Poetry of Kansas Here & Now, There & Then

Posts tagged ‘Denise Low’

Genesis by Diane Wahto

Diane WahtoWhen those two people, cold, armored, fortified

against the assaults they had fought and conquered,

when those two faced each other, foundered,

grasped hands to make promises, to forge an accord,

in the almost empty church in front of the preacher

on a Saturday night, in front of her mother, his mother,

his father dead, her father deaf to anyone’s needs

but his own small ones,

when they left the church and went to the small

apartment just down the block that they would call

home until the first baby started to crawl,

when they shared a bed for the first time,

unfamiliar touches, awkward kisses, crossed a line

that she had not crossed before, he making a fine

show of manhood the first time. Then came the sun,

a bright light in the bedroom. They arose, put on

their wedding clothes, and went to church,

as was their habit.

~ Diane Wahto

Diane Wahto has an MFA in creative writing from Wichita State University. Her poem, “Someone Is Always Watching,” won the American Academy of Poets award. Recently, her poems “The Conspiracy of Coffee” and “After the Storm” were published in Active Aging. She, her husband, and two dogs live in Wichita, Kansas.

Guest editor: Denise Low, 2nd Kansas Poet Laureate, is author of twenty-five books, most recently Mélange Block (Red Mountain Press, Santa Fe). Low is past president of the Associated Writers and Writing Programs board of directors. Cream City Review nominated her fiction for a Pushcart Prize, 2014. She writes articles, blogs, and reviews; and she co-publishes a small press, Mammoth Publications. She teaches private professional workshops as well as classes for Baker U. Her MFA is from W.S.U. and Ph.D. is from K.U. She has British Isles, German, and Delaware Indian heritage. See more: www.deniselow.net http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/denise-low http://deniselow.blogspot.com

Hues by Denise Low

I look into my lover’s eyes. Denise

Like lit sumac, they catch fire.

Our glances kindle scarlet.

 

My tongue tastes sea-blue.

My hands dip in purple water.

Elderberry blooms next to us.

 

Alfalfa blossoms spread lemon.

Mountain winds smell of snow

blown through miles of sage.

 

Our legs entwine in brambles.

When we kiss, fragrance becomes

the skin’s sun-heat smell.

 

 A cinder pyre burns away the west

until again we are blind.

~ Denise Low

Denise (Dotson) Low is the 2007-2009 Kansas Poet Laureate, with 25 published books of poetry, personal essays, and scholarship. Melange Block, poems, is from Red Mountain Press (2014), and A Casino Bestiary, poetry and fiction, is forthcoming from Mouthfeel Press (2015). She has been visiting professor of creative writing at the University of Richmond and the University of Kansas. At Haskell Indian Nations University, she founded the creative writing program. Currently, she teaches courses for Baker University as well as independent creative writing workshops in Kansas City and online. She has awards from the NEH, Lannan Foundation, The Newberry Library, Academy of American Poets,Sequoyah National Research Center, and Ks. Arts Commission.

Double Trouble for Poetry Month: During Poetry Month, we are featuring a poem weekly from each of Kansas’s poets laureate in addition to our weekly poems.

Bazaar Cemetery by Pat Daneman

10885210_10203995076012065_23950373450041338_nWhere tongues of stone stand between green lips burned brown,

where moon and sky have turned mean backs on our disasters,

 

we are alive, bawdy and brightly dressed, yearning, plotting still.

If I could, I would reach for you, Elmer Bland,

 

drowned while hunting rabbits down by the falls.

I went twenty-two years without your stone tongue and wooden hands,

 

without your disappointment in me, the bride who did not make you rich,

did not keep you young with children. And now we are together again,

 

cattle grazing in our faces, chewing our paltry shade down into pulp.

The hot dime of the noon sun can cackle to the stars at our mistakes,

 

but I cannot release one word from my lips. I cannot move, when all I want

is to touch a finger to the fine blue wool of your Sunday coat.

