A Poem in the Margins of Cavafy – a poem by S. T. Brant

A Poem in the Margins of Cavafy

If you don’t remember it is it real?
Some impression must keep recall
Unconscious that attests to lives lived
That were lost to Time, lacking any
Grave in consciousness, that field,
Memory; or there must be some
Idealistic god tasked as an Atlas
Of Experience to chronicle all Time-
Who must write, with a million hands,
Events as they are happening.

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S. T. Brant is a teacher from Las Vegas. Publications s in/coming from Door is a Jar, Santa Clara Review, New South, Rejection Letters, Quail Bell, Mineral, Dodging the Rain, La Piccioletta Barca, Cathexis Northwest Press, a few others. Twitter: @terriblebinth

THE SPEED OF LIGHT – a poem by John J. Brugaletta

THE SPEED OF LIGHT

A billion light years is a fantasy
to me and to a lot of other folks.
It ripples off the tongue like meet for tea
and many other phrases, even jokes.

But try to think of it in miles or feet.
How many trips to buy a fifth of booze?
That speed your shot goes in a game of skeet—
the pellets are not fast at all. They ooze.

Before and after all our lives, the stars
explode, black holes collide and spread in trillions
while we eat breakfast, read a book, drive cars.
We live our tiny lives in modest millions.

Yet we, and maybe only we, observe
and think of it. It’s that way that we serve.

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John J. Brugaletta has seven volumes of his poetry in print; the latest of these is Selected Poems (Future Cycle Press, 2019). He is a professor emeritus at California State University, Fullerton, and an ELCA Lutheran.

IN THE EARLY MORNING – a poem by D.S. Martin

IN THE EARLY MORNING

angel dance

Screenshot 2020-04-22 at 11.12.17

D.S. Martin is the author of four poetry collections, including Ampersand (2018),  & Conspiracy of Light: Poems Inspired by the Legacy of C.S. Lewis (2013) — both from Cascade Books. He is Poet-in-Residence at McMaster Divinity College, and the Series Editor for the Poiema Poetry Series.

Ribbons – a poem by Laura Reece Hogan

Ribbons
St. Thérèse of Lisieux, asked as a child to select a ribbon: “I choose all.”

You know what it’s like
to want it all: velvet, taffeta, lace,

butter-yellow, hazel, sky,
the basketful. You know how

to expect a heaven where a little flower
gets every meadow of love. You know

what it costs to take them up, one
by one, the ribbons you desire,

black-striped and gossamer, to take
the darkness and the light of him,

to wear them with equal joy,
marks of love

and love’s repayment.
You know the way to hold out

prayerful hands, gathering the cries
of your daisy-chain children,

clutching them in bright handfuls,
choosing.

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Laura Reece Hogan is the author of Litany of Flights (Paraclete Press, forthcoming Fall 2020), winner of the 2020 Paraclete Poetry Prize, the chapbook O Garden-Dweller (Finishing Line Press, 2017), and the nonfiction book I Live, No Longer I (Wipf & Stock, 2017). Her poems are featured in America, The Christian Century, Dappled Things, Anglican Theological Review, First Things, The Cresset, Whale Road Review, and other publications. Find her online at www.laurareecehogan.com.

 

Sitting Soundly – a poem by Mark J.Mitchell 

Sitting Soundly

I cradle the bell
…………..Until the brass goes quite still
And set it down, soft,
Beside my aching right knee
On my worn black mat, grateful.

I release the sound
…………..Pretending not to hear it,
But the air shimmers
With the ringing of bone
Beneath a wink of the moon.

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Mark J. Mitchell was born in Chicago and grew up in southern California. His latest poetry collection, Starting from Tu Fu  was just published by Encircle Publications. A new collection is due out in December from Cherry Grove.He is very fond of baseball, Louis Aragon, Miles Davis, Kafka and Dante. He lives in San Francisco with his wife, the activist and documentarian, Joan Juster where he makes his meager living pointing out pretty things. He has published 2 novels and three chapbooks and two full length collections so far. A meager online presence can be found at https://www.facebook.com/MarkJMitchellwriter/

WRITING ON SACRED TOPICS – a reflection by John J. Brugaletta

WRITING ON SACRED TOPICS

When we go to bed, as we are drifting off to sleep, there is a time between our waking life and sleep. That period of dusk or twilight is similar to the way I feel when I am writing a poem. It’s a few minutes (or a few hours) when interruptions are not very welcome because they pull me out of that trance, that half-dream, half-waking experience. And if I’m not able to recapture the sweep of the poem soon, it will be lost.

