Migrating Geese

Keening in a bruised sky,
ragged chevrons
follow the coastline south –
imperfect V’s, left wanting
on one side or the other –
testament, perhaps, to those taken
by foxes, hunger, double barrels,
their skeins unraveling autumn.

– Sarah Russell

First published in The Houseboat
Republished in Poems in the Waiting Room
Photo:  Sunsetphotosgallery.com

Posted for dVerse Open Link

September

Black-eyed Susans gossip in the gullies
between the road and corn
past harvest,
clouds in feather boas waltz
through pale silk skies, and cows head home
for milking, while
the hawk holds vigil on a fence post.

– Sarah Russell

 First published in The Houseboat
 Republished in Your Daily Poem
 Submitted for Poets United Poetry Pantry
Photo source

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.

View original post

The Cottage

“the smell of earth turned by a trowel…”

I’ve grown quiet here. My mind
has opened to woodsong
and the smell of earth turned
by a trowel.

I enjoy solitude, even when regrets
or the throb of an old lover happen by.
Sometimes I invite them in, make
a ritual of teacups on starched linen,
a silver server for the scones.
We reminisce ’til shadows trace
across the floor, call them away.

Afterwards, I tidy up, wipe away
drops spilled in the pouring. I save
the leftovers though they’re getting stale.
I may crumble them on the porch rail
tomorrow for sparrows
before I garden.

– Sarah Russell
First published in Poetry Breakfast
For Real Toads Tuesday Platform
Photo courtesy of Daisy Fields on Pinterest

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…

View original post 203 more words

Jackie

“Women always turn toward a whistle…”

My friend and fellow State College Poetry Group poet Lisa McMonagle has a dynamite poem this week in Ekphrastic Review.  I can’t figure out how to reblog it, so I’ll copy and paste.  Enjoy!

IMG_2468

No longer First Lady
in Chanel and a pill box hat,
she’s Jackie O. in jeans
and a Henley, striding
the Upper East Side,
wind at her back, still
graced with the good
fortune that carried
the debutante from
a prominent, but
declining family, farther
than anyone dreamed
possible. Windswept tresses
frame her famous face in
a three-quarter art-nouveau
shot as she turns toward a whistle.
Women always turn toward
a whistle, whether they
welcome it, or not.
They want to believe
they warrant a whistle,
inspire a whistle, that men
draw breath for them.

 – Lisa McMonagle
First published in Ekphrastic Review
Photo:  Windblown Jackie by Ron Galella (USA), 1971.

 

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…

View original post 406 more words

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,

View original post 66 more words

Flotilla

I am so proud to know Steve Deutsch.  He is part of my poetry workshop group and for the second month in a row, one of his poems, this time “Flotilla,” was chosen by Goodreads from more than 300 entries as a finalist in their monthly contest.  To read the poems in the contest, click here.  And if you agree, as I do, that Steve’s poem is outstanding, please vote.

 

You left behind.
one half a jelly donut,
stale as last Wednesday;
some clothing, moth-eaten,
mildewed; two shoes,
one black, one brown,
with newsprint for the soles.
You left behind a paper sack
of winter warmth, and poetry
by Whitman, Poe and Crane,
well-fingered and browned in age.

You walked into the river
and left behind four dollars
and eighteen cents, which I
have spent on coffee
and a banana nut muffin,
that crumbled in its freshness.

Your poetry; penned
in your perfect prep school hand,
was stuffed inside two newish socks
atop the brown and laceless shoe.
It is unnervingly good,
but I can use the socks.
I crumpled your words in their freshness,
and set them to sail upon the river,
page by remarkable page.

– Steve Deutsch
First published in Weatherings
photo courtesy of moneycrashers.com

Dorothy’s Grave

“They haven’t dug the grave yet.”

Mom insisted on coming to the cemetery
after her best friend Dorothy’s viewing.
“The funeral’s not ’til 2 tomorrow,” I said.
“They’ll dig it in the morning.”

“They should have it dug,” she fussed.

Mom is a farm woman, used to death.
She turned ninety in the fall,
and Dorothy was her last good friend
in the tiny delta town where children leave
for jobs or school or just to escape the soy
and cotton. Her church has only twenty members
now — old women who show off corsages
on Mother’s Day and sometimes cajole their men
to come in overalls and slicked-back hair.

Dorothy and Mom taught Bible study, went to Eastern Star
and bingo, traded recipes and gossip.
Mom killed a rabid skunk in Dorothy’s yard
with the double barrel she keeps under the bed,
and Dorothy came to quilt on Wednesdays –
just the two of them since the other three passed on.

“Why’s it important to see the empty grave?” I asked.

“I need to know she’ll be comfortable,” Mom said.
“I know she’d do the same for me.”

– Sarah Russell
First published in On the Veranda
For Poetry Pantry on Poets United
Photo courtesy of Paul Marshuk