Poetry of Kansas Here & Now, There & Then

Posts tagged ‘Eric McHenry’

Scavangers by Kelly W. Johnston

Dawn releases creatures afraid of the dark,

looks for others along borders in shadow.

Night retreats, dreams dissipate

with mist rising from the lake.

Crows hurry from the sun

like ideas cast out by Enlightenment.

There is safety in numbers

even among the exiled.

Vultures patrol a higher plane,

marking subsets of acreage below,

assessing flight paths of each crow

for purpose, discovery, sustenance –

to be first to the prize.

Vultures see me

as a blip on radar, wonder

when I will become carrion,

whether coyotes will compete

for my bones.

~ Kelly W. Johnst

Kelly Johnston is a life-long Kansan, who was born in Lawrence in 1955. After graduating from law school in 1979, he put his poetry on the back burner after majoring in creative writing as an undergrad at WSU. About 5 years ago, Kelly began writing again, and in 2011 his poem, “House Sitter”, won 1st place in the Kansas Writers Asso. Poetry contest. In 2014, his poem, “Landmarks”, won 2nd place in the Kansas Authors Club Poetry contest, narrative verse category. And just recently, his poem, “Trails”, won 1st place in the Kansas Authors Club District 5 Poetry contest. Kelly still practices law, but also loves to spend time on his land in the Chautauqua Hills near Cross Timbers State Park, where most of his poetry is inspired.

Guest editor Eric McHenry’s new book of poems, Odd Evening, will be published by Waywiser Press in 2016. His previous collections include Potscrubber Lullabies, which won the Kate Tufts Discovery Award in 2007, and Mommy Daddy Evan Sage, a children’s book illustrated by Nicholas Garland. He also edited and introduced Peggy of the Flint Hills, a memoir by Zula Bennington Greene. His poems have appeared in The New Republic, Yale Review, Cincinnati Review, Field, Orion, The Guardian (U.K.), Poetry Daily and Poetry Northwest, from whom he received the 2010 Theodore Roethke Prize. Since 2001, he has been a poetry critic for The New York Times Book Review. He lives in Lawrence with his wife and two children and teaches creative writing at Washburn University.

The Secret Society of Cattle by Matthew David Manning

Matthew Manning PhotoA secret society of cattle refuses

to be anyone’s property.

They don’t recognize the uses

of their every ounce.

 

Their flanks have never been mixed

with the powder packet

in your Hamburger Helper

or the off-brand that

almost tastes like the real thing.

 

The Hindus haven’t collected their urine

and distilled it to cure illness.

The cattle don’t like the term bovine

because bovine’s too generic.

In fact, because they’re cows,

they use no words at all.

 

Spread out and confident,

they graze the large land

never scared, standing tall.

A dead beefwood tree lies sideways

in the middle of the pasture.

The cattle are drawn to its stillness.

Silent and white,

it keeps their perfect attention.

~ Matthew David Manning

Bio: Matthew David Manning is a poet from Pittsburg, Kansas where he teaches at Pittsburg State University in the Intensive English Program. Matthew holds degrees in creative writing from Arizona State University and Pittsburg State University. Matthew is passionate about educating non-native English speakers about poetry, and recently returned from spending two years in Suzhou, China.

Guest editor Eric McHenry’s new book of poems, Odd Evening, will be published by Waywiser Press in 2016. His previous collections include Potscrubber Lullabies, which won the Kate Tufts Discovery Award in 2007, and Mommy Daddy Evan Sage, a children’s book illustrated by Nicholas Garland. He also edited and introduced Peggy of the Flint Hills, a memoir by Zula Bennington Greene. His poems have appeared in The New Republic, Yale Review, Cincinnati Review, Field, Orion, The Guardian (U.K.), Poetry Daily and Poetry Northwest, from whom he received the 2010 Theodore Roethke Prize. Since 2001, he has been a poetry critic for The New York Times Book Review. He lives in Lawrence with his wife and two children and teaches creative writing at Washburn University.

Related to Deciduous Trees by Robert Cory

imageAs the sun assumes its seasonal slump

forecasts of frost revive. Repressed reflections

trail the scatter of autumn leaves, set free.

Anonymous arrays of contorted tumblers,

nomadic as Kansas tumbleweeds,   

perennially sown across the landscape.

Synonymous bareback riders of planet Earth

drifting like Dust Bowl migrants

in land of too little or too much.

Swept up in the spirit of let go.

~ Robert Cory

Bio: Born in Missouri, Robert Cory was raised, schooled and has worked in Kansas most of his life. Dependably wearing out shoe leather, tires and ego trips in his quest for Aufklärung. His most recent work has appeared in Kansas Poems & Poets. In addition, The Euonia Review, vox poetica, The Catalonian Review, Poets Against War and The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature have published his work. In March, 2013, his poem Exodus: redux, was awarded first place in the Kansas Writer’s Association free verse competition.

Guest editor Eric McHenry’s new book of poems, Odd Evening, will be published by Waywiser Press in 2016. His previous collections include Potscrubber Lullabies, which won the Kate Tufts Discovery Award in 2007, and Mommy Daddy Evan Sage, a children’s book illustrated by Nicholas Garland. He also edited and introduced Peggy of the Flint Hills, a memoir by Zula Bennington Greene. His poems have appeared in The New Republic, Yale Review, Cincinnati Review, Field, Orion, The Guardian (U.K.), Poetry Daily and Poetry Northwest, from whom he received the 2010 Theodore Roethke Prize. Since 2001, he has been a poetry critic for The New York Times Book Review. He lives in Lawrence with his wife and two children and teaches creative writing at Washburn University.

