Issue Nine: Poetry

Artwork by Irina Tall Novikova.

Check out the Poetry in Issue Nine…

Justin Lacour
Oh my, oh my, oh my

Waking kids for school,
I suddenly realize,
someday, I’ll have to take
their bunk beds down.
They’ll be too big for them,
and this makes me sad.
Their childhood will end,
and I was never perfect
or even good… READ MORE.

Robert L. Jones III
Like the Ox

Creation groans.
I hear it every night I spend on the river:
Hoarse croaks of frogs and herons,
Worried whining of insect society,
The flip, gurgle, and splash
Of catfish pinning their prey against the bank.
Underwater and in the trees and thickets,
Eyes wide open,
Living, conscious things are consumed…READ MORE.

Anne Kundtz

Not a voice to a thrown rider,
a burning bush, 
the belly of a whale;

You call in the silhouette
of Mt. Constance backlit
in fingerpaint rays…READ MORE.

Jennifer Stewart
Bodie Island Lighthouse

You are the glory of God.
Ground level
standing on checkerboard tiles
peering up at a sinuous maze:
twisting black metal steps
light-stippled like a tin lantern punched.
The ranger guide tells us to stagger,
ourselves, one body
free floating
per flight of stairs…READ MORE.

Brendan Rowland

The bottom bulb of my electric cross
flickers, intermittent fluorescence smearing
up Christ’s raisin face—oil on oak—like a boy
mortifying his sleepover friends with a flashlight
igniting his chin…READ MORE.

Rp Verlaine
Near the East Village

sees everything,”
sings blind street singer
pretty with long brown hair
in her early twenties
whose cardboard sign
says she needs money
to get home to Connecticut. I drop
two dollars in her guitar case
bringing her a step or two closer…READ MORE.

Donna Kathryn Kelly
Things the Internet Has Ruined (Interiority)

She went from kissing Elvis
To chanting in Latin
Eight times a day
In a Benedictine convent.
Just gave it all up:
The glitz,
The glamour,
The green,
Because she received a
Call from the Agent,
The only real Agent,
of all that is Good,
and all that is Grace,
and all that is Glory…READ MORE.

Janel Davis

During the dregs of February
She sneaks petitions into my bedroom

In-between the tantrums and tears, she
builds her love with bold swipes
of crayon and marker on
paper rectangles
then, with blue tape and full hands,
fastens them on the window
above our bed…READ MORE.

Kathleen Hirsch
The Grandmothers

Their faith was in their fingers,
fine as spindles
by the time I knew them.
On cold winter nights
by milk lamps
working the threads of their Irish pasts—
wool for the lepers in Largos,
lace for the Infant of Prague…READ MORE.

Sheila Dougal
Some anniversaries

On his way in the Ford to the dentist off the main boulevard past the adultery where she used to work out five days a week. All those Jeeps and Chevys. No one would have or could have seen where her car was, or was it her truck there in the adultery lot? When the adultery buzzed and she went downstairs to lay on the adultery and engage in a text thread with her sister, he shook his head to get the adultery off…READ MORE.

Joseph A Farina
good friday

blackclad nuns
yardsticks in hand
command attention
on the day of Christ’s crucifixion
classrooms divided
by gender readying to
march to the waiting church
where we are to pray
the stations of the cross…READ MORE.

Natasha Bredle
How Beautiful the Feet

Ankles twisted in a snare, metal
buckled to wood. Iron, I can only
imagine. Iron, like what fists
are supposed to be. Cold hard red hot
fists. Iron. Trapping open hands
in a helpless position. Ankles. Twisted.
Flesh raw. Toes blue. Downturned.
Dripping. Dripping red blood softly…READ MORE.

Kara M. Angus
The Thing of Shadows Is Gone

Love put you there
hungry gaping mouth
turning to mother’s breast
she kisses your velvety head
soft voice harmonizing
with the dulcet interlude
of heaven coming down to earth…READ MORE.

Lory Widmer Hess

I’m caught in this circle,
Unable to move,
Bound to the earth
Where dull stones lie.

A round of judges
With stony eyes
Makes me their test.
They see no love…READ MORE.

Lee Kiblinger

A rooster crows
and I cower
behind the memories
of my own deceit.

For I, too, invite
trios of crows—
the bird’s hackle swells
stretches long
to shake me
and blood-red combs
tilt like hell’s flames
toward the heavens…READ MORE.

Opeyemi Oluwayomi
The body of Christ

This body of ours is becoming old &
weak in its prime. Her heart had been

exposed to the aloof sway of the wind,
& her skin had wrinkled in the casual

hands of the things of the world…READ MORE.

Ariana D. Den Bleyker
God Is in Me & Where the Boats Go So Often

The day slowly pulls the sun down
into the horizon, light filtering
through the curtains, nestling
the sun into me & there I fall,
catching sight of something quiet
& intangible, tasting light

& listening to the nothing
& everything surrounding me…READ MORE.

Lynn Finger
When the Angels Came for Ezekiel

When the angels came for Ezekiel with whirling wind,
he could only listen, open to the rushing of wings and wheels.
The sky was thick with God, in one moment the veneer
torn away.

When the angels came for Ezekiel,
he knew God had carried him in the desert, no matter
how lost he felt he was…READ MORE.

Maura H. Harrison
I’ll Know You in the Breaking

Put out a little distance
Into the lake, along the shore
Where schools of Kinneret
Throw flecks—a million silver flashes
Of sun on scale, of awe.
My love moves swift and quickly here
Among these smaller words.
Hear and partake of parable…READ MORE.

Caroline Liberatore
Let the Wicked Rest

Sunday regards me dissonant
To the call, a diametrical
Opposition to formulaic faith
And, did I mention, unsettled…READ MORE.

Kent Reichert
Lifting the Veil

“In the name of the…”
He cast these words into the world
from memory,
a blink of the eye,
or finger touching fire.
The prayer, however,
became lost,
like raindrops
after a summer shower,
disappearing without a sound…READ MORE.

Daniel Romo
We, Too, Are Judas

Was the betrayal in stabbing an omniscient back or
even fathoming it possible to do so, and just how

deep can a knife dig when the soul is the epitome of
eternity? If we’re honest with ourselves, we’d admit

we’ve had our own moments where our equivalent
of 30 pieces of silver allowed greed to supersede our

beliefs…READ MORE.

Ron Hickerson
1000 Years With Mattie Keith

I spied her there across the room
Shining like a burst of sunlight—
The auburn tips of curly brown 
Hair made her look backlit, just like

Monica revealing she’s an
Angel, sent by God…READ MORE.

Jim Richards
Mario, Luigi, and Jesus of Nazareth

After falling into a pit of red, leaping lava
while playing the New Super Mario Bros
on the Wii with my son, my mind wanders
as I wait my turn, to the endgame (E for everyone)
of Christ’s life, his crucifixion, and reappearance
after death. In the game’s teaser, he sits eating meat
in the house of Simon the Sick when a woman
breaks an alabaster box of spikenard and pours it
over his head. Press start…READ MORE.

Mary Marie Dixon
Tree of Life

Our journey outward
From the tree of life
Began in the bite of an apple
Our journey inward
To the tree of life
Began in the crushing of grapes

The divine to human connection
Flowing from one unseen river
Must now involve violence
Because of the misfortune in Eden…READ MORE.

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