Poetry Special – Five Poets (September 2018 / 18.5)
Cheryl Dodds was co-editor/publisher for Urban Spaghetti, a literary arts journal. She is an artist whose work has taken the form of mixed media, graphite drawings, photography, painting, woodcuts and multimedia as well as a few conceptual art projects. More of her work is online at AbsoluteArts.
dinner tonight roman style
It’s not a colossal sacrifice, certainly
nothing like a mother offering her baby
to appease a Mediterranean god two
thousand years ago, whose fragile bones
have been discovered in archaeological
We only have to drive out to your remote
suburb on the 294 toll road
after our fragrant massages
and what a feast we can expect: of course
not roasted swan stuffed with oysters and
figs the way the Roman gentry might
have dined, reclining on purple satin-striped
pillows while they snickered at dancing
girls, but adequate, nonetheless, maybe
grilled sardines on radicchio like last time,
then roasted lamb shank in tomato sauce
with just a subtle touch of lemon peel and
hot red pepper.
Your company by yourself is worth
the drive out there. We’ll toast him
with that valpolicella that we all have
been drinking together for years and
you’ll probably tell us about your grandson’s
la cross games
(you talk more now, by the way)
while we relate our recent weekend
experiences in Austin, Texas with
our children as his wedding ring
on the chain around your neck,
a gold amulet from the recent past,
glows in the considerate restaurant
Jan Ball’s poems appear in numerous journals such as Calyx, Connecticut Review, Main Street Rag, Nimrod, and Phoebe, in Great Britain, Canada, India, and the U.S. Her two chapbooks accompanying spouse (2011) and Chapter of Faults (2014) were published by Finishing Line Press. Ball’s first full-length poetry book, I Wanted to Dance with My Father was published by Finishing Line Press in 2017. When not working out, gardening at their farm or traveling, Jan and her husband like to cook for friends
Karla Linn Merrifield
Let me make a habit
open books by the thousand.
Let me make a joke
down cardboard boxes by the dozens.
Let me make light
through forests of thought again and again.
Let me make time
into the houses of hearts one by one.
Let me make sense
a lifeline to reach another just this once.
Karla Linn Merrifield has had 600+ poems appear in dozens of journals and anthologies. She has 12 books to her credit, the newest of which is Bunchberries, More Poems of Canada. She is assistant editor and poetry book reviewer for The Centrifugal Eye. Learn more here or Tweet @LinnMerrifiel.
Daniel Edward Moore
When the house knows you’re leaving it soon,
which explains the dramatic seizures of wind,
temperatures falling, velocity rising,
the prairie becomes a Ouija board
crawling with fingers of Indian bones
writing Sad out of mud.
Inside ghosts gather laundry lint
for tears of the inconsolable.
They’re chewing on the check books
white receipts signed with the blue of belonging.
Forgetting is always hardest for them,
as memories wail from the wall’s knotted pine,
as one family’s voice silences others,
the dead too weak to remind the owners
how rare, how good, occupation can be,
if love marries time in a house by the sea,
and something outside mortality’s grasp
is born after five years of labor.
Suffering will do what it always does
when the wheat and chaff make a home
in the lungs after the flames are gone.
That’s what we’ll remember most: the price one pays
to burn as if the world would freeze inside you,
the hours spent chopping wood from a
forest made of words.
Daniel Edward Moore’s poems have been published in journals such as The Spoon River Poetry Review, Rattle, Columbia Journal, New South, American Journal of Poetry, Lullwater Review, West Texas Literary Review, Plainsongs. His books of poems, the anthology This New Breed: Gents, Bad Boys and Barbarians and Confessions Of A Pentecostal Buddhist, can be found on Amazon. He lives in Washington on Whidbey Island, and his work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Visit Daniel here.
On the Wind
All morning clouds swirl
through this valley & over
mountains tumbled by
cascades, veiling densely snowed
Tungurahua. On a southeastern wind, smoke &
ash drift with the leaden clouds.
Come afternoon stark
blue rends those clouds. From a roof
top four boys fly a
kite, distant, barely
visible against the sky
reweaving into a thick
grey shawl, shedding mist upon
this village, whirling
with sun, spinning a rainbow
mountain to mountain.
Lorraine Caputo is a poet and travel writer. Her works appear in over 100 journals on six continents, eleven chapbooks of poetry – including Notes from the Patagonia (dancing girl press), and seventeen anthologies. She has done over 200 literary readings, from Alaska to the Patagonia. Caputo travels throughout Latin America, listening to the voices of the pueblos and Earth.
Farmer in the Plain
The farmer in me cries
when I see another highway scratched
through the soil.
But the farmer in me knows the history,
when he took a few long scratches
out of the earth, himself,
from the prairies that were there
A sea of stalks heaving
grasses carried the boats
of bison, mammoths pounding,
soft-shoed feet slinking
respectfully through the mist.
A burn takes it down,
enriches its core,
it comes back again after again.
And now I know my scratching
has wiped it clean, no prairies left.
I have to dig, year after year,
I have to plant and weed
and harvest, year after year,
where the prairie once renewed itself
again after again.
Bob Persons writes: “I am a retired IT engineer who has been writing poetry, short fiction, and opinion pieces since I was a teenager. My works have been published in Voices International, Ford Times, Trails, The Wisconsin Academy Review, Verse Wisconsin, Jupiter SF, and others. I’ll keep writing till I’m dead.”