Poetry of Love, Resistance, & Solidarity

Posts tagged ‘Roy J. Beckemeyer’

Controlled Burn by Robert L. Dean, Jr.

And God said
Shall these bones live?”
            —T. S. Eliot, Ash Wednesday

snot rivers down my lip
cinders singe my eyes
air toxic with
hellfire, brimstone
Flint Hills ranchers
striking matches
tall-grass Zeuses
with scorched earth policies
not even a zephyr
whispers against them
up the narrow low places
creep their progeny
Stygian fingerprints staining
lilies of the field
down the street
the neighbors’ houses
Bataclan Theatre
Maalbeek Metro
Splendid Hotel
all smudged out
as far away as
Chicago, Fayetteville
rogue sparks ignite
bullet-hole a boy’s body
sucker-punch a protester
and what of these, my
fistfuls of embers
hot words you and I didn’t speak last night
cold naked back to cold naked back
how many tears
to drown a world

First appeared in Illya’s Honey (Fall, 2016).

 

Robert L. Dean, Jr.’s debut poetry collection is At the Lake with Heisenberg (Spartan Press, 2018). His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Flint Hills Review, I-70 Review, Chiron Review, The Ekphrastic Review, Shot Glass, Illya’s Honey, Red River Review, KYSO Flash, River City Poetry, Heartland! Poetry of Love, Resistance & Solidarity, and the Wichita Broadside Project. He was a quarter-finalist in the 2018 Nimrod Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry. He read at the Scissortail Creative Writing Festival and the Chikaskia Literary Festival in 2018 and will return for Scissortail 2019. He is event coordinator for Epistrophy: An Afternoon of Poetry and Improvised Music held annually in Wichita, Kansas. He has been a professional musician and worked at The Dallas Morning News. He lives in Augusta, Kansas.

Guest Editor Roy J. Beckemeyer is from Wichita, Kansas. He was President of the Kansas Authors Club 2016-2017. His latest book of poetry, Stage Whispers (Meadowlark-Books, 2019), contains “…handsomely crafted poems…Dense with images, intimate and honest…” (Kathryn Kysar). His chapbook, Amanuensis Angel (Spartan Press, 2018) comprises ekphrastic poems inspired by a variety of artists’ depictions of angels. His first poetry collection, 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) with Caryn Mirriam Goldberg. That anthology collected poems that appeared on this website from 2014-2016.

 

Grandpa by Will Hagman

dust of those
western roads
still rests in
his lungs
where it tells
its tall tales
to at least seven
decades of
tobacco soot

its favorite is
about Betty Lou
who can bring
most anyone out
of their blues
with her smile

and how the
cloudless prairie sky
has nothing on
the hue of her eyes

and how Mr. Williams
took the words
right out his mouth
when she was cooking

and how she is still
willing to help out anyone
needing it even though
she needs it more
these days

and how she helped
him the most
pretty near all
his life and still
does simply by
being there

guess not all the tales
dust has to tell
are tall ones

 

Will Hagman works as a customer service representative in Sioux Falls, SD where he lives with his husband Bob.  He has found writing to be therapeutic throughout his life and continues to write poetry as a venue to connect with others and himself.  Additionally, Will enjoys gardening and dabbling in various mediums of art.

Guest Editor Roy J. Beckemeyer is from Wichita, Kansas. He was President of the Kansas Authors Club 2016-2017. His latest book of poetry, Stage Whispers (Meadowlark-Books, 2019), contains “…handsomely crafted poems…Dense with images, intimate and honest…” (Kathryn Kysar). His chapbook, Amanuensis Angel (Spartan Press, 2018) comprises ekphrastic poems inspired by a variety of artists’ depictions of angels. His first poetry collection, 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) with Caryn Mirriam Goldberg. That anthology collected poems that appeared on this website from 2014-2016.

 

The Race by Laura Lee Washburn

I catch foul balls on my tongue:
words like “Get ‘im out of here” USA
“Go back to China” USA, “Make America—”
USA I wash my hair
in the shower with soap that smells like berries.
On the corner, a panhandler
asks for food, “Every Little Bit
Helps. Peace.” As-salamu alaykum.

I drive by, the food bank six blocks north,
the county shelter closed, funds moved
west where Kansans vote Republican
harder than here—GodBlessAmericaJakesFireworks
signs on Forest, on Jefferson, on Adams.
I can no longer tolerate words: USA USA
balloon launches, USA the simple wish
peace be with you, and prayers (Jake’s Fireworks),
that choke fledglings, twist
in the guts of opossums.

