Fall, Web Edition
Vol. 9, Issue 2
poets in the pond...
Bobbi Dykema Katsanis
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.
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,
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."
Jane Kenyon thinks
she is dead. She
writes no more
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
Did you lie there wondering
if your widow ever again
would wear the earrings
you had believed
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.
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,
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.
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,
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
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
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
MORE CAROLINE MISNER