21 May, 2012


I could wish poems happened more, but wanting them
only leads to the impediment of desire and desire
is never equal to the act. It’s much the same as looking back,
expecting a story and finding the characters already dead.
The surprise of that. How the past gets worn down by idle use.
These days the poem comes much as the first bat does
in the false dawn. Its flight the mental stumble that I love.
I have my hungers even as they elude me.
Things are so simple, a bat, and the consequent moth
I create to keep my world whole a little longer.
The poems come to me now as then, occasions, the good ones rarely.
The moth, its wings so white they startle me, escapes.
For the moment. I watch the delicate violence of the dance,
the bat, and the moth too, veering.

~ ~ Patrick Lane
"Hands"  -  Photographer:  Art Durkee

Danced with stones as heavy as sky ::
 like a full moon yearning to dream.

  In my garden of loss there is a girl with eyes in her tears
  ~ ~ Grant Hackett
Dove Tale

A mourning dove rests
on her soft nest
in a window box
among my pink petunias.
Her eggs fragile,
but warm as stones.

I do not coax her
with crumbs
or the memory of flight,
the quick river
hatching fish below.

She is a devoted mother--
more than feathers, wings,
a soft sack of bones.
Crouched among the blooms,
I imagine she rehearses
a silent poem;
it does not rhyme with "flowers."

Perhaps her mind is still
as Buddha's,
does not rise and fall
like mine,
hatch like the moon,
wax or wane or sigh.

~ ~ April Bulmer

Published in Open Minds Quarterly, Vol. XIII, No. III (Fall, 2011).
With permission.

"Traces".  Artist:  Bridgette Guerzon Mills


After you left,
I carved our initials
into the stump of a fallen tree.
I tallied its age before death,
thought of its stunted remnant
as a trunk, soaring
to swirling heights, with arms
that housed the bliss of many birds,
our love now wrapped in the rings
that spoke of years, to a time
when heart and bark and wing
were very much alive.

~ ~ Andreas Gripp

From The Apostasy of Daylight (Harmonia Press, 2012).

Anniversary Day
         we shatter a mirror
                 to rescue our reflections

 ~ ~ Ed Markowski


Far off in the cedars the jay screams his morning song.
I hear the words in the twisted trunk of the yew.
The woman before me told the tree to suffer for her sake.
The old can’t be made young again. The tree can’t be undone.
The wind weaves ribbons through my fingers. Stillness waits.
The winter fish eat the dawn slowly, their bodies consume.
Water has its own way. There is a new silence at the end of a poem.
The jay laughs as he torments the robin. Never mind, I say.

~ ~ Patrick Lane

                                           Church of the New Covenant





                                            ~ ~ Ed Markowski

Eleanor.  Artist: Lynne Hoppe


At their desks the translators pray
on early winter afternoons.
Sonatas seep in from the other room.
A door opens and in slips the cat,
whose eyes an infuriating green,
are later seen at a misting pane
by an immobile owl outside.
Behind the hunched-over translators
the moon makes its first rough sketch
on the back of the sky.
From dark bushes birds sweep
the last flurries of song.
Inside, the translators of Baudelaire
bail out their precarious craft.
Their navigation is rudimentary.
No fabled tributary leads to gold –
the way is less clear, everything a deception.
The jungle of living language is shrieking,
beasts are prowling the steep slopes of rhyme.
Every possibility wrestles with decay.
Above, the heavens flaunt their stars,
overwhelming and pure, ice that holes
the skiff carrying the anguished brain
before the mighty march past of the
Your mind
a log that turns in sluggish currents.
a line of heroes, you the translator
are violating in too hasty an honouring.
You hold out your hand, but theirs is a glove
filled with air, the heart answer is elsewhere.
A hospital ward airing in spring.
Lines of metal beds on which lie cripples,
the translators of Baudelaire.
Doctors lean over the faintly twitching forms.
Famished veins quiver at the slightest chance
of a new approach. Perhaps now…
Into the original they dive again
and like flowers bent by rain they rise,
assured they will be the ones to bear
the irresistible bloom.

