Poetry of Love, Resistance, & Solidarity

Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

Evolution of Man                               —by Katelyn Roth

I.

Hanuman Langur, protected1029161103
in India for holy rites, dark-
skinned descendant
of the monkey god,
has a charred sugar skull face,
bullwhip tail of gray ash.

One male takes ten mothers
for his own, slaughters the children
of their former mates.
With firstborns dead, only
his offspring survive.

II.

Why I stayed:

because I was isolated. I
believed he would kill me. I
blamed myself. He
controlled my life. He
was my life. I
didn’t exist anymore.

III.

Why I left:

Garbage consumes kilometers
of Pacific Ocean, island of debris
visible to God,
satellites, astronauts.

Carp, char, grunion, hagfish,
the lamprey and naked puffer, are
trashchoked and blinded
by confettied waste, the sludge,
swirling above them, galactic.

 


Katelyn Roth
graduated with her Master’s in poetry from Pittsburg State University. She teaches composition and general literature at Pittsburg State University and Fort Scott Community College. Her work has previously appeared online at Silver Birch Press and here at Heartland: Poems of Love, Resistance, and Solidarity.

Guest Editor Laura Lee Washburn is a University Professor, the Director of Creative Writing at Pittsburg State University in Kansas, and the author of This Good Warm Place: 10thAnniversary Expanded Edition (March Street) and Watching the Contortionists (Palanquin Chapbook Prize).  Her poetry has appeared in such journals as 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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Regarding the Conversation When We Compared Regrets                                by Allison Blevins

A bird somewhere has given up sleep to prove love.
Some moments demand speaking, so we say nothing.
This is true, though often we tell lies.  One day, a bird falls
accidentally.  I think the birds are women, really.  I’ll remember
these months as a great unburdening.  A bird somewhere sings
me too.  I would cry out with them, but the daughter growing
inside me would hear what she is coming to.  This child
is declarative, like a sentence ending.  Finally.
When birds speak on the subject of mourning, on
what a body has done, can do
                                             I want to say it more
plainly—feathered and blue as down as heather as
a leaf twisting—my daughter is mine.  One day, I’ll fall.
She may remember the worst of me.  A bird somewhere
has given up.  These months, I find myself breaking like wet sand.

AllisonBlevins

Allison Blevins received her MFA at Queens University of Charlotte and is a Lecturer for the Women’s Studies Program at Pittsburg State University and the Department of English and Philosophy at Missouri Southern State University. She has been a finalist for the Cowles Poetry Book Prize, the Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, and the Moon City Poetry Award.  Her work has appeared in such journals as Mid-American Review, the minnesota review, Nimrod International Journal, Sinister Wisdom, and Josephine Quarterly.  Her chapbook A Season for Speaking (Seven Kitchens Press), part of the Robin Becker Series, is forthcoming in 2019.  Another chapbook Letters to Joan (Lithic Press) is also forthcoming in 2019. She lives in Missouri with her wife and three children where she co-organizes the Downtown Poetry reading series and is Editor-in-Chief of Harbor Review.

Guest Editor Laura Lee Washburn is a University Professor, the Director of Creative Writing at Pittsburg State University in Kansas, and the author of This Good Warm Place: 10thAnniversary Expanded Edition (March Street) and Watching the Contortionists (Palanquin Chapbook Prize).  Her poetry has appeared in such journals as 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.

Loss by Julie Ramon

When it grew too heavy to carry,                                                       Julieramon.jpg
it filled the bottle trees in Kansas.
Then, it roamed across a burning field
in plumes of smoke with tired feet.
Like coals, it kept burning and hummed
a glow through the night. This was the quickest
and easiest way to lose. In the morning,
the smoke clung to your bandages and hair

as you walked alone outside, black stubble
at your feet. Like a bell, it called out for you
through the dark valley and echoed in your
ears—a sound that never stops, but fades.

 

Julie Ramon is an English instructor at NEO A&M in Miami, Oklahoma.  She graduated with an M.F.A from Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky. Among writing, her interests include baking, sewing, traveling, and garage sales. She is also a co-organizer of a poetry series, Downtown Poetry. She lives in Joplin, Missouri with her husband, son, and daughter.

Guest Editor Laura Lee Washburn is a University Professor, the Director of Creative Writing at Pittsburg State University in Kansas, and the author of This Good Warm Place: 10thAnniversary Expanded Edition (March Street) and Watching the Contortionists (Palanquin Chapbook Prize).  Her poetry has appeared in such journals as 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.

 

This Sunny Day, December 30th — By Laura Lee Washburn

Through brown bamboo shades, leaves shimmy

and bounce, foregrounded by gray roof slate.

 

. . .

 

Downstairs, the man slips in cat spittle, hollers,

mad. The cat necklace sings up the stairs.

 

. . .

 

Today’s high will reach 52 with gusty winds

already hinted at in wavering pin oak leaves.

 

. . .

 

Traffic in town is light, ten minutes to anywhere.

Some man might seem dirty and bundled walking Main.

 

. . .

 

You have house noises, air blowing, pipes banging.

Right now, just now, you forget fear and chore.

 

. . .

