For your curiosity sake I wasn’t hatched a flightless korhaan surely I was destined for the blue skies like a bird of ancient thorn trees Sorry, I can’t live in the cage of your fears and still be fed your unfounded fears or wait to be traumatized by your fears Like a baby bird in the nest muffled up in comfort and sheathed in cozy feathers shielded from trying hard show me a partridge that scratches for another Slowly, I break out of this chrysalis a butterfly daring to unfold its wings like a red-crested bustard plunging into the Kalahari red dunes I rise above a dust storm that swiftly dries up your wet courage
Lucas Zulu is an award-winning poet, his poem has been published in many local and international literary journals. He lives in Kwa-Quqa, eMalahleni, Mpumalanga Province of South Africa.
Fog lies low over the land. Rain drives soft across the fields. Comatose landscape.
There is nothing immediate we can hope for, now we have nothing to do but breathe, until something better shows up.
We are holding each other, expecting a miracle at dawn, as if there were no one and nothing to hurt us.
Beginning in mid-May the nights draw in, our look turns warm and soft, the fog passes gently over us,
we’d like to ask the fog— don’t talk to us, our heart’s been broken, we can’t listen to you, we can’t see you,
but the fog covers us and says: I never see myself either, in my own mind I’m invisible,
that’s why you may feel I’m almighty, you are like birds, your flight begins and ends in silence,
you will find yourselves in each other only, silence is garden, among the growing dreams and precious wishes
you will discover each other again, everything that will ever be discovered, already exists in the mist.
David Dephy (he/him) (pronounced as “DAY-vid DE-fee”), is an American award-winning poet and novelist. The founder of Poetry Orchestra, a 2023 Pushcart Prize nominee for Brownstone Poets, an author of full-length poetry collection Eastern Star (Adelaide Books, NYC, 2020), and A Double Meaning, also a full-length poetry collection with co-author Joshua Corwin, (Adelaide Books, NYC, 2022). His poem, “A Sense of Purpose,” is going to the moon in 2024 by The Lunar Codex, NASA, Space X, and Poetry on Brick Street. He is named as Literature Luminary by Bowery Poetry, Stellar Poet by Voices of Poetry, Incomparable Poet by Statorec, Brilliant Grace by Headline Poetry & Press and Extremely Unique Poetic Voice by Cultural Daily. He lives and works in New York City.
I pretend the red-breasted nuthatches know what you might have said beneath the plum tree last spring before your cell phone rang and you took the call that said your mother had only hours left to live so you ran to your Subaru and took off for Boston and left me holding the thread of a message that might have been only connection and which I wanted to be love, the kind of love that makes swallows dive and nuthatches hang upside down.
Now these little birds flit about in winter’s snow, back and forth above where we sat on a blue fleece blanket, and they tweet what you haven’t, that you miss me and will get back as soon as you can. You have had the estate to manage for your wayward sister and her addictions which you feel responsible for now that neither of you have a parent, no one in the old house to hold things together.
Your family tree snapped. Your sister floated off like letters let go into the wind. Invoices you never intend to pay. The sketch you made of me with my blouse hanging off my shoulder when the sun’s warmth gave me hope that you felt the same correspondence I do; we are meant to be together. And my breast was warm, wanting to be touched; breast cancer took her. Maybe your genes are faulty.
Those little birds continue our talk in the crotch of the trees. Bluejays push them away from the feeder, but they return all flibbertigibbet, so here I’ve drawn a nuthatch on a postcard and colored the breast pink to say spring will come again and I am still here for you, hearing nuthatches tuck away what they need for later.
Tricia Knoll is an aging poet living alone in the woods in Vermont on the unceded land of the Abenaki. Her work appears widely in journals and anthologies. Her recent collection Checkered Mates (Kelsay Books) focuses on relationships that work and those that don’t. Website: triciaknoll.com