by Richard Widerkehr
Birds were moving over the water--
a thin, dark cloud maybe a mile long,
slowly flattening. And through
the binoculars, we saw dunlins
flung like leaves, so many
flickering and vying.
All at once,
the cloud flipped over--white, black, white--
in the sunlight fading to nothing.
They came slanting up, a sleeve pulled inside out,
unraveling. "Special effects," you said,
though the birds didn't seem to know
they were doing anything special,
flashing in and out of this life and some
second life, over gray water.
Finalists are Susan J. Erickson's poem, "For the Women Who Row Eight to a Boat" and "Steller's Jay Blues" by Janette Rosebrook.
Project Sponsored by:
Community Food Co-op & Threshold Documents
by Jory Mickelson
Enough of water
melding and welded to air,
a seamless wedding dress,
gray sea and the song
it sings to erase itself.
I am always departing,
but at evening nothing sings:
not water, not wind.
Gulls depart the shore,
always through the gray
white gate of wing.
The train along
the bay’s ellipse
Only a boat’s low call,
the empty benches of wave
and the boat’s propeller
turning over: I do. I do.
Acts of Service and Other Love Languages by Danny Canham
Notes on Transportation by Tegan Beard
Testing David Imburgia
Poem Booth Sponsored by:
Community Food Co-op & Threshold Documents
Fates of Autumn
by Luther Allen
swirling mosaic of leaves
crimson spotted yellow
fat salmon and lambs, bled and gutted for winter stew
curled essential bronze browns
so true it roots restless flight right back into the earth
and painful lustful reds
drawing blood to the throat, hearts to the sky
all under the naked blue of the very very precious last days
tossed and tossed into the air by the sooth-saying winds
until they finally fall in exact accordance
with the way it will be
Luther Allen's poem won first prize in our 2019 Fall Poem Booth Contest. Congratulations!
Dear Almost Harvey
by Harvey Schwartz
Make sure you’re born on May 8!
Do not rush out the day before.
Repeat: NOT THE DAY BEFORE!!
That’s a good little boy…just cozy in and relax.
May 8 is a great day this year…three years after the Nazi’s surrendered to end the war.
The week the state of Israel will be formed - spurred on by an article in The Nation on May 8.
You’ve been dodging genetic bullets for a long time.
Great grandfather murdered in a Pogrom.
Grandfather escaped the Czar, alone as a teen.
Parents faced death and certainly no you if hitler had won and taken over America.
So just cozy in and surf that wave that rolls you out on May 8th , child of mother May.
Because May 7 is a Vietnam Draft Lottery death warrant…as are the 10th and 11th!
If you are born any of those days you will get drafted, way off in 1969.
So just stay clam and enjoy floating the pond.
Your ancestors have been through enough war and hatred.
You need to grow up in Philly and randomly go to Woodstock.
Then join a hippie commune to give you the idea of hitchin’ out west.
So you can leave on a summer vacation and never come back.
Rather than worry about that dirty ol’ Draft.
So chill out Harvey…it’s more important than you know!
Harvey Schwartz received an honorable mention in our 2019 Fall Poetry Contest. Go Harvey, go!
by Sarah Brownsberger
This is no longer my home. At customs
they ask why I’ve come. The exits have changed;
newfangled flowers shine in the beds.
The places where I lived all have new paint
and on the stoops loll strangers, who never
knew anyone I loved. I have to buy
a hotel night I can’t afford and there
dream of setting my mother’s table
with so many places there is no room
for me. I fly back to where I now live
and soon my daughter comes to visit;
I cook her long and cumbersome dishes
because, years ago, my flesh was her home.
Sarah Brownsberger received an honorable mention in our Fall Poetry Contest. Beautiful work!
The Crescent-Yet-Ever-Full Moon
by Betty Scott
When skies fall ash-laden gray,
when your heart breaks and grieves,
picture the orange-webbed feet
of the mallard’s mottled family.
Paddle your pond through the night
tuned to the bright beyond,
though Earth swaddled, Earth entombed,
swim terra-tuned toward slivers of light.
Betty Scott received an honorable mention in our 2019 Fall Poetry Contest. Congratulations Betty!
By Kevin Murphy
“The day is coming when a single carrot,
freshly observed, will set off a revolution”
you look at the carrot, the carrot looks at you
you zoom in, zoom out
you rotate the carrot
ninety degrees, one-eighty, three-sixty
then you spin like a dervish
while the carrot remains still
you grate the carrot, sauté the carrot
cut the carrot into matchsticks, burn down the house
you bite the carrot, chew,
suck the pulp, swallow the juice, describe the experience
in your notebook
in terms of chocolate and cabernet
in terms of shoe leather and burnt sugar
you bite the carrot, note that the carrot does not bite you back
maybe it’s because the carrot is a vegetarian
maybe you’re a vegetarian
but that doesn’t really help the carrot
you arrange a hundred carrots in a wheel, a mandala
every carrot pointing at the darkness at the center of the wheel
you meditate on that darkness, lose yourself in it
you look at the paintings of cezanne
you see guys playing cards, a woman looking
over her shoulder, spindly fingers lifting a hat
you see wine bottles, plums and apples, a pile of skulls
but no carrots
the day is coming says paul cezanne
but cezanne has been dead for over a hundred years
what’s the story, paul cezanne, are we on the right track?
is that day coming still
or did it come and go without our noticing?
"Cezanne's Carrot" received first prize in our Second Quarter Poetry Contest.
Congratulations Kevin Murphy!
Strength in Age
by Linda Conroy
Watch the body hold itself upright
its muscles tight,
flesh held firm by first delight,
till softening seeps,
a shock, as if the body could compete
with rock, and ask
can I compete with rust,
the slide of iron
in the crack of rock,
the red and bronze of age,
the body holds the clasp of time.
"Strength in Age" received an honorable mention in our Second Quarter Poetry Contest. Congratulations Linda Conroy!
By Gary Wade
Let me walk
searching green twilight
listening to silence
knowing there is
of the forest
in the forest
something of old
a still new
waiting for me.
"Werifestirea" received an honorable mention in our Second Quarter Poetry Contest. Congratulations Gary Wade!
by Rachel Mehl
Blushed purple fist,
high as my throat,
black ants are trailing
each other's pheromones
up your ribbed stalk.
They've trained their young
to tap aphids,
to beat the sweet
sticky bodies that cling
to the base of your fruit.
The aphids walk too,
on delicate legs, the green
of lime, or love
when it's gone.
A red ladybug,
with three black spots
lands and swallows
an ant, head first,
legs still kicking.
She swallows his alitrunk,
petiole, and gaster.
I've got a knife. I could cut your head,
steam it, dip your hearts
in butter, but how can I take you
when you are so many's world?
"Artichoke" received an honorable mention in our Third Quarter Poetry Contest. Congratulations Rachel Mehl!