Poetry of Love, Resistance, & Solidarity

Posts tagged ‘Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg’

A Blessing Of Wet Earth — By Maril Crabtree

We clear the ground, snow dense and heavy

on our shovels, our humanness never more frail

as we glimpse this thin line arrowing its way

through a vast field of white, our early spring efforts

 

outlined row by row. To bare this patch one

shovelful at a time may be fools’ work but it’s also food

for the spirit. Sisyphus, too, claimed joy despite the risk

of angering gods. Laughing, he wouldn’t have waited

 

for an uncertain sun to melt late-winter blues.

The impulse to measure our progress, even in inches, seems

irresistible. Same thing with seeds, no matter

how small: we push them into wet earth and dream

 

of the summer sustenance they will become:

melons, cucumbers, squash, peppers, all reaching for the light

even now, even as dusk settles in and cold winds remind us

not to hope for too much this gone-awry spring.

~ Maril Crabtree

previously published in All Roads Will Lead You Home (http://vacpoetry.org/journal, Vol. 3, September 2016)

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 Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Ph.D., the 2009-13 Kansas Poet Laureate is the author of two dozen books, including, most recently, Miriam’s Well, a novel; Everyday Magic: A Field Guide to the Mundane and Miraculous, and Following the Curve, a collection of embodied poetry. . Founder of Transformative Language Arts at Goddard College where she teaches, Mirriam-Goldberg also leads writing workshops widely, particularly for people living with serious illness and their caregivers. With singer Kelley Hunt, she co-leads writing and singing retreats. 

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Morning Paper—Morning Birds — By Diane Wahto

I bend to pick up the morning paper,

as sparrows hidden in dark trees sing

to the gray morning sky. I prepare

myself for the daily dose of grim

print that reveals itself as I unfold

a newspaper that has grown thin

over the years, but not thin enough

to keep out the horrors born of hate

that turns one against another, sours

our humanity before it has a chance

to bear fruit. What knowledge comes

with morning bird song? Knowing

birds will sing with the sunrise,

that the song continues to defy news

wrapped in print every morning.

~ Diane Wahto

 

Diane Wahto received an MFA in creative writing from Wichita State University in 1985 and has been writing poetry ever since. Her latest publication, “Empty Corners,” is in the spring 2017 issue of Same. She was co-editor of 365 Days, an anthology of the 365 Facebook page poets. She lives in Wichita, Kansas, with her husband Patrick Roche and their dog Annie.

Guest Editor Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Ph.D., the 2009-13 Kansas Poet Laureate is the author of two dozen books, including, most recently, Miriam’s Well, a novel; Everyday Magic: A Field Guide to the Mundane and Miraculous, and Following the Curve, a collection of embodied poetry. . Founder of Transformative Language Arts at Goddard College where she teaches, Mirriam-Goldberg also leads writing workshops widely, particularly for people living with serious illness and their caregivers. With singer Kelley Hunt, she co-leads writing and singing retreats. 

Eve — By Mary Silwance

I

 

That on the eve of

her birthday she requests

for her eyebrows to be done

explaining other girls

do it, have been doing it

 

so my mother

 

with a French-tipped nail

slowly trails

my daughter’s brow

and colluding

offers

 

a rite of passage

and I wonder

 

into what.

 

II

 

That on the eve of

her birthday she asks

and I am thrust

into adolescent self alteration parading the catwalk,

masquerading the minefield

of female rites of passage,

into the cult of blind self-consciousness

clambering up the Sisyphean slope

of the unattainable oasis

the backlit mirage of perfection.

 

When did she start dissecting her (whole) self

into pieces (of self) and render them

unacceptable?

