So Long Remembering
(based on an erasure poem from Germinal, Emil Zola)
the deep blows
the bent back
of the field,
filled with light
brush of a holy kiss.
In the furrows,
of the next earth.
Melissa A. Chappell is a native of South Carolina, where, along with writing and reading, she enjoys the outdoors and music. She has a BA in the Theory of Music and a Master of Divinity degree. She shares her life with her family and two miniature schnauzers.
Lavishing the self
in your gilded leaves
was channel of seeking
consensus with the cosmic,
it divided me beyond doubt.
was to thumb through wander.
the urge to reside within
reached get-up-and-go status.
Like a well stocked refrigerator
feeds the famished:
my new den nourishes me.
Sanjeev Sethi is published in over 25 countries. He has more than 1200 poems printed or posted in venues around the world. Wrappings in Bespoke, is Winner of Full Fat Collection Competition-Deux organized by the Hedgehog Poetry Press UK. It’s his fourth book. It will be issued in 2020. He lives in Mumbai, India.
chin to stubby tie,
hands clasped in polyester lap
shut my eyes and pray aloud.
I pray for those who may have lapsed
inclusive of this future self of me.
taught that we were chosen (maybe)
thought that we could never see
a time when our entreaties would be
viewed as any other thing…
except as earnest piety.
Now what I see
from 50 years removed is
fearing petty sins of average hearts
supplied with naive minds which you impart
the bureaucracy of your beliefs,
with all of it’s malignancy
hid by your sincerity
and desire to make any kind of mark.
With something that we all let pass for love,
you guide me to a path you say will lead to heaven.
At least it had been paved with good intention.
Morgan Driscoll is a commercial artist looking to express himself in ways that do not involve selling things. Poetry seems the the form most expressive, and least mercenary, so he is giving it a try. When not running a business, or raising 5 children, or drinking coffee, he occasionally explores the spiritual, quickly losing his way and retreating back to the profane.
As your words, shared, move on,
making their own way, these,
may come between us.
Hold definition in the shadows.
The measure that you choose.
Weighing a word’s worth:
Fix the reflection on the water:
you will not see;
plunge your hand
deep into the mirror,
let the milky coolness
envelop your fingers:
we will understand each other.
my metamorphic words.
Take them as you will.
Make them yours.
Jane Angué teaches English Language and Literature in France. Writing in French and English, work has appeared most recently in Le Capital des Mots, Amethyst, Ink, Sweat and Tears, Acumen and Poésie/première. A pamphlet, des fleurs pour Bach, was published in 2019 (Editions Encres Vives).
and He breathed on them
that first morning
Your breath stirred chaos
a cauldron with its brew of darkness. . .
and there was light
then Your breath uttered life
and the sea was born crowned with salty foam. . .
the land with wind through grass. . .
lastly, the creatures
shimmering under galaxies swirling in their vaulted music
each one a thousand times a hundred thousand wind chimes . . .
another first day another first morning
there was light
as You breathed on them for they, too, were lost in their chaotic darkness. . .
You are breathing creation now and i stirring wild as salty foam
listen as the sun, moon and stars sing holy… holy… holy
Sister Lou Ella Hickman, I.W.B.S. is a certified spiritual director whose poems and articles have appeared in numerous magazines and journals as well as four anthologies. She was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2017. Her first book of poetry entitled she: robed and wordless was published in 2015. (Press 53)
WHAT GOD SAID TO ME
Echo and bulk and warp and flood,
ways to navigate the city, ways
to think and push over the edge.
Theology demands questions
and answers in equal measures,
ideas which make no sense.
Cloud hands, rain and fallen leaves.
Suck on light, explain it all to me;
come along and say you will.
© 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 hands of this clock
move with rhyme
but not reason
and quiet surprise
before you learn a thing
about telling time
the hands of this clock
do not jerk
in shifting circles, pulse
in foreign triplets
the hands of this clock
are mischief makers
beware the man
who severs these hands,
beware the woman
who demands it
Rachel Barga Simpson lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and three children. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature, a master’s in Speech-Language Pathology, and zero accreditations in parenthood. Her poetry can be found in Ever Eden Literary Journal, In Parentheses, and here.
Noli Me Tangere
You know the story:
Mary Magdalene in the garden,
weeping by the tomb
of her lost love.
(Everyone I know calls
Jesus ‘Lord,’ but I can’t.
I don’t know any lords.
I doubt Mary did either.)
Jesus is in the garden,
dead but alive, he calls out to her,
Mary! She doesn’t see a lord.
She thinks he is a gardener.
Artists often depict this scene
with Jesus recoiling,
hand out in protest,
against Mary reaching for him,
as if she is unclean.
I don’t believe it.
I like what Rembrandt does,
his Jesus really is a gardener,
in a broad brimmed hat
and holding a shovel;
with a dagger in his waistband.
The official disciples are off
in the distance, scurrying home,
But Mary is close by, at his feet,
outside the tomb, wide-eyed,
looking up at him, but not reaching.
Jesus is not repulsed
by her, not repulsed by earth.
He looks ready to bring things to life,
I can understand this scene.
I know it. I know what it is
to reach for a loved one
and have him say, don’t touch me!
It is a hard thing to not feel rejection
in that sudden strangeness,
that desire not to be touched
that sometimes arises in those unworldly ones
who are reborn to bring others to life.
A few of Jennifer Reek‘s poems have previously appeared in Amethyst Review. She is the author of A Poetics of Church: Reading and Writing Sacred Spaces of Poetic Dwelling (2018).
In One Lifetime
We don’t bleed to be born.
We bleed our mothers
and implant ourselves
in the world
as a seed waiting
for a bird to swoop down
and swallow us whole.
Being a father
that you would
burn the whole world.
Does God want us
to peer into the dark
to touch the thing
that we fear most?
And because the world is
what made him &
what he made of it
and because she
says caring is sharing
he encourages his daughter
to hit him. And he slips
the blows fluttering in the air.
Not getting hit is better
than hitting, and a swing
and a miss is so infuriating.
Such is the world: slippery
when not even wet.
And this is the vanity
of wanting to attain
Buddhahood in one lifetime.
Daryl Muranaka lives in the Boston area with his wife and two children. He enjoys aikido and tai chi chuan and exploring his children’s multiple cultures. His poems have appeared in Gyroscope Review, the Roanoke Review, and Spry Literary Review. He has published one collection and two chapbooks.
In a western town in the foothills of the Wasatch,
folk still gather on the green adjacent the church
to flower-wreath crown their festival queen.
They come in overalls and scraped-clean boots,
straw hats and hard vowels. They come in cotton
dresses and petal-plaited hair, scrubbed faces
and gleaming hope. They come to watch the young
circle the May pole. Ribbons in primaveral colors
weave, unweave. And county kin surround them
clapping hands, stomping feet, keeping rhythm, this
ancient beat of bloom, harvest, snow, and bloom again,
all hunger and hard times like heavy winter quilts
stowed away in cedar chests, all the cold, for a time,
forgotten in their queen’s hummingbird smiles,
in the deep dimples of the dairy farmer’s son.
Dayna Patterson is the author of Titania in Yellow (Porkbelly Press, 2019) and If Mother Braids a Waterfall (Signature Books, 2020). Her creative work has appeared recently in POETRY, Crab Orchard Review, and Passages North. She is the founding editor-in-chief of Psaltery & Lyre and a co-editor of Dove Song: Heavenly Mother in Mormon Poetry. daynapatterson.com