~ ~ Will Stone

From Glaciation (Salt Publishing, 2008).
With permission.
Witch Tree.  Artist:  Art Durkee

My eyes do not register the presence of trees animals men or even
the arrogant horizon.
Inside my eyes are only distances hierarchies dark holes black
boxes zigzags and disquiets.

~ ~  Nguyen Quoc Chanh

Translated by Linh Dinh

One of "Seven Untitled Poems" from Khi hau do vat (Inanimate Weather), 
Youth Publishing House, 1997.   With permission. 

Profil inquiet - Artist: Jean-Michel Ripaud


                 Lubię panią pisze do mnie dwudziestoletni poeta.
                 Początkujący cieśla słów.

                 Jego list pachnie tarcicą.
                 Jego muza drzemie jeszcze w różanym drewnie.

                 W literackim tartaku ambitny hałas.
                 Czeladnicy okładają łatwowierny język fornirem.

                 Przycinają nieśmiałe sklejki zdań.
                 Wystrugane heblem haiku.

                 Problemy zaczynają się
                 z wbitą w pamięć drzazgą.

                 Trudno ją wyjąć
                 jeszcze trudniej opisać.

                 Lecą wióry. Ogryzki aniołów.
                 Pył do samego nieba. 

                 ~ ~ Ewa Lipska

                From: Drzazga   (Wydawnictwo  Literackie,   Krakow, 2006).
                © 2006, Ewa Lipska


I like you a twenty-year old poet writes to me.
A beginning carpenter of words.

His letter smells of lumber.
His muse still naps in rose wood.

Ambitious noise in a literary sawmill.
Apprentices veneer a gullible tongue.

They cut to size the shy plywood of sentences.
A haiku whittled with a plane.

Problems begin
with a splinter lodged in memory.

It is hard to remove it
much harder to describe.

Wood shavings fly.   The apple cores of angels.
Dust up to the heavens.

~ ~ Ewa Lipska

Translated by Robin Davidson and Ewa Elżbieta Nowakowska
From: The New Century   (Northwestern University Press, 2009)
Copyright Ewa Lipska. Translation copyright, Robin Davidson and 
Ewa Elzbieta Nowakowska, 2007.  All rights reserved.
Hugin-Mugin.  Artist: Rudhi Rüscher


I would like to have dinner with the man
who didn’t follow Christ, the one who,
when Jesus said: Follow me and I
will make you fishers of men, decided
to go fishing instead, getting in his boat,
pushing out from shore, his nets clean
and repaired, thinking I will have to work
even harder now in order to feed
everyone left behind. I would like
to sit on the beach with him
in front of a careful fire,
his wife and children asleep,
sharing a glass of wine, both of us
telling stories about what we’d done
with our lives, the ones we caught,
the ones that got away.

~ ~ Patrick Lane

From: "The Collected Poems of Patrick Lane (Harbour Publishing, 2011).  
With permission.

Had she busied herself in time
with the systematic counting
of ship screws
it would not have come to this—
indecent acts of poetry.

~ ~ Ewa Lipska

Translation of "Niedyskrecja." Copyright by Ewa Lipska.  By arrangement 
with the author. Translation copyright 2007 by Robin Davidson and
 Ewa Elżbieta Nowakowska. All rights reserved.

Blue Horse - Artist: Kiki Thome

Eating Fried Chicken

I hate to admit this, brother, but there are times
When I’m eating fried chicken
When I think about nothing else but eating fried chicken,
When I utterly forget about my family, honor and country,
The various blood debts you owe me,
My past humiliations and my future crimes—
Everything, in short, but the crispy skin on my fried chicken.

But I’m not altogether evil, there are also times
When I will refuse to lick or swallow anything
That’s not generally available to mankind.

(Which is, when you think about it, absolutely nothing at all.)

And no doubt that’s why apples can cause riots,
And meat brings humiliation,
And each gasp of air
Will fill one’s lungs with gun powder and smoke.

~ ~ Linh Dinh

From American Tatts, published by Chax Press.    Copyright © 2005 
by Linh Dinh. Reprinted by permission of the author.