Poetry of Love, Resistance, & Solidarity

Posts tagged ‘Tyler Sheldon’

Aunt Mar Changes How We See by Kim Stafford

Kim StaffordShe had taken to having naps

most afternoons in the side parlor

while the TV flickered, muttered

brash fuss or hush of snow

 

as the long hours rounded into dusk,

so dear Mar, when we found her,

lay settled in the easy chair where her

soft light had stepped to the window,

 

slipped free through the cold clear panes,

passed lively into the buds of cottonwood,

her whispered “Yes” to wind and stars,

her way with folding hands, learned young

 

by lasting through the thirties, by raising nine

alone, by dealing books to hungry eyes in school,

by feeding us on the stove named Detroit Jewel,

her winsome prayers at times both hard and good

 

gone deep to the loyal roots of hickory, her calm

to elm reaching over the long prairie road

that joins the there of her

to the here of us, until it all

 

turns inside out, and through the world

beyond all trouble to core affections, no matter

how far or strange, we now see our days

by the gentle gaze of Mar.

~ Kim Stafford

Kim Stafford is the founding director of the Northwest Writing Institute at Lewis & Clark College, where he has taught writing since 1979, and is the author of a dozen books of poetry and prose, including The Muses Among Us: Eloquent Listening and Other Pleasures of the Writer’s Craft and A Thousand Friends of Rain: New & Selected Poems.  His most recent books are 100 Tricks Every Boy Can Do: How My Brother Disappeared, and Wind on the Waves: Stories from the Oregon Coast.

Tyler Sheldon earned his MA in English at Emporia State University, where he taught English Composition and received the 2016 Charles E. Walton Graduate Essay Award. His poems and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in Coal City Review, The Dos Passos Review, Flint Hills Review, I-70 Review, Quiddity International Literary Journal, Thorny Locust, and other journals. Sheldon is a two-time AWP Intro Journals Award nominee, and has appeared on Kansas Public Radio.

For Kansas Poets by Tyler Sheldon and William Sheldon

T. SheldonThis act may not seem writing
so much as incision
into the limestone of this place,
where you sit alone in dark pre-morning
static while long-necked turbines
stride the paling edge
of sky, blading the ancient clouds
into white rope while the wheat
or Bluestem –sargassum clasping thought—
crashes upon rocks, themselves
grasping fossils in veins of FlorenceW. Sheldon
chert, words newly tied to the page
waiting until next you breathe,
calling them, wind through leaves.

~ Tyler Sheldon and William Sheldon

Tyler Sheldon is a graduate student in English at Emporia State University. His poems and articles have appeared in Thorny Locust, I-70 Review, Coal City Review, The Dos Passos Review, and in the anthology To The Stars Through Difficulties (a 2013 Kansas Notable Book). Sheldon is an AWP Intro Journals Award nominee and has been featured on Kansas Public Radio.

William Sheldon lives in Hutchinson, Kansas, where he writes and teaches. His work has appeared widely in little magazines and small press anthologies. He has two books, Retrieving Old Bones (Woodley) and Rain Comes Riding (Mammoth), and a chapbook, Into Distant Grass (Oil Hill). He plays bass for the band The Excuses.

Don and Darkness by Steven Hind

HindThe boy at the wheel has lost

his twin to suicide. His sister

sits between us as he barrels up

the narrow chute of old #36

with his brights on. He passes

a second car as I see the hint

of lights over the crest ahead,

and he is talking about guns, the kind

of gun he would choose to kill a man.

And I am certain he will kill us all

in this old truck he bought with his

brother to throw the morning paper.

He swerves back into our lane as

a car blares past, and I thrill

to the breath passing my lips.

~ Steven Hind

Steven is a retired teacher and part-time farmer whose personal experiences over seventy years in Kansas have inspired efforts at self-expression, often taking the form of poetry. His books include, Familiar Ground (Cottonwood), That Trick of Silence (CKS), In a Place with No Map (CKS/Woodley), and The Loose Change of Wonder (CKS/Woodley).

