Myth

A Poem by A. J. Huffman

With fire hovering
just outside my fingers,
my eyes began
to smoke. I was the flame,
fabled gift, stolen. From gods
I reigned, a vision of destruction,
of deception, of severance.
Faith dispersed:
ash
to dust
in wind.

“We live in an extraordinary time. Our thinking styles are severing us from our families, our religions, our ideologies, and nature. We are caught up in a pace of social and technological change that makes our work, business, and education sources of anxiety and unfulfillment. At the same time, thinking about our thinking and observing our observations can bring us a new world in which work becomes a place for innovation, and in which peace, wisdom, friendship, companionship, and community can exist. Let us design this world together.”

~Carlos Fernando Flores Labra

In the bewitched aviary–The sonnet according to Mr. Shakespeare

A Poem by Pawel Markiewicz

Helots muse about moony Golden Fleece of the condor.
Drudges think of the dreamy eternal dew of the hen.
Philosophers ponder on winged fantasy of the crow.
Kings ruminate on a picturesque gold of the jay.

Priests contemplate the dreamed, soft, meek weird of the woodpecker.
Masters daydream about nice marvelous songs of the tern.
Soothsayers dream of fulfilled gold of the yellowhammer.
Knights philosophize about poetic dawn of the wren.

Hoplites fantasize about a red sky of the sparrow.
Athletes describe the most tender treasure-charm of the snipe.
Gods remember an enchanted, dear temple of the seagull.
Goddesses recall fairytale-like heroes of the kite.

Poets commemorate the elves-like heaven of the owl.
Bards reflect on most amazing dreamery of the rook.

Blackbirds

A Poem by Donal Mahoney

A moment ago,
in a flicker of pique,
with a wave of the hand,
I dispersed them.

Glorious birds,
now they are back,
gold talons wrapped,
roosting.

Glorious birds,
high on a wire,
spearing the nits
in their feathers.

WAR VRS. BEAUTY

A Poem by Michael H. Brownstein

Let us say the colorful hummingbird symbolizes peace.
Let us say the two legged giant with weak arms is the gray of cruelty–
The hummingbird swift and agile, a glitter of texture;
the giant clumsy and slow, the creator of tools of destruction.
Let us say they meet in the field of wild flowers blossoming.
After the fires fade, only a thick fog of death remains.
Let us say the hummingbird tries to symbolizes peace.
Let us say the giant with weak arms tries to be the master of extinction.
The field will regain itself, flowers will bloom, hummingbirds will sing.
their soft whisper of a song: I do this work for you,
two legged giant with weak arms, so you will have many fields
colored with beauty and sweet perfumes to scent the air.

A  Sermon from Yun-Man in the Collected Sermons of Wa-men-kaun.

Yun-man said, “The world is vast and wide; why do you put on a seven-fold robe at the sound of the bell?”

(Editor’s note: This is the entire sermon. After he said these words, he took his seat.)

A BREATH OF FORTITUDE

A Poem by Michael H. Brownstrein

–based on an image by artist Vony Razom who is currently producing art from a bomb shelter in Ukraine

in the madness of the fertile lands,
a red blossom and its red leaves–
and from its seed, red caterpillars
bending into Red admirals, strong
in wing and shape, rugged Vanessas

do not mistaken fractures in the sea
for weakness of the heart, soul sickness–
she knows the beauty of self and water

from her place on the shore of power,
a current: she flips into the air, sails
within the wind, reflects on strength
and courage–sometimes a butterfly
becomes human and changes the world.

NOW

A Poem by Michael H. Brownstein

if radiant energy
if the prism with well-lit blossoms
if a tambourine sparks the scent of orange-blue

walk with me through the forest of log cabins
near the path of the river of gold
into the cave where diamonds echo vibrations of taste

this could be a maybe
this could be a possibility
this could be the silent laughter

in the end what if
if could be anything else
but the if it allows itself to be

The End of Roe vs. Wade–Consequences–We are posting this again because we think this is that important.

