Ode to John Ashbery

One day you finally knew
what you’d been put there to do,
and did it
while the loud voices rang louder
and tugged at your sleeve,
each cry a death cry, a flashing red sign.
But you knew.
You knew what you had to do,
though the thread unwound round you
leaving you nakeder and nakeder,
its melancholy terrible.
Then the queerest thing happened.
Being almost already too late, and too dark,
the moon threw down
a bird, a
shining wild raven and in its mouth,
a flower of life.
The stars burned in its brilliance,
at first saw themselves shyly
then danced and shone round to
find themselves extraordinary.

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Wildling

Comfortable in the cold,
mist tendrils rising
across morning garden,
dew-dampened boots
dry in the rising wind.
Cracking this year’s journal,
I release pleasure to the river.
Behind a dome of December clouds,
the sun struggles.

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April

the clouds hinted of old bedsheets
left on too long
and then the fog fell clammy
in a downing with the sun
and we were so cold
the wet seemed like wind
and the turns in the road
like twists in a tortured gut
until the steam rose with bravado
from the lonely sugar shack.

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Political Harvest 

Political Harvest Toward the east Through back porch screen Clouds are forming their ranks Against the sun A crow’s distant cawing Gives voice to solitude Worn like a thorny cloak And mocks that final promise Hope and lifeline once Now become more lethal Than foreign shrapnel Pines murmured all night In their high, strange tongue […]

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Inappropriately Dressed

Inappropriately Dressed I wasn’t dressed for snow, or clouds, or wind, or for walking at all, if I were being honest. But sometimes you just have to give it a go and trudge through the clouds, kick up the snow in passing, challenge the wind with the size of your hat. It wouldn’t dare to […]

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Growing Younger As The Sun Goes Down

King Grossman is an award-winning poet, novelist, and writer of short prose. His poems and short prose have appeared or are forthcoming in The Round, Licking River Review, Crack the Spine, Forge, Tiger’s Eye, DMQ Review, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Qwerty, Burningword, Ignatian, Drunk Monkeys, The Paragon Journal, Pennsylvania English, SLAB, Slag Review, Midwest Quarterly, The […]

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Ode to Slow

Ode to Slow I appreciate slow after speeding bullets, ground records, and the turbulence of climate change. Like slow food, Zafu pillows sold online, apps that ring mellow gongs to end minutes of mindfulness. Three-toed sloths live too far away for me to know. Slugs move at night on my lettuce, chewing. Rockfall and glaciers […]

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Smuggling Butterflies

Clyde Kessler, poet and naturalist, lives in Radford, VA with his wife Kendall and their son Alan. Several years ago they added an art studio to their home and named it Towhee Hill. His latest book of poems, Fiddling at Midnight’s Farmhouse (Cedar Creek Publishing), was illustrated by his wife, Kendall Kessler. Smuggling Butterflies Sunrise […]

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Winter Woods

Winter Woods White mist drifts through rain-wet pines. Walking through the forest feels like a waking dream. Rubber soles against dark earth, plastered with shed leaves. Looking up, the sky is no-color. A counsel of cedars surrounds me. The further the trees, the more suffused in mist, until the world becomes a sea of clouds. […]

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When I Fly Without Balloons

Annie Blake is an Australian writer, thinker and researcher. She is a wife and mother of five children. She started school as an EAL student and was raised and, continues to live in a multicultural and industrial location in the West of Melbourne. Her main interests include psychoanalysis and metaphysics. She is currently focusing on in medias res […]

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