Poetry of Love, Resistance, & Solidarity

Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

Birthday Butter – by Will Hagman

fullsizerenderart was disgusting to her

when it wasted materials

that could be used elsewhere

to help the poor or

feed the hungry

or when it lost all

practicality and only

took up space needed

for something more
 

she realized this while

cutting a stick of butter

and reflected on a film

she saw of Tibetan monks

sculpting butter into

elaborate figures and

designs to celebrate the

birth of Lord Buddha

which made her think

of all the energy spent in

creating the same beauty

to celebrate the birth of

her Lord Jesus Christ
 

supposedly saviors she

whispered to herself while

cutting the butter into

the flour for a pie crust

putting aside her project

she spied her pill box

she remembered she forgot

and popped open the cell

for the day, spilling the pills

into her cupped palm

the tiniest pill contained

both heaven and hell in

its minute chemical cosmos

but no nirvana was found there

~ Will Hagman

Poet Will Hagman works as a customer service representative in Sioux Falls, SD where he lives with his husband Bob. He has found writing to be therapeutic throughout his life and continues to write poetry as a venue to connect with others and himself. Additionally, Will enjoys gardening and dabbling in various mediums of art.

Guest Editor Ronda Miller is district president of Kansas Authors Club, as well as state VP of the club. She is a Life Coach who works with clients who have lost someone to homicide. Miller enjoys wandering the high plateau region of NW Kansas where the Arikaree Breaks whisper into the sunset and scream into blizzards and t-storms. Her quote, “Poetry is our most natural connection among one another” best exemplifies her belief in poetry. She created poetic forms Loku and Ukol and co authored the documentary The 150 Reride of The Pony Express. Her books of poetry include Going Home: Poems from My Life and MoonStain (Meadowlark Books, May of 2015).

But Not Guns – by Kevin Rabas

When it getsimg_5328

real cold,

Asad from Azerbaijan

comes to school

in a new

green and black camo

ski mask,

and secretary Kay tells him:

not a good idea,

wearing that the day after

the shooting, clips

emptied into the dance club,

but Asad doesn’t get it, doesn’t

follow the connection between

that man and him, when men

look like him, but have lost

all heart, face.

Asad lugs his books

up steps, leaves

12 copies of his poem

on my desk, lines of lust

for pomegranates and blondes,

not guns.

~ Kevin Rabas

Poet Kevin Rabas teaches at Emporia State University, where he leads the poetry and playwriting tracks. He has seven books, including Lisa’s Flying Electric Piano – a Kansas Notable Book and Nelson Poetry Book Award winner.

Guest Editor Ronda Miller is district president of Kansas Authors Club, as well as state VP of the club. She is a Life Coach who works with clients who have lost someone to homicide. Miller enjoys wandering the high plateau region of NW Kansas where the Arikaree Breaks whisper into the sunset and scream into blizzards and t-storms. Her quote, “Poetry is our most natural connection among one another” best exemplifies her belief in poetry. She created poetic forms Loku and Ukol and co authored the documentary The 150 Reride of The Pony Express. Her books of poetry include Going Home: Poems from My Life and MoonStain (Meadowlark Books, May of 2015).