Winter’s Truths by Myrne Roe

Windows closed to snow

revealed a fox curled on pale ground,

full tail draped around,

pointed nose resting on paws

and brazen jet eyes staring at me.

 

He stretched and stood, loped away

to search, I’d guess, for a rodent

munching on grain spilled in the barn,

a rabbit blending with a snow knoll,

or an old hen near scrub oaks

pecking dense ice in a water bowl.

 

Tea and a down comforter

divorced me from the view

to consider swirling winds that dispense

chance between weak and strong.

Did not Nature devise

forever discord between the two?

For the sake of peace, I’d choose

equality which, I know, is as unlikely

as the old hen breaking the ice.

 

The fox has left, his dinner surely done,

my fitful musings of justice over,

I slowly succumb to a winter doze.

I hope, as my breath slows,

the fox’s meal was a larcenous rat.

~ Myrne Roe

Bio: I am a retired editorial writer and syndicated columnist who has been writing poetry for fifteen years. My poems have been published in local and regional publications including ByLine Magazine, Voices of the Heartland, Words Out of the Flatlands and Kansas Voices. I have also published a chapbook, Ironing Out the Wrinkles

myrne@cox.net

Guest editor Eric McHenry’s new book of poems, Odd Evening, will be published by Waywiser Press in 2016. His previous collections include Potscrubber Lullabies, which won the Kate Tufts Discovery Award in 2007, and Mommy Daddy Evan Sage, a children’s book illustrated by Nicholas Garland. He also edited and introduced Peggy of the Flint Hills, a memoir by Zula Bennington Greene. His poems have appeared in The New Republic, Yale Review, Cincinnati Review, Field, Orion, The Guardian (U.K.), Poetry Daily and Poetry Northwest, from whom he received the 2010 Theodore Roethke Prize. Since 2001, he has been a poetry critic for The New York Times Book Review. He lives in Lawrence with his wife and two children and teaches creative writing at Washburn University.

Burning Cold by Anne Haehl

100_2962Biting our faces

numbing our hands–

colder today, the experts say,

than experienced by most now living.

The black dog

tries to wiggle out of her red sweater

and slides with delight

on the perfectly-iced snow.

~ Anne Haehl
Bio: Anne Haehl is a lover of words, spoken and written. She is a poet and professional storyteller, Episcopalian and Quaker. She and her husband of 43 years have two grown children. They live with three cats and a dog in Lawrence, KS.

Guest Editor Eric McHenry’s new book of poems, Odd Evening, will be published by Waywiser Press in 2016. His previous collections include Potscrubber Lullabies, which won the Kate Tufts Discovery Award in 2007, and Mommy Daddy Evan Sage, a children’s book illustrated by Nicholas Garland. He also edited and introduced Peggy of the Flint Hills, a memoir by Zula Bennington Greene. His poems have appeared in The New Republic, Yale Review, Cincinnati Review, Field, Orion, The Guardian (U.K.), Poetry Daily and Poetry Northwest, from whom he received the 2010 Theodore Roethke Prize. Since 2001, he has been a poetry critic for The New York Times Book Review. He lives in Lawrence with his wife and two children and teaches creative writing at Washburn University.

45. Rebuilding Year

After Beloit I went back to the paper

and wrote arts features for eight dollars an hour,

and lived in the Gem Building, on the block between

Topeka High with its Gothic tower

and the disheveled Statehouse with its green

dome of oxidizing copper.

I was sorry that I had no view

of old First National. Something obscured it

from my inset balcony. I heard it

imploding, though, like Kansas Avenue

clearing its throat, and saw the gaudy brown

dust-edifice that went up when it came down.

Friday nights I walked to High’s home games

and sat high in the bleachers,

and tried to look like a self-knowing new

student, and tried not to see my teachers,

and picked out players with familiar names

and told them what to do.

— Eric McHenry

Eric McHenry received the Kate Tufts Discovery Award for his first book of poems, Potscrubber Lullabies (Waywiser Press, 2006). Waywiser will publish Eat Your Trees, his collection of children’s poems with woodcuts by Nicholas Garland, in 2011. McHenry teaches creative writing at Washburn University.

29. Vanguard

Here’s what I remember: Coleman Hawkins

and I are sitting at a mahogany table

in the Village Vanguard, quietly talking.

He’s finished a set in which he was unable

to summon even one unbroken tone

from the bell of his once-clarion saxophone.

But now that’s over and he feels all right.

He’s smoking because he’s wanted to all night,

drinking cloudy cognac from a tumbler

and coughing ferociously; his voice is weaker

than his cough; he’s barely audible, mumbling

to me because he knows I’m from Topeka.

He says, “That’s where I learned to tongue my horn.”

I know, and that’s the only thing I hear.

It’s 1969; in half a year

he’ll be dead. In three years I’ll be born.

— Eric McHenry

Eric McHenry received the Kate Tufts Discovery Award for his first book of poems, Potscrubber Lullabies (Waywiser Press, 2006). Waywiser will publish Eat Your Trees, his collection of children’s poems with woodcuts by Nicholas Garland, in 2011. McHenry teaches creative writing at Washburn University.

Tag Cloud

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 472 other followers