Flush with Joy – a poem by Melissa Chappell

Flush with Joy
after “Like the Magic Glow of a Paradise,” by Clementina Suarez

I have come forth with the young light,
breaking over the waters of the Enoree,
a child of the Daystar.
My poor clay body,
dug from the river,
suddenly the roundness
of flesh.
Eyes are pieces of stained glass,
shattered into a thousand shards
when I was made.
Behold beauty, I tell them.
A throat that sings arias
in crimson, emerald, amber.
Hands that can grasp;
I reach for the Holy One
and pluck a muscadine
from its vagrant vine.
A woman am I,
with hips from which
flow the world,
powerful and ready
for the shattering collide
with the one not yet found.
Legs, ready for the walking,
feet, for the stony road,
to keep moving beyond myself
into the dust of the garden,
where I return again and again—
and again and again
I am raised,
until finally I am broken by my Maker,
and scattered as nourishment for the birds of song.
Rising on wing, I slip earthly bonds into the silvering air,
into the antediluvian, colorless ether, where, flush with joy,
I touch the shimmering face of my Beloved.

.

Melissa Chappell is an author living in rural South Carolina on land passed down through her family for over 120 years. She loves to walk in the woods, and being musically inclined, plays an 8 course Renaissance lute. She shares her life with her family and two miniature schnauzers.

Rosie Garcia – a poem by Carl Mayfield

Rosie Garcia

Too short for most Disney rides,
north of 70, no family,
she smiled when her diagnosis
was passed across the desk,
opting for palliative care.
A recovering Catholic for years,
the final cure had arrived.

She wanted to know why I wasn’t
having more fun when I stopped by
the following week, spreading her hands
as though to say: things happen.
We watched a football game on TV,
with Rosie encouraging both sides.

Time nibbled.

When I came by to say good-bye
she squeezed my hand,
whispering: less grim, mister.
A week later death
borrowed her name.
Left her body to science,
her spirit to this world.

.

Carl Mayfield began his career as a human being way back in the annals of one-step-at-a-time. Recent work can be found in Abbey, Plum Tree Tavern, Wales Haiku Journal, Skidrow Penthouse.

Listening for Updates – a poem by Diana Durham

Listening for Updates

the white horse is half a hillside
tall, emblazoned on the grooved green
upland flank like a white tattoo

rooks fidget and caw, stirring the heights
with faint voices, their nests like tiny
clouds caught in the high March aspens

behind the stilled concrete factory’s
eight-pack the dutiful two-tone chime
of a train echoes like memory

no trails in the blue, only the rooks
flying circuits round the willow copse,
a distance on three generations

radio blaring, practice their strokes
listen for updates—troubling with
indistinct waves the valley flat.

White Horse Country Park, Wiltshire
March 2020 at the start of lockdown

.

Diana Durham is the author of three poetry collections: Sea of Glass, To the End of the Night and Between Two Worlds; the novel The Curve of the Land and two nonfiction books: The Return of King Arthur and, most recently, Coherent Self, Coherent World: a new synthesis of Myth, Metaphysics & Bohm’s Implicate Order.

Ocean of Light – a poem by Vishwam Heckert

Ocean of Light

I think we must be
sea creatures
in a way.

But ours
is an ocean of Light.

The physicists tell us
everything we see
is made of Light.

All matter is energy
contained.

All matter is Light
in another form.

You and I,
we are swimming

in luminous bodies
in an ocean of Light

able to sense
in so many
ways

that we easily forget
what we are perceiving
and what we are

is all the same
in a way.

.

Vishwam Heckert is a Heart Of Living Yoga Teacher & Trainer, a former academic, and a gentle revolutionary mystic. His joy is helping others (and himself) to relax and discover peace. He currently Matlock, Derbyshire, with his partner and their garden. http:/ flowingwithlife.org.

Four-Corner Travel – a poem by Margaret Marcum

Four-Corner Travel

What is possible is
for you. Like the sound from a
flame on a wick which never fades:
parousia.

See. There is a chair in a room with
many windows. There is a window in
a chair with many rooms. A waiting tomb
where the doctor is not quite in.

She was gone in the place where
the sun had shone the whole time.
Four horses ride by the window,
her hair streaming with Sunday’s
sunny rays. She sings her warning
in a tongue riddled with progression

for a new land draped in disappearance
far beyond the dreamscape of modern order

& what comes—astonishing

.

Margaret Marcum is currently a student in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Florida Atlantic University. She graduated with a B.A. and her literary interests include animal rights, healing the collective through personal narrative, vegan studies, and ecofeminism. Her poems previously appeared in Literary Veganism and Children, Churches, and Daddies. 

In His Presence – a poem by Lynne D. Soulagnet

In His Presence

The clouds open with soft hinges
a dove lays its breast upon the air

The lake pink from early light
lends itself to the feathered reflection

A choir of small birds sing in the rushes
creatures nestled together slowly awaken

Seeds scattered by the wind
grown into a multitude of things

Morning glories unfold in the grasses
window the first rays of sun

Trees stand in verdant vesture
their angelic arms lifted in praise

Each day offers itself to the imagination
like a cup overflowing in the palm of a hand

The soul of the world stirs if we listen
the miracle unveiled if we allow ourselves to see

.