Contrition – by Amy Nixon

fullsizerender-1I wake up every day in my skin

it is white

and thin

The hot spray in my white

tile shower keeps me

clean

I smell like cinnamon

soap and baby powder

I am pure vanilla

in a sturdy white bra

soft soft bamboo tiedyed socks

a safety pin

combat boots too light

to fight in

utility pants with no tools nothing

in all those pockets

but a badge

to pass security at my white

collar job That badge says

my time is worth

more than $7.25 it says

my middle class white ass can

drive my SUV a block to

get sushi get my

teeth polished white

White ladies are raised to smile

and not ball up

our fists taught

to float like cotton candy

But me with my thin skin flimsy

boots cinnamon

scent I fight in my sleep wake up

to light stabbing

my skull my heartcage My

pale eyes they smile while

inside I shout Put down

that cross

and pick up a scale

You haven’t met

your Jesus yet and he

wouldn’t know you

from your white neighbor

or a moneychanger or

be impressed

that you footsoldier in a

white righteous war on

Starbucks cups Tell

Jesus who washed feet

do you love the

brown neighbor the gay

neighbor the headcovered

neighbor the struggling neighbor

love

thy neighbor who can’t

be a mother right now

Don’t we all breathe

air eat rice

What are your hands

busy serving up

today Why does your sign

say judgment

What of this world

needs you to hold it so tight

What gives you the right

to make the rules

for fights you cannot conceive of

when waking up in white

sheets on a nice clean street

How do you say I’m

sorry in English

Where is your shame

I wake in shame

I wake silent and afraid

I wake enraged every

single day

Every day I wake up tired

unmolted white wishing

the absence of color

didn’t make

such

a difference

~ Amy Nixon

Poet Amy Nixon is an award-winning poet and songwriter who has recently kicked a 40-year coffee habit and is still standing (most days). Her likes are birdsong, the color turquoise, and National Geographic photographs. Her dislikes are injustice and cancer.

Guest Editor Ronda Miller is district president of Kansas Authors Club, as well as state VP of the club. She is a Life Coach who works with clients who have lost someone to homicide. Miller enjoys wandering the high plateau region of NW Kansas where the Arikaree Breaks whisper into the sunset and scream into blizzards and t-storms. Her quote, “Poetry is our most natural connection among one another” best exemplifies her belief in poetry. She created poetic forms Loku and Ukol and co authored the documentary The 150 Reride of The Pony Express. Her books of poetry include Going Home: Poems from My Life and MoonStain (Meadowlark Books, May of 2015).

Morning News – by Maril Crabtree

Crabtree Head shot - 12%Ten times ten thousand

terrible things in this world

and still

I don’t want to leave it

~ Maril Crabtree

Maril Crabtree lives in the Midwest and writes poetry, creative nonfiction, reviews, and occasional short fiction. Her work has appeared in Canyon Voices, Main Street Rag, Coal City Review, and others. She is a former poetry editor for Kansas City Voices.

Guest Editor Laura Lee Washburn is the Director of Creative Writing at Pittsburg State University in Kansas, and the author of This Good Warm Place: 10th Anniversary Expanded Edition (March Street) and Watching the Contortionists (Palanquin Chapbook Prize).  Her poetry has appeared in such journals as The New Verse News, Cavalier Literary Couture, Carolina Quarterly, Ninth Letter, The Sun, Red Rock Review, and Valparaiso Review.  Born in Virginia Beach, Virginia, she has also lived and worked in Arizona and in Missouri.  She is married to the writer Roland Sodowsky and is one of the founders and the Co-President of the Board of SEK Women Helping Women.

On Being Asked for a Political Poem – by Christopher Todd Anderson

chris

My eyes drift across Kansas, its drab winter fields

and bird-churned skies, its highways like frozen

gray rivers, its oak trees clutching brown shawls

of dead unfallen leaves, a rough threadbare comfort.

 

I could stand at my window all day and watch clouds

grazing sky like white bison in a blue meadow. I could

stand at my window all day drinking hot tea. Gazing

is the only thing I’m really good at. I could do it all day.

 

Yesterday I had lunch with Laura, who keeps quoting

Rukeyser on poets of outrage and poets of possibility.

Honestly, I never know where I stand with my poems

full of raptors and wine, empty fields, black morning

 

coffee, and barn cats gagging up something killed

for hunger. Lunch was good, and my belly’s full

of sunshine, but the new year’s colder than ever

as statesmen swear their oaths with their left palms

flat atop piles of money and raised right hands poised

to bitch-slap America. I’ve got nothing to say to make

things better. Tomorrow, trees will still march through

poems like buckskin priests praising the sun, and gods

 

will roost on power lines, then glory in flight. But now

every word is on fire, every blackbird and maple leaf is

a red ember. Sing your children to sleep, sing, for worlds

are burning as we stir anger like sour milk into our coffee.

 

 

Christopher Todd Anderson is Associate Professor of English at Pittsburg State University in Kansas, where he teaches courses in American literature, creative writing, environmental literature, and popular culture.  His poetry has appeared in journals such as River StyxTar River PoetryEllipsisChicago Quarterly ReviewTipton Poetry Journal, and The Midwest Quarterly.

