Poem: Canary

Canary –Rita Dove From Grace Notes Bil­lie Hol­i­day’s burned voice had as many shad­ows as lights, a mourn­ful can­de­labra against a sleep piano, the gar­de­nia her sig­na­ture under that ruined face. (Now you’re cook­ing, drum­mer to bass, mag­ic spoon, mag­ic nee­dle. Take all day if you have to with your mir­ror and your bracelet of song.) Fact is, the inven­tion of […]

Poem: To Hold

To Hold –Li-Young Lee From Behind My Eyes So we’re dust. In the mean­time, my wife and I make the bed. Hold­ing oppo­site edges of the sheet, we raise it, bil­low­ing, then pull it tight, mea­sur­ing by eye as it falls into align­ment between us. We tug, fold, tuck. And if I’m lucky, she’ll remem­ber a recent dream and tell me. One […]

Poem: The Journey

The Jour­ney –Mary Oliv­er From Dream Work One day you final­ly knew what you had to do, and began, though the voic­es around you kept shout­ing their bad advice— though the whole house began to trem­ble and you felt the old tug at your ankles. “Mend my life!” each voice cried. But you did­n’t stop. You knew what you had to do, though the […]

Poem: Catechism for a witch’s child

Cat­e­chism for a witch’s child –J.L. Stan­ley When they ask to see your gods your book of prayers show them lines drawn del­i­cate­ly with veins on the under­side of a bird’s wing tell them you believe in giant sycamores mot­tled and stark against a win­ter sky and in nights so frozen stars crack open spilling streams of molten ice to earth and tell […]

Poem: There is a land

There is a land – a Moth­er­land of vast imag­i­na­tive spaces and absolute belong­ing her open heart a deep well where all draw and drink freely and ful­ly the waters of life, where we meet unknown imme­di­ate­ly rec­og­nized neigh­bors share the water wan­der togeth­er through imag­i­na­tive spaces with paths of poten­tial to our trans­formed tomor­row today yes scorched land here and there but not […]

Poem: Nine Spice Mix

Nine Spice Mix –Zeina Azzam This spice mix is fea­tured in many of the dish­es in this book, lend­ing them a unique­ly Pales­tin­ian fla­vor. —Reem Kas­sis, The Pales­tin­ian Table First they tan­go on my tongue, nim­ble cou­ples careen­ing, then togeth­er form an Arab-style line dance step­ping, stomp­ing, sway­ing. West Indies all­spice daz­zles, berries tan­gling with cin­na­mon sticks, while […]

Poem: Sunday

Sun­day –Ceci­ly Parks  So this is Sun­day evening under the live oak behind the kitchen where the Rose of Sharon spills pur­ple tea onto the grass, the yel­low bells sound yel­low alarms from tall stalks, and the sun­flow­ers peep over the fence into the street where car tires lap at the pave­ment and walk­ers and jog­gers and dogs […]

Poem: Mr. Chairman Takes His Leave

Mr. Chair­man Takes His Leave –Rose­mary Cat­aca­los As to me, I know of noth­ing else but mir­a­cles. —Walt Whit­man en memo­ria William Rashall Sinkin, 1913–2014 Whit­man, you once told me, is democ­ra­cy on the page, messy and imper­fect as we are in real life, which gave you hope  that we would one day make real life true democracy, […]

Poem: April Chores

April Chores by Jane Keny­on When I take the chilly tools from the shed’s dark­ness, I come out to a world made new by heat and light. The snake basks and dozes on a large flat stone. It reared and scold­ed me for rak­ing too close to its hole. Like a mad red brain the invo­lute rhubarb leaf thinks its way up through loam. […]

Poem: A Modified Villanelle for My Childhood

A Mod­i­fied Vil­lanelle for My Child­hood –Suzi F. Gar­cia            with some help from Ahmad I wan­na write lyri­cal, but all I got is mag­i­cal. My book needs a poem talkin bout I remem­ber when Some­thing more auto­bi­o­graph­i­cal Mi famil­ia want­ed to assim­i­late, noth­ing rad­i­cal, Each month was a strug­gle to pay our rent With food stamps, so dust […]

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