~ Pat Daneman

Pat Daneman has lived in Lenexa, Kansas since 1986. Recent work appears in The Moon City Review, I-70 Review, Bellevue Poetry Review, and The Comstock Review. Her chapbook, Where the World Begins, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. She is poetry co-editor of Kansas City Voices magazine.

Guest editor: Denise Low, 2nd Kansas Poet Laureate, is author of twenty-five books, most recently Mélange Block (Red Mountain Press, Santa Fe). Low is past president of the Associated Writers and Writing Programs board of directors. Cream City Review nominated her fiction for a Pushcart Prize in 2014. She writes articles, blogs, and reviews; and she co-publishes a small press, Mammoth Publications. She teaches private professional workshops as well as classes for Baker U. Her MFA is from W.S.U. and Ph.D. is from K.U. She has British Isles, German, and Delaware Indian heritage. See more: www.deniselow.net http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/denise-low http://deniselow.blogspot.com

Inside the Crystal by Denise Low

Crystal gazers fated loversDenise

Coronado appears gold dross

midnight mirage Quivera lost

indigo flames violet sun

 

Future past cloud the orb

Cortez arrives departs

Malintzin lives dies

broken waves powdered stars

 

Comancheria burning blood

Santa Fe obsidian red

volcanoes boil hot cold

life death the same ore

 

Rainbow portals spiral

sun moon turning faces

betrayed lovers reappear

 

laughter tears glisten fade

~ Denise Low

Denise Low, Kansas Poet Laureate 2007-2009, is author of 25 award-winning books of poetry and prose. She does individual bookconsulting and editing, as well as workshops. She teaches in the Baker University School of Professional and Graduate Studies. Low is co-publisher of Mammoth Publications an independent small literary press specializing in Indigenous and Mid-Plains poetry and prose. Her poetry blog has over 400 entries, and she reviews poetry for the Kansas City Star. For more, see BIOGRAPHY. Her book of poetry Mélange Block, from Red Mountain Press, Santa Fe, assembles a geological continuum of passion, grief, and American Indian and European histories.Recent online publications are from Numero Cinq, Feb. 2014. An interview is in the Feb. 2014 Museum of Americanaliterary journal. North Dakota Q.published a special issue about William Stafford, including Low’s “‘The Way It Is': Second Sight in William Stafford’s Poetry.”Contact information is at www.deniselow.net

The Percentages by Greg Field

My father taught me how to track and stalk.Greg

He said, “Walk quiet in the woods

like your grandfather’s ghost.”

He had two fathers and neither was a ghost.

 

My grandmother said that each

was the greater of two evils.

She said this with her eyes, not with her words.

She told me one grandfather was pure Potawatomi

and the other was the pure antidote.

She said this on her deathbed.

 

My father said, “Walk quiet in the woods

like your grandfather’s ghost.

You can sneak up on a white man

and slit his throat.”

He laughed in the cold duck blind

and pulled two gulps of whiskey.

 

That night, I looked in the mirror and saw

I was white as the bathroom light.

I followed the smooth line

of my throat where it pulsed

with the words of ghosts.

~ Greg Field

Greg Field is an artist, writer, drummer, sailor, chemist, computer geek, and network administrator. His book of poems The Longest Breath (Mid-America Press) was a Thorpe Menn Finalist, and his chapbookEnd of This Set is from BkMk. His poems appear in many journals and anthologies, including New Letters, Laurel Review, Karamu, Chouteau Review, and Kansas City Outloud II. Field has degrees in painting from the Kansas City Art Institute and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He was an elementary art teacher for thirteen years. His paintings are in private collections all over the country. He plays percussion in River Cow Orchestra, an improvisational jazz band. Upon his wife’s death in 1987, he, Robert Stewart, Miles Sandler and Maryfrances Wagner set up the Crystal Field Scholarship for a student at UMKC majoring in creative writing. Proceeds from the annual Crystal Field Scholarship Reading contribute to that fund. This poem is from Black Heart, new from Mammoth Publications July, 2014. $15.00, 84 pages, ISBN: 978-1-939301-85-7. Field reads from the book July 23, Raven Bookstore, Lawrence, 7 pm.Order online www.mammothpublications.net or by mail, Mammoth, 1916 Stratford, Lawrence, KS 66044. Mention Kansas Time and Place and receive 30% discount.

