Category Archives: Poetry

Poem

by Vanessa Saunders

The light from the shades

quivers on the desk, from the sun.

The low moan

of an unidentified human, three flights

downwards. A gust

of heat rolls through the slats; a pair of eyes

blink inside the dusk, crossing the room

like a passing thought,

breaking open solid spaces.

The itch, the itch.

The wandering eye; a cocktail

of lust and unlust; love for one

and love for everyone.

‘My emotions are not

infinite.’ — the feeling breaks up.

Somebody swallows.

A cough; somebody cries out

from the window of a passing truck.

A collar is pulled, a button popped

outward from a sleeved finger; the light catches

the ring.

You rolled up your sleeve.

Back to the Table of Contents

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Issue 7, Poetry

August

by Vanessa Saunders

The light from the shades

quivers on the desk, from the sun.

The low moan

of an unidentified human, three flights

downwards. A gust

of heat rolls through the slats; a pair of eyes

blink inside the dusk, crossing the room

like a passing thought,

breaking open solid spaces.

The itch, the itch.

The wandering eye; a cocktail

of lust and unlust; love for one

and love for everyone.

‘My emotions are not

infinite.’ — the feeling breaks up.

Somebody swallows.

A cough; somebody cries out

from the window of a passing truck.

A collar is pulled, a button popped

outward from a sleeved finger; the light catches

the ring.

You rolled up your sleeve.

Back to the Table of Contents

1 Comment

Filed under Issue 7, Poetry

Locker Smells

by Theresa Nelson

The Occelots race up and down

the wooden floorboards as we girls

in permanent pleated short skirts

leap, squeal, and perspire.

Repeatedly, The Panthors score,

yet our duty is to be euphoric,

bouncy, festive, so we shriek

until we are dizzy

from lack of breathing.

In the tiled locker room,

girls of the winning team

imitate our cheers, jeer

our voices, sniff

our uniforms while we huddle

in the corner underneath their

slicing eyes.  I ease back into

the open metal space and slowly

close the door.  Here,

the sneakers and I are safe.

Back to the Table of Contents

1 Comment

Filed under Issue 7, Poetry

The Deer in the Window

by Nels Hanson

His ranch was set in a bowl six miles

wide with pines on the buttes, like a fertile

crater on the moon. A creek wove

the round valley, from underground,

even dry years a bubbling pool formed

at the mouth. The Paiutes called it Wonder

Valley but I forgot the Indian name. I crossed

the plank bridge and didn’t see stock

in the shade along the creek, and the pastures

watered by a network of ditches didn’t look

so green as last summer. Travis’ ‘50 blue

Chevy truck stood under the cottonwood

in the black lake of shadow. Then I shivered,

something wasn’t right. I’d seen Travis

working on the house, maybe fixing

a window pane or screen. I’d almost

honked, but I’d wanted to surprise him.

I stopped the Ford and stared at the tan

ten-point buck leaning its head out

the kitchen window, browsing the wild

poppies that grew along the wall. The deer

hadn’t looked up or raised an ear

when the car pulled in. It kept on chewing,

its big antlers down among the yellow

blooms. I watched it eat and then hurried

toward the house, calling, “Travis! Travis?

You here?” No answer but a clatter

of hooves and the deer came onto the porch.

The buck waited, lifting its nose. It lowered

its horns as I stepped back and it pushed open

the screen door and jumped down the steps,

crossing the yard  to the barn. Inside the door

the deer dropped its head, trying to lick

the gold straw stuck flat to the hard ground.

It was mad, backing up, jabbing with angled

antlers, digging and snorting. Sun through

broken shingles made the hay stalks

look like that kid’s game Pick-Up-Sticks.

On its stand, Captain’s dusty saddle glowed

amber. A blackened shoe hung halfway

down the anvil’s point and balanced slantwise

a hammer lay on the silent pounding bed.

Back to the Table of Contents

1 Comment

Filed under Issue 7, Poetry

Yana – 30 Years young

by Michael Estabrook

She rotates her closet, removes and replaces

her wardrobe every two years –

“They’re either worn or unused,

time for some newer designer styles,” she says,

in her thick Bond-spy-girl Russian accent.

My friend says, that’s such a waste.

But I’m thinking – anything Yana wants . . .

I mean look at her, just look at her,

such a beautiful, confident little thing.

(Shame on me, I’m old enough to be her father.

But I cannot help imagining her 100 pounds of

perfect femininity glistening in the shower

bright and hot as the sun.)
How could any man deny her anything!

“If only I were 20 (or 30) years younger

and could speak a little Russian,”

I mutter to my friend, Craig,

as we walk back to our hotel.

“I don’t think speaking a little Russian

is the only problem you’d have,”

he responds as the freezing night

of Sweden blows right through our old, cold,

non-designer gloves and hats and coats.

Back to the Table of Contents

Leave a comment

Filed under Issue 7, Poetry

Lost Lazy Spiders

by Michael Estabrook

I watch her hands,

her perfect, sweet white hands

meandering over the computer keyboard

like lost lazy spiders,

her diamond ring (the most important thing

I have ever purchased)

gleaming still, reflecting

the lamp light like

a meteor shower at dawn.

Back to the Table of Contents

1 Comment

Filed under Issue 7, Poetry

Spiders

by Kate Ladew

somewhere far off,

souls stand as scuttled country churches,

sink into the earth, holes deep with blood,

or shallow with light if it hasn’t been prayed in enough,

hidden between ribs clenched around hearts,

a million spiders feeding, tearing veins apart,

legs wrapped tight, a skeleton vice,

pumps in time with the body’s breathing,

sensitive to every thought and feeling,

not easy to find but never empty

hymn books sprawled with broken spines

sounds written on paper

and spiders crawl in figure eights

thread curtains up and down the vestibule

force light to pool in scattered streams,

little lifeless jewels permanent as dreams,

spiders praying, and you.

can anything hear you?

scars around your heart tell stories,

letters hand delivered,

but we don’t bask in His glory

we shiver

Back to the Table of Contents

Leave a comment

Filed under Issue 7, Poetry