Planted by Jennifer White

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Planted

This ripping,

This tearing,

This pulling of roots.

 

I have struggled to flourish here in

This dry place

Cursed this sandy soil

Where water rushes away from me and

Wind rushes in.

We gather together in this harsh place

Because we must

Protect each other, nurture each other

Shade each other from the blazing sun.

We eke out a small place where

Water will gather and wind is belayed.

You have lifted your branches above me and

Given me a place to grow.

My roots are strong.

 

They may transplant well

But they will forever sing

The song of these plains.

Jennifer White

Jennifer White was born in Nebraska, but from the age of six has called Kansas home. She started writing in high school, but got serious about it about it after beginning her short-lived teaching career. Jennifer recently moved to Kansas City, where she finds herself longing for the serenity and simplicity of small-town life. Besides writing, Jennifer sings and acts and uses most of her creative energy keeping track of her husband and three boys.

July’s poetry editor Ramona McCallum is the author of the poetry collection Still Life with Dirty Dishes (2013, Woodey Press) and is entering the second year of her MFA studies at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where she is a Durwood Poetry Fellow. Ramona and her husband Brian McCallum, a ceramic sculptor, and their six children are currently founding a nonprofit organization called PowerHouse Universe whose mission is to recognize and encourage the creative abilities of youth by providing opportunities for positive self-expression in the literary, visual and performance arts.

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Comeback by Michelle Pond

 

 

Michelle Pond (2)

 

Comeback

 

The white daisy

can’t take the heat.

It’s down to one green leaf.

Fall brings relief, and

leads to winter’s sleep.

It sprouts again in spring,

but doesn’t have the

strength to flower.

Needs to build up

a little more power.

One more cycle

and it’s in full bloom.

Living proof of

the will to survive.

Despite its challenges,

it’s going to thrive.

Sometimes, all it takes is

one green leaf and time.

 

Michelle Pond

Michelle Pond is a poet and photographer who likes sports, jazz and art inspired by other art. Since 2001, she has attended and/or volunteered with a bereavement support group; and grief is a recurring theme in her poetry. She has collected some grief poems into a chapbook, I Keep You with Me. Her work also has appeared in Thorny Locust, RustyTruck ezine, and the Salon anthologies, poetry from Kansas City’s longest running open mic. Her visual art pieces that combine poetry and photographs have been exhibited at The Writers Place and PT’s at the Crossroads in Kansas City.

 


July’s poetry editor Ramona McCallum is the author of the poetry collection Still Life with Dirty Dishes (2013, Woodey Press) and is entering the second year of her MFA studies at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where she is a Durwood Poetry Fellow. Ramona and her husband Brian McCallum, a ceramic sculptor, and their six children are currently founding a nonprofit organization called PowerHouse Universe whose mission is to recognize and encourage the creative abilities of youth by providing opportunities for positive self-expression in the literary, visual and performance arts.

 

 

Don’t Watch Your Watch by Kevin Rabas

 

Don’t Watch Your Watch                  K BH @ Inner Bean Reading 14Nov2007 009

That July, Liz caught me checking my pocket watch

and tossed my ticking timepiece out her second floor window

into the tiger lilies that burnt orange as Liz’s wild mane hair.

When I went to the window, she kissed me, bit me, said,

“Do you have somewhere else to be?” And, no, I said.

I don’t have anywhere else to be. I just like to know

what time it is. “Forget time,” she said. “Be here.”

And I took to looking at banks and town squares

and to the sun to know what time it was.

 

Kevin Rabas

 

Dr. Kevin Rabas (MFA, Goddard College; PhD, KU) co-directs the creative writing program at Emporia State and edits Flint Hills Review. Rabas writes poetry, plays, flash fiction, and creative nonfiction. He has four books: Bird’s Horn, Lisa’s Flying Electric Piano, a Kansas Notable Book and Nelson Poetry Book Award winner, Sonny Kenner’s Red Guitar, also a Nelson Poetry Book Award winner, and Spider Face: stories. He writes regularly for Jazz Ambassador Magazine (JAM). Rabas’s plays have been produced across Kansas and in San Diego. His work has been nominated for four Pushcart Prizes, and Rabas is the winner of the Langston Hughes Award for Poetry, the Victor Contoski Poetry Award, the Jerome Johanning Playwriting Award, and the Salina New Voice Award.

 

July’s poetry editor Ramona McCallum is the author of the poetry collection Still Life with Dirty Dishes (2013, Woodey Press) and is entering the second year of her MFA studies at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where she is a Durwood Poetry Fellow. Ramona and her husband Brian McCallum, a ceramic sculptor, and their six children are currently founding a nonprofit organization called PowerHouse Universe whose mission is to recognize and encourage the creative abilities of youth by providing opportunities for positive self-expression in the literary, visual and performance arts.

 

 

Hating the Sun by Linda Lobmeyer

Chelsea'swedding

Hating the Sun

 

I can’t remember hating the sun like I do today,

beating us down with its summer scourge.

Hating us. Hurting us.  Killing what we wanted

so much to keep alive.  Pouring drought

into our hearts.

 

I saw a tiny cloud cover the sun yesterday.

A little girl damp at the pool said it looked

like a continent.  The thirty seconds that it spent

hiding the sun held our attention and made it

massive, like childhood or a heart’s journey.

 

My friends, you all have been clouds for me.

Sadly, many of you have passed

a little too far left, failing to shade me.

Others have been consistent tiny reprieves.

Thank you, even if you were only the hope

of a shadow.

 

And to that giant thunderhead out west,

always churning then passing me by, I forgive you.

 

The sun killed the fifty year-old cedar in my yard.

Can a more generous cloud build tomorrow?

 

Linda Lobmeyer

Linda Lobmeyer is an attorney in her hometown of Garden City, Kansas. She graduated Kansas State University where she studied English Literature and Washburn Law School.  In her spare time she writes, deletes, crumples paper and stares out the window.  She also loves to swim at the Garden City Municipal Swimming Pool or “The Big Pool” as the locals call it.