Poetry of Love, Resistance, & Solidarity

Posts tagged ‘Matthew David Manning’

Ark — By Janet Jenkins-Stotts

Does and fawns swan with impunity

from lawn to lawn, foxes with their kits

saunter down alleys, no longer afraid of us

and our over-bred dogs. Pumas appear

in California suburbs, and coyotes howl

in the canyons of New York.

 

If we appear, they trot a few feet, then

turn to stare. Some refuse to leave a juicy

bag of garbage and dare us to take back

what once was ours. Impatient with our

meager leavings, will they begin to feed

on helpless homeless, sleeping on cardboard?

 

Meanwhile, deep in unnamed forests, new

plagues mutate from beast to man, a rear

guard action to revenge the lost habitats.

Will they evolve in time to prevent us

from destroying Eden, as we throw pennies

at dying species or jail them in our zoos?

~ Janet Jenkins-Stotts

Janet Jenkins-Stotts’ poems have been published in Kansas Voices, Konza Journal, River City Voices, Dash, Passager, and the Swedish underground journal, Devote. She lives in Topeka, KS. with her husband and their min-pin, Romeo.

Matthew David Manning holds degrees in creative writing from Arizona State University and Pittsburg State University. His poetry has appeared various publications including I-70 Review, Red Paint Hill, Rust + Moth, Kansas Time + Place, and Chiron Review. He recently became a father and has been enjoying his transition into high school education at Wyandotte High School in Kansas City, KS.

Editor’s Note: Recently, an animal has been rummaging around on my deck. It isn’t on the ground floor, and there are no stairs, so I assume that it climbs one of the vertical wooden beams to get up to it. I know the woods behind our house is full of animals, but most of them, like the one going through my stuff, I never actually get to see. Janet’s poem makes me feel like there’s a hidden world all around that nobody seems to be keeping tabs on. Maybe someone should?

A Determined Farmer And His Family Load The Last Heifer — By Greg German

–November–

Tail-twisting to the far side

of the pasture the last heifer

never looks back.

The loading chute empties.

The farmer’s son claims

no fault, spins his Yamaha

ready for a 2-wheeled rodeo.

His mother, her hair half-tangled

with patience, her boots

lathered with shit, shouts

toward the heifer, gives her men

a ripped-shirt speech

of compassion

because it’s part of her

job. The farmer swears,

and because he is not a cowboy

rides his horse however he can,

CO-OP cap on backwards.

Together, the farmer

and his son chase the beast

along a mile of fence,

uphill, down

hill, across a pond dam,

places no cow has ever

been before.

Aware of space, the farmer’s son

twists the throttle

deep through his hand. Aware

of what’s between

his legs

the farmer holds on

for his life. The horse,

bored with the luggage

on its back, enjoys it all

because he has sense,

does everything

but shut the gate

to a second-wind kink

in a cow’s tail that spins

the last heifer back

to the further side of its world.

~ Greg German

Originally Published in Kansas Quarterly, 1993 V.24, #4

Greg German was born and raised near Glen Elder, in north central Kansas, where he farmed with his family for many years. He currently lives in Kansas City, Kansas, with his wife Regina and son, Alden. He is a private consultant specializing in web site development, special project consulting, and photography. (www.limestone9consulting.com) He holds a B.A. degree in English/Creative writing and a B.S. in Education from Kansas State University. Greg developed and maintains http://www.kansaspoets.com, a website unique to Kansas Poets. Gregs poetry and personal essays have appeared in over 50 literary journals across the U.S.

Matthew David Manning holds degrees in creative writing from Arizona State University and Pittsburg State University. His poetry has appeared various publications including I-70 Review, Red Paint Hill, Rust + Moth, Kansas Time + Place, and Chiron Review. He recently became a father and has been enjoying his transition into high school education at Wyandotte High School in Kansas City, KS.

Editor’s Note: What can I say? I’m a sucker for poems with cows in them. Greg has written a poem with a heifer that has seen some shit (besides what mom has on her boot).