Lynne D. Soulagnet was born on Long Island and grew up in Dix Hills where she worked for many years as a nurse tending to people in all stages of life.
She will never forget the influence her wonderful English teachers had on her
giving her the lasting gift of a love for poetry which has followed her all her life. She has been published in Adelaide Literary Magazine, Paumanok: Interwoven, The Avocet, Better Than Starbucks, The Paterson Review, Blue Collar Review, Months to Years and others. She remains active in many poetry venues in New York.

COLOUR BLIND – a poem by Rupert Loydell

COLOUR BLIND

I would prefer things to be black and white.
Painting the town red is problematic,
feeling blue is not productive; but
I do quite like the orange cover of
the poetry book I wish I hadn’t bought.

It is easy to see through me: a heart
of gold hidden under dark thoughts
and a restless tongue. Black and white
is yes or no, not endless compromise
and faint memories of eternal love.

© Rupert M Loydell

.

Rupert Loydell is a writer, editor and abstract artist. His many books of poetry include Dear Mary (Shearsman, 2017) and The Return of the Man Who Has Everything(Shearsman 2015); and he has edited anthologies such as Yesterday’s Music Today (co-edited with Mike Ferguson, Knives Forks and Spoons Press 2014), and Troubles Swapped for Something Fresh: manifestos and unmanifestos (Salt, 2010).

The World to Come – a poem by Victoria Martin

The World to Come

At mass, the congregation sits once we
have professed the Nicene Creed. My fingers shake
as our words of faith revolve within my mind.
I look forward to the resurrection of
the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
I nod, the world to come. What will the world
to come look like? How will I look? They say,
when Jesus comes again, he will renew
the earth and all creation in it. He
will make it perfect. But, what does
……………..perfection look like?

What will my perfect look like? At what age
will God rebuild my body? Seventeen?
Or maybe thirty-five? Maybe I’ll be ten,
before my schooling left bruise-like bags
under my eyes. Though, maybe it was four,
before I chipped my front tooth on that
slide’s top metal platform. Or, maybe I’ll
be eighteen, during those ‘Best of Times,’
when my smile faded to tears when my friends
had study sessions, went to DQ, and
exchanged Secret Santa gifts, without
me. But what of all my scars—the curve on my right
index finger from a shearing accident,
the spiral-bound notebook slash running up
my thigh, and the stabs and gashes in my heart?

How, Lord, can You slide out the knife and keep
my aching memories from bleeding me
out? I should trust my Potter’s Hand—which crafted
a brown slit in my greenish-blue fair eyes,
and my cute button nose and rounded cheeks.
If Your design is so Good now, then I
can only imagine Your plan for when
the Consummated Kingdom comes. Although,
if trust is like a wobbly wheelbarrow
on a tightrope above the Niagara,
then, I’m not sure I’ll ever scramble in
and let You push me across the Falls. But,

Your plans are Your plans. And, one day, Jesus,
You will descend again and dwell among
Your people in Your shining gold Temple.

.

Victoria Martin is a senior studying for a Creative Writing BFA. She worked for The Evansville Review as an Assistant Editor for three semesters. Currently, she is a Managing Editor of the Newman Newsletter for UE Newman Club members and alumni. She is also a co-op intern at Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, IL.

A Cup of Grace – a poem by Kathleen Brewin Lewis

A Cup of Grace

Imagine a cup of grace
poured into your palm,
which is also cupped.
What will you do with this
unwarranted bounty?

Rub it over your face,
a holy moisturizer?
Drink it, in desperate gulps or
measured sips? Shape it
into a ball of cloud,
then hand it over
to the old woman, the sick
child, the lost man?

Convert yourself
into an instrument of grace.
A piccolo perhaps, viola or timpani,
like a heart beat, an unforsaken
heart beat.

Imagine a symphony as you pray,
consider the notes you would play.
Then go in grace.
Uncup your hand.

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Kathleen Brewin Lewis writes about the natural world and family life. She’s the author of two chapbooks of poetry, Fluent in Rivers and July’s Thick Kingdom. Her work has also appeared in Valparaiso Poetry Review, The Christian Century, Southern Poetry Review, Cider Press Review, and The Southern Poetry Anthology Vol. V: Georgia. She’s a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee and a Best of the Net nominee.

Tahira – a poem by Wayne-Daniel Berard

Tahira

Allah said
“If we allow her
this pain, she will
only make poetry
out of it” and one
angel after another
answered “So?”
“Now do you see
why I created them?”
spoke the Beneficent,
the Merciful.

.

Wayne-Daniel Berard, PhD, teaches Humanities at Nichols College, Dudley, MA. He publishes broadly in poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. His novella, Everything We Want, was published in 2018 by Bloodstone Press. A poetry collection, The Realm of Blessing, will be published in 2020 by Unsolicited Press.