Wisdom by Sara Teasdale

Wisdom

by Sara Teasdale

It was a night of early spring,
The winter-sleep was scarcely broken;
Around us shadows and the wind
Listened for what was never spoken.
Though half a score of years are gone,
Spring comes as sharply now as then—
But if we had it all to do
It would be done the same again.
It was a spring that never came;
But we have lived enough to know
That what we never have, remains;
It is the things we have that go.

###

Sara Teasdale (1884-1933) was an American lyrical poet associated with the early 20th century’s “poetry renaissance” in America. Teasdale was born in St. Louis, Missouri and began writing poetry as a child. She published her first poetry collection, Sonnets to Duse and Other Poems, in 1907. Teasdale went on to publish several more collections including Helen of Troy and Other Poems (1911), Rivers to the Sea (1915), and Flame and Shadow (1920). The poem “There Will Come Soft Rains” from her 1920 collection is one of her most famous works. Teasdale’s poetry was known for its lyrical style, romantic themes, and focus on nature and love. She won the first Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1918 for her 1917 collection Love Songs. Plagued by poor health for much of her life, Teasdale committed suicide in 1933 at age 48. Her lyrical and romantic poems left a legacy and influenced later poets.

The Lover and the Moon by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906) was an influential African American poet, novelist, and playwright during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The Lover and the Moon

by Paul Laurence Dunbar

A lover whom duty called over the wave,
With himself communed: “Will my love be true
If left to herself? Had I better not sue
Some friend to watch over her, good and grave?
But my friend might fail in my need,” he said,
“And I return to find love dead.
Since friendships fade like the flow’rs of June,
I will leave her in charge of the stable moon.”
Then he said to the moon: “O dear old moon,
Who for years and years from thy thrown above
Hast nurtured and guarded young lovers and love,
My heart has but come to its waiting June,
And the promise time of the budding vine;
Oh, guard thee well this love of mine.”
And he harked him then while all was still,
And the pale moon answered and said, “I will.”
And he sailed in his ship o’er many seas,
And he wandered wide o’er strange far strands:
In isles of the south and in Orient lands,
Where pestilence lurks in the breath of the breeze.
But his star was high, so he braved the main,
And sailed him blithely home again;
And with joy he bended his footsteps soon
To learn of his love from the matron moon.
She sat as of yore, in her olden place,
Serene as death, in her silver chair.
A white rose gleamed in her whiter hair,
And the tint of a blush was on her face.
At sight of the youth she sadly bowed
And hid her face ‘neath a gracious cloud.
She faltered faint on the night’s dim marge,
But “How,” spoke the youth, “have you kept your charge?”
The moon was sad at a trust ill-kept;
The blush went out in her blanching cheek,
And her voice was timid and low and weak,
As she made her plea and sighed and wept.
“Oh, another prayed and another plead,
And I could n’t resist,” she answering said;
“But love still grows in the hearts of men:
Go forth, dear youth, and love again.”
But he turned him away from her proffered grace.
“Thou art false, O moon, as the hearts of men,
I will not, will not love again.”
And he turned sheer ’round with a soul-sick face
To the sea, and cried: “Sea, curse the moon,
Who makes her vows and forgets so soon.”
And the awful sea with anger stirred,
And his breast heaved hard as he lay and heard.
And ever the moon wept down in rain,
And ever her sighs rose high in wind;
But the earth and sea were deaf and blind,
And she wept and sighed her griefs in vain.
And ever at night, when the storm is fierce,
The cries of a wraith through the thunder pierce;
And the waves strain their awful hands on high
To tear the false moon from the sky.

###

Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906) was an influential African American poet, novelist, and playwright during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Dunbar was born in Dayton, Ohio to parents who had been slaves. His mother encouraged his love of literature from a young age. Though self-educated beyond high school, Dunbar wrote prolifically and gained national recognition with his second poetry collection, Majors and Minors, in 1895. This contained his famous poem “We Wear the Mask.”

Dunbar was acclaimed for his mastery of both dialect poems capturing the voices of African Americans in the rural South as well as traditional English poetry forms. He published several poetry collections and wrote novels, short stories, librettos, songs and plays. His first novel The Uncalled was published in 1898. Despite bouts of illness, Dunbar had a prolific writing career, publishing 12 books of poetry, 4 books of short stories, 5 novels and a play before his untimely death from tuberculosis at age 33. Though his career was short, Dunbar’s impact on American literature was significant. He brought African American perspectives and voices to mainstream 19th century literary circles and served as an inspiration for future generations of Black writers.

