Poetry of Love, Resistance, & Solidarity

Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

136. To the Stars Through Difficulties: Joseph Bast

Day illuminates the dark stillness, at last.  She rises alone.
Silence exhales, Kansas winds cup the sails of her mind,
its compass directs a gaze beyond the withered hedge row
on horizons shimmering above the waves of bending dried pasture.
Rich scent of earth summons images of furrowed green tomorrows
reaped from burgeoning clouds remembered from fertile yesteryears.
She sips coffee, feels the cracks in the porch wood under her bare feet.
What pens the lyrics of today?
Listen!  Omega whispers in her ear “per aspera, strength”.
Drops of rain syncopate on the porch wood.  At last, September.
— Joseph Bast


134. To the Stars Through Difficulty: Gail Sloan

Sleepless, she waits for the autumn moon to top the eastern hedge row.
Only then does she begin to count, again, the half-ton hay bales below.
Like moon-rocks, they meld into drought-cratered surface of the farm’s best field.
The number of bales never grows, but she has to count them.
The pastures are gone, we will not sell, not yet, not now.
She sleeps, dreams of bulldozers, construction crews, the hedge row dying.
The city’s limits have no boundaries, the hedge row is old.
How long can it survive, how long can we?
She wakes before the sun comes up, looks at the sky, again.
Farmers live on hope, and sometimes, clouds.

— Gail Sloan

133. To the Stars Through Difficulty: Chris Anderson

How far up do you have to fly before the air stops
being Kansas, how far above the hills and sunflowers,
how far above the ghosts and the graves, the highways,
abandoned dogs, strip pits, and bison in cramped pens?
How high above the blood in the fields, the blood
on the church floor?  How far beyond the cell towers,
car-part yards, and mining shovels towering over switchgrass?
Does hardship ever end?  Is Kansas there too, among
the stars?  And if we find Kansas on some broken world
—cratered, fire-haunted—will we love it more or less?

— Chris Anderson

132. To the Stars Through Difficulty: Lindsey Martin-Bowen

So pass your fraying basket, friend,
filled with naked, tarred and feathered men.
I will dump them into the Kaw at sunset, not far from soybean fields.
I will bury them under the soil wet with tears from Wyandot
and Shawnee ghosts still fleeing from the border wars to the Flint Hills.
I will bury them among bones of drunk marauders,
under switchgrass, in clay so deep no one can unearth them.
Together, we will sing the meadowlark’s tired song
and listen to the mongrels howl,
while broken sunflowers bow.

—Lindsey Martin-Bowen

131. To the Stars Through Difficulty: Xanath Caraza

Orange birds shining in the night sky guiding lost sailors among oceanless cities
Birds following the last blue moon of the Mayan calendar
City of golden wheat whispering forgotten poems with tornadoes of fire in between
Poems that grow on branches of the cottonwood tree and spread their sounds
In waves of dark green prairies, our oceans of wisdom, our ancestral voices
Lost buffalos, lost sailors following the blue moon in open skies of the night
Lost hearts following sounds of wisdom
Beating hearts looking for freedom in the green prairies
Blue moon you left them standing alone
Green ocean of lost sailors

— Xanath Caraza

130. To the Stars Through Difficulty: Greg Field

The sky is the color that inspired many sailors
to take warning.  I bump into the devil outside Costco,
he hands me a warm hand-basket, winks.  “I’m hardly
the man for this job, “ I complain.  “Don’t make my people
call your people,” he says and settles into a black limo.
“Go, Moose!” and he’s gone.  I never knew the back-story
to the expression, but now we’re all going like so many bad eggs.
The Carpacio Family ain’t got nothin’ on the horned one.
So much for making lunch from the taste stations,
but the aisles are full, the basket already feels heavy.

— Greg Field

129. To the Stars Through Difficulty: Maryfrances Wagner

The ground opened like a jag of lightning.  Joe Rinella could almost
get his foot inside.  Exposed warrens were empty runways before rain;
the blazed mole dug below his long seam of dead grass, deeper—
near the black snake.  Moose Carpacio remembered his military days
at Fort Leavenworth,  packed his guitar, and left Missouri’s flinty ground
and Kansas fields of stunted corn for Lake Superior’s spray on cheekbones.
He lit kindling in the stone fireplace, scooched logs on the grate, toasted
to cool night, and pulled his windbreaker closer.  At home, the house tried
to let out its breath while Moose remembered his grandfather naked in Alcatraz.

— Maryfrances Wagner

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