Poetry of Love, Resistance, & Solidarity

Posts tagged ‘Melissa Fite Johson’

In the Flint Hills, II by Pat Daneman

There is nothing west10885210_10203995076012065_23950373450041338_n

of Emporia, travelers in a hurry

will say, unable to savor

 

how emptiness feeds

the eyes. All the yellows and browns

and the thousand greens

 

of emptiness have chosen

to shake out their blankets here,

spread them across the bone-

 

white rock of these hills. Nothing

but cattle here, patient souls soft

in their eyes. Tall grass for the wind

 

to draw its bow along, gently

or harshly, obeying the whims of the sky.

Under the weight of butterflies,

 

coneflowers dip and nod

like nobility. In the silence

of distance, a drover,

 

straight in his saddle,

charts the horizon, tallies

the riches of nothing.

~ 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.

Melissa Fite Johnson, a high school English teacher, received her Master’s in English literature from Pittsburg State University in Kansas.  Her poetry has appeared in several publications, including I-70 Review, The Little Balkans Review, The New Verse News, velvet-tail, Inscape Magazine, Cave Region Review, The Invisible Bear, HomeWords: A Project of the Kansas Poet Laureate, Kansas Time + Place, Broadsided Press: 2014 Haiku Year in Review, Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems, and To the Stars through Difficulties: A Kansas Renga in 150 Voices. In 2015, Little Balkans Press published her first book of poetry, While the Kettle’s On Melissa and her husband, Marc, live in Pittsburg with their dog and several chickens.  (www.melissafitejohnson.com)

Melissa says, “I’ve long felt that Kansas has a quiet beauty that too often goes unappreciated. This poem captures it perfectly—‘how emptiness feeds the eyes,’ all that emptiness shaking out its blanket here. The image of wind drawing its bow along tall grass is exquisite, and I know just what Daneman means. How often I’ve driven past a field of ‘nothing’ and had to suck in my breath in wonder. I love this poem.”

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Crayons and a One-Year-Old by Julie Ramon

Julieramon.jpgI think it every time I see you
with paper and crayon in hand

As you snap a section of forest green
in your mouth, I wonder if the flavor

matches the color. I question
if it would forever be a part of you

and turn the specks in your eyes
the color of abandoned copper train cars

under the sun. Somehow you always
know what to say without saying a word.

You point to the sky and trace stars
with the tips of your fingers.

~ Julie Ramon

Julie Ramon is an English instructor, specializing in English as a second language, at Pittsburg State University in Kansas. She graduated with an M.F.A from Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky. Her poems “Making Tamales” and “Making Tortillas” were recently published in the literary food magazine, Graze. She enjoys baking and selling cakes from home on weekends. She lives in Joplin, Missouri with her husband and son.

Melissa Fite Johnson, a high school English teacher, received her Master’s in English literature from Pittsburg State University in Kansas.  Her poetry has appeared in several publications, including I-70 Review, The Little Balkans Review, The New Verse News, velvet-tail, Inscape Magazine, Cave Region Review, The Invisible Bear, HomeWords: A Project of the Kansas Poet Laureate, Kansas Time + Place, Broadsided Press: 2014 Haiku Year in Review, Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems, and To the Stars through Difficulties: A Kansas Renga in 150 Voices. In 2015, Little Balkans Press published her first book of poetry, While the Kettle’s On Melissa and her husband, Marc, live in Pittsburg with their dog and several chickens.  (www.melissafitejohnson.com)

Melissa says, “I’m not a mother, but this poem makes me marvel at the private world a parent and child share. I especially love the suggestion that this swallowed crayon bit is now forever a part of the child, and to me this hints at a hope that m

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