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Fall, Web Edition
Vol. 9, Issue 2

poets in the pond...

Bobbi Dykema Katsanis Barbara Archer
Wilda Morris Caroline Misner

Bobbi Dykema Katsanis

 

summer solstice

These are the holy days of obligation.

We are called to offer wonder and attent

To the hummingbird, clad in emeralds and opals,

Hovering at the fragrant mouth of the gardenia;

To the rocks warbling in the waters of the brook;

To sunlight bathing, caressing the maiden grass,

lingering late into the evening,

teasing sweetness from the ripening tomato;

To dwell in each delicious, honey-scented fruit;

Delight in golden riches of a peach

as though we were the lords of all the realm.

 

Listen, my brothers!

All of life pulsates with exquisite harmonies!

Enter, now, into the sanctuary.

Join the song.

 

 

quiet arrivals


golden ringlet of a child danced

by a light skiff of breeze.

 

soft pale sock drifts downward

on a final fluff of air inside the dryer.

 

an absentminded tumbling feather

tentatively rests on tips of grass.

 

iridescent soap bubble captures light

delivers it to glassy marble surface.

 

wet sands of the beach, tenderly adorned

with seaweed by the frothy tide.

 

flute’s last liquid melodies flow

through ear’s doorway, settle into silence.

 

your hand resting on my hip

ebbing you into sleep.

 

 

Japanese Garden, Washington Park Arboretum


a shrine for things that are holy:

maples blushing crimson in the autumn sun,

carp swimming languidly in cool green water,

turtles basking on sun-warmed rocks,

dragonflies, rippling water, moss.

 

two children kneeling on a wooden bridge

to glimpse, through the gaps between the boards,

a brilliant orange fish gliding below.

they had not seen the turtles

in their mud-colored stillness.

I pointed them out, seven sharing one rock.

the children, spotting them, ran,

chirping excitedly,

to show their father.

 

I notice that the geese have mostly gone

from here, this still point

between warmth and winter—

an island of memory,

a pool of calm.

 

 

night sail, Viking Line, January ‘05

 

our ship labors through every swell of sea,

just like a panting woman in travail,

she crests and falls, she pitches and she rolls

and rises, like a mighty pair of hips

rotating in a strange exotic dance.

the spray is fierce. the wind shrieks like a wraith.

the breakers crash, higher than tall men’s heads.

and I am Amphitrite, queen of waves,

and I am fierce Poseidon, king of storms.

the sea is green, a dark, forbidding jewel

laced with white. She keeps her secrets. We,

all those who have salt-water in our veins,

so tempest-tossed, this Baltic winter’s night,

must journey on into the birth of light.

 

 

Bobbi Dykema Katsanis is currently at work on her doctorate in Art and Religion at the Graduate
Theological Union in Berkeley. Her chapbook, The Magdalene's Notebook, was recently released
by Finishing Line Press."

 

bobbi_jason@yahoo.com

 

   

 

Wilda Morris

 

 

Night Stand

 

Jane Kenyon thinks

she is dead. She

writes no more

poetry. Leukemia,

not melancholy,

dragged her away.

But she sits

beside my bed,

whispers in my ear

of cows in the snow,

cats by the stove,

rock, leaf, bird song,

love, death, lies,

the silver thimble

and the medicine jar.

All night she begs

me to read aloud.

 

This poem was published in SecondWind.

 

Note to Heinrich Schliemann

 

How long did you lie

in your grave unable

to sleep, knowing

after you found Troy

you dug straight through

the city of Agamemnon

and Achilles, knowing

the mask you claimed

was Agamemnon’s

probably wasn’t?

 

Did you lie there wondering

if your widow ever again

would wear the earrings

and necklace

you had believed

were Helen’s?

 

Did you turn as if on

broken shards knowing

the deep tunnel you dug

looking for the oldest city

destroyed clues which might

have proved Homer

described real battles,

that your trash heap may hold

remains of Priam’s palace?

 

Published in Prairie Light Review

 

Wilda Morris is the current president of the Illinois State Poetry Society.  Her poems have appeared
in a wide variety of publications, including Christian Science Monitor, The Alembic, The Kerf, Poem,
The Iconoclast and Taproot.

 

wem@ameritech.net

 

   

Barbara Archer

 

 

St. Elizabeth in a Hospital Bearing Her Name

 

They glide by on quiet feet, this way and that

over slick floors in clothes so clean

in such light, such glorious light.  But where

are the blood, the stench, the cries

of the dying as they toss upon their hopeless beds?

When they prayed for release she held their hands,

pressed cloths to burning foreheads, smoothed

eyelids down with roughened fingers which spoke

her prayers.  Now she seeks the stigmata of pain

in the voices, the bodies of those who sit

next to her, slumped and silent or murmuring

their fear to persons she cannot see, perhaps

to God.  She herself prays for one more miracle

to turn her plaster feet to flesh, so she may rise

from her niche to meet the blood, the agony,

the need.

 

 

Absence

 

While you were away, the rooms of our house

grew like balloons sucking in fresh air.

When I opened the blinds I could see clearly,

because our dust had settled so a cloth

could wipe it away. The cyclones that once

raced about, smashing things to bits,

unspun themselves and sank to the floor,

ready to sleep through the night, while

the owl outside our window hooted loud

as always, though he did not wake me, drawn down

as I was into the kind of dream night brings

to infants cradled in their mother’s arms.

 

 

Loose Ends

 

We speak of tying up loose ends

as though life were a finished garment

we could just slip into, or as though

it were something--a boat, a balloon--

firmly moored and not, as I see it,

unfixed and ready to sail off into unknown

skies or seas. Without loose ends,

where are the possibilities?

 

Barbara Archer has been writing poetry and fiction since 2005.  Her work has appeared in a number of
publications, including
Ampersand, AmarilloBayand Poetryfish.  Fufure publications  inlcud a story in

Riverwalk Journal  and a poem in Poetry MidwestShe lives and works in Chapel HillNorth Carolina,
Stylus, 
 

 

bcarcher@earthlink.net

   

 Caroline Misner

 

Written in Stone

 

Nothing is written in stone,

or blood, but blood

can be sluiced away,

diminished like a falsetto song.

 

You, sitting there

in your pillow of smugness,

think you know the world,

though you’re barely sixteen

and not yet lived as a man.

 

I am your mother,

but I’ve severed the silver cord

that hooked us together.

Back then I couldn’t wait

to be rid of you, your

neediness, your indigence,

the way you clung to my shins

like ivy;

I needed to be myself,

whatever that is.

 

Now I can’t wait to embrace you,

to teach you, to create; you

of all people understand the need

for creation.

 

I have dreams of your sister;

she is an infant again.  The scent

of her hair as it brushes my chin

while I hold her, fills me

with a sense of purpose;

I realize I have squandered the era

of your youth;

I don’t even remember you

growing up.

 

 

 MORE CAROLINE MISNER