Poetry of Love, Resistance, & Solidarity

Posts tagged ‘Maril Crabtree’

To the Woman I Loved Too Soon — By Diane Silver

Now that it’s legal for us to marry

I wonder if you and I have become glass:

We’re there—but maybe not—

transparent unless held up to the light

turned so the glow from some lamp glances off

to show us all those years ago

in bed falling asleep holding hands

in our kitchen leaning together as you stir a pot

in our living room dancing in bare feet

sitting on the floor outside our toddler’s room

because it’s 2 a.m., he won’t stop crying,

all the books say let him cry until he falls asleep.

We last a whole five minutes before barging in.

I pick him up, you curl around us both

and together we sing him to sleep.

 

If some stranger should come close enough

to brush a hand against the thin sheet of our lives

he might catch on the moment

we arrived home from the doctor to see

every ceramic pot you ever brought to life (except one)

on the floor in pieces, probably knocked off the table

by our cat who inspected them after you left them there

because we were late for the appointment

where the doctor said your cancer had come back.

 

You picked up that last pot, held it so long I thought:

it’s ok. she’s handling this

then threw it down to smash

shards skittering across the tile.

You leaned on the tabletop, inhaled.

I was thankful to be there to hold tight

as you shook in my arms

on that day 22 years before

we could marry

three months before

you were dead.

 

We all die.

 

Every love that doesn’t end

in argument ends in death.

Yet I can’t help but worry:

What will happen to we

who were forbidden

to sign the book of marriage?

Generations of our families

have already been wiped clean

from time. Will you and I become

another glass shattered?

 

Will all our pieces be left behind?

 

~ Diane Silver

Diane Silver is an activist and journalist. Her work has appeared in Ms, The Progressive, and other venues. Her latest books are Your Daily Shot of Hope vol. 1 (Meditations for an Age of Despair) and vol. 2 (Meditations on Awakening). You can find her at www.DianeSilver.net and @DianeSilver

Monthly Editor Maril Crabtree’s poems have been published in I-70 Review, Coal City Review, Main Street Rag, and others. Her book Fireflies in the Gathering Dark (Aldrich Press, 2017) is a Kansas Notable Book and Thorpe Menn Award finalist.

Up Against the Wall — By Julie Sellers

My words are up against the wall,

monochrome whispers

that slither along the outer rim

of the greater prismatic signified.

No alcanzan

estas alas luminosas 

de tantos pensamientos,

su vuelo refrenado

por este vidrio opaco.

 

My words

mis palabras

up against the wall

contra el muro

two lonely tongues

dos lenguas solitarias.

 

But

juntas

I weave them

ensartando sílabas

like so many pearls,

una escalera de luz

that overcomes the limits,

que derrumba los muros,

words that fly on shimmery wings

en todos los colores de

my voice.

~ Julie Sellers

An Associate Professor of Spanish at Benedictine College, Julie Sellers has twice been the overall prose winner of the Kansas Voices Contest. She has published in Kansas Time + Place, The Write Launch, Kanhistique, and New Works Review. Her third academic book, The Modern Bachateros, was published in 2017 (McFarland).

Monthly Editor Maril Crabtree’s poems have been published in I-70 Review, Coal City Review, Main Street Rag, and others. Her book Fireflies in the Gathering Dark (Aldrich Press, 2017) is a Kansas Notable Book and Thorpe Menn Award finalist.

Tornado Damage — By Morgan O. H. McCune

From the air it seems nothing more

than brushstrokes, casual and thoughtless,

a grand-scale scribbled earthwork,

a monster sketch some great artist

left abandoned at a café —

tiny refrigerator, doorless;

door of a house, houseless; tangles

of the unrecognizable commonplace —

 

not God pointing the way out

of the Garden. But what of this have we

not done to each other, and more? —

a scientist’s dark paper

airplane, thrown by a brute;

children collected in cages;

a world warming to smother us all.

~ Morgan O. H. McCune

Morgan O.H. McCune currently works at Pittsburg State University in southeast Kansas. She is a native Kansan and holds an M.F.A. in Poetry from Washington University in St. Louis (1991) and an M.L.S. from Emporia State University (2002). Her poems have been published previously in River Styx.

Monthly Editor Maril Crabtree’s poems have been published in I-70 Review, Coal City Review, Main Street Rag, and others. Her book Fireflies in the Gathering Dark (Aldrich Press, 2017) is a Kansas Notable Book and Thorpe Menn Award finalist.

Charlottesville — By Elizabeth Perdomo

We come apart
at the edges; our world
falls upon a deep fissured space,
civilization tumbles into
dark heart
crevasses. Our
long quilted union
reveals unraveled seams,
thread-bare patches stretched
to bursting, fabric worn
thin from an uneasy
union.
Ancient fears again
reign
supreme, masked
yet tangible
as breath,
as lungs breathing in deep
lies like polluted
smoke rings.
Adrenalin shouts
lurid cadenzas, spews
vile divisions, false- premised
words call fallen hearts
into a more hopeless
insanity;
delusion-dulled minds
mute all ability to reason;
hatred colors each
loud thought red
with stolen
blood.

