Category: Poetry

Searching for Him Via Facebook I Discover His Family Portrait By Laura Sweeney

Searching for Him Via Facebook I Discover His Family Portrait By Laura Sweeney

I was teaching but I went to the movie

Mamma Mia, ten times, just to get him off my mind.

 

My mind was on the porch where he said, you will be back

you are mine. But I didn’t want to be owned,

 

not like his aunt in El Paso who said

if she could do it over, she wouldn’t.

 

Or his friend in Matagalpa, she will devote

her life to service, he said, describing her love

 

for a married man. This was before

that wretched call that wretched rain when

 

he confessed he got a teen girl pregnant,

said we can still stay friends.

 

Now, he looks matured, the wife the boy

the girl the reading glasses the tiled floor.

 

He told me I need to appreciate Nicaragua’s

beauty, and I’m trying.  You don’t know your place, he said.

 

He wanted a woman groomed for the kitchen

and the bedroom.  I wanted room to grow and to roam.

 

Laura Sweeney facilitates Writers for Life in central Iowa.  She represented the Iowa Arts Council at the First International Teaching Artist’s Conference in Oslo, Norway. She is the associate editor for Eastern Iowa Review.

Miss Laura Considers What Kind of Woman She Is By Laura Sweeney

Miss Laura Considers What Kind of Woman She Is By Laura Sweeney

I have been her kind.  – Anne Sexton

 

 

Who doesn’t trade her scholarship for cucumber facials,

herbal essences, or swap recipes and gossip.

 

Whose wrist doesn’t drip with bling and grandmother’s

wedding ring is worn on her right hand.

 

Who trades sapphires for Cape Cod

earrings she buys antiquing.

 

Who does it wrong all wrong, like clumsy freshman

fingers on a manual typewriter.

 

Who immortalizes lines like, It’s a woo-hoo day,

I don’t have time for green bananas.

 

Who knows that to write is to transgress,

which means that some artists draft on phonebooks.

 

Who doesn’t go from her father’s to her

husband’s house but makes a different bargain.

 

Whose car breaks down, a boyfriend leaves,

a miscalculation means eviction.

 

Who knows it takes a helluva good man

to be better than none.

 

Laura Sweeney facilitates Writers for Life in central Iowa.  She represented the Iowa Arts Council at the First International Teaching Artist’s Conference in Oslo, Norway. She is the associate editor for Eastern Iowa Review.

Tarot By Brian Koester

Tarot By Brian Koester

From the beginning the deck spoke

as if we were well enough acquainted.

We had no reason to withhold.

 

Shuffled till they must have lost

all reference, all relevance,

the same cards kept coming back.

 

Merging with the language of cards

was like merging with the language of words;

It was making a kind of poetry.

 

That thing was watching me;

I couldn’t sleep deeply

or something would seize me inside

 

and I’d never belong to myself again.

It still scratches at the windows from outside

 

Brian Jerrold Koester is a Pushcart Prize nominee and a Best of the Net Anthology nominee. He lives in Lexington, Massachusetts and has been a freelance cellist.

Dolls By Brian Koester

Dolls By Brian Koester

The dolls only move

when you’re not looking.

They wait til deep

in the night.

 

I am an action

figure

as fragile as

a peppermint stick

and as easy

to dissolve.

 

The music box plays

Dark Eyes;

our bodies listen.

 

Who will get sick?

Who will go

matryoshka?

Who will steal blood?

 

The dolls talk.

The dolls choose me.

 

Under silk,

under velvet,

under satin,

their skin.

 

I only survive

by the luck

of the rising sun.

 

Brian Jerrold Koester is a Pushcart Prize nominee and a Best of the Net Anthology nominee. He lives in Lexington, Massachusetts and has been a freelance cellist.

The Enemy By Brian Koester

The Enemy By Brian Koester

 

The sound of footsteps in the sound of footsteps.

Stop and listen. Nothing.

 

Start, they start; stop, they stop.

Strain to hear.          Where nobody goes

 

look over the shoulder

for what just ducked around the corner.

 

From the closet in the dark

breath on the back of the neck

 

a hint of a fang, a glint of a razor,

the enemy wearing the face in the mirror

 

Brian Jerrold Koester is a Pushcart Prize nominee and a Best of the Net Anthology nominee. He lives in Lexington, Massachusetts and has been a freelance cellist.

 

The Prophecy By Brian Koester

The Prophecy By Brian Koester

The demon perched on the child’s chest

And whispered doom into his ear.

A shriek! then sobs and no more rest:

The demon perched on the child’s chest

In pitch dark. With a hellish zest

Now laughing, relishing the fear,

The demon perched on the child’s chest

And whispered doom into his ear.

 

Brian Jerrold Koester is a Pushcart Prize nominee and a Best of the Net Anthology nominee. He lives in Lexington, Massachusetts and has been a freelance cellist.

Lullaby By Robert Beveridge

Lullaby By Robert Beveridge

The sweet song of the dead

as their hands hold shy flowers

to their nonexistent faces

 

I hand you a long rose

and you take it, scratch

your slender finger on a thorn

you touch it to my lips

and I hear

the sweet song of the dead

in the taste of your blood

 

Robert Beveridge makes noise and writes poetry in Akron, Ohio.

Buried Alive By Fern G. Z. Carr

Buried Alive By Fern G. Z. Carr

Shovelfuls of earth

thump, thump, thump

onto a coffin;

inside, frantic gasps

for the vestiges

of oxygen

rationed

by your

subterranean

prison.

 

So speak, shriek

scream, yell,

you will still be trapped

in a living hell

 

a l o n e

 

with only your bones

to bear witness.

 

Fern G. Z. Carr is a former lawyer, teacher and past President of both the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Project Literacy Kelowna Society.

Vampire Dreams By Fern G. Z. Carr

Vampire Dreams By Fern G. Z. Carr

“Ah my dear, have no fear,”

Snarled the stranger in the night,

Whose lupine eyes could mesmerize

Any creature in their sight;

“For I have only just returned

From my Transylvanian flight,

When I spied your classical beauty

By the full moon’s light,”

He whispered beguilingly,

Sharp teeth glistening bright.

Spellbound maiden hearkened to

This pallid stranger’s plight:

“As a count, it is not my custom

To be so forthright;

Although it is a pain in the neck,

I had to drop in for a bite.”

 

Fern G. Z. Carr is a former lawyer, teacher and past President of both the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Project Literacy Kelowna Society.

Severed By Fern G. Z. Carr

Severed By Fern G. Z. Carr

worms squirm

through eye sockets

and nasal cavities,

maggots

feast

on left-over strips

of putrefied flesh

hanging spaghetti-like

from the cranium

of a severed skull,

mandible agape

frozen in an eternal

muted scream –

a skull,

 

severed

 

from its former body

bound and found

in a different part

of the woods

 

Fern G. Z. Carr is a former lawyer, teacher and past President of both the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Project Literacy Kelowna Society.