You can make a hen tell the truth
no one hears. You can’t fake an egg.
They come honest from the hens,
a kind of fragile truth. Eat spaghetti
by the ax full, carry water
in a berry basket, eat bullets, breathe
turbine—Make America great.

A screwdriver helps a Carpenter Joe twist
screws into holes. If I could,
I’d go back to sleep, great again.
Don’t cut off your tail USA USA; drape it over your
arm, USA wear a top hat USA before it’s too late
make America catch the foulest balls
on their tongues and swallow.

 

Originally published at The New Verse News (https://newversenews.blogspot.com/2016/03/the-race.html).

 

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.

Guest Editor Roy J. Beckemeyer is from Wichita, Kansas. He was President of the Kansas Authors Club 2016-2017. His latest book of poetry, Stage Whispers (Meadowlark-Books, 2019), contains “…handsomely crafted poems…Dense with images, intimate and honest…” (Kathryn Kysar). His chapbook, Amanuensis Angel (Spartan Press, 2018) comprises ekphrastic poems inspired by a variety of artists’ depictions of angels. His first poetry collection, 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) with Caryn Mirriam Goldberg. That anthology collected poems that appeared on this website from 2014-2016.

 

 

 

 

 

The Poet’s Festival Song by Thomas Locicero

The poet’s festival song
Is his joy and is his might.
But to write of every wrong,
To clench fists in every fight—
Is this to be expected?
Is it his duty or right?
Is the poet selected
To save because he can write?
Or is it a greater cause,
Despite the suffering seen,
To offer joy, then to pause
And write something in between?

 

Thomas Locicero’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Roanoke Review, Boston Literary Magazine, Long Island Quarterly, Jazz Cigarette, Antarctica Journal, Hobart, Ponder Review, vox poetica, Poetry Pacific, Brushfire, Indigo Lit, Saw Palm, Fine Lines, New Thoreau Quarterly, and Birmingham Arts Journal, among others. He resides in Broken Arrow, OK.

Guest Editor Roy J. Beckemeyer is from Wichita, Kansas. He was President of the Kansas Authors Club 2016-2017. His latest book of poetry, Stage Whispers (Meadowlark-Books, 2019), contains “…handsomely crafted poems…Dense with images, intimate and honest…” (Kathryn Kysar). His chapbook, Amanuensis Angel (Spartan Press, 2018) comprises ekphrastic poems inspired by a variety of artists’ depictions of angels. His first poetry collection, 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) with Caryn Mirriam Goldberg. That anthology collected poems that appeared on this website from 2014-2016.

 

A More Innocent Time by Janet Jenkins-Stotts

A More Innocent Time

 

His long plaid arm snaked around my waist, and
took the reins from my hands, signaling my ride
was almost over. The coming unwelcome routine
was the price I paid to ride. “Just lean back on me,”
his redneck voice requested, but I stayed rigidly upright.
Undeterred, his calloused hand explored my t-shirt
finding two small hillocks.

A brief, unspoken war was conducted at a bone-jarring
trot. I pushed his hand down; it crept up again. At 10,
I was too naïve to feel threatened, but an instinctual
unease was confirmed when his hand dropped each
time Dad’s dusty ’52 Chevy drove down the gravel road.

The redneck and his horse disappeared amid a roiling cloud
of whispers at summer’s end. I asked my dad where
he was, and his face went white and pinched, a Welsh
danger sign I heeded. Later, I hung back, unnoticed,
while Dad relayed second hand gossip about the man’s
trial to Uncle Earl. The words “molestation” and “predator”
were awkward in Dad’s mouth, and unknown to me, but I
didn’t care if the man went to jail. I broke cover to ask
“What happened to his horse?”

 

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

Guest Editor Roy J. Beckemeyer is from Wichita, Kansas. He was President of the Kansas Authors Club 2016-2017. His latest book of poetry, Stage Whispers (Meadowlark-Books, 2019), contains “…handsomely crafted poems…Dense with images, intimate and honest…” (Kathryn Kysar). His chapbook, Amanuensis Angel (Spartan Press, 2018) comprises ekphrastic poems inspired by a variety of artists’ depictions of angels. His first poetry collection, 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) with Caryn Mirriam Goldberg. That anthology collected poems that appeared on this website from 2014-2016.

