Eleanor Wilner – When Vision Narrows To A Single Beam of Light

Eleanor Rand Wilner For years he had been hidden, quiet,huge head on his paws,almost a sphinx in his composure,a figure waitingfor a breeze to move the densegreen canopy of leaves overhead,enough to bring a hair-thin laser lineof light downinto the endless twilightbelow;he had been patient, waitingfor the underbrush to open, for a lowwind to enter, …

Lisel Mueller – Brendel Playing Schubert

Lisel Mueller (February 8, 1924 – February 21, 2020) We bring our hands togetherin applause, that absurd noise,when we want to be silent. We might as wellbe banging pots and pans,it is that jarring, a violationof the music we've listened towithout moving, almost holding our breath.The pianist in his blindinglywhite summer jacket bowsand disappears and …

Vanessa Jimenez Gabb – Basic Needs

Vanessa Jimenez Gabb There will be workBy late fallRaining inHabana ViejoIt’s so hardTo not think of youPrivacy is complicatedThe famous hotelBy the seaWhere did you come fromWhere did you come fromSometimes the verbsAren't importantThank youFor this organizationThe conspicuous absenceOf logosThese mountains I believeWill absolve meWhen I rememberTo look upMoney doesn't alwaysMean what I thinkIt doesIt …

Gregory Djanikian – Banality

Gregory Djanikian There's something to be said for banality,the way it keeps everything on a level plane,one cliché blithely following anotherlike cows heading toward the pasture. How lovely sometimes not to thinkabout Russian Futurism, or the second lawof thermodynamics, or how thinking itselfrequires some thoughtfulness. I'd like to ask if Machiavelliever owned a dog named …

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow – Birds of Passage

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (February 27, 1807 – March 24, 1882) Black shadows fallFrom the lindens tall,That lift aloft their massive wallAgainst the southern sky; And from the realmsOf the shadowy elmsA tide-like darkness overwhelmsThe fields that round us lie. But the night is fair,And everywhereA warm, soft vapor fills the air,And distant sounds seem near, …

David Kirby – A Few Old Things

David Kirby Rilke said he wanted a room “with a few old things                        and a window opening onto great trees,” which makesme think of my favorite rooms and their furnishings,            an obvious choice being this brightly-lit bedroom,                        newspapers and coffee cups on the floor, bedclothesscattered everywhere, perfumed with the smell                        of sex, maybe, or maybe …

John Clare – I Am

John Clare (July 13, 1793 – May 20, 1864) I am—yet what I am none cares or knows;My friends forsake me like a memory lost:I am the self-consumer of my woes—They rise and vanish in oblivion’s host,Like shadows in love-frenzied stifled throes—And yet I am and live—like vapours tossed Into the nothingness of scorn and noise,Into …

Sean Hill – Hello

Sean Hill She, being the midwifeand your mother’slongtime friend, saidI see a heart; can yousee it?And on the greydisplay of the ultrasoundthere you were as you were,our nugget, in that momentbecoming a shrimpor a comma punctuatingthe whole of my life, separatingits parts—before and after—,a shrimp in the seaof your mother, and I couldn’thelp but see …

Katherine Anne Porter – Wild Geese Alighting on a Lake

Katherine Anne Porter (May 15, 1890 – September 18, 1980) I watched themAs they neared the lakeThey wheeledIn a wide arcWith beating wingsAnd thenThey put their wings to sleepAnd glided downward in a driftOf pure abandonmentUntil they touchedThe surface of the lakeComposed their wingsAnd settledOn the rippling waterAs though it were a nest.