Category: Poetry

Forecasting the Fate (2): A Wuxing Poem – Changming Yuan

Forecasting the Fate (2): A Wuxing Poem – Changming Yuan

This is the last of Yuan’s submission. It makes for a good close. Enjoy!

~~~

Forecasting the Fate (2): A Wuxing Poem

– Believe it or not, the ancient Chinese 5-Agent Principle accounts for us all.

1/ Water (born in a year ending in 2 or 3)

-helps wood but hinders fire; helped by metal but hindered by earth

with her transparent tenderness

coded with colorless violence

she is always ready to support

or sink the powerful boat

sailing south


2/ Wood (born in a year ending 4 or 5)

-helps fire but hinders earth; helped by water but hindered by metal

rings in rings have been opened or broken

like echoes that roll from home to home

each containing fragments of green

trying to tell their tales

        from the forest’s depths


3/ Fire (born in a year ending 6 or 7)

-helps earth but hinders metal; helped by wood but hindered by water

your soft power bursting from your ribcage

as enthusiastic as a phoenix is supposed to be

when you fly your lipless kisses

you reach out your hearts

until they are all broken


4/ Earth (born in a year ending in 8 or 9)

-helps metal but hinders water; helped by fire but hindered by wood

i think not; therefore, I am not

what I am, but I have a color

the skin my heart wears inside out

tattooed intricately

with footprints of history

5/ Metal (born in a year ending in 0 or 1)

-helps water but hinders wood; helped by earth but hindered by fire

he used to be totally dull-colored

because he came from the earth’s inside

now he has become a super-conductor

for cold words, hot pictures and light itself

all being transmitted through his throat

~~~

Yuan Changming published monographs on translation before leaving China. Currently, Yuan lives in Vancouver, where he edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan. Credits include ten Pushcart nominations, Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2008-17) and BestNewPoemsOnline among others.    

Snow In, Snow Out, On My Birthday & Off – Changming Yuan

Snow In, Snow Out, On My Birthday & Off – Changming Yuan

Snow In, Snow Out

In the wild open west, flakes keep falling

Like myriad baby angels knocked down from Paradise

    Blurring the landscape behind the vision

Hunting each consonant trying to rise above

The ground. The day is brighter, lighter &

 Softer than the feel. Soon there will be

Dirty prints leading to everywhere (or nowhere)

& no one will care how the whole world will collapse

      In blasphemy. The missing cat won’t come to

     Trespass the lawn, nor will the daffodil bloom

To catch a flake drifting astray. Nobody bothers even to think

    About where the season is held up on its way back, how

       The fishes are agitating under the pressure of wintry

       Water, why people wish to see more and more snow

~~~

On My Birthday & Off

I don’t remember how many years old

I am, but I do care about my birthday, a time

When I can imagine getting good wishes

Or words. Rather than having a party

With a big cheese cake or a bowl of longevity

Noodles, I would prefer to leave home

For a lonely walk in the country, wandering

In a poetic wonderland, where I stop to reflect:

For more than a decade I have done what I could

By way of a poem, but since it is unlikely I can

Do anything with it, I find it the proper

Occasion to write one last stanza just

To commemorate my yearly visits to

Qucheng, Homerburgh, Dantefield

Shakespeareston, Goethestadt

Pushkingrad, Baudelaireville

Nerudastad, Frostdale, & Tagorerboro

~~~

Yuan Changming published monographs on translation before leaving China. Currently, Yuan lives in Vancouver, where he edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan. Credits include ten Pushcart nominations, Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2008-17) and BestNewPoemsOnline among others.  

Monody to the Murmuring Mountain, Clefting – Changming Yuan

Monody to the Murmuring Mountain, Clefting – Changming Yuan

Monody to the Murmuring Mountain

Twenty minimeters of pink petals.


Twenty minimetres of stretch and reach

Floral foil, twenty minimeters

Of soil, grass, dew, bush

Sitting in green meditation about

The balance between yin and yang

Myriad of leaves,

Falling down with mists

Of last night approaching – twenty minimeters


Of ethereal presence, kissing

The thick ridges – is the soul

The melody of equanimity?

Insects sloughing off


In chameleon-rhythms.

You stopped as you heard them


Twenty minimeters of dandelions rolling against

The vastness of sky and mountain

~~~

Clefting

Between two high notes

The melody gives a crack

Long enough

To allow my entire selfhood to enter

Like a fish jumping back

Into the night water


Both the fish and I leave no

Trace behind us, and the world

Remains undisturbed as we swim

Deeper and deeper in blue silence


Upon my return, I find the music

Still going on, while the fish has

Disappeared into the unknown

~~~

Yuan Changming published monographs on translation before leaving China. Currently, Yuan lives in Vancouver, where he edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan. Credits include ten Pushcart nominations, Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2008-17) and BestNewPoemsOnline among others.  