 

Sunlight Crystal by Scott Thomas Outlar

Scott Thomas Outlar is originally from Atlanta, Georgia. He now lives and writes in Frederick, Maryland.

Sunlight Crystal

by Scott Thomas Outlar

 

I wounded all my alibis
before fully forming

now the theory is dizzy
crash point of fever

shine where the clovers are smitten

gathering red leaves
for spells of caution

You told me every story
takes on a life of its own
when eager

now my mouth is dry cotton
thick fabric turn autumn

glow in the gown of soft feather

lining up the charge
for signs of contact

 

Scott Thomas Outlar is originally from Atlanta, Georgia. He now lives and writes in Frederick, Maryland. His work has been nominated multiple times for both the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. He guest-edited the Hope Anthology of Poetry from CultureCult Press as well as the 2019-2023 Western Voices editions of Setu Mag. He is the author of seven books, including Songs of a Dissident (2015), Abstract Visions of Light (2018), Of Sand and Sugar (2019), and Evermore (2021 – written with co-author Mihaela Melnic). Selections of his poetry have been translated and published in 14 languages. He has been a weekly contributor at Dissident Voice for the past eight and a half years. More about Outlar’s work can be found at 17Numa.com.

On the Last Day by George Moore

George Moore’s poetry has appeared in The Atlantic, Poetry, North American Review, Colorado Review, Arc and Stand. His recent collections are Children’s Drawings of the Universe (Salmon Poetry 2015) and Saint Agnes Outside the Walls

On the Last Day

by George Moore

after João Cabral de Melo Neto

On the last day of the world
I’ll walk the dog along the shore

and we’ll notice the little things
grains of sand glistening in the moonlight

all the smells he knows so well
and we’ll not worry about Columbus

misreading the roundness of the world
or Cortez the worship of horses

or Khan where to hide himself
when the world is gone

Something will be going on
somewhere

and we’ll feast in the honor of mornings
with the traditional toast and jam

 

George Moore’s poetry has appeared in The Atlantic, Poetry, North American Review, Colorado Review, Arc and Stand. His recent collections are Children’s Drawings of the Universe (Salmon Poetry 2015) and Saint Agnes Outside the Walls (FutureCycle 2016). A finalist for The National Poetry Series and nominated for eight Pushcart Prizes, he has taught literature and writing at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and now lives on the south shore of Nova Scotia.

Gazing at the Rain from My Window by Shirani Rajapakse

Shirani Rajapakse writes poetry and short stories. She’s the author of five books including Gods, Nukes and a whole lot of Nonsense – winner of the 2022 State Literary Awards, Sri Lanka; I Exist. Therefore I Am – winner of the 2019 State Literary Awards

Gazing at the Rain from My Window

by Shirani Rajapakse

Words gush out of my brain
like the rain these past few days.
I’m tired of both,
the words and the rain.

I can’t control either.

The words I can’t still.
They scream to get out and will stop
only when dropped
in black and white.

I’m tired of scribbling day in day out.
They don’t let me sleep, but call in my dreams
to write them down.

Who are these
words that want to be heard?

Are they remnants of past lives?

Why does the
rain fall so hard so long?

 

Shirani Rajapakse writes poetry and short stories. She’s the author of five books including Gods, Nukes and a whole lot of Nonsense – winner of the 2022 State Literary Awards, Sri Lanka; I Exist. Therefore I Am – winner of the 2019 State Literary Awards, Sri Lanka, shortlisted for the 2019 Rubery Book Awards, UK; and Chant of a Million Women – winner of the 2018 Kindle Book Awards, USA, Official Selection in the 2018 New Apple Summer eBook Awards for Excellence in Independent Publishing, USA & Honorable Mention in the 2018 Reader’s Favorite Awards, USA. Rajapakse’s work was highly commended for the 2022 erbacce-prize for poetry, UK. She also won the 2013 Cha “Betrayal” Poetry Contest, Hong Kong and was a finalist in the 2013 Anna Davidson Rosenberg Poetry Awards, USA. Rajapakse’s work appears in many journals and anthologies including Dove Tales, Buddhist Poetry, Litro, Berfrois, Flash Fiction International, Voices Israel, About Place, Mascara, Counterpunch, Silver Birch, International Times, New Verse News, Cultural Weekly, The Write-In, Harbinger Asylum and more. Her work has been translated into Farsi, Spanish, French and Chinese. Rajapakse read for a BA in English Literature from the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka and has a MA in International Relations from JNU, India. If you would like more from Shirani Rajapakse please visit her site or check out her books.

