Poetry of Love, Resistance, & Solidarity

Archive for the ‘Kansas Time + Place’ Category

Alone in Bed by Heather Mydosh

H Mydosh Headshot 2014Solitary

skin

vellum in morning

light

with bareness

above the arms

feet rubbing

beneath

rolled and folded

in sheets.
Luxury

in breathing

dawn moisture

dripping

panes slicked in

obfuscation

not stillness

but languid

lapsing

into day.
Soft

sleep leaving

cobwebs and

sulfur diamonds

corners and creases

bats and lashes

signs and

spaces

thought quiet

heart still.
Heaving

scrambling

guilt not yet settling

as protean ash on

raspberry blades

unthinkable

forseen release

from bearing

grit grey bone white dust

in the cold touchstone,

now hollow

void

no memory.

~ Heather Mydosh

Heather Mydosh is a transplant to Independence, Kansas where she teaches composition and literature at Independence Community College. She recently was awarded first place for poetry in the Kansas Voices contest for her poem “Strawberry Blood.” She holds her Masters of Literature from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland in Comparative Literature and Thought, where she spent countless nights immersed in dusty texts. Current interests include the Pleistocene extinction of North American mega fauna, the cultivation of peonies, vintage British automobiles, and pre-prohibition cocktails.

Jose Faus is a multidisciplinary artist, writer and independent teacher. He is a founding member of the Latino Writers Collective and sits on the boards of the Latino Writers Collective, UMKC Friends of the Library, Charlotte Street Foundation and is president of the board of The Writers Place. His first book of poetry This Town Like That was published in 2015. The full-length poetry collection The Life and Times of Jose Calderon is forthcoming from 39 Street Press.

Kansas Spring by Mary-Lane Kamberg

in the hills

spice bush buds

blue violets

scent of witch hazel, wild onions

chickadee and titmouse song

darters in spawning clusters
 

on supermarket sidewalks

trayed pansies

garden planters

patio furniture

mulch
 

in the west

gray clouds

snow.

~ Mary-Lane Kamberg

Mary-Lane Kamberg lives in Olathe, Kansas. Her first chapbook, Seed Rain, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2015. She is listed as a Kansas Poet on KansasPoets.com and serves as co-leader of the Kansas City Writers Group. She directs the I Love to Write camp for young writers.

Jose Faus is a multidisciplinary artist, writer and independent teacher. He is a founding member of the Latino Writers Collective and sits on the boards of the Latino Writers Collective, UMKC Friends of the Library, Charlotte Street Foundation and is president of the board of The Writers Place. His first book of poetry This Town Like That was published in 2015. The full-length poetry collection The Life and Times of Jose Calderon is forthcoming from 39 Street Press.

Feeding After the Storm by Doc Arnett

In the waning light of dusk,kansas-poems-9-18-13

a three-quarter moon

seeps through the husk of clouds

the color of rust and bruises,

edges tinged in the least hint of a sunset

that passed a half-hour earlier.

Still soaked from afternoon rain,

the black locust tree, thornless,

droops slender limbs and small leaves

against the pale stillness

of the western sky,

its stark silhouette graceful and delicate.

Lush as April

on the first Thursday of August,

a blend of perennial rye and bluegrass

passes into the darkness

shaded beneath the trees

on the eastern side of the slope

that leads to the neighbor’s place.

There is a peace

in the passing of the storm

and even a hard rain

leaves some gain in the ground.

Already, the tomato plants

have started to straighten

from the pounding of wind and water.

Just now,

the moon gleams

from a break in the clouds

and I see clearly

the path from the barn to the house.

~ Doc Arnett

Doc Arnett teaches Creative Writing and directs Institutional Research at the oldest college in Kansas, Highland Community College. He and his wife of twenty-five years, Randa, live in Doniphan, Kansas. A Kentucky native, Doc enjoys writing, singing, remodeling and watching Randa enjoy her Rocky Mountain Horse, Gospel Ryder’s Lil Journey.

Jose Faus is a multidisciplinary artist, writer and independent teacher. He is a founding member of the Latino Writers Collective and sits on the boards of the Latino Writers Collective, UMKC Friends of the Library, Charlotte Street Foundation and is president of the board of The Writers Place. His first book of poetry This Town Like That was published in 2015. The full-length poetry collection The Life and Times of Jose Calderon is forthcoming from 39 Street Press.

Holy Water by Annette Hope Billings

I, Water, having fully drenched12552978_10153398709925678_2056471190933144579_n

each part you present,

find you faultless,

I find you totally acceptable,

utterly free of error,

and entirely worthy

to enter deep into me.
I, Water, part for your descent,

yield for your departure.

I covet the sum of you,

caress the all of you,

welcome the whole of you

which you so generously bring.
I, Water, feel no excess

in wake of your body’s passing.

I swirl around you,

ripple against you,

flow beside you,

lap between you.
I, Water, find you exuberantly sufficient,

clothed or naked,

to step, wade, float, tread, splash, spin, stroke,

as you will,

while you want,

until, saturated with me,

you fancy to exit.
I, Water, having shamelessly sodden

your every surface ,

deem you perfect,

and I bless you for your presence

which renders me holy.