Same Old Same Old by D. R. James

Three teen deer have begun of late
to make daily dusk-time stops out back,
their flat flanks and thick, angled necks
depicting stumps and trunks that then
move and materialize and re-blend
as their busy muzzles forage-and-
freeze them across the far lawn. How
ever inventive their camouflage. Of course,
once I look up, so do they, slightly
white faces and twice-twitching ears
alert to any budge. And if I stand,
even gradually as a yogi, they hop
and spin and crash backward into
slits that open in the brush and oaks
that just as quickly close behind them.
I’m showing you nothing you don’t
know, and know you also know that
doesn’t matter, that you, too, would stop,
lift your face, and love them every time.

 

First published in Peacock Journal, November 2017

 

D.R. James—born in Ohio, raised in Illinois, grad-schooled in Iowa, and now in his 34th year teaching writing, literature, and peacemaking at the Midwestern college he attended in the 70’s—lives in the woods outside Saugatuck, Michigan. His latest of seven collections is If god were gentle (Dos Madres).

Guest Editor Roy J. Beckemeyer is from Wichita, Kansas. He was President of the Kansas Authors Club 2016-2017. His latest book of poetry, Stage Whispers (Meadowlark-Books, 2019), contains “…handsomely crafted poems…Dense with images, intimate and honest…” (Kathryn Kysar). His chapbook, Amanuensis Angel (Spartan Press, 2018) comprises ekphrastic poems inspired by a variety of artists’ depictions of angels. His first poetry collection, 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) with Caryn Mirriam Goldberg. That anthology collected poems that appeared on this website from 2014-2016.

 

 

Mexican Bags (Bolsas del Mercado) by Elizabeth Perdomo

 

 “Las fronteras con un puente pero dos caminos muy distintos!” – Local Frontera “Diche” 

 

Mexican bags,
mesh bolsas del mercado,
bright dye colors woven in plaids,
stripes, solids, poly-mesh
strong, flexible handles,
pliable
as liquid borders
which flow beneath their feet,
travel both ways,
convey dark haired
Tias, hermanas,
grey-haired abuelitas,
drag
large bags,
an entire life
could fit inside.
Bolsas carted on buses,
lugged across long bridges
border paths moving both ways,
long roads convey human cargo,
carry strong blood longings,
cross Rio Grande shores,
Frontera del Norte, with
famila on both sides,
family long ago
gone.
Memory
stuffed bolsas
hold special sweets,
dulces para los niños,
rancho grown
chiles seco, raised
in el jardín del rancho,
handmade tamales, still warm,
wrapped with love, held
safe within hand-
embroidered
towels.
Time
& visa terms
bring each face back
to old roads, the hard life
choices, return to border bridges,
return beloved dark-eyed
Abuelas, hermanas,
Padres, Tias,
who cross back into
ancient homelands,
travel towards
warmer Spanish tongues,
español, & familiar
rancho soil which
still runs deep as hand-
dug wells,
deep as river blood.
Boundaries flow; changeable,
alter with claims, time,
flow free as agua
& tears.
Hearts will
always weep caliente when
they leave la familia preciosa,
across El Rio Bravo,
Sur del Frontera,
with bright plaid bags
clutched as tight abrazos,
embraced on buses,
la lineas panamericas,
lug bold stripped bolsas
across long, hot bridges,
puentes y caminos,
colorful bags,
each loaded heavy
with hard goodbyes,
liquid borders running
just beneath their
feet.

 

Background:  Mexican Bags – Bolsas del Mercado – was inspired by waiting for my husband’s return from Mexico at the international bus station in McAllen.  While awaiting his arrival, I had the opportunity to watch people both come – and go – on the local and Mexican bus lines.

 

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.

Guest Editor Roy J. Beckemeyer is from Wichita, Kansas. He was President of the Kansas Authors Club 2016-2017. His latest book of poetry, Stage Whispers (Meadowlark-Books, 2019), contains “…handsomely crafted poems…Dense with images, intimate and honest…” (Kathryn Kysar). His chapbook, Amanuensis Angel (Spartan Press, 2018) comprises ekphrastic poems inspired by a variety of artists’ depictions of angels. His first poetry collection, 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) with Caryn Mirriam Goldberg. That anthology collected poems that appeared on this website from 2014-2016.

 

 

Tag Cloud