Late Spring On The Potomac River Near Hancock, Maryland by Robert Halleck

Robert Halleck has been writing poetry since 1958. His recent work has appeared in the San Diego Poetry Annual, Chiron,

Late Spring On The Potomac River Near Hancock, Maryland

by Robert Halleck

Cold water numbs legs
putting canoes into the
river. Partially leafed trees
cover the recent remains
of floods: a Styrofoam cooler,
bottles, a one armed shirt.
Leaning back, paddling down-
stream is easy. Small Bass
fooled by lures are released
to someday be fooled for the
last time. The current and
white water will shrink in summer
heat to expose sentinel rocks
leaking their gift of salt to
a downstream sea.

###

Robert Halleck has been writing poetry since 1958. His recent work has appeared in the San Diego Poetry Annual, Chiron, Third Wednesday, The Peeking Cat Review, and Main Street Rag. He is a member of San Diego’s Not Dead Yet Poets and hopes to remain so for a long time. For a number of years he has attended the Kenyon Review’s Summer Workshop.

Crossing the Brightman Street Bridge by Cynthia Elder

Cynthia Elder lives on the edge of Hundred Acre Cove in Barrington, Rhode Island, with her husband and their increasingly empty nest.

Crossing the Brightman Street Bridge

by Cynthia Elder

Dropping down,
a honey bright ball
ready to bounce,
the sun,
as I drove toward cirrus clouds
dripping in neon,
reminded me of those
who’d been blinded as they walked
a rough-hewn road,
doubting God.

###

Cynthia Elder lives on the edge of Hundred Acre Cove in Barrington, Rhode Island, with her husband and their increasingly empty nest. Her poems have appeared in The Allegheny Review, Dog River Review, Plainswoman, and elsewhere. She has work forthcoming in Young Ravens Literary Review and Eudaimonia Press Mental Health Anthology. Cynthia has worked in nonprofit social service organizations for 25 years.

The Moon by Natalie Crick

Natalie Crick, from Newcastle in the UK, has found delight in writing all of her life and first began writing when she was a very young girl. She graduated from Newcastle University with a degree in English Literature

The Moon

by Natalie Crick

Schools of moths descend,
Pulled in by waves of light when

The fields begin to steam like horses
In the cool

Like the hush of rainfall
After the sun’s marriage to the skies.

From his window, the child can see;
The young moon sulking behind the sun,

Disappearing beneath the moors
With a final sweep of chill.

An actress on stage
Applauded by the throng

One last time,
Only to return again next night

From where it grows to fullness,
A round milky globe
Asking the question:
Who will admire me next?

###

Natalie Crick, from Newcastle in the UK, has found delight in writing all of her life and first began writing when she was a very young girl. She graduated from Newcastle University with a degree in English Literature and plan to pursue an MA at Newcastle this year. Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming in a range of journals and magazines including The Lake, Ink Sweat and Tears, Poetry Pacific, Interpreters House and Jet Fuel Review. Her work also features or is forthcoming in a number of anthologies, including Lehigh Valley Vanguard Collections 13. This year her poem, ‘Sunday School’ was nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

Princess by Amanda Little Rose

Amanda Little Rose is from the small state of Rhode Island (USA). Previously, she served as Executive Editor of The Willow Literary Magazine. 

Princess

by Amanda Little Rose

 

There is something primal in the way she whispered
winter into the rolling green meadows
that were riddled with legends,
and remnants of the time before

Her eyes lit up the night and sprinkled
starlight into moonbeams like a
seed that grows into the dogwood trees
by the river and beneath
the gods on the mountain,
Or the rolling hills

I am patient and still while
dreams breathe truth into distance
and my sister sings to me;
She is tradition,
she is beauty

Amanda Little Rose is from the small state of Rhode Island (USA). Previously, she served as Executive Editor of The Willow Literary Magazine. She received her Bachelors of Arts and Science in Secondary Education, and English Literature, from Salve Regina University, in 2015. Currently, Amanda works as a high school English teacher, certified Reiki Master, freelance poet and editor.

