On Kebler Pass

dust the ferns with my ashes —
there, among the aspen
trembling gold against the sky.
Let them settle, sighing,
on the still warm earth of autumn
where the next peak calls your name.

Snow will come. The wind will show me
paths the doe and vixen know. The moon
will call me with her crescent mouth
and share stories of the embered stars.

– Sarah Russell
First published in Poppy Road Review
for Poets United Poetry Pantry
Photo Source

The Poems are in The Soil – A Poem by Rebecca Villineau

Such fine words on the excavation of poetry.

Poetry Breakfast

The Poems are in The Soil

Beneath the rocks and broken brick
Below the fossils of cat bones
They are there
Fertilizing the ground
Adding phosphorus and calcium
Mulching through the earthworms

I am full of distractions
So I must dig
First loosening the crab grass
Twisting to the fine thick earth

To where there is the possibility of rare stones
Where my anscesters have lost their keys and rings
To where the dirt tells stories

Of children, like myself
Filling buckets from the garden hose
Adding grass, stone and soil
To the imaginary soup

We all know that God is in the details
Not the rock and brick
But the particles
And the invisible stuff

The way it feels when
The words are unearthed
First startling with their brown scaled skin
How they camouflage
at the base of a boxwood

Sometimes they are found
From just wandering the garden

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The Day of the Eclipse by Sarah Russell

My thanks to editor Christine Klocek-Lim at Autumn Sky Poetry Daily for publishing my poem “The Day of the Eclipse” today.

Autumn Sky Poetry Daily

The Day of the Eclipse

Leaves patchwork a trail to the stream.
My footfall on the bank scatters the trout
who come to spawn each August, jeweled
reflections following instinct.

My son called today, a should-he
or shouldn’t-he conversation. I listened,
questioned. His indecision is unknown
by wild things who live the primordial,
the insatiable.

Through the trees, moon eclipses sun
in an eerie twilight not ruled by manners,
mores, norms. Crickets start reverberations
in the trees. Bright glints in the water move
through my shadow, the moon’s shadow—
stars in an ancient galaxy.

by Sarah Russell

Editor’s Note: This poem’s quiet imagery belies the extraordinary nature of the eclipse that fell across the North American continent. It’s insistence on ordinary things illuminates how extraordinary it is that we are all alive at all.

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Her Scream Is Not Enough

I tried to find a line in this incredible piece to give you a taste of Rajani Radhakrishnan’s poem. But each line is so breathtaking that it must be swallowed whole.

THOTPURGE

This morning, with tea,
I chewed on five poems,
a young girl, a poet, a person,
shrill, screaming for her share of the peak,
is feminism still a word or did someone gender-neutralize it
for she is waving her sexuality in the scarred face of misogyny,
a scarf, a scrap of whole wheat dissent against fattened bigotry,
she will not be beaten, be raped, be used,
her breasts will not be shaped into iron bars to hold her captive,
she will knot her faith, if she pleases, as a sarong around her waist,
her silence will not be tied as prayers to the limbs of old trees,
to trade a daughter for a blessed son;

I come from a past that bore, that wept, that silently moved ahead
on paths the hems of sarees had never touched before,
I cannot write her poems,
for I found my own place in…

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a waking dream.

Beth is able to see the world through a child’s eyes and to translate it for us mere mortal adults. Today she has found stories by refugee children to share. An incredible project by a journalist working with refugees, and a direct way we can help these kids find a way home.  Here’s the direct link to the book ($10) on Amazon.

I didn't have my glasses on....

Refugee children have written a book of fairy tales and it's just awesome
 Refugee children have written a book of fairy tales and it’s just awesome. Travelling Tales features chickens fighting an alien invasion among its eight stories.

A collection of fairy tales written by child refugees in Greece has gone on sale to help those like the book’s authors.

Travelling Tales features a rugby-playing dog, a king who grew to love animals and chickens fighting an alien invasion among its eight stories.

The book is the brainchild of Brazilian journalist Debora de Pina Castiglione and her sister Beatriz. The two combined their love of words and illustrations to create the book but the ideas came directly from the children.

Debora ran workshops with Syrian and Kurdish children aged between four and 14 years old, at three refugee camps close to Thessaloniki in Vasilika, Lagadikia and Oreokastro.

Front cover of Travelling Tales

It gave the children something to do without focusing on their own lives.“The idea was not…

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god On The Morning Local

I want to share Rajani Radhakrishnan’s gentle poem about life and god and
how. . . well, how one thing leads to another.

THOTPURGE

I saw him on the local train during rush hour,
a newspaper cone of peanuts in his hand,
smiling at me through a web of weary limbs
and disenchanted heads,
a lesser god with a stubble and sad eyes.

Is this chance, I asked him, or fate,
or is there no difference?
he shrugged like a basement programmer
who had written a game with a million possibilities,
one thing leads to another, he said,
didn’t you want to see me?
how can I win or at least not lose,
I was begging,
five peanuts later he asked,
who decides if it is victory
or defeat?

Through the window I saw life
like a flip book,
one snapshot after the other,
each alive for a cry and a
half turn of the wheel,
each moment, each frame,
dying and born as the next,
meaning nothing by itself,
leading nowhere by itself,

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Rust Belt

“. . .empty factories and gutted storefronts. . .”

Rust Belt

Sure, we loved the hats and hoopla
the rhythmic chants of lock her up,
but we are not a stupid people.
We know full well this patchy place
between the slag heaps
and the scrub pine–
these crumbling houses perched behind
the padlocked plant once known
for truck tires,
will never be great—
or even good.

You say rust belt
and mean the measure
of empty factories
and gutted storefronts.
The jobs bled out.
The eyesores left behind to moulder.
But the rust is mostly in us.
Too many years of children
born to little hope.
Too many years of promises
from windbags in dingy union halls
and air-conditioned buses
painted red, white, and blue.

This afternoon, I take my maul
to the wood pile
by the rusted chain link fence.
Crisp and clear,
It is a fine day to bust things up–
And the making
of that splintered shattered kindling
with a body that burns
is as near as I will ever come to joy.

– Steven Deutsch
First published in New Verse News
Photo courtesy of Bankruptcy-USA.com 

 

Chancing Love

Not a dive’s precision arc.
Instead a lemming run and plunge,
oblivious to depth,
temperature, whether
water’s in the pool.

Cynics shake their heads.
“Only a fool…” they say.
“Yes, yes!” I answer,
and drop my towel.

-Sarah Russell
First published in Shot Glass Journal
Photo: “Splash” by Upsplash

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