The Dove Looked In

Matthew Alderman

Vita Nuova, xxvi

I saw faded beauty once
Pass me by in a gallery of stippled Seurats:
Maybe she was an English teacher,
A soccer mom in homely new white sneakers,
A nurse in jade-green scrubs.
You would have never called her pretty,
Nor stopped, admiringly at a distance,
Draping a chaste lechery in classical garb with the wan
Affectations of swooning lovers,
And bothered to notice her. [Read more...]

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Twist My Words

Michael Lee Johnson

I see the spring dance all over your face in green
you were arrogant before you viewed my willow tree
outside my balcony.
Now you wave at me
with green fingers
and lime smiles.
You twist my words,
Harvard collegiate style,
right where you want them to be-
lime green, willow tree, and
dark skinned branches.

Michael Lee Johnson is a poet and freelance writer from Itasca, IL. He is the author of The Lost American: From Exile to Freedom. He has also published two chapbooks of poetry. His poems have been published in the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Turkey, Fuji, Nigeria, India, and the United Kingdom.

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Reaching to the Choir

R.S. Mitchell

For all the symphonic splendor,
how quickly we up and render
a coterie into a crowd
(bumptious, brazen, and very loud)
before the maestro leaves the stage,
despite the blaring program page,
which pleads in large, bold, roman font
PLEASE DO NOT. For it is our wont
to bustle on our breathless routes,
a trodden troop of resolutes,
hacking, feverish, ill at ease,
resolved to hear no melodies
upon this dark atonal night,
no tunes that can’t be heard on sight. [Read more...]

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A Timeless Embrace

John A. Di Camillo

Unfettered spontaneity of the escalating breeze
Whistling wisps of tingling excitement
Flying clouds of rapid torsion tying tighter
Azure world now clear, once gray, now white, now black
Shimmering splatters of weightless power
Pulling, pushing, twirling, hurling, lifting, soaring—CRACK!
A slice of chaotic light.
An instant.
A distant rumble groaning briefly.
Soaked and startled earth now cools with fading winds.
Blackened sky now gray, once white, now clear azure.
Caprice of the stratosphere. [Read more...]

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Teresa

Sarah DeCorla-Souza

You called yourself a pencil in the hand
of God. You were slick like an arrow, sharp,
poignant with truth. Like Mary to our Martha,
you chose the better part, washing the sick and half-
dead, even when your prayers seemed to crumble
like ash, and your God turned blank and silent. [Read more...]

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Faith

Jeremiah Webster

I dig the hole, claw soil, cut roots
with the knife until there is room
for the ring box we placed you in.
You are buried, the size of a pearl,
by the river where ten years ago
we decided marriage and children
were worth it. What is her name?
I ask above the current. Faith, your
Mother says, It was always a girl.

Joy

J.B. Toner

And when I lift my blinking gaze to You,
   Your Resurrection I begin to share—
   In seconds all that’s desolate turns fair,
The louring skies flash instantly to blue,
I sprint, leap, fly, all tireless, through the globe,
   On zephyrs with my brother birds I ride,
   And dance on soaring crests of foaming tides,
Restored by just one touch, Lord, of Your robe.
 I am not meant, perhaps, to comprehend
   Why rue-smoke palls the sunlight half the time;
 But goodness is so good, such strength it lends,
   That I can still believe some plan divine
 Will someday somehow make us whole again—
   For now it is enough Your sun still shines.

[Read more...]

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Of the Knowledge of Good and Evil

Amanda Glass

I think our passage cannot be more plain
to eyes not earthly; and I think they smile
in ways which need no lips, when we attain
our little heights of thought, and pause, beguiled
by glimpses of far brighter realms beyond.
Like children in strange countryside, we cling
together, all-confiding, close and fond,
and with the grace of youth and joy we fling
our baubles—pealing laughter, glances clear
and heady, sweet air-kisses born of souls
which meet from shining eyes. For here
and now we can be lavish—time’s grim tolls
have not yet wrecked our readiness to give
ourselves without reserve. [Read more...]

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