Poetry of Love, Resistance, & Solidarity

Posts tagged ‘Pat Daneman’

Irish Lullaby for the End of the World — By Maril Crabtree

In honor of Hawks Well Theater, Sligo

When the last of the stars winks out

when time’s constant hum falls silent

with the last breath of midnight

 

still

 

we’ll pipe the old tunes and whistle the jigs

fingers will snap and brogues will click

we’ll find each other in the dark

~ Maril Crabtree

Originally published in Maril’s new book, Fireflies in the Gathering Dark (Kelsay Books 2017).

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 City Review, and others. She is a former poetry editor for Kansas City Voices.

Pat Daneman has published poems and short fiction in many print and on-line journals. Her most recent work appears in the anthology New Poetry from the Midwest, Moon City Review, Stonecoast Review, Comstock Review and Bellevue Literary Review. Her chapbook, Where the World Begins, was published in 2015 by Finishing Line Press. After All, her first full-length poetry collection will be published in 2018 by FutureCycle Press.

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#48689 — By Jemshed Khan

She was nearly seventy and catching the evening news

when the buzzcut Skinheads appeared on the big screen TV

gathering to explain that it was all just a hoax.

 

She had thought the Dead dead,

but now the remnant past prickled about her

and the peephole of memory swung open.

Tiny white bones began rising up to consciousness

and she journeyed back into cattle cars

and marched through the fresh and falling snow.

When tilling fields for crops she was startled again

by the tiny white bones of babies turned to fertilizer.

She revisited the half-living about the edge of fire,

and heard voices from her childhood

that had gathered to the chambers.

 

Now, when I walk in her sewing shop

she looks up and her pale eyes flash and smile.

The bulb of the vintage Singer machine

blazes yellow on the backs of her hands

as her fingers draw thread

through a needle’s eye.

Her veins are old, full and blue like tattoos.

When her hand feeds fabric to the seam,

the veins bulge and I see the dull blue numbers

on her forearm are ink from another century.

 

She tells that a few survived the chambers:

Those bodies that still breathed

were dragged out no differently

and stacked with the dead;

all then doused for the burning.

After the blaze of fuel was spent

and the fiery core had already sunk to ash,

the edge of the smoking heap was mostly char.

Little much survived past that smoldering edge –

Just the upper body still alive

with a hand that moved a bit

and a face tilting upward.

The eyes locked intently upon her,

sharply holding her at witness.

~ Jemshed Khan

Jemshed Khan has published poems in Number One Magazine, Wittenberg Review, #BlackArtMatters (2016), Read Local (2016), Rigorous (2017), NanoText (Medusa’s Laugh Press, 2017) and the chapbook Paean for Billy Collins (Calliope Club Press, 2017). The author is slated for Clockwise Cat, Issue 36 (2017) and I-70 Review (September 2017).

Pat Daneman has published poems and short fiction in many print and on-line journals. Her most recent work appears in the anthology New Poetry from the Midwest, Moon City Review, Stonecoast Review, Comstock Review and Bellevue Literary Review. Her chapbook, Where the World Begins, was published in 2015 by Finishing Line Press. After All, her first full-length poetry collection will be published in 2018 by FutureCycle Press.

An Invasion of Turkey Vultures: An Allegory — By Charles Peek

At what must seem to them the “appointed time,”

Great numbers of turkey vultures arrive,

To occupy only the highest boughs of the tallest trees

Where everything below exists to serve their repast and repose,

The stray cats, the scampering squirrels, the pigeons and the voles.

 

Mighty in their size, fearsome in their fixed gaze,

Swooping and sweeping with their massive, wide wings

Each edged like a serrated blade, and those talons

As sharp as their sight, boasting a beak for a nose,

Pity the cats and squirrels, the pigeons and the voles.

 

Here, the lesser breeds are but vagrant beggars,

Poaching their subsistence from their larger neighbors,

Trespassers, debtors in a might makes right domain.

Take no prisoners, all each turkey knows, each a Kurtz

Exterminating the brutes: cats, squirrels, pigeons, and voles.

 

Nature’s grace: there such an occupation lasts only one short season,

Ergo each lesser breed’s good reason, to each species its own hope.

