Formal & Rhyming Poetry
with Vera Ignatowitsch
A Rooster Refugee
A rooster loose among suburban houses
is loudly singing matins. His crowing rouses
the bleary-eyed suburbanites unused
to solar time who, half-asleep, confused,
must squint to read their glowing bedside clocks:
a quarter of five! But what do strutting cocks
concede to those whose lives run clock-unwise?
Without his song the sun would fail to rise,
he thinks, this self-important chanticleer
whose days obey the contours of the year.
Before the graders flattened out his farm
the beasts awoke each day at his alarm.
The fields are now a parking lot; the land
is smooth and paved, as featureless and bland
as days that do not wax and wane year-round.
This rooster refugee is losing ground
but keeps on crowing, keeping time without
a thought for how his time is running out.
I fumble dumbly with my coffee cup;
outside the rooster calls, Wake up, wake up!
originally published in East of Early Winters
Richard Wakefield has taught college literature for thirty-eight years and since 1985 has been Professor of Humanities at Tacoma Community College in Tacoma, Washington. For twenty-nine years he was a literary critic for the Seattle Times. His first poetry collection "East of Early Winters" (University of Evansville Press), won the Richard Wilbur Award. His second collection, "A Vertical Mile" (Able Muse Press), was short-listed for the Poets Prize.
When I wait, at night, for her to come,
life, it seems, hangs by a strand.
Anna Akhmatova, "The Muse"
Her marriages unhappy, government
condemning her and calling her a whore,
banning her books, consumed by whole days spent
standing in ration lines or at the door
of a party office where she would implore
release for friends and family sent away
to gulag prison camps (they would ignore
the pleading she would come with day by day).
They did not like her poems or the nude
sketches Modigliani made of her.
They burned her books. She scraped for love and food.
Whatever wrath her poetry incurred,
she stood against the boorish, asinine,
dim bureaucrats who toed the party line.
They died. Their empire fell, her poems remain,
sketches of naked truth and art’s disdain
for any system or bureaucracy
that would restrict a poem or nudity
originally published in Scattercolors
David W. Landrum lives in Western Michigan. His poetry has appeared in numerous journals, including Measure, First Things, Evansville Review, Three Drops in a Cauldron, and Misty Mountain Review.
KIDS AT SUNNY LAKES yell and fling up sand,
as boneyard motors patinate with rust.
A farmer’s pickup, lost beyond its dust,
speeds to where murmurating starlings land.
Desire pools in the blood, and lovers laid
out by orgasm drift off into sleep.
Impressions wither in their minds, and steep
in darkness that has flooded erstwhile shade.
Noisy diesel rigs redshift through their gears.
In hospice care a frail heart pumps on faintly,
dreaming friends and foes—some more, some less saintly.
Happiness cannot recognize its tears.
Rails clack under unending rolling stock.
Lone souls distill the twilight’s residue,
freighthopping pasts they maybe never knew.
Their tuning forks tone in the ticking clock.
Stephen M. Dickey lives and works in Lawrence, Kansas, and has published free and formal verse and a couple of short stories in small print and online journals. He has published many prose and poetry translations from Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian.
You are so sweet my misfit darling dear
in purple fishnet, orange tights and gear
hung from a hat atop a scarf of fuchsia
and heels that violate the regs of OSHA*
I love the way you snort instead of laugh
you're all I need and then another half
you glom on me and dote the whole day through
while staring out those thick rimmed glasses too
What would I do without those pouting lips
the awesome sight of your sashaying hips
hid beneath the clothes of dorkdom's queen
that pearly flesh of yours that no one's seen
I'm smitten by your love, you have my heart
My Kitten—you're the sweetest little tart.
*OSHA – Occupational Safety and Health Administration
DE Navarro is the Founder of NavWorks Press. He is an author, poet, editor, publisher, speaker, and life coach. He is the originator and owner of the We Write PoetryTM forums and the Pride in Poetry PrizeTM and Publication. He is a husband, father, mentor and friend and Banking Sr Analyst, Tech Editor/Writer. Visit DE's beautiful Website at http://www.de-navarro.com for peace and to learn more about his work. He lives in Greater Los Angeles where he writes and publishes.
Lighthearted Verse & Limericks...
There was a big bloke called The Hulk
Who was much too proud of his bulk
He trained every day
Til muscles gave way
Then sorry and sore he did sulk.
I USED TO DREAM
I used to dream of flying
when I was strong and tall.
Now I dream of trying
to not get hurt when I fall.
Charles Joseph Albert