Where will the lines of her newly shaped brows take her?

nose job, boob job, hair job, lip jobs above and below

we decry FGM at the hands of mothers and aunties

across the sea

yet practice our own mutilation at the hands of mothers and aunties

right here

 

III

 

That on the eve of

her birthday she asks

for her eyebrows to be done

explaining other girls

do it, have been doing it

 

so I

 

trail my soil-stained hands

along her pristine face

and offer

 

your brows are perfect as they are

on your perfect as it is face your

perfect as it is you

and for the long

moment of your being

you will remain glorious

 

and

 

colluding

let us

move the needle

not to you but from you

to excise the lie

and

right the passage.

~ Mary Silwance

Mary Silwance is an environmental educator and activist who blogs at Tonic Wild and cofounded One Less Pipeline. She is a mother of three and a gardener who aspires to having goats, bees and chickens. Her work has been published in Syracuse Cultural Workers Datebook, Konza Journal, Descansos and Sequestrum.

Guest Editor Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Ph.D., the 2009-13 Kansas Poet Laureate is the author of two dozen books, including, most recently, Miriam’s Well, a novel; Everyday Magic: A Field Guide to the Mundane and Miraculous, and Following the Curve, a collection of embodied poetry. . Founder of Transformative Language Arts at Goddard College where she teaches, Mirriam-Goldberg also leads writing workshops widely, particularly for people living with serious illness and their caregivers. With singer Kelley Hunt, she co-leads writing and singing retreats. 

The Trouble in the Way We Constellate — By Charles Peek

After Twyla Hansen

Some eyes see them better than others, even with the help of a sky-searcher app downloaded to your phone, even lying out in the backyard at night by your dad as he points out one and another by name. I confess I’m a sky-slacker. An eclipse is exciting, an equinox mildly so. The full moon, the harvest moon. Like everyone I guess, a falling star. Too much light, as always, makes it hard to see. My problem with constellations is we just get the nouns and never the verbs, a strange pidgin above the pigeons’ realm, like all stories haltingly told us in another tongue from another side of the universe, a place where split infinitives are famous but absent all action words. If I look, I see vain beauty easily enough but not the pain it inflicts on those less likely to appear in fashion’s mirror, not even the occasional awareness of its own futility. Perhaps, a Libra, I’m too balanced. Once I heard someone more audacious call my dad an “old goat,” and he didn’t even know about Capricorn, could not have known how many times we’d butted heads. No one ever sees the children being bitten by the scorpion, nor feels the bite that’s sharper than a serpent’s tooth. The swan was never an ugly duckling, nor a ride in the park with bench seats. Were there any heads poached just to be lionized in the den? The bull is never led from town for sacrifice, the goat is never scaped. Our heavenly hunter aims but never shoots, no creatures great or small, canine or ursine, ever feels the piercing arrow. Until he becomes a character in a book, Draco fails to do more than look draconian. The horse is not for riding, knows no trot or gallop, doesn’t really ever fly. And where are the pigs? A Semitic sky, where all will happen only when pigs fly, flight being what, in such fixed positions, pigs never manage. No wonder it’s more comforting to look up. Instead.

~ Charles Peek

Charles Peek blogs, writes, and protests from Kearney, Nebraska. His Breezes on the Way to Being Winds won the 2016 Nebraska Award for Poetry. Together with his wife, Nancy, he spends a good deal of time trying to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline form ruining Nebraska’s land, water, and culture.

Guest Editor Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Ph.D., the 2009-13 Kansas Poet Laureate is the author of two dozen books, including, most recently, Miriam’s Well, a novel; Everyday Magic: A Field Guide to the Mundane and Miraculous, and Following the Curve, a collection of embodied poetry. . Founder of Transformative Language Arts at Goddard College where she teaches, Mirriam-Goldberg also leads writing workshops widely, particularly for people living with serious illness and their caregivers. With singer Kelley Hunt, she co-leads writing and singing retreats. 

In the Dark Times, Will There Be Singing? — By Marjorie Saiser

In the dark times

Will there also be singing?

~ Bertolt Brecht

 

Desert morning, the coyotes return

to their cubbyholes, the stars

have wheeled in arcs

 

to stand in their appointed doorways.