Turkey vultures, one day, all take to wing, what’s left can then regain

The terrain each instinctively know is theirs, even the crows,

Restoring the balance of cats and squirrels, pigeons, and voles.

~ Charles Peek

Kearney, Nebraska, April 4, 2017

Charles Peek blogs, writes, and protests from Kearney, Nebraska. His Breezes on the Way to Being Winds won the 2016 Nebraska Award for Poetry. Together with his wife, Nancy, he spends a good deal of time trying to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline form ruining Nebraska’s land, water, and culture.

Pat Daneman has published poems and short fiction in many print and on-line journals. Her most recent work appears in the anthology New Poetry from the Midwest, Moon City Review, Stonecoast Review, Comstock Review and Bellevue Literary Review. Her chapbook, Where the World Begins, was published in 2015 by Finishing Line Press. After All, her first full-length poetry collection will be published in 2018 by FutureCycle Press.

Special Weather Statement, Johnson County, Kansas by Pat Daneman

10885210_10203995076012065_23950373450041338_n  —Watches and warnings issued. Plains threatened by devastating storms.  (weather.com)

Quick. Open the door. There—in the east—

across the tired grass with its small continents of unmelted snow,

beyond the fence your neighbor built (spoiling late summer evenings

with 70s hard rock and cursing),

on the other side of the lead work tracery of branches—

the sky is pink this morning—an astounding paintbrush pink

that Georgia O’Keefe would have followed out of the desert,

an opera pink—the flush across the top of the soprano’s breasts.

 

And above the pink a blue purer than birth—

that moment of the healthy cry, nothing but hope and possibility.

The blue of standing in a rainstorm, wet denim loving your skin,

the blue of creaking sails nuzzling the horizon, porpoise wheels turning.

 

Today will not bring rain or wind or snow, but sun

and happiness and insanity and desire—a whole mute sky of it.

Look—a pair of cardinals is out there on a branch calling—come

closer, closer.

~ Pat Daneman

Pat Daneman has lived in Lenexa, Kansas since 1986. Recent work appears in Escape Into Life, The Moon City Review, I-70 Review, Bellevue Poetry Review, and The Comstock Review. Her chapbook, Where the World Begins, was published in 2015 by Finishing Line Press.

Maril Crabtree spent her childhood in Memphis and grew up in New Orleans, but married a Kansas boy five decades ago and considers herself a full-bred Kansan by now. She writes poetry and creative nonfiction and her poems have appeared in I-70 Review, DMQ Review, Spank the Carp, and others. Her latest chapbook is Tying the Light (2014); some of her poems can be seen at www.marilcrabtree.com

Stud Farm by Frank Higgins

Frank_Higgins_PhotoWhile the mare backs down the ramp

and someone opens the corral gate,

cowboys and cowgirls in bright blouses

gather along the top rail like at rodeos.

“Okay, girl,” the mare’s owner says, “shake your tail,”

and he pats her on the rear.

“You say her name’s Kitty?” the stud’s owner says.

“Kitty, meet Luke. Luke’s a good man.”

While Luke the stud stands and snorts

Kitty plays it coy, looks around,

then walks over to get a drink.

“C’mon, ol’ Luke,” a cowboy calls,

“What are you waitin’ for? Buy her a drink.”

A cowgirl says, “First dates are difficult.”

“Tell her you like the way she moves.”

“Ask him what he does for a living.”

“Tell her she’s got pretty eyes.”

“Ask him if he still lives with his mother.”

The older men light up, prop a foot on a rail

and talk weather or feed

until they’re interrupted by the young

who cheer and then clap for Kitty,

who’s gotten down to business,

and Luke, who shows what he’s made of.

 

When it’s over, it’s only a minute till Kitty gets loaded.

“Hey,” a cowgirl says, “Luke didn’t even ask her to stay over.”

“He wants to watch football,” a guy says.

“Or sleep,” another cowgirl says.

The young people head to their trucks as a group,

laughing and joking at first, then become quiet

and start to pair up.