Tyler Sheldon is a graduate student in English at Emporia State University. His poems and articles have appeared in Thorny Locust, I-70 Review, Coal City Review, The Dos Passos Review, and in the anthology To The Stars Through Difficulties (a 2013 Kansas Notable Book). Sheldon is an AWP Intro Journals Award nominee and has been featured on Kansas Public Radio.

William Sheldon lives in Hutchinson, Kansas, where he writes and teaches. His work has appeared widely in little magazines and small press anthologies. He has two books, Retrieving Old Bones (Woodley) and Rain Comes Riding (Mammoth), and a chapbook, Into Distant Grass (Oil Hill). He plays bass for the band The Excuses.

After a Snowless Winter by Patricia Traxler

ð

ð

March blizzard; the late snow covers our world

like amnesia. All day our eyes are drawn to windows,

absorbing the endless swath of white beyond the glass

that holds it apart, pristine, like a painting of what’s real.

1

I remember when we all were here, how winter warmed

us then. Yes, attrition is a function of time, and we have to

ignore it as far as we can–buy a new address book, forget

the touch that woke our skin, the sweet imperative of meals,

unruly music of children’s voices, words alive in every room.

1

Sunday wafer on the tongue, absolution, old miracles we still

crave; love, maybe. And before everything, the words that were

to be believed, that gave us something to fear and love and live

up to; nothing left to chance, except everything that would follow.

1

The world is old now, war still abounds, meaning refuses attachment.

Bulbs stir in the ground, regenerate out of habit, away from the light.

I’m yours, I tell the air. The cold makes its way in then, and for hours

snow deepens across the prairie while frost blinds window glass.

1

No ideas but in things, he said, and yet the world is clotted with things

and often bereft of ideas. This belated freeze enters the flesh the way

love did–a mercy?–then makes its way into the heart, and stays.

The power to make something necessary, lasting, to place something

new where nothing was–anyone fears the loss of that. And of the need.

1

Somewhere underground now a river hurries over itself, blind roots

stirring as it passes, earth darkening around souls muted and stilled,

stones smoothening in the passage of time, while above we wait and

wonder: Is this what we were meant for? Who will tell us what was true?

~ Patricia Traxler

Patricia Traxler, a two-time Bunting Poetry Fellow at Radcliffe, is the author of four poetry collections and a novel, and has edited two anthologies of Kansas memories dating from 1910-1975. Her poetry has appeared widely, including in The Nation, The Boston Review, Agni, Ploughshares, Ms. Magazine, The LA Times, and Best American Poetry. She has read or served as resident poet at many universities, including Ohio State, Harvard University, Kansas University, the University of Montana, Utah State, and the University of California San Diego.

Tyler Sheldon is a graduate student in English at Emporia State University. His poems and articles have appeared in Thorny Locust, I-70 Review, Coal City Review, The Dos Passos Review, and in the anthology To The Stars Through Difficulties (a 2013 Kansas Notable Book). Sheldon is an AWP Intro Journals Award nominee and has been featured on Kansas Public Radio.

William Sheldon lives in Hutchinson, Kansas, where he writes and teaches. His work has appeared widely in little magazines and small press anthologies. He has two books, Retrieving Old Bones (Woodley) and Rain Comes Riding (Mammoth), and a chapbook, Into Distant Grass (Oil Hill). He plays bass for the band The Excuses.

Forbidden by Denise Low

He pulls fear from a wooden drawer—Denise2014SFbySusanGardner (2)

an Aboriginal witching stone

his uncle collected years ago.
1

As he unwraps flannel swaddling he says,

unflinchingly unsexing me,

“Women should not see this. It is taboo.”
1

We had spent hours drinking medicinal tea

while sorting eucalyptus-bark paintings—

crocodiles, water holes, sparkling dust.
1

Now this stone. He recounts ceremonial rules—

the strict gendered intention for it.

How initiates kill women who intrude.
1

He holds the pecked lodestone to light,

a Gondwandaland lava remnant

at first unremarkable but magnetic.
1

I behold a dizzy white-on-black nebulae

a white hibiscus a frozen river whirl

a desert spring a rosette of labia stretched wide open.