Weep Willow Reeds by Konstantin Nicholas Rega

Born in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, Konstantin studies British & American Literature and Creative Writing at The University of Kent in Canterbury, England.

Weep Willow Reeds

by Konstantin Nicholas Rega

After rain
the earth has forgotten
where it keeps you.
But I disturb my pocket
and retrieve a flute
from the dark hollow
I have dug with greedy fingers.
Bone-white,
for it is bone—
your bone—
that I have carved
to go deedle deedle dee.
Day to day
I sit under a tree,
its branches tangled
leaves overhanging and shielding,
and cast my voice
through this porcelain reed:
our past replaying.
Round and round
the song breathes
lives as my blown needles
scrape and leak
each spinning memory.
And yet
I wonder
will there be anyone
to play a tune
for me?

###

Born in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, Konstantin studies British & American Literature and Creative Writing at The University of Kent in Canterbury, England. He has been published by The Claremont Review, Four Ties Lit Review, AOM, and has won the ZO Magazine Silver Prize for Poetry, and is currently a Review Assistant for Newfound. His poems are Asexual/Bi-romantic and neo-modernist, which revives the Modernist innovations of subverting traditional gender authority and narrative and making the personal universal.

The End of Winter by Adrian Slonaker 

Adrian Slonaker works as a copywriter and copy editor in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada. Adrian’s work has appeared in Aberration Labyrinth, Squawk Back, The Bohemyth, Queen Mob’s Tea House, Pangolin Review and others.

The End of Winter

by Adrian Slonaker

In the early eighties
when we still believed in the coming Ice Age
as much as we trusted in Pac-Man’s ghostkilling capabilities,
frigid Great Lakes winters were the norm,
with Himalayas of snow sloping onto
sinister ice patches where you could
slip and split your Jordaches,
if not your head.
Plunging wind chills be damned,
recess was still held outside
while our unseen teacher likely cradled
a much-needed cigarette
between mittened fingers.

One Thursday afternoon,
between king-of-the-mountain challenges,
Traci-
the girl-with-the-pixie-cut-and-the-runny-nose-and-the-Garfield-backpack-
invited me to follow her
past the shivering Jennifers exhaling
hopscotch hymns through
chattering teeth
and under obscenely naked maples
to an outdoor crawlspace
between the scratchy red brick of
the weatherbeaten school façade and
a big khaki-colored mechanical thinggummy
that radiated heat.
Here in this gap
was the world’s smallest microclimate,
with thaw rather than Thule,
and pointing to the preposterous purple flowers
among tenacious tufts of grass,
Traci concluded, “it’s spring here.”
I don’t remember whether Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow that year,
but I was convinced I knew
where the seasons changed.

###

Adrian Slonaker works as a copywriter and copy editor in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada. Adrian’s work has appeared in Aberration Labyrinth, Squawk Back, The Bohemyth, Queen Mob’s Tea House, Pangolin Review and others.

Feathers in Motion by Brianna Ricotta

Anxiety creates a motion of feathers
that creates a stifling flow
in her body.
And then a rush of air
caught in her chest,
and will not dissipate.

Feathers in Motion

by Brianna Ricotta

Anxiety creates a motion of feathers
that creates a stifling flow
in her body.
And then a rush of air
caught in her chest,
and will not dissipate.

And the shaking bird- blue jay –
must soar through the hurricane
that could kill the bird,
yet she keeps singing.

She’s heard give up – ice tones –
during the stormiest waves.
Yet she never could
ask herself to give up – never –

The Last Folk Singer by David Lohrey

David Lohrey grew up in Memphis. He graduated from U.C., Berkeley. His plays have appeared in the UK, Switzerland, Croatia and, most recently, in Estonia. They are available online at Proplay (CA).

The Last Folk Singer

by David Lohrey

The last folk singer steps out onto the stage.
He carries his guitar and an old banjo.
They say he learned to sing from a
Jew in Kansas City but I know for a fact
he learned while in prison in the State of Utah.

They don’t call him a folk singer because
of his broken teeth. They don’t praise his looks
or his buckskin jacket. The last folk singer can barely walk,
and when he talks you can see his stained teeth. His voice
stands out and so does his ugly nose. But when he sings,
he makes grown men and women cry. They bawl.