~ Frank Higgins

(appeared in the Flint Hills Review)

Frank Higgins is both a playwright and poet. His play Black Pearl Sings has been one of the most produced in the country over the last few years. His books of poetry include Starting From Ellis Island, Bkmk Press. He teaches playwriting at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Pat Daneman has lived in Lenexa, Kansas since 1986. Recent work appears on the art and literature website, Escape Into Life, in The Moon City Review, I-70 Review, Bellevue Poetry Review, and The Comstock Review. Her chapbook, Where the World Begins, was published in 2015 by Finishing Line Press.

Olive Street House Concerts by Melissa Fite Johnson

1478989_10151821111791994_1022361121_nDinner first. In this small kitchen,

everyone becomes friends quickly. We

brush shoulders as we make our way

to the patio and back to the potluck.

Sometimes the stranger we strike up with

turns out to be the musician

in the makeshift concert hall—a living room

missing its coffee table and couch, lined

instead with chairs. Years ago, Rob built

a stage where most would put a TV.

Carol hung twinkle lights and

fastened a spotlight to the chandelier.

 

Then the concert, a few hours

with nomads from Austin, the Ozarks,

Scranton. They play guitar, upright bass,

harmonica. They play the fiddle and banjo.

Their voices are clear and strong:
This one’s for my niece,

in too big a hurry to grow up.

This one’s about my haunted apartment.

This one’s for the man

I thought I’d marry but didn’t.

This one’s about the VW van I took

on tour that broke down twelve times.
Listening, we could feel boring

for having become teachers. Why didn’t we

learn guitar, get over stage fright

by performing to a crowd of Cabbage Patch kids?

We should’ve marked up maps with stars

for every place we ever wanted to go,

plotted tours by connecting all those dots.
Or—and this is what I recommend—

we can just feel happy

to have found this private clubhouse,

where the password is $12

and coffee cake or calamari. We can feel

happy for food in our bellies and songs

in our ears, happy Rob and Carol have

opened their home. Happy that

in these nights, we become another story to tell.

Melissa Fite Johnson received her Master’s in English literature from Pittsburg State University in Kansas.  She was the featured poet in the Fall 2015 issue of The Journal: Inspiration for the Common Good.  Individual poems have appeared or are forthcoming in such publications as Valparaiso Poetry Review, Broadsided Press, Rust + Moth, The Invisible Bear, I-70 Review, Inscape Magazine, 3 Elements Review, Red Paint Hill Journal, Whale Road Review, Bear Review, The New Verse News, and velvet-tail.  In 2015, Little Balkans Press published her first book of poetry, While the Kettle’s On, which won the Kansas Authors Club Nelson Poetry Book Award.  Melissa and her husband live in Kansas, where she teaches English.  Feel free to connect with her at melissafitejohnson.com.

Pat Daneman has lived in Lenexa, Kansas since 1986. Recent work appears on the art and literature website, Escape Into Life, in The Moon City Review, I-70 Review, Bellevue Poetry Review, and The Comstock Review. Her chapbook, Where the World Begins, was published in 2015 by Finishing Line Press.

Listening To Grandpa, Again by Greg German

GGeman 270pxAs we walk a path,

once a road,

leaving tracks between

the puncture vines,

his gaze runs along

a fallen fence, past

where Deacon Hayes or

John Coble is resting,

and cuts across

a field harvested forty

seven times, before

passing through

regrown oaks

and crossing the creek

to find a buckshot

wounded windmill

forever trading rhetoric

with the wind.

~ Greg German

(Previously Published in Touchstone, 1983, Fall/Winter)

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 technical communication, website development, free-lance writing and photography. He holds a B.A. degree in English/Creative writing and a B.S. in Education from Kansas State University. Previously, Greg has taught high school English and creative writing at both the high school and college levels. He developed and maintains www.kansaspoets.com — a website unique to Kansas Poets. Greg’s poetry and personal essays have appeared in over 50 literary journals across the U.S.

Pat Daneman has lived in Lenexa, Kansas since 1986. Recent work appears on the art and literature website, Escape Into Life, in The Moon City Review, I-70 Review, Bellevue Poetry Review, and The Comstock Review. Her chapbook, Where the World Begins, was published in 2015 by Finishing Line Press.

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