Poetry of Love, Resistance, & Solidarity

Posts tagged ‘survival’

Word of the Day . by Sarah Chenoweth

To those who would wait

for the revolution

wearing John Lennon t-shirts andChenoweth, Sarah

Guy Fawkes masks,

tattoos on their arms,

braids in their hair,

waiting for the return of

Marley, Tupac, Marat, Cobain:

 

To those who would wait

for the tide to turn,

for the waters to rise,

for others to fall

on their swords,

for a new king to be crowned;

a queen forgotten:

 

To those who would wait

until it is convenient;

when their work is done,

when children have gone,

after that next big promotion,

vacation, fad diet, season finale:

 

To those who would wait

until the fat cats own their lives,

until the food riots begin and

the summers become too hot

for victory gardens:

 

To those who would wait

under overpasses,

in alleyways,

buried in inescapable debt:

 

Stop waiting.

The fight did not end

in 1789, 1865, or 1964.

 

Stop waiting.

The fight is now, and

 

the word of the day is Resistance.

 

Sarah Chenoweth graduated from both the English and Communication M.A. programs at Pittsburg State University. She has been published in print through I-70 Review, Communication Theory, Rhetoric & Public Affairs, and the Journal of International Communication, and online through the Silver Birch Press and Kansas Time + Place.

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.

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Eating Chicken Cobb Salad with a Stranger . by Katelyn Roth

Panera, noon, forced to share a table. He eats his soup

Katelyn

like he’s mad it’s soup. I never see him drink,

only transport the wide, flat spoon to his mouth with a fist

gripping its neck. He was Air Force—

nothing sissy about it—has driven from Colorado

to see a friend, a woman friend, and needs directions

to her house over by the country club. Got into town

too early. Time to kill.

Why call it cobb salad? No cobbs in it.

Chicken, spry romaine lettuce, withered bacon and

Gorgonzola cheese, tomatoes, a halved hard-boiled egg, avocado

if you ask for it, but no cobbs. No Charlies in My Lai, either.

No way to know, though. They all looked the same.

Went up with a gunner once, shiny new. Barely knew

where the trigger was. Had to tell him which direction to shoot in.

Probably had to tell him how to unzip his own trousers.

Took a bullet straight through his chicken plate, into his chest.

Right side, though. Didn’t have to tell him where to shoot

after that. He’d just shoot at anything.

Wedge salad is a different story. Wedge salad

is honest.

 

Katelyn Roth graduated from Pittsburg State University with degrees in Creative Writing and Psychology. She has been previously published in the campus literary magazine Cow Creek Review. Currently, she resides in Pittsburg with her husband and dog, where she is working on a Masters in Creative Writing at PSU.

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.

Dancing on the Head of a Pin . by Jemshed Khan

In the bang of war

the rifle butt smacks

the sniper’s shoulder:

another bullet swifts

the long dark hollow

of the killing barrel.

 

Minutes after the landing

the Rooster is strutting

The cameras are rolling

Hand shakes all around

Top brass is beaming

and cheering begins.

 

I scarcely fathom the howl

of all this volumed Kevlar―

yet my nation dances

on the bones of the dead

to bend the will of others

to a pin on a map.

 

Jemshed Khan has published poems in such magazines as 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). 

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.

Casualties . by Janet Jenkins-Stotts

A dream left me aching with past tense

longing. An impossible situationjjs2

a long time ago, but dreams have no

calendar. Why wake now, remembering

 

the intensity of his need hidden

behind a triangular smile. Instead,

recall telling him you now understand

your role in his life, as a shield from

 

emotions he can’t unpack. He does not

want to grasp my message, but I see it

flash across his face. War-torn Germany,

a mother selling the only thing she

 

had to feed her son in a city bombed

to dust. His shame? Being the reason for

her shame. How long can a son’s shame remain?

A lifetime, shown in his distrust of all

 

women’s love, shielding his heart behind

the barbed wire of a camp, built years ago.

Reaching out, he grasped my hand, and pulled it

through the shredding wire, wounding us both.

 

I lock him away again in nights’ dream

casket, filled with rue and rosemary.

Stay inside forever, I whisper.

 

No, don’t.

 
Janet Jenkins-Stotts is a late blooming author of both poetry and prose.  She published her first novel “The Orchid Garden” in 2015. Jenkins-Stotts lives in Topeka, Kansas with her husband, Stan and Romeo, their miniature pincher. When not at the computer, composing, you can usually find her at a bridge table.

 

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.

Morning News – by Maril Crabtree

Crabtree Head shot - 12%Ten times ten thousand

terrible things in this world

and still

I don’t want to leave it

~ Maril Crabtree

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.

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 The New Verse 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.

The Apocalypse Will Not Be Televised – by Christopher Todd Anderson

Stealthily it will come like termites weakening floorboards.

It will come under darkness, clouds kidnapping the moon

while everyone sleeps. It will slow burn and smolder, no flame

waving the flag of crisis when well-built walls crumble to ash.

 

We in the mined lands know something about collapse. It’s not

always explosions and smoke plumes visible seventeen miles away.

Hollow tunnels, machine-carved then eroded by seepage, run beneath

neighborhoods, beneath playgrounds, schools, homes and highways.

 

Here, the ground could swallow the workaday surface into its jagged

stony mouth any moment. You’ll wake to cracking beams in the house

frame, roaring asphalt or stop signs tumbling in. The news will show

the doll’s head, the tricycle, the mangled Toyota dirty at pit bottom.

 

Don’t believe the half-truth litany of tragedy the TV chants night

and day. Usually suffering is quiet as mice, unseen, hidden in shadows

like a basement cricket behind the furnace. It’s there, it sings, but we

sleep too well, hear nothing except in fitful rest and dark dreams.

Christopher Todd Anderson is

chris

Associate Professor of English at Pittsburg State University in Kansas, where he teaches courses in American literature, creative writing, environmental literature, and popular culture.  His poetry has appeared in journals such as River StyxTar River PoetryEllipsisChicago Quarterly ReviewTipton Poetry Journal, and The Midwest Quarterly.

 

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.

New Year’s Eve, 2016 Sinking – by Morgan O.H. McCune

After all this time, each star still marks a question.

Why would a God need so many bright eyes

To witness this? How far is that star

That it should be unreachable?

What shall I use as a measure?

 

We could have drawn a legend,

Collapsing the abyss into thin ripples over sand,

Where only the tiniest tragedy could occur,

Or expanding the Atlantic into a bowl so immense

That planets drift like plankton,

Calamities muted by sheer space.

 

We could have steered to port,

Had we kept a better lookout.

 

To change the future, change a word.

Yes. No. Iceberg.

To change the future, watch.

 

We are standing on a deck, the tilt of which

Grows extreme. There is not a heartbeat

Between us and the sea.

At the end (perhaps the beginning?),

See how the brain fires all its flares?

 

We were not made to go down

Without an offering, and who knows

Which flashing string of instinct may be enough.

What pearls will slip through your fingers

Into the hungry sea?

 

You’ll see them fall or,

From another viewpoint, rise

Through miracles of latitude.

Two billion years to that star,

Two miles to the ocean floor,

Two inches and the shell

Of the nautilus begins

To curve into an

Iridescent

Golden

Trap.

img_7069

All ahead dead slow;

Set the watch.

~ Morgan O. H. McCune

Morgan O.H. McCune was born and raised in Topeka. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry from Washington University in St. Louis (1991) and a Master of Library Science from Emporia State University (2002). She is currently working as a Cataloging Librarian, Associate Professor, at Pittsburg State University.

 

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.

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