in the west,

as midges celebrate their most brief lives.

Amid...

by Michaela Coplen in Poetry
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Intermediate Arabic

After Safia Elhillo

 

the arabic word for weeping:  بكاء /bika/

the arabic word for staying:  بقاء /biqa/

the only difference is how you hold

the sharpness in your throat

 

هاجرت /haajartu/  to...

by Micheala Coplen in Poetry
Wed May 4th, 2016

the road to Damascus

 

Shadows fall over the city     as empires

have fallen     The ancient walls hold their history

with unsteady grace  

            as the still night carries a...

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