If this sounds pretentious, I think it’s important for me to add that –after my wife, my son and my spiritual life—writing poetry is most important to me, as I would guess it is to many poets.

But this twilight period is identical with the mind-set of those who meditate. And if the meditator is at all religious, as I am, then the sacred will visit it, either at intervals or steadily.

It may have something to do with being in a state of mind that is between the conscious level and the unconscious, that rich and roiling sea within us. For me the portion of my best religious poems make up one-third of my writing. I wish it had been more, but one critic wished it had been less. I work with what I’m dealt.

Now to that other aspect of writing poems that evoke the sacred. What do we do with them? Hold readings I suppose, but the Coronavirus has squelched that option for the foreseeable future. Publish them? Many editors won’t have anything to do with sacred themes, though a few do, and among them is The Amethyst Review, for which I am grateful.

In my retirement however, I write a poem nearly every day, so I send some to the other few journals that publish poems of the sacred. But these editors are receiving so many submissions to read and sift through that response times grow longer every two or three years. It causes me to think of Yang Xiong, the Chinese poet who sent one of his poems down the Yangtze River. Maybe I’ll send some of mine out to sea in a bottle.

 

John J. Brugaletta has seven volumes of his poetry in print; the latest of these is Selected Poems (Future Cycle Press, 2019). He is a professor emeritus at California State University, Fullerton, and an ELCA Lutheran.

Breathe – a poem by Gabriella M. Belfiglio

Breathe

I handle this pebble
in my pocket
like a rosary.
My fingers know
the cool smooth surface—
its tiny ridge
at the top.
I do not pray
to Jesus or Ja
or Christ or Allah
to Buddha or any other

I simply breathe.

.

Gabriella M. Belfiglio’s work has appeared most recently in Red Rock Review. Belfiglio won the W.B. Yeats Poetry Contest. She has also had writing published in VIA, The Potomac Review, The Monterey Poetry Review, The Centrifugal Eye, Radius, The Avocet, and Lambda Literary Review, among other places. She works as an artist, mother, and teacher in New York City.

I stand vigil – a poem by Deborah Leipziger

I stand vigil

I stand vigil
Over your grief

Palm on my heart
I feel the pulse of your pain

Course through me
The open window, the birds, the rain
All stand sentry

Let me hold the grief
As though it were a tiny animal

In my palms
I will let it linger and moan

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Deborah Leipziger is an author, poet, and professor. Her chapbook, Flower Map, was published by Finishing Line Press (2013).  In 2014, her poem “Written on Skin” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.  Born in Brazil, Ms. Leipziger is the author of several books on human rights and sustainability. She advises companies around the world on social and environmental issues. Her poems have been published in Salamander, Voices Israel, POESY, Wilderness House Review, Ibbetson Street, and the Muddy River Poetry Review. She is the founding co-editor of Soul-Lit.  http://flowermap.net/

Keyhole Portrait – a poem by Michael Seeger

Keyhole Portrait

Chrome locks reflect
entering, belonging.

They were waiting to
anxiously perform

the nocturnal ritual
before my bare abode.

The quiet glow of
their skin arouses

suspicions, adding
a feeble luster to

a crushing routine,
of unquestioned worth.

I can feel the jangle of it;
The idea of it. Its lovely

cheat and withdrawal;
evasion, or capitulation

to longing and rest. Time
for another constellation!

I am home. The world
gathers meaning as

the quell of evening
intervenes; crickets

sing ruffling silence.

 

Michael Seeger lives with his lovely wife, Catherine, and still-precocious 16 year-old daughter, Jenetta, in a house with a magnificent Maine Coon (Jill) and two high-spirited Chihuahuas (Coco and Blue). He is an educator (like his wife) residing in the Coachella Valley near Palm Springs, California. Some of his poems have appeared recently either published or included in print anthologies like the Lummox Press, Better Than Starbucks, and The Literary Hatchet.