When the last folk singer was young, the ladies held their breath.
He’d just wink and they’d fall out, as their friends screamed
and carried on, begging for more. He looks a hell of a lot like Pete Seeger,
but has had white hair from 30. He looks a little like Johnny Winter
and a whole lot like Andy Warhol.

People can remember him so well from when he was young.
He had long hair and never wore a shirt. They say he got his tattoos
while in state prison and he was sent there for stabbing his sister.
He croons and strums, hollers and cries; he plays his guitar real loud;
then he’ll get mad and storm out over nothing.

Furry Lewis who hailed from Memphis was said to have been
a friend but not his neighbor B. B. King, who didn’t like him one bit.
Rumor had it he came from Alabama, but Furry swore
he was born in a shit hole somewhere south of Jackson.

The happiest time of his life was the summer his tomatoes grew
the size of his wife’s favorite dinner plates. They were gigantic
and he took them with him to church in a basket to give away.
This went on for what seemed like forever, and he never forgot it.
The rest of the garden was fine, but when he thinks of those tomatoes he smiles.

The last folk singer began to lose his balance. His body began
to fail. At last, they wheeled him out in a special chair, a golden
throne on casters. He sat through most of his songs, but he always
stood for the Star-Spangled Banner and America the Beautiful.

The last folk singer hasn’t long to live. He’s given away most of his prized
possessions, including his Stetson and his Gibson guitar. Last week he sold me
his red boots and his silver buckle. He’s down on his luck. As he lay dying,
his manager, Burt Cole, waited for his final words. Even the doctor leaned in
and everyone hushed: “I never sing about nothing I didn’t know;
I never sing about love.”

David Lohrey grew up in Memphis. He graduated from U.C., Berkeley. His plays have appeared in the UK, Switzerland, Croatia and, most recently, in Estonia. They are available online at Proplay (CA). His poetry can be found internationally in Softblow (Shanghai), Cecile’s Writers’ Magazine(The Hague) and Otoliths (Australia). In the US, recent poems have appeared in Apogee, Abstract Magazine and Poetry Circle. Several have been anthologized by the University of Alabama (Dewpoint), Illinois State University (Obsidian) and Michigan State University (The Offbeat). His fiction can be read in Dodging the Rain and Literally Stories. His study of 20th century literature, ‘The Other Is Oneself‘, was published last year in Germany. Machiavelli’s Backyard, David’s first collection of poetry, appeared in August, 2017. David is a member of the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective. He lives in Tokyo.

Mindful at Seven by Taylor Winchell

Taylor Winchell was born and raised in San Diego, California. He received a BS from UC Berkeley and an MS from CU Boulder. He currently works as a water resources engineer, focusing on development planning in the Southeast Asia region. His writing has appeared in KQED Public Radio, The Jetset Times, The Boulder Weekly, and the journal of Geophysical

Mindful at Seven

by Taylor Winchell

 

A mindful seven-year-old
(which is all seven-year-olds)
does not sit still and focus
on her breath; she instead

roams outside and follows
a trail of ants to nowhere,

climbs a hill of grass only to
roll her way back down,

or rakes a pile of leaves just to
fall forward and let the world

swallow her whole

###

Taylor Winchell was born and raised in San Diego, California. He received a BS from UC Berkeley and an MS from CU Boulder. He currently works as a water resources engineer, focusing on development planning in the Southeast Asia region. His poetry and writing has appeared in Nature Writing, KQED Public Radio, The Jetset Times, and The Boulder Weekly.

to the bird who flew into my screen door and begged me to end its life by Ralph Bousquet

Ralph Bousquet is a poet and musician from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. His poems have been published in Ponder Review and The Reader. He attends New York University and lives in Brooklyn.

to the bird who flew into my screen door and begged me to end its life,

by Ralph Bousquet

  

my wicked glass

broke your fall &

your welcome,

& you’re welcome, &

your neckbone,

white & wet against your

blue & black feathers, &

i’m sorry, &

your eyes fixed in fury

on me                asking

you got what it takes? &,

forgive me, but

###
Ralph Bousquet is a poet and musician from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. His poems have been published in Ponder Review and The Reader. He attends New York University and lives in Brooklyn.

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