 

Your feet are only a little cold yet. Perhaps today,

you . . . .

 

. . .

 

Alert: Low relative humidity, warm temps: any fires

that develop will likely spread rapidly: Fire Weather Warning.

~ Laura Lee Washburn

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.

Guest Editor Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg is the 2009-13 Kansas Poet Laureate and the author or editor of over 20 books. Founder of Transformative Language Arts at Goddard College, where she teaches, she also offers community writing workshops widely, and with Kelley Hunt, Brave Voice writing and singing retreats. She founded the 150 Kansas Poems site where she is thrilled to work with many fine guest editor poets and witness powerful writing from and about the heartland.

IED/PTSD — By Roy Beckemeyer

His friends’ eyes blink worry line codes,

navigate glances laden with dark alleys.

 

They proffer bitter advice spiced

with apologies, reach for his hand, but

 

it has become a trigger with wires wending

into his heart, a timer that sets them

 

to trembling with each click. They ache

to know which colored coil they need to cut,

 

which profession of love might ground

the uncertain and secret circuits of his soul.

~ Roy Beckemeyer

 

Roy J. Beckemeyer was President of the Kansas Authors Club from 2016-2017. His poetry book, Music I Once Could Dance To (Coal City Press, 2014) was recognized as a Kansas Notable Book. His new chapbook of ekphrastic poems, Amanuensis Angel, is out from Spartan Press (2018), as is his new collection, Stage Whispers(Meadowlark Books, 2018). Author’s Page: https://royjbeckemeyer.com/

Guest Editor Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg is the 2009-13 Kansas Poet Laureate and the author or editor of over 20 books. Founder of Transformative Language Arts at Goddard College, where she teaches, she also offers community writing workshops widely, and with Kelley Hunt, Brave Voice writing and singing retreats. She founded the 150 Kansas Poems site where she is thrilled to work with many fine guest editor poets and witness powerful writing from and about the heartland.

The Cows in the Trailer In Front of Me — By Julie Ramon

don’t know the disappointment that waits for them,
but maybe that makes it easier. I always know.
I’ve forgotten my body and the shape it was before
children. It’s all about timing now. I undress quickly,
so my husband won’t see the parts I hate. By now,
I’m supposed to be comfortable with where I am,
but I’m still not sure. I’ve read cows have a magnetic
pull in their bodies, most stand north to south.

A scientist discovered this by accident. He intended to study
the direction people sleep, where tents are placed,
and took note of the cows nearby instead. On my way to work,
my eyes always find them in the fields beneath sheets of fog,
wading belly-high in ponds, grouped near the fence line,
in the metal trailer in front of me. Their black marbles peek
through the slots, their legs search for traction. The fields
where they once roamed hums a new silence.

I leave my child home sick today because I know my boss,
without children, won’t understand me missing two days
in a row. We’ve never understood each other. Today
after class, I keep my office hour and return home.
My boss emails me about staying more than the minimum.
We have different ideas about what minimum means.
I think she secretly wants to fire me, maybe that’s okay
because it’s nearly winter and the fields are empty.

The faded house next to the silver trees sits empty.
No one is home. They said forever, but they didn’t mean it.
Most don’t, except for the cows. If they could say forever,
they would say you can feel it at night how fields glow
after a burn. They would say north to south, it fills the moon
with milk. Here, the fields never forget their warmth,
and though they’re not sure where they’re going,
I know, every road in Kansas leads to you.

~ Julie Ramon

Julie Ramon is an English instructor, specializing in English as a second language, at Pittsburg State University in Kansas. She also teaches academic writing at Crowder College in Missouri. She graduated with an M.F.A from Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky. Among writing, her interests include baking, sewing, traveling, and garage sales. She lives in Joplin, Missouri with her husband, son and daughter.


Guest Editor Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg is the 2009-13 Kansas Poet Laureate and the author or editor of over 20 books. Founder of Transformative Language Arts at Goddard College, where she teaches, she also offers community writing workshops widely, and with Kelley Hunt, Brave Voice writing and singing retreats. She founded the 150 Kansas Poems site where she is thrilled to work with many fine guest editor poets and witness powerful writing from and about the heartland.

Time Zone in Scorpio – Ronda Miller

fiery ramifications,

a blazing sun.

S. Korean silent,

not to embarrass self,

national communiqué.

 

There’s something not right

with the sky tonight, hot breath

of summer months away. Miami

man, at Swope Park, slinking

rage, scent of murderous ways.

 

Something’s not right

with the sky today,

it’s pushing me away.

Breath comes overwrought

with too much afterthought.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

 

Something’s not right with

The moon tonight, it’s purple, not gold.

The squirrels are acting crazed.

 

Fingers lace amidst flowers.

~ Ronda Miller

November editor, Ronda Miller, is State President of the Kansas Authors Club (2018 – 2019). Her three books of poetry include Going Home: Poems from My Life, MoonStain (Meadowlark-Books, 2015) and WaterSigns (Meadowlark-Books, 2017). Miller lives in Lawrence but returns to wander The Arikaree Breaks of Cheyenne county every chance she gets. Kansas Authors Club.

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