Infinitival Infinities: A Sonnet in Fragments, My Crows – Changming Yuan

Infinitival Infinities: A Sonnet in Fragments, My Crows – Changming Yuan

These two poems are the first of a series we received from Changming. We’ll be publishing the rest of our cache over the next few days. Enjoy!
~~~

Infinitival Infinities: A Sonnet in Fragments

To be   a matter when there’s no question

Or not to be  a question when nothing really matters

To sing  with a frog squatting straight

On a lotus leaf in the Honghu Lake  near Jingzhou

   To recollect  all the pasts, and mix them

Together like a glass of  cocktail

To build   a nest of meaning

Between two broken branches on  Ygdrasil

To strive  for deity

Longevity  and

Even happiness

To come  on and off line every other while

To compress  consciousness into a file, and upload it

    Onto a nomochip

           To be  dying, to   die

~~~

My Crows

1/

Still, still hidden

Behind old shirts and pants

Like an inflated sock

Hung on a slanting coat hanger


With a prophecy stuck in its throat

Probably too dark or ominous

To yaw, even to breathe


No one knows when or how

It will fly out of the closet, and call


2/

Like billions of dark butterflies  

Beating their wings  

Against nightmares, rather

Like myriads of  

Spirited coal-flakes

Spread from the sky  

Of another world

A heavy black snow  

Falls, falling, fallen  

Down towards the horizon

Of my mind, where a little crow

White as a lost patch

Of autumn fog

Is trying to fly, flapping   

From bough to bough

~~~


Yuan Changming published monographs on translation before leaving China. Currently, Yuan lives in Vancouver, where he edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan. Credits include ten Pushcart nominations, Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2008-17) and BestNewPoemsOnline among others.  

Two Blue Pills – John Maurer

Two Blue Pills – John Maurer

From breaking into the liquor cabinet

to breaking into the houses with better liquor cabinets

from a boarding school chimney by a checkered neck tie

to forty-ounce portioned freedom and swishers almost sweet enough

from burning cows into fornication with celebrities…allegedly

to probably still pouring accelerant on innocent animals…I hope not

but probably


I had to move on from everything to improve on everything

Having suppressed memories unearthed and asking the psychiatrist

Can you rebury that? At least for the week

I just already am dealing with so much

Dealing with being

Dealing with knowing I won’t

~~~

John Maurer is a 23-year-old writer from Pittsburgh that writes fiction, poetry, and everything in-between, but his work always strives to portray that what is true is beautiful. He has been previously published in Claudius Speaks, The Bitchin’ Kitsch, Thought Catalog, and more than twenty others. @JohnPMaurer (johnpmaurer.com)

June 26, 2015 – Andrea Gregory

June 26, 2015 – Andrea Gregory

Wooden beams lock me in

Old wonder long faded

Is God not love?

The words of hate reverberate

I can no longer belong

A thing like marriage isn’t meant for hate

This is a mold I cannot fit,

But one I cannot break.

~~~

Andrea Gregory is a Hagerstown Community College student. She likes hiking and spending her weekends surrounded by friends.

Eon of Suns – Colleen Brohawn

Eon of Suns – Colleen Brohawn

Eons of Suns

All the scores of youthful lusts divide

Within the decadence of brilliant days.

I am rendered speechless, in the desperation the age brings forth;

Could it have been you who brought me here to waste along the wind?

Could it have been a garden night that so enraged me,

To take you, at once, my silent, loving bride?

To sever centuries is to deny the light of truths and fables.

What an unjust age can bring to an eon of suns,

Prejudices and mockeries that once sizzled and burned but never broke,

Now rise in the collective mind and thoughtless haze.

Beats that can’t understand the defiance of rhythm

Betray the eternal symphony: the sacred life and casts of memories, wounds unhealed.

~~~

Colleen lives in Hagerstown, Maryland and is a student at Hagerstown Community college, majoring in general studies. When she transfers, she will be majoring in journalism.

Cedars-Sinai, Harpist – James Croal Jackson

Cedars-Sinai, Harpist – James Croal Jackson

Here’s two more from James:

___

Cedars-Sinai

Vital signs at zero, a squiggly line gone infinity–

guess what I’ve prepared for. An eternity of this

nothingness. I tossed the phone like a grappling

hook at your distance and it caught. You left it

hanging on the bricks, though, and moved to

California, where I used to sleep the streets in

my Ford Fiesta, the same car we drove to Melt:

a time bomb heart attack. How close we were

back then, each deep-fried grilled cheese bite

hushed the thrumming. Fingers greasy– wiped

on napkins, wiped and wiped and wiped.

Harpist

Every suburb needs a callous-

fingered harpist to bleed heaven

from her hands from her driveway,

to raindrop angels into puddles

after storms of indifference.

Imagine: lawns grow in

the pizzicato of days first plucked,

then plodding. Homes, once full

of promise, rot– bricks erode

to the sharp of strings

slowly falling from the sky.