THE DANCE OF TWO COAT HANGERS

A Poem by Michael H. Brownstein

Something soft, perhaps indelible.
Make sure the bathtub water is cold to the touch.,
but not unbearable–lean into your body–
find your quiet space.
But first, the door must be locked.
No one can disturb you.

The hangers, elongated, stretch to the thighs,
its metal hard, yur skin pliant,
a mixing of fear and a mixing of anxiety.
this is how some of the things you care about
become things you can no longer bear,
how everything can change in a second
and fever on forever.

If the metal does not find an entrance,
do not force it.
When you bend to far towards your knees,
when you lose touch with yourself,
if the metal scrapes into blood,
if a cloud becomes solid and a fog sweat,
listen carefully to your eyes.
Tears are often lifesavers.
Sobs are often the only way to get out of the water.
Do not ever allow yourself to drown.

Then
rest within melody, thick breath, a shadow of whisper–
I performed this dance once, and succeeded.
A best friend, no.
Before you leave this evening,
be aware–and she finally paused–
every dance you will do from then on will be less fragile.

The End of Roe vs. Wade–Consequences

THE DANCE OF TWO COAT HANGERS

A Poem by Michael H. Brownstein

Something soft, perhaps indelible.
Make sure the bathtub water is cold to the touch.,
but not unbearable–lean into your body–
find your quiet space.
But first, the door must be locked.
No one can disturb you.

The hangers, elongated, stretch to the thighs,
its metal hard, yur skin pliant,
a mixing of fear and a mixing of anxiety.
this is how some of the things you care about
become things you can no longer bear,
how everything can change in a second
and fever on forever.

If the metal does not find an entrance,
do not force it.
When you bend to far towards your knees,
when you lose touch with yourself,
if the metal scrapes into blood,
if a cloud becomes solid and a fog sweat,
listen carefully to your eyes.
Tears are often lifesavers.
Sobs are often the only way to get out of the water.
Do not ever allow yourself to drown.

Then
rest within melody, thick breath, a shadow of whisper–
I performed this dance once, and succeeded.
A best friend, no.
Before you leave this evening,
be aware–and she finally paused–
every dance you will do from then on will be less fragile.

.

Beer

A Poem by Michael Estabrook

. . one of the last things Dad did
before he died was to buy an Erector Set
to teach his sons how to build things . . .

There they are in the airport at the rental car counter
father and son, carbon copies of one another
tall, loud, brash, laughing, in control
the world is their clam (or is it oyster).
Hard to avoid looking at them looming loudly over everything
and of course I’m finding them annoying, obnoxious even.
But they are not really doing anything wrong
not being rude or disrespectful
simply being father and son two peas in a pod
same voice, same smile, same stance
finishing each other sentences right out there for all to see
which is probably the problem for me considering
that my dad died
before we could even have a beer together.

In War

A Poem by R Soos

there is a call for strength
with simple commands of reason
kill or be killed commands
from men who take afternoon
naps in air conditioned
offices while the shrapnel
allows the blood on our
legs to sweetly clot and coagulate
so we may kill again tomorrow

JUST BECAUSE A LEADER IS MAD DOES NOT MEAN YOU MUST FOLLOW HIM

A Poem by Michael H. Brownstein

Putin tries to poke holes into the body’s work of a nation
but the body’s work of the nation cannot be poked through—

gut-shot punctuation, terrorist renderings, vocabulary of madness
and Russia bleeds fire, cruelty, vocabulary of an insane man’s mind.

He walks into the noise more than once,
and now he must exit from the room:

You do not have to follow a leadership lodged in evil.
Following orders is not a defense.

How do you fight a courageous people, Putin?
You do not. Geocide is murder. Murder is murder.

You Save Me

A Poem by linda m. crate

bluebirds sing in your eyes
sun stars in your locks
magnolia lips dance their kiss
the birds of you nest
their song in my ears
the eggs of psalms hatching
some song i can scarcely remember;
you awoke in me a need
to cleave the bitterness
hanging it into pomegranate
sunsets that know nothing more than melancholy —
you washed over me hymns of light,
rivers of bliss:
You broke me out of the stone.
Let me sing a song of thanksgiving
and let’s harmonize a better medley
for all the world to hear.