Denise Low, Kansas Poet Laureate 2007-2009, is author of 25 award-winning books of poetry and prose. She does individual bookconsulting and editing, as well as workshops. She teaches in the Baker University School of Professional and Graduate Studies. Low is co-publisher of Mammoth Publications an independent small literary press specializing in Indigenous and Mid-Plains poetry and prose. Her poetry blog has over 400 entries, and she reviews poetry for the Kansas City Star. For more, see BIOGRAPHY. Her book of poetry Mélange Block, from Red Mountain Press, Santa Fe, assembles a geological continuum of passion, grief, and American Indian and European histories. She launches the book in Lawrence, Ks., the Raven Bookstore, June 25, 7 pm. Recent online publications are from Numero Cinq, Feb. 2014. An interview is in the Feb. 2014 Museum of Americanaliterary journal. North Dakota Q.published a special issue about William Stafford, including Low’s “‘The Way It Is': Second Sight in William Stafford’s Poetry.”Contact information is at www.deniselow.net

Conjuro/ Spellbound by Xanath Caraza

CONJUROXan

 

Conjuro de ángeles, demonios y duendes que hacen que la Tierra se desgarre.

Que el aire gima y grite entre los árboles.

Conjuro de dioses y demonios que hace que mis pensamientos vibren

 

¡Oh fuerza bruta! Implacable que suena y sacude cada rincón de la Tierra.

Temblores internos, temblores externos que se hacen uno y quiebran la tierra.

 

Hoy te conjuro para que despiertes del letargo que te mantiene cautiva.

Hoy invoco al norte, sur, este y oeste.

Hoy te conjuro

A ti, guardiana de mi sueño.

 

A la canción de cuna que se oye a lo lejos.

Al origen de mi sangre, de mi vida, de mi dolor.

A la guardiana de mis noches más oscuras.

Conjuro tu nombre, aquí en mis pensamientos.

~Xánath Caraza

 

SPELLBOUND

Spell of angels, demons and duendes cause the Earth to tear

Make howls and screams among the trees

Spell of gods and demons unsettle my thoughts

 

Oh brutal strength! Unrelenting strength that resonates and shakes each corner of the Earth

Inner quakes, external quakes that unite and crack the Earth

 

Today I call on you to wake from the deep slumber that holds you captive

Today I invoke north, south, east and west

Today I cast a spell on you

On you, keeper of my dream

 

To the lullaby that is heard from afar

To the origin of my blood, of my life, of my pain

To the keeper of my darkest nights

Here in my thoughts, I put a spell on your name

~ Xánath Caraza

Xánath Caraza’s book CONJURO (English, Spanish and Nahuatl) is a bestseller for Mammoth Publications, and it received national and international awards. Mammoth will publish her Syllables of Wind/ Silabas De Viente late fall, 2014. Originally from Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico, Caraza has lived in Vermont and Kansas City. Her book of short stories, Lo que trae la marea/ What the Tide Brings (2013), is from Mouthfeel Press. Poetry chapbooks are Noche de Colibríes: Ekphrastic Poems (Pandora Lobo Estepario Press, 2014) and Corazón Pintado: Ekphrastic Poems (TL Press 2012). Caraza is a writer for La Bloga (http://labloga.blogspot.com/ ) and she writes the US Latino Poets en español column (http://www.periodicodepoesia.unam.mx/). This online poetry column is published monthly and is a collaboration between the Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum and Periódico de Poesía. In addition, she writes the poetry/narrative section for Revista Zona de Ocio (http://www.revistazonadeocio.com/ ). She curates the National Poetry Month, Poem-a-Day project, for the Con Tinta Literary Organization since 2012.  She has an M.A. in Romance Languages, and she lectures in Foreign Languages and Literatures at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Caraza is an advisory circle member of the Con Tinta literary organization and a former board member of the Latino Writers Collective in Kansas City.  This poem is from Conjuro, $18.00, 142 pages, perfect bound, $24.00 hardback. Order online www.mammothpublications.net or by mail, Mammoth, 1916 Stratford, Lawrence, KS 66044. Mention Kansas Time and Place and receive 30% discount.