Refugee Shores — By Roy J. Beckemeyer

“Rumor, the swiftest plague there is, went straight out

To all the settlements of Libya.”— Sarah Ruden’s

Translation of Vergil’s The Aeneid (Book 4: 173-174)

Packed tighter than the slave ships

that once plied these shores,

fishing boats with un-caulked seams

and hulls soft with rot push off from

the beach, people layered in holds,

sitting shoulder to shoulder, gunwale

to gunwale. Assured that Italy is only

hours away, they hear rumors of Europe

swishing in on the waves, watch hope

tread water in each other’s eyes.

– For the Mediterranean refugees of the second

decade of the Twenty-first Century.

(Originally published in 365 Days: A Poetry Anthology, 2016)

~ Roy J. Beckemeyer

Roy J. Beckemeyer was President of the Kansas Authors Club from 2016-2017. His poetry book, Music I Once Could Dance To (Coal City Press, 2014) was recognized as a Kansas Notable Book. His new chapbook of ekphrastic poems, Amanuensis Angel (Spartan Press, 2018) is out, as is his new collection, Stage Whispers (Meadowlark Books, 2018). Author’s Page: https://royjbeckemeyer.com/

Matthew David Manning holds degrees in creative writing from Arizona State University and Pittsburg State University. His poetry has appeared various publications including I-70 Review, Red Paint Hill, Rust + Moth, Kansas Time + Place, and Chiron Review. He recently became a father and has been enjoying his transition into high school education at Wyandotte High School in Kansas City, KS.

Editor’s Response: As a teacher in a school with a large refugee population, I had to choose this poem. Roy does an outstanding job of capturing one of the most uncomfortable and commonly forgotten steps that refugees would often prefer not to remember. One student, a girl, told me that she was scared of being groped by one of the other refugees on her boat as they all piled on each other’s laps. A great poem.

Crossroads — By Elizabeth Perdomo

We drive past

old poetry, crossroads

with well-worn treads, old ruts

cut through vast thorn-brush regions.

Ranchlands with broken fences

hold things I dont begin

to understand; home

for creatures who I can

only vaguely name,

like some

large unidentified hawk

now perched high upon a canopy

of old electric wire posts,

nor can I ever know

why fast growing

tepeguaje

is so prone to shed

large branches in fierce

windborn storms.

We pass signs,

discarded clothing,

torn shreds that blow as tattered flags

surrendered upon barbed wire

fencelines, within this

gust of wind-made sandsheet,

caliche & scarce water,

where dark wing shadows

crisscross roadways,

seek morning feasts left behind

from last nights carnage.

Ancient home of sharp thorns,

of los ebanos & granjeno,

where hidden dangers rattle

dry gourd warnings, where perils

abound in glancing edges. Abandoned

on nocturnal coyote crossings,

hide faces we glimpse but

do not know,

nor do we claim.

Caminos del desierto, which

lead the ill prepared through unknown

places, remain a last

desperate option for unnamed

strangers, who as farolitos

wander until freedom

becomes but a heat mirage;

a hope extinguished,

another name

forever vanished

in a land of dry bones

scattered upon parched red earth

as sun bleached mesquite beans

found hidden beneath some

shimmering August

afternoon.

~ Elizabeth Perdomo

Introduction/Background: Crossroads, first published in Interstice,began during a long drive back to the Rio Grande Valley from a visit to South Carolina. About a month prior to this road trip, Perdomo read, The Sand Sheet,written by local South Texas author and naturalist, Mr. Arturo Longoria. On the long road homeward, she drove along the edge of the Sand Sheet in Brooks County, Texas. Although she had driven that route many times before, she was able to see and observe things in a different light, and with much greater understanding of the complex life, habitat interactions, and sometimes, the deaths which occur in this harsh, beautiful land.

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.

Matthew David Manning holds degrees in creative writing from Arizona State University and Pittsburg State University. His poetry has appeared various publications including I-70 Review, Red Paint Hill, Rust + Moth, Kansas Time + Place, and Chiron Review. He recently became a father and has been enjoying his transition into high school education at Wyandotte High School in Kansas City, KS.