The great horned owl on the light pole

sees the neighborhood, sees, if he wants to,

 

how I stand shoeless on the cool sand,

lucky cuss, wingless bird that I am.

 

In the dark times there will be singing

and I, in a forgotten crevice in the universe,

will spread my arms and inhale deep, enormous.

~ Marjorie Saiser

Marjorie Saiser’s most recent book is I Have Nothing to Say About Fire (The Backwaters Press, 2016). Saiser’s poems have been published in Poetry East, Poet Lore, RHINO, Rattle, Nimrod, Mud Season Review, Fourth River, The Writer’s Almanac, Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry, and at poetmarge.com.

Guest Editor Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg is the author or editor of two dozen books, including the recent poetry collection Following the Curve, and collection of prose Everyday Magic: Fieldnotes on the Mundane and Miraculous. Founder of Transformative Language Arts at Goddard College, where she teaches, she leads writing workshops widely, and loves watching the poetry of others rise and glow.

To Love the Unlovely — By Thomas Locicero

To love the unlovely as an old, lost art—

It is not loving on a bell-shaped curve,

Nor is it contrived as with a hollow heart.

 

It cannot be bartered at a local mart,

Nor decreed that the unlovely deserve

To love the unlovely as an old, lost art.

 

It’s not bearing a cross or plotting a chart

Of when it’s appropriate to reserve

The strange right not to forgive from one’s heart,

 

Nor is it a dramatic coming apart

At each unseemly seam so as to serve

To love the unlovely as an old, lost art

 

That few have mastered, and those who have depart

To sainthood on an unreachable preserve

Where their veins are grafted to one perfect heart.

 

In love, everyone warrants a virgin start.

Some bloom late and watch and wait as I observe.

To love the unlovely as an old, lost art

Is to love oneself as with a child’s heart.

Thomas Locicero’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Roanoke Review, Boston Literary Magazine, Long Island Quarterly, Jazz Cigarette, Antarctica Journal, Hobart, Ponder Review, vox poetica, Poetry Pacific, Brushfire, Indigo Lit, Saw Palm, Fine Lines, New Thoreau Quarterly, and Birmingham Arts Journal, among others. He resides in Broken Arrow, OK.

Guest Editor Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg is the author or editor of two dozen books, including the recent poetry collection Following the Curve, and collection of prose Everyday Magic: Fieldnotes on the Mundane and Miraculous. Founder of Transformative Language Arts at Goddard College, where she teaches, she leads writing workshops widely, and loves watching the poetry of others rise and glow.

Prayer — By Izzy Wasserstein

I.

 

A comfortable radical, an academic writing careful verse

in a warm office, what would I do

if fascists rose again, slaughterers with perfect death machines?

I cannot say.

There is no answering that day

until it comes, nor knowing what bells one will strike in warning,

what knotted words of compliance

slip too easily from the tongue.

I have no faith in my bravery, less than in the god revealed

only in silence. Oh, One Who Moves Behind the Facade,

the doors gaping to three-walled houses,

let the illusion-breakers not come for me.

But if they must, grant that I remember Garcia Lorca:

These fields will be strewn with bodies.

I’ve made up my mind. I’m going to Granada.

 

II.

 

Show an affirming flame:

words renounced,

called back, called back,

as though they had not

echoed through the canyons

before they returned.

    And if my words

become ugly, if I recant

every last kind thought,

if the lines of my face

twist in cruelty,

may these soundings

outlast me.

~ Izzy Wasserstein

Izzy Wasserstein is the author of This Ecstasy They Call Damnation, a 2013 Kansas Notable Book. Izzy teaches at Washburn University, runs long distances slowly, and shares a home with a cat and three dogs.

Guest Editor Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg is the author or editor of two dozen books, including the recent poetry collection Following the Curve, and collection of prose Everyday Magic: Fieldnotes on the Mundane and Miraculous. Founder of Transformative Language Arts at Goddard College, where she teaches, she leads writing workshops widely, and loves watching the poetry of others rise and glow.

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