 

Guest Editor Laura Lee Washburn is the Director of Creative Writing at Pittsburg State University in Kansas, and the author of This Good Warm Place: 10th Anniversary Expanded Edition (March Street) and Watching the Contortionists (Palanquin Chapbook Prize).  Her poetry has appeared in such journals as TheNewVerse.News, Cavalier Literary Couture, Carolina Quarterly, Ninth Letter, The Sun, Red Rock Review, and Valparaiso Review.  Born in Virginia Beach, Virginia, she has also lived and worked in Arizona and in Missouri.  She is married to the writer Roland Sodowsky and is one of the founders and the Co-President of the Board of SEK Women Helping Women

 

The Apocalypse Will Not Be Televised – by Christopher Todd Anderson

Stealthily it will come like termites weakening floorboards.

It will come under darkness, clouds kidnapping the moon

while everyone sleeps. It will slow burn and smolder, no flame

waving the flag of crisis when well-built walls crumble to ash.

 

We in the mined lands know something about collapse. It’s not

always explosions and smoke plumes visible seventeen miles away.

Hollow tunnels, machine-carved then eroded by seepage, run beneath

neighborhoods, beneath playgrounds, schools, homes and highways.

 

Here, the ground could swallow the workaday surface into its jagged

stony mouth any moment. You’ll wake to cracking beams in the house

frame, roaring asphalt or stop signs tumbling in. The news will show

the doll’s head, the tricycle, the mangled Toyota dirty at pit bottom.

 

Don’t believe the half-truth litany of tragedy the TV chants night

and day. Usually suffering is quiet as mice, unseen, hidden in shadows

like a basement cricket behind the furnace. It’s there, it sings, but we

sleep too well, hear nothing except in fitful rest and dark dreams.

Christopher Todd Anderson is

chris

Associate Professor of English at Pittsburg State University in Kansas, where he teaches courses in American literature, creative writing, environmental literature, and popular culture.  His poetry has appeared in journals such as River StyxTar River PoetryEllipsisChicago Quarterly ReviewTipton Poetry Journal, and The Midwest Quarterly.

 

Guest Editor Laura Lee Washburn is the Director of Creative Writing at Pittsburg State University in Kansas, and the author of This Good Warm Place: 10th Anniversary Expanded Edition (March Street) and Watching the Contortionists (Palanquin Chapbook Prize).  Her poetry has appeared in such journals as TheNewVerse.News, Cavalier Literary Couture, Carolina Quarterly, Ninth Letter, The Sun, Red Rock Review, and Valparaiso Review.  Born in Virginia Beach, Virginia, she has also lived and worked in Arizona and in Missouri.  She is married to the writer Roland Sodowsky and is one of the founders and the Co-President of the Board of SEK Women Helping Women.

Diaspora – by Oliver de la Paz

The hull answers to no one except

tidal winds. Manta rays, tall as billboard letters

stitch the ship’s underneath metal parts. Their fin-tips name

 

each rivet. Call this one “country.” Call this

“Orient.” We are the hazards ribboning into

the galley. Dark seams, the staccato of harbor lights

through port holes.

 

The knowable world is a mountain. It is

a mountain. And the low place within is named

“dwelling.” Inside we hear water shake the frame.

 

We hear the steps of someone coming forward.

A calamity, of sorts. Then a man opens the door and fish

spill like bright coppery nerves.oliver

 

 

 

Oliver de la Paz is the author of four collections of poetry: Names Above Houses, Furious Lullaby, Requiem for the Orchard, and Post Subject: A Fable. He also co-edited A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry. A founding member, Oliver serves as the co-chair of the Kundiman advisory board. Additionally he serves on the Executive Board of Trustees for the Association of Writers & Writing Programs. His work has been published or is forthcoming in journals such as American Poetry Review, Tin House, The Southern Review, and Poetry Northwest. He teaches at the College of the Holy Cross and in the Low-Residency MFA Program at PLU.

 

 

Guest Editor Laura Lee Washburn is the Director of Creative Writing at Pittsburg State University in Kansas, and the author of This Good Warm Place: 10th Anniversary Expanded Edition (March Street) and Watching the Contortionists (Palanquin Chapbook Prize).  Her poetry has appeared in such journals as TheNewVerse.News, Cavalier Literary Couture, Carolina Quarterly, Ninth Letter, The Sun, Red Rock Review, and Valparaiso Review.  Born in Virginia Beach, Virginia, she has also lived and worked in Arizona and in Missouri.  She is married to the writer Roland Sodowsky and is one of the founders and the Co-President of the Board of SEK Women Helping Women.

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