Denise Low, Kansas Poet Laureate 2007-2009, is author of 25 award-winning books of poetry and prose. She does individual bookconsulting and editing, as well as workshops. She teaches in the Baker University School of Professional and Graduate Studies. Low is co-publisher of Mammoth Publications an independent small literary press specializing in Indigenous and Mid-Plains poetry and prose. Her poetry blog has over 400 entries, and she reviews poetry for the Kansas City Star. For more, see BIOGRAPHY. Her book of poetry Mélange Block, from Red Mountain Press, Santa Fe, assembles a geological continuum of passion, grief, and American Indian and European histories. She launches the book in Lawrence, Ks., the Raven Bookstore, June 25, 7 pm. Recent online publications are from Numero Cinq, Feb. 2014. An interview is in the Feb. 2014 Museum of Americanaliterary journal. North Dakota Q.published a special issue about William Stafford, including Low’s “‘The Way It Is': Second Sight in William Stafford’s Poetry.”Contact information is at www.deniselow.net

Bright River by Stephen Meats

It began when I sawStephen

the blackbird

on my father’s face

Black leaves took wing

from the skeletons

of sycamores

Lights began leaping

out of stones

Barking dogs revealed

white seams

in the twilight sky

Street lights dropped

small flames

on the ripples of a lake

A mockingbird’s feathers

created my hands

I felt a fire flicker

in its white wings

I listened for tears

in the fire’s voice

but heard only a bright river

flowing in the wings

that flew from my fingers

~ Stephen Meats

Stephen Meats, in addition to having articles and essays published, has published a mixed genre book of poems and stories, Dark Dove Descending and Other Parables (Mammoth 2013). His poems and stories have appeared in The Laurel Review, Tampa Review, Arete: The Journal of Sport Literature, Hurãkan, Flint Hills Review, Little Balkans Review, Kansas Quarterly, The Quarterly, Cow Creek Review, Prairie Poetry, Dos Passos Review, The Laughing Dog and others. Stephen Meats attended Kansas State Univ. before transferring to the Univ. of South Carolina, where he earned his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees in English. He taught at the Air Force Academy and the Univ. of Tampa and Pittsburg State Univ. (1979-2014). He has been poetry editor of The Midwest Quarterly since 1985. He lives in Pittsburg with his wife, Ann, three Boston Terriers, seven cats, and five hives of bees. This poem is from Looking for the Pale Eagle, $12.00, 114 pages, perfect bound, ISBN: 978-1-939301-91-8. Order online www.mammothpublications.net or by mail, Mammoth Publications, 1916 Stratford, Lawrence, KS 66044. Mention Kansas Time and Place and receive 30% discount.

Denise Low, Kansas Poet Laureate 2007-2009, is author of 25 award-winning books of poetry and prose. She does individual bookconsulting and editing, as well as workshops. She teaches in the Baker University School of Professional and Graduate Studies. Low is co-publisher of Mammoth Publications an independent small literary press specializing in Indigenous and Mid-Plains poetry and prose. Her poetry blog has over 400 entries, and she reviews poetry for the Kansas City Star. For more, see BIOGRAPHY. Her book of poetry Mélange Block, from Red Mountain Press, Santa Fe, assembles a geological continuum of passion, grief, and American Indian and European histories. She launches the book in Albuquerque at Bookworks, June 14, 3 pm; in Santa Fe at the Santa Fe Community Foundation, 501 Halona St. (corner of the Paseo de Peralto), June 15, 2:30 pm and in Lawrence, Ks., the Raven Bookstore, June 25, 7 pm. Recent online publications are from Numero Cinq, Feb. 2014. An interview is in the Feb. 2014 Museum of Americanaliterary journal. North Dakota Q.published a special issue about William Stafford, including Low’s “‘The Way It Is': Second Sight in William Stafford’s Poetry.”Contact information is at www.deniselow.net

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