Editor’s response to this poem: What stood out to me the most in this poem was how busy all the objects were. They all have jobs, and the poet seemed to always be unintentionally getting in their way. Like the poet, I too have questions for the ranchlands, but maybe I’m too proud to ask.

Stowaway–by Matthew David Manning

You don’t declare Kansas.
Kansas keeps your scent
and adds your color to its blood.

Every time we go back to China,
I keep something hidden
from you and from customs.
I’ll get to our apartment in Suzhou,
open our suitcases, and release the last
breath of Kansas, our one ration.

Hair from the cats will riddle our clothes
until your mother washes them in secret.
She’s missed our surprised faces,
the sound of my voice held back,
embarrassed by limited vocabulary,
and the chance to ignore our praises
by busying herself in the kitchen.

I’d like to tell your mother how Kansas
is just like fresh laundry on the line,
it’s doing more than what you have to,
and it’s having dinner when all the wheat
in our empty and lightly salted land
leans close to the house trying to smell.

 

Matthew David Manning is an English instructor at Pittsburg State University (PSU) in the Intensive English Program. Matthew holds degrees in creative writing from Arizona State University and PSU. His poetry has appeared various publications including I-70 Review, Red Paint Hill, Rust + Moth, Kansas Time + Place, and Chiron Review. His website is at www.mattwritenow.com.

Guest Editor Roy J. Beckemeyer is from Wichita, Kansas. His poetry book, Music I Once Could Dance To (Coal City Press, 2014) was a 2015 Kansas Notable Book. He recently co-edited Kansas Time+Place: An Anthology of Heartland Poetry (Little Balkans Press, 2017) together with Caryn Mirriam Goldberg. That anthology collected poems that appeared on this website from 2014-2016. His latest book, Amanuensis Angel (Spartan Press, 2018) contains ekphrastic poems, inspired by a variety of artists’ depictions of angels, that “resound and sometimes subvert expectations” (Tyler Robert Sheldon), that provide “a kaleidoscope of history, art, culture, the sacred and the everyday” (Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg).

Listening to Annie Wash Dishes . by Matthew David Manning

Just behind me, my wife, Annie,Matthew Manning Photo

is washing dishes. For two days,

she made chicken soup

and now she cleans the pots,

places servings into the fridge

sniffling all the while.

Each pot pops and booms

behind the wall. There is so much

that sound hides from my eyes, though,

while she cleans them an image,

floating and invisible, teases me

this thought of her tapping

each cabinet in the kitchen

as a ritual for good luck. For New Years,

we had tang yuan because it’s round,

but my father complained

about our lack of black-eyed peas.

 

Matthew David Manning has worked as an English instructor at Pittsburg State University in the Intensive English Program. Matthew holds degrees in creative writing from Arizona State University and Pittsburg State University. His poetry has appeared various publications including I-70 Review, Red Paint Hill, Rust + Moth, Kansas Time + Place, and Chiron Review.

Guest Editor Laura Lee Washburn is the Director of Creative Writing at Pittsburg State University in Kansas, and the author of This Good Warm Place: 10th Anniversary Expanded Edition (March Street) and Watching the Contortionists (Palanquin Chapbook Prize). Her poetry has appeared in such journals as TheNewVerse.News, Cavalier Literary Couture, Carolina Quarterly, Ninth Letter, The Sun, Red 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.

 

 

Arrhythmia by Matthew David Manning

Matthew Manning PhotoYou have wild in your chest.

It’s angry, caged, and restless;

beating the bars hard, reminding

the damned of the damnation.

Let these bars turn to sand, I

always wanted this, but I’ve just now

got the heart to scream it.

Deep in the night, where the graves

of this Midwestern Kansas town

spread vast into its own heart

like black pollen, wood rot. Lord

of the plains, regal and wind spun,

allow a small moment of silence.

~ Matthew David Manning

previously published in http://rustandmoth.com/work/arrhythmia/

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. www.mattwritenow.com

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, guest editor for Dec., is the 2009-13 Kansas Poet Laureate, author or editor of 19 books, and founder of Transformative Language Arts at Goddard College, where she teaches. More on her here.

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