Boneless Wings, Cigs – James Croal Jackson

Boneless Wings, Cigs – James Croal Jackson

Welcome to May, everyone!

Though you are reading this from us, the Spring ’19 editors, you are reading it in absentia. Our time, though wonderful, is up in the Hedge Apple chair. As it says in the post pinned to the top of the site, we are closed for submissions until the next editors start their own journey.

Just because the Hedge Apple is, for now, untended doesn’t mean, however, we can’t bring you as many wonderful submissions as possible.

Here are a couple of poems from James Croal Jackson–the first is perhaps fitting for the wistfulness we feel over our, for the moment, empty chairs.

These also deserve, as any poem does, in every way to stand in their own light–to share their unique colors with the world.

Enjoy:

___

Boneless Wings

Following a trip to Vegas

in August heat, my skin itched

for good. I ended us.

No, you said. We were a done deal.

You would not leave my apartment.

We drank juice and vodka

to forget we had ever

talked about forever.

We rode a Lyft to BW3

at 2 P.M. on a Thursday

because a cheap happy hour

is a kind of grim reminder.

We ordered boneless wings at the bar.

The bartender told us ignition is cheap.

Beer stripped us to tender meat

and there was no more steam.  

Your skirt mushroomed in the breeze

when you stepped outside to smoke.  

We had locked ourselves out when

the clouds produced rain, not keys.

Cigs

we smoke

our paper

lungs

in the storm

then run

from your mom

to seek

an awning

to shield

the holes

in our chests

flames

tempered

by rain

clouds

scream

from our mouths

billowed gray

how it floats

above like

to warn us

forests need not

consume flame

___

James Croal Jackson swore he’d never work in film again after leaving L.A. He has a chapbook, The Frayed Edge of Memory (Writing Knights Press, 2017), and poems in Columbia Journal, Rattle, and Hobart. He edits The Mantle. Currently, he works in the film industry in Pittsburgh, PA. jimjakk.com

POND Acrostics – John L. Stanizzi

POND Acrostics – John L. Stanizzi

Hey, all,

Here’s a beautiful set of short acrostics which Jon graciously provided to us from the experiences of his project.

We’ll let him explain:

“These are poems from a project called POND.  Every day, for one year, I will walk to our pond, jot a few notes, and take a photo or two.  Then I’ll write a 4-line acrostic using P, O, N, D as my first letters, with the extra caveat of never using the same first-word twice.  I began the book on November 9, 2018 – will finish November 9, 2019.
Grazie.

-John “

Thank you again, John.

Enjoy, everyone:

___

11.10.2018

10.06 a.m.

34 degrees

Pitchy dark where winter has just this moment arrived

out of the north hills; it crawls up under my shirt,

naturally and unfazed, as if it were trying to warm itself —

daguerrean-downstream rush of the brook gossips with its cold voice.


11.11.2018

3.11 p.m.

39 degrees

Ponds’ conflux – run-off from Fowler’s pond

overflows the small stone wall along with street run-off;

nozzling, they warble a crystal duet in the bird-less

dusk beginning to bear down on the half-buried bullheads sleeping.


11.13.2018

2.46 p.m.

39 degrees

Piety arrives with a female evening grosbeak.

Offed by chill wind, the leaves cover the wet forest ground.

Nearby, the look of running water

dazzles like a miniature Topajos, miniature Amazon.

11.24.18

8.33 a.m.

24 degrees

Peabody, Peabody, Peabody, Old Sam Peabody!

Oblique geometry here, mirror-smooth there, thick battered hem, gray

nuances of ice seal it all – those on the bottom – those in the bottom.

Determined white-throated sparrow searching for Sam, though I’m the only one here.


12.2.18

12.30 p.m.

45 degrees

Peaceful rain, steady all night, leaves the ground soppy

overshowered and spongy, and the confluence of springs

necks torrential, as the rain soaks the air,

dampening everything but falling so lightly that the pond is silent.

12.5.18

2.39 p.m.

35 degrees

and your tears on the wings of the plane

where once again I cannot

reach to stop them

and they fall away behind

going with me


-W.S. Merwin

– …from Plane (The Carrier of Ladders)

Plane.  One of my very favorite poems

of W.S. Merwin’s.  He is our beloved

nobleman of the rees, with me

daily, a knot of sparrows tied to the cedar.

___

John L. Stanizzi is author of Ecstasy Among Ghosts, Sleepwalking, Dance Against the Wall, After the Bell, Hallelujah Time!, High Tide – Ebb Tide, Four Bits – Fifty 50-Word Pieces, and Chants.  His poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, American Life in Poetry, The New York Quarterly, Paterson Literary Review, The Cortland Review, Rattle, Tar River Poetry, Connecticut River Review, and many others.  Stanizzi has been translated into Italian and his poems have appeared in many journals in Italy. His translator is Angela D’Ambra.  Stanizzi teaches literature at Manchester Community College in Manchester, Connecticut, and lives with his wife, Carol, in Coventry.