Free Verse  with Vera Ignatowitsch

You close your eyes for a moment

 

and you’re there, screened-in on a porch,

you and the grandfolks watching red-streaked

rhubarb ripen; they tell you this is you,

the pushing up and out of the earth to some

purpose, some beauty: you believe what

they say, you smell it in their pores,

taste it when you kiss them, the old earth

they’re part of like memories that should ripen

and never fall, but they do, and now

they’re even more of you: when that door closes

the lids of your eyes snap open, you’re back,

but still in the earth looking up you see them

poised with clippers over the rhubarb, it’s you,

it’s always been you, now the red-whiskey nose,

your mind a screen sifter for eyes ugly

with ruptured veins from pushing,

forty years, and still pushing.

 

First published in the Denver Quarterly and later published in the textbook How to Read a Poem by Burton Raffel.

 

 

Doug Asper has had poems published in Kansas Quarterly, Denver Quarterly, The Poet, Panoply, the book How to Read a Poem by Burton Raffel, and others. He has a MA in literature and creative writing and lives in Denver.

Mary, I Am Learning

 

Why are there children with bombs strapped to their chests?

Why are there walls separating the world from itself?

Why are the watering holes drying up?

When Thirst plays on my tongue I cry.

 

Why didn’t I come to know

            you better—sooner than this?

 

Having you in my hands, on my mind,

            beauty floats off these pages,

            out my window, beyond the trees.

I’d forgotten there are things yet untouched by human breath.

Such transcendent joy simply for the seeking.

I pray my mother knows this somewhere in the caves

            of her altered mind.

 

I have Thirst. And there are children, like the trees

and the flowers—asleep above me

            in their rooms as I listen to a great horned owl.

Its haunting soliloquy you’d know well.

Yes, all this I have on the second floor

            —and outside my window.

I am learning. I am learning, Mary.

 

 

AM Roselli’s poetry book, Love of the Monster, was published in 2016. Her writing has appeared in The Stillwater Review, The Paragon Journal, Oddball Magazine, Firefly Magazine, Literary Mama, Panoply, The Absurdist, and Into the Void.

Meditation on the Charioteer of Delphi

 

Circling him slowly,

trying to catch his eyes

as he looks straight ahead,

 

I think I see his fingers

tremble to have held

the reins aloft so long.

 

He stands before me

and centuries-ago spectators

to claim his victory,

 

rooted in the moment

of glory

in which I too bask,

 

the eternal athletic stature,

the humility.  But we

are all silent in this room.

 

His modesty, even here

against pale yellow walls

where anyone may see him,

 

his total control of emotions

admirable as he faces

the crowd, as he faces me.

 

The architectural certainty

of his garment,

a long chiton robe

 

draping his body,

its parallel folds,

his musculature

 

at one with each other.

His expression impassive

not exuberant. The curls

 

of his hair wet from exertion.

It was a struggle

but one he was born to.

 

As to his feet: negotiators

that balance the delicate twist

of his whole body,

 

so real but I dare not touch.

His unspoken proclamation —

this is what I’ve done,

 

 

this is who I am.

 

 

Diane Dickinson has worked as a research analyst and business writer and lives in the Detroit area. Her poems have appeared in California Quarterly, Altadena Poetry Review, The MacGuffin, and Young Ravens Literary Review.

Blooming/Wilting

 

What is love, but a blooming

flower that we grasp

at and fight

for and claim?

 

What is love, but a stem in a vase

whose buoyant blossom is

slowly wilting

away?

 

What is love, but a little lifetime

that lasts years

or months

or days?

 

What is love, but a beautiful mortality,

a microcosm of humanity, whose joy

cannot come without

pain?

 

 

Allison Maschhoff is a student at Truman State University working toward a BFA in Creative Writing with minors in History and Spanish.

depression

 

I try to drive into the sunset

to get to all the colors

but I don’t make it.

No matter how fast I go

or how high I get

the darkness catches up to me.

 

 

Julia Cirignano self-published a book of poetry titled White Wine & Medical Marijuana. She has had articles published by Limelight Magazine and That Music Magazine, and poetry published in The Endicott Review, Mad Swirl, The New York Literary Magazine and more.

Warriors are Grown

 

They battle for a space beneath the sun,

faces pointed to the sky,

defiance blossoming on the tips of tongues.

 

Warriors are grown,

beaten into the earth and molded

with fingers skilled in the art of cruelty.

 

Terror is braided into the skin of girls

who aren’t allowed to feel afraid,

voices held like glass in the pits of their throats.

 

Rage is rubbed into the eyes of women

who eat fear and loom fiercely

over those who touch without asking.

 

Their voices become a storm that conquers silence,

a clap of thunder that cracks the fist of subjugation.

They refuse to sit pretty,

be quiet,

stay down on the ground.

 

Rising from the bruises of captivity,

a single word of protest hums through the earth,

shakes the rubble from the mountaintops.

 

NO.

 

 

Susan Richardson is a widely published, award-winning poet from Los Angeles. In addition to poetry she writes a blog called Stories from the Edge of Blindness. You can read more of her work on her website http://floweringink.com.

Archive of Free Verse Poetry with Suzanne Robinson by issue:

        November 2019     September 2019     July 2019     May 2019     March 2019      January 2019      November 2018   

   September 2018     July 2018     June 2018     May 2018     April 2018     March 2018     February 2018     January 2018     December 2017     November 2017     October 2017     September 2017     August 2017     July 2017     June 2017     May 2017     April 2017     March 2017     February 2017     January 2017     December 2016     November 2016     October 2016   

  September 2016     August 2016     June 2016     May 2016

Archive of Free Verse Poetry with Vera Ignatowitsch by issue:

November 2019     September 2019     July 2019     May 2019

Copyright  Better Than Starbucks 2020, a poetry magazine    

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