Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Lowell Jaeger - One Poem

Sugar-White Beaches

Such a never-ending winter, these months
of snow and ice and gloom.  We’ve lost
long hours again today, pushing back
last night’s leaden blanket of wet white,
mounding piles shoulder-high, towering
till they avalanche as if to mock our labors.

The wind whips our cheekbones red
and wet and raw, my wife and I,
our shovels lufting slush, lungs puffing
huffs and grunts . . . when, within a waking dream,
she says, That sugar-white beach
in Isla Mujeres, remember? I nod,

a touch of warmth, a blush, floods over me,
a smile.  Side-by-side we replay these memories,
wordlessly, relishing not just the mind’s rescue
but something bone-deep having bubbled up
like steaming waters from the earth’s core.

And I remember, as a kid, that same sensation,
a resurrection out of the depths of near hopelessness,
our schoolyard in late March beginning to thaw.
One brown patch of lawn opened where snows had receded,
and we gathered there all recess, huddled in awe.

Lowell Jaeger (Montana Poet Laureate 2017-2019) is founding editor of Many Voices Press, author of seven collections of poems, recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Montana Arts Council, and winner of the Grolier Poetry Peace Prize. Most recently Jaeger was awarded the Montana Governor’s Humanities Award for his work in promoting thoughtful civic discourse.  

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Duane Anderson - Three Poems

Lost in the Fire
The couple held up a sign
“We lost everything in the fire.”
Maybe they wanted money
from everyone who passed by
as they sat on the steps of a building
but he did not see another sign asking for money.

He passed by and
walked across the street
to a store that sold greeting cards.
Purchasing a card,
he addressed the envelope to
“The people who lost everything in the fire.”
since he didn’t know their names
and walked back across the street
and handed them the card
telling them his condolences
for their loss.

He walked on.
not waiting for them
to open the card.
He didn’t care to know
their further thoughts,
after all,
they already had his sympathy.

Where’s the Pooch?

Today I was asked twice,
where’s the pooch,
where’s your dog,
as I took a walk alone.
People were used to seeing me
with my dog
since I usually took her on
two to three walks a day
depending on the weather.
We were a well known
neighborhood staple.
One wasn’t seen without the other.

Now I can only tell them as they ask
that she is no longer alive
having lost the use of both hind legs
due to a disc disease.
I continue my walks.
Maybe not as many
though the pace is much faster now
since I have no need or desire
to sniff at every little thing crossing my path.
We were a twosome,
one of the threads of the neighborhood.
As life moves on,
the memories remain.

Tell Me My Name

Even as I sat listening to the song,
I did not remember the melody
or hear the words sung.
My concentration was in another world
somewhere I know
I have been too many times before,
but still I am unable to describe it.
It is like seeing one of my best friends
on the street,
who calls me by name,
but I do not speak his name
because somehow I cannot remember it.

Time passes,
the thought remains in my mind
until I remember the name,
then the thought quickly passes,
like questioning yourself
if this is your right street address
or correct phone number.
Sometimes we momentarily forget things.
Sometimes we never sit down
to learn them.

Duane currently lives in La Vista, NE.  He has had poems published in Saga, Poetry Now, Telephone, Lunch, Touchstone, Pastiche: Poems of Place, Fine Lines, The Ibis Head Review, Omaha World- Herald and several other publications.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Vicki Iorio - One Poem

Response to #1263

Tell all the truth but tell it slant--

O Emily, I can tell you about slant
rhymes, half rhymes, half moons
my slant, code name for my secret lips

but you are talking about the truth
sometimes slanted, hooded, fakery
not the slant of my pelvic tilt.

Did you ever tilt your world,
rock the Amherst gloom?
If truth be told

gradually, you say
so to dazzle. I think the truth
should not be a blush growing slowly

but a flash of light igniting veins
exposing birds in the the blind--

Vicki Iorio is the author of the poetry collection, Poems from the Dirty Couch, Local Gems Press and the chapbook Send Me A Letter, dancinggirlpress. You can read Iorio's poetry in various print and online publications.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Mary Marie Dixon - Three Poems

Bone Breaker

The osprey slakes her cravings
On the dirk of a high crag
In that eyry tangle
The bone breaker’s lilac eggs
Ripen under her breast

Dark quills
Write in languages
And melodies long since lost
Indecipherable markings
Mapped in some vast
Expanse and suspended
Over ridge and rock
Cliff and bank
A wild place where
No one sleeps

The air is light
Some stroking thing
Is pent up under the eking tide
Which never quiets itself
Though it rocks incessantly

Instruction comes
Through the pillaging osprey
Whose lightning strike
Plunges, pocketing into the sea,
Emerges with squirming catch
And rises up
To pinnacle
The secret away

Brutal climber
Under the shadowy sky
Tear the trap away
Loose the long shadowed larch
Its pillar rots

Under the afflicted tree
The last quill falls
And August rides
The clouded sky
To a cornered world

The fish bellies up to the sun
Under the osprey’s wing.
Do not regret the deep
The cold and wild,
Where the rocks quiver,
The outspread beach wisps away.

No beauty lacks savagery,
Flinging itself,
Willing sacrifice,
Scattering the stalking prey,
Breaking only the wind.

Tortured on the low slope
Thick upon the briar,
A golden sun kisses the earth,
Bricking the friable loam,
Casting the badger’s den,
Kilning its burrow.

A heart loathes the common grain.
Piece by piece,
Under the spirit of the world,
It chokes and twists
To reconcile the soft lilac of the egg
And the predator’s talon. 


Fire cools
in thickened cellulose;
a winding blue
paths my body
and traces its edge.

I am the field
snaked with rivers,
plained by breath,
torpid languisher
in foxglove.

A crimson current,
made in marrow,
twines my bones
with cadent stripes.

Bay horses surge
like turbid muses
on this clay sprawl;
I am the track
that circuits their path.

Chambered by prairie dogs,
I am the burrowed ground
cloistered from the siege
of coyotes and badgers.

Iron fissures swirl
an alabaster shell;
spikenard ruptures
from broken vessels.
Anointing smears
the treasure.

So still, my skin,
yet fluxing within
I am vulnerable
to the blackberry,
and the sacred hawthorn
whose wood burns
with most virulent fire.


In the cradle of the Manzanos and the desert
Watermelon mountains silent in pink afflicted by grey
I shook the solace of the leafing birch
Grasping for air, peeking through pay-for-use binoculars
The Rio Grande rose up a striking rattler
It was only the sound of cones falling from the Ponderosas
What will I do now?
Someday, I will know
How from one place to another
I move in ignorance from sea level to 5000 feet
Then unable to breathe realize the disruption

Mary Marie Dixon, visual artist and poet, has published creative works in periodicals and  collection of poetry, Eucharist, Enter the Sacred Way, Franciscan University Press, 2008. She explores the visual and poetic intersection in publications on women’s spirituality and the mystics, the Great Plains and the spiritual power of nature.