~ Annette Hope Billings

Annette Hope Billings is an poet/actress/playwright, who has written two poetry collections. In 2015, she stepped away from four decades of nursing to writing full-time. Her most recent collection of poetry, A Net Full of Hope, was published last year, garnering her a readers’-proposed title of “Maya of the Midwest.” anetfullofhope@gmail.com

Jose Faus is a multidisciplinary artist, writer and independent teacher. He is a founding member of the Latino Writers Collective and sits on the boards of the Latino Writers Collective, UMKC Friends of the Library, Charlotte Street Foundation and is president of the board of The Writers Place. His first book of poetry This Town Like That was published in 2015. The full-length poetry collection The Life and Times of Jose Calderon is forthcoming from 39 Street Press.

Hobo Code by Debbie Theiss

reunionI see him walk between railroad tracks,

black braids sway back and forth,

beads interwoven,

long fringed vest jangles,

entwined stones collide.
A dog, black and sleek nudges his leg at ready.

Above his head a metal rod with prongs

looms like a goalpost.

Two hawks perch

stately, poised.
Hunter? Wanderer?
I scramble to the railroad trestle

keeping him in sight,

grass bites bare legs,

my hand runs along outcropped rock,

traces charred hobo codes
left by transient workers

during the Great Depression,

lined drawings, meant to guide

simplistic signs

danger ahead, shelter, food.
Now draped across his back

the folded platform.

On his shoulders, the hawks hunker

yellow-banded curved beaks

yellow claws clutch.
Shelter taken in the shade

of persimmon trees that line the field’s edge.

His fingers probe the bark

small, square blocks

as if searching for signs.

~ Debbie Theiss

Footnote: During the Great Depression, nomadic workers traveled on freight trains to garner work that they could find, not spending too much time in any one town. A unique Hobo Code (hoboglyphics) was developed to communicate and give information about places to camp or find a meal or dangers that lay ahead. In Parsons, Kansas a quilt designed with hobo codes was auctioned during Katy Days in celebration of the strong heritage of freight life in Kansas.

Debbie Theiss is an emerging poet. She won 3rd place in the Japanese Haiku Festival Contest and published poems in the Skinny Journal, Paddle Shots: A River Pretty Anthology, Vol. 2, I-70 Review (September, 1016) and was accepted in Interpretations IV in Columbia, MO. She enjoys nature, bicycling, and gardening.

Thomas Reynolds is an associate English professor at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas, and has published poems in various print and online journals, including New Delta Review, Alabama Literary Review, Aethlon-The Journal of Sport Literature, The MacGuffin, Flint Hills Review, and Prairie Poetry. Woodley Press of Washburn University published his poetry collection Ghost Town Almanac in 2008. His chapbook The Kansas Hermit Poems was published in 2013, and his sports-themed chapbook Small Town Rodeos was published by Spartan Press in 2016.

Western Kansas by Jenni Gribble

In western Kansas, the windjenni-gribble-photo

Drifts and the wheat drifts—

Nothing but a golden and fluttering expanse,

And there are no trees unless you plant them.

The old ripe grain, ready for the threshers,

The house was in such a place,

Flatter than flat,

Underneath a perfect sky.

~ Jenni Gribble

Jennie Gribble: “I was born in Ottawa, Kansas, and these poems are inspired by stories told by my ancestors, who settled Kansas in the 1800’s. I am a graduate student in English at Morehead State University, Kentucky, and a high school English teacher. My work has appeared in Inscape: Art and Literary Magazine.

Thomas Reynolds is an associate English professor at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas, and has published poems in various print and online journals, including New Delta Review, Alabama Literary Review, Aethlon-The Journal of Sport Literature, The MacGuffin, Flint Hills Review, and Prairie Poetry. Woodley Press of Washburn University published his poetry collection Ghost Town Almanac in 2008. His chapbook The Kansas Hermit Poems was published in 2013, and his sports-themed chapbook Small Town Rodeos was published by Spartan Press in 2016.

The Soul of Kansas Might Be a Scream by Lindsey Martin-Bowen

You hear it late at night when the moonLindsey
becomes a sliver in someone’s dream,
and ripples in the lake settle
into streams lined with algae and bass.
It might come from John Brown’s ghost
or the specter haunting the WPA castle at Coronado Heights.
It could be wails from Bob Elliot, who died in a wreck
on the red trail winding down from the peak.
Perhaps it’s the lonely moan of a locomotive
over plains where fires break through nights.
Maybe the shriek emanates from the cemetery
edged by yuccas where the snow never stays,
or from the western ridge where wolves cry
and geese wing through wide, blood-red skies.

~ Lindsey Martin-Bowen

From Standing on the Edge of the World (Woodley Press 2008)

Lindsey Martin-Bowen’s “Bonsai Tree Gone Awry” (Inside Virgil’s Garage, Chatter House Press 2013) was nominated for a Pushcart. Woodley Press published Standing on the Edge of the World, named one of the Top 10 Poetry Books for 2008 (McClatchy). Paladin Contemporaries released three of her novels, and her poetry has run in New Letters, I-70 Review, Coal City Review, Thorny Locust, Flint Hills Review, Bare Root Review, The Same, Little Balkans Review, and others. She teaches at MCC-Longview.

Thomas Reynolds is an associate English professor at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas, and has published poems in various print and online journals, including New Delta Review, Alabama Literary Review, Aethlon-The Journal of Sport Literature, The MacGuffin, Flint Hills Review, and Prairie Poetry. Woodley Press of Washburn University published his poetry collection Ghost Town Almanac in 2008. His chapbook The Kansas Hermit Poems was published in 2013, and his sports-themed chapbook Small Town Rodeos was published by Spartan Press in 2016.

Tag Cloud