August 12 marks the two-year anniversary of the “Unite the Right” march in Charlottesville, Va. where Heather Heyer, a counterprotester, was killed.

Elizabeth Perdomo, born in Emporia, Kansas, raised in Winfield, has written poetry since a teen. “One Turn of Seasons,” includes her poetry and another’s photography. Recently, her poems appeared in “Kansas Time + Place,” “Interstice” and “The Chachalaca Review.” Perdomo now lives in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas.

Monthly Editor Maril Crabtree’s poems have been published in I-70 Review, Coal City Review, Main Street Rag, and others. Her book Fireflies in the Gathering Dark (Aldrich Press, 2017) is a Kansas Notable Book and Thorpe Menn Award finalist.

In the Garden      by Maril Crabtree

Nestled among stones, clusters of spider webs
shine in the sun, spun across spored fronds

of low-growing fern, woven at crazy-quilt angles,
tilting to the sky like miniature hammocks,

home to tiny spiders the size of a child’s fingernail.
Some webs show ragged holes. Each time the wind

blows they could tear off their frail mooringsMaril-Crabtree_sm
and float into daylight’s indifferent air.

What makes stones solid and webs
so fragile? Where do we humans fit in

with our clusters and colonies binged
across the earth’s crust, tilting at skies

ragged with storms and ozone holes,
basking in bright ribbons of emissions spun

across the planet? I hear the wind and wonder
with each passing gust whose house will fall next.


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 CityReview, and others. She is a former poetry editor for Kansas City Voices and her latest collection, Fireflies in the Gathering Dark, was named a 2018 Kansas Notable Book.

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 LetterThe SunRed 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.

Signs and Wonders — By Michael Lasater

From my window I count seven children,

all running in different directions.

Strangers materialize, walking straight

down the center of the street ––

roofers hammer out coded messages.

 

Down the block, someone slams a door,

startling birds into riotous, swirling flight.

 

Perhaps it was a sorcerer’s door,

a door of dreams, or time, or fate ––

a door through which, in another age,

the ancient, pitying gods might come

and go, speaking in riddles, setting

the stage again and again for the hero,

the applauded savior, the chosen.

 

Imagine such a door. Imagine such gods.

It’s nearly noon. Gravity takes hold.

 

Icarus, man-child deaf to his father

and betting all on wax and muscle,

soars overhead.

~ Michael Laster

 

Hutchinson native Michael Lasater is Professor of New Media at Indiana University South Bend. With degrees from Oberlin, Juilliard, and Syracuse University, he has performed with ensembles including the Metropolitan Opera, produced documentaries on poetry, and currently exhibits art video internationally. His poetry has appeared in Kansas Time + Place.

 

Guest Editor Maril Crabtree’s latest poetry collection, Fireflies in the Gathering Dark, is a 2018 Notable Kansas Book selection. In addition to three published chapbooks, her work has appeared in Canyon Voices, Main Street Rag, Coal City Review, I-70 Review, Earth’s Daughters, and others.

Forgive me, Mother a Lamentation — By Mary Silwance

Because I want

I dominate

 

take without need

devour without hunger

guzzle without thirst

 

pretty houses

pretty things

pretty self

yielding You made ugly

for my pretties.

 

Yet on the altar of reckoning,

knife point of my own extinction,

You will ask me

 

Why do I

drown Your waters

 

slash Your forests

choke the air

Your very breath?

 

How will I answer?

 

Forgive me, Mother

 

for I wage holocaust

on Your handiwork

 

eviscerate Your contours

for coal

 

mainline Your veins and

arteries with my hubris

 

cram Your nostrils and mouth

with CAFOs until Your lungs explode

 

rape You

in order to Google you

seed Your womb

with my refuse

then sodomize Your children

for oil

 

Forgive me, Mother.

 

I am soft and spoiled

rotten with excess,

putrid even to my pretty self

 

I do not notice

salmon and swallowtail

glow in reverence of You,

rhino and orangutan

nuzzle You with affection

 

ginseng and goldenrod

exult Your essence

 

sea lion and snow leopard

pay homage to You

 

pine and sequoia’s

fragrant gratitude of You

 

before

 

I sacrifice them

on the altar

of the American Dream.

~ Mary Silwance

 

Mary Silwance is an environmentalist, gardener and mother. She served as poetry co-editor for Kansas City Voices and is a member of the Kansas City Writers Group. Her work has appeared in Konza Journal, Descansos, Heartland: Poems, Sequestrum, Well Versed, Rock Springs Review and her blog, tonicwild.

 

Guest Editor Maril Crabtree’s latest poetry collection, Fireflies in the Gathering Dark, is a 2018 Notable Kansas Book selection. In addition to three published chapbooks, her work has appeared in Canyon Voices, Main Street Rag, Coal City Review, I-70 Review, Earth’s Daughters, and others.

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