Hoarse chimes of the clock - - Stars float in slower time
All needs of the day, immediate -- The moon a pensive sliver
My blood is a to-do list, circling -- Crepuscular stir and watch
My bones a calendar, days creaking The cold is a single clear note
Paper, then screens, these walls - - The ridge gleams amid the dark
Anxious shoulder, spine’s regret - - Light and cold regard one another
What is time but lines and curves - And Earth awaits her warmth
What is time but a moving whip - The sun breaks, a silent promise
Work, a twitch at the mouth -- A billion tiny eyes await
Work for whom? Forever whom - -A million tiny bodies, wrapped against cold
Where is my soul in all of this? -- They emerge, they trod, they watch the sky
One meeting, five meetings, -- A dawning world of hawk and rabbit
Will there be a real meeting? -- Deer tails wait to hie, among their quiet steps
I know the world is wrong– -- Foxes keep silence like antique monks
Then what can I do right? -- The creek is dauntless, indefatigable
Let me throw one starfish -- Water cares not for freezing, for warmth nor cold
Grace of graces, let me know it -- A day of walking, watching, eating, killing, giving
Let me live someway here -- Always parents for their children
Where they took away the paths -- Always under a glowing, constant sky.
Jackson Culpepper (he/they) grew up in Georgia and has since lived in Southern Appalachia, the mountain west, and the desert southwest. His debut short story collection, Songs on the Water, is forthcoming in August from Homebound Publications, where he won the Landmark Prize for fiction. He lives and teaches first-year English in the Denver area. You can find him on Instagram @JCCulpepper and online at jacksonculpepper.wordpress.com.
Nicole Taylor lives in Eugene, Oregon. She has been an artist, a hiker, a poetry note taker, a sketcher, a volunteer and a dancer, formerly in DanceAbility in Salem, Oregon. Her poems have appeared in Boneshaker: A Bicycling Almanac, Camel Saloon; Cirque Journal; Clackamas, Literary Review; Graffiti 1; Just Another Art Movement Journal – New Zealand, West Wind Review among others. You can read and hear more of her poetry at oregonpoeticvoices.poet/312/, a collection of Oregon poets with written and audio poetry available online through Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon.
If you need to move past the past and have it absent in the present
then ride on the big blue bulge of the blue moon
wafting cross the great lake of sky
find absolution in stars hand pick them
peel back their skin taste of heaven’s fruit.
Anne Iverson is a writer and artist. She is the author of five poetry collections: Come Now to the Window by the Laurel Poetry Collective, Definite Space and Art Lessonsby Holy Cow! Press; Mouth of Summer and No Feeling is Final by Kelsay Books. She is a graduate of both the MALS and the MFA programs at Hamline University. Her poems have appeared in a wide variety of journals and venues including six features on Writer’s Almanac. Her poem “Plenitude” was set to a choral arrangement by composer Kurt Knecht. She is also the author and illustrator of two children’s books. As a visual artist, she enjoys the integrated relationship between the visual image and the written image. Her art work has been featured in several art exhibits as well as in a permanent installation at the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital. She is currently working on her sixth collection of poetry, a book of children’s verse, and a collection of personal essays.
We have directions Of a lost map That leads nowhere A miraged universe An omnipresent pause.
Someone once told me You are your own prison And since then I see birds everywhere Sleep-walking Chasing delusions Shrinking into coherence.
I tore my map wrote poems on it And made paper-boats That glow in moonlight
Now My existence whirls In an abandoned dance And the ink-stained wings Are drawing Their own astral map.
Chandrama Deshmukh is an author, poet, playwright, theatre artist, storyteller, screenplay writer and performance artist. She has four books of poems published. A Teaspoon Of Stars and Moonlit Monochrome in English and two books in her mother-tongue Marathi. Chandrama has done close to 100 poetry performances in Bangalore and continues to play her role in giving this art-form the appreciation it deserves. To Chandrama, poetry is the streak of silver lining amidst the chaos of life. The moon is her muse.
As snow does to a fire gods who bit flowers of ink a nest of mad kisses down the long black river the milky way sky’s pale vertebrae archipelagos of stars
framed between small branches
blossoms of small arms , nails us naked to the color of pink hyacinth singing singing in deep red ripples your voice is a pale street lamp on calm black water
just (a word planted by the water
before I am a stone in a stone-swallowing river thrown
————————————————– your eyes
Donnie Hollingsworth has lived in many small Rocky Mountain towns and currently resides in Lamar, Colorado–where he teaches Art and English at the local community college–with his wife, cat, and dog. His art can be found here.