(For Barnaby Ruhe, on the death of Ed Ruhe)

~ Denise Low

Denise Low, second Kansas Poet Laureate, has published over 20 books of award-winning poetry and essays, including Ghost Stories (Woodley) and Natural Theologies, essays about Mid-Plains literature (Backwater Press). Low was visiting professor at the University of Richmond and Kansas University. She taught at Haskell Indian Nation University, where she founded the creative writing program. She served Associated Writing Programs as board president. She and her husband Thomas Pecore Weso publish Mammoth Publications.

Tyler Sheldon is a graduate student in English at Emporia State University. His poems and articles have appeared in Thorny Locust, I-70 Review, Coal City Review, The Dos Passos Review, and in the anthology To The Stars Through Difficulties (a 2013 Kansas Notable Book). Sheldon is an AWP Intro Journals Award nominee and has been featured on Kansas Public Radio.

William Sheldon lives in Hutchinson, Kansas, where he writes and teaches. His work has appeared widely in little magazines and small press anthologies. He has two books, Retrieving Old Bones (Woodley) and Rain Comes Riding (Mammoth), and a chapbook, Into Distant Grass (Oil Hill). He plays bass for the band The Excuses.

Wake Up Call by Harley Elliott

A butterfly walksElliott

up your cheek

and looks you

in the eye.

1

A stone between

your feet grows

a warm spot

in your hand.

1

Cloud shadows

race over you

peel identity and

drift it away.

1

Birds swarm and

turn in unison

becoming sky

and flashing

back as birds.

1

And yes thunder

is growling

your secret name.

1

In a moment

all the cells of

creation are

bending your way.

~ Harley Elliott

Harley Elliott lives in Salina Kansas. He is the author of ten books of poetry, including Darkness at Each Elbow and Animals That Stand in Dreams (Hanging Loose), and The Monkey of Mulberry Pass and Fugitive Histories (Woodley), as well as a memoir, Loading the Stone (Woodley).

Tyler Sheldon is a graduate student in English at Emporia State University. His poems and articles have appeared in Thorny Locust, I-70 Review, Coal City Review, The Dos Passos Review, and in the anthology To The Stars Through Difficulties (a 2013 Kansas Notable Book). Sheldon is an AWP Intro Journals Award nominee and has been featured on Kansas Public Radio.

William Sheldon lives in Hutchinson, Kansas, where he writes and teaches. His work has appeared widely in little magazines and small press anthologies. He has two books, Retrieving Old Bones (Woodley) and Rain Comes Riding (Mammoth), and a chapbook, Into Distant Grass (Oil Hill). He plays bass for the band The Excuses.

August by Tyler Sheldon

Tyler Sheldon PhotoSeeds explode like fire against the neighbor’s garage

or hang mortified like bodies

from the sycamore out front.

My father walks with leaden pipe in hand

(dog insurance, he says)

as downstreet the Akita runs his length of iron chain,

hoping it will snap.

 

I am barefoot and fifteen

and the concrete boils before me

as the mail truck pulls away

into the hallucinatory shimmer of the street.

I run out like time,

And life itself hangs in the balance.

Bio: Tyler Sheldon is the Press Manager for Flint Hills Review, and is a Creative Writing student at Emporia State University. His poetry has been published in numerous journals, such as Tulgey Wood, Quivira, Periphery, Thorny Locust, and eleven to seven, and is forthcoming in I-70 Review. The 2012 anthology To The Stars Through Difficulties: A Kansas Renga in 150 Voices featured his poem “Fall” alongside work by Kansas Poet Laureates Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg and Denise Low. He has self-published a chapbook, Being (American). tyrsheldon@gmail.com

Guest Editor Diane Wahto has an MFA in creative writing from Wichita State University. Her poem, “Someone Is Always Watching,” won the American Academy of Poets award. Recently, her poems “The Conspiracy of Coffee” and “After the Storm” were published in Active Aging. She, her husband, and two dogs live in Wichita, Kansas. dwahto@cox.net

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