Posts for June 7, 2015


A Rave from a Man on a Boat III

Tonight it is hot.
Minotaurs are on the street.
Honey is the bag.


On Poros, A Greek Island

Poem 7, June 7


On  Poros, a Greek Island


From the second floor balcony

of the hotel, I look out across the azure sea

toward the mountain chain, not as tall

as the mountains of eastern Kentucky,

& one the towering Rockies would dwarf.


I’m looking for a poem

in the form locals call the sleeping lady,

but I do not find it.

I do not find it in the young couple,

walking hand in hand along the wharf.


I see it in the ripples of a sea so clear

that its rocky, volcanic sediment bottom

seems to be only inches beneath the small

fishing boat anchored off shore.

I see it in the hand of the absent painter


whose aesthetic eye visualized how to create

a canvas with movement full

of the suppleness & grace of a sprightly

young dancer center stage,

the one whose contortions takes the breath away.

Amanda Corbin


I interviewed a Nazarene preacher once

who said God spoke to him

through scripture

when he happened upon the right passages

at the right time—

I thought it sounded like

throwing a dart at a map

with your eyes closed.


I walked through a used bookstore once

and sat on a stool in the parenting section

looking for something more

than the complete idiot’s guide

to blended families—

but then God spoke to me

in the fiction section

when she said,

Now Is the Time to Open Your Heart.

Rona Roberts

13-Year Old Son Asks

“If I’m paying attention
to what is happening
so that I can remember it later,
then when I remember it later,
won’t I be remembering
all that work to pay attention
instead of what happened?”

Len Lundh

What If I Fall?

I can’t believe I fell from the sky.
It was never meant for me to soar. 

I can’t believe I fell from the sky.
How was it that you lifted me? 

I can’t believe I fell from the sky.
You taught me how to use these wings. 

I can’t believe I fell from the sky,
but I believe I will not strike the ground.

Jonel Sallee

Melville’s Study

You feel it as soon as you step through the doorway
Into Melville’s study—
The air carries a different charge, more vibrant
Than a moment ago on the other side of that threshold,
As if a strong presence enlivens this room
Where he seems, still, to sit, looking across the valley,
Mount Greylock faithfully offering up 
Every day its inspiration, 
Its own steadfastness steadying his, as
He seeks, waits for the words;
Synesthetic visions of worlds beyond the mask,
Creator and loom, spinning creation
Out of sea-swirls,
Resolving for a moment into some momentous
Before the next shape-shift
Imposes its own requirements.
And—perhaps it is the magnetism of the mountain,
Perhaps the electric air—
You also feel this:  Your own soul stirring,
Your own mind starting to ask again 
The disorienting questions that must churn
Inside him, as he listens, pen in hand, for the burning words 
That will tell what it is that he sees,
Foot upon the treadle.

Erin Mathews


I’ve been using a lot of the things you taught me
to keep myself safe lately.

How to make a proper fist or
how to tell someone no.
When to keep my shoes on.

I’m not letting anyone else drive home tonight.
I’ve never driven his van
but I can manage a stick.
You let me hurl your old Volvo through
that neighborhood of pastel mansions.

It’s dark but I know my way back
“you should pay attention to your surroundings”
I pause at newly green lights,
“That’s where I hit that car of drunk kids when they ran the red light.
Dude who was driving got lucky, they went in that ditch but nobody got hurt.”
And I sit up straight the whole way home.

-Erin Mathews

Joseph Nichols

Delphinium Grandiflorum  


                   Make your own nature, not the advice of others, your guide in life.”

                                                                                    – The Oracle at Delphi


 O! many-tinted herald of the days, and blacker nights!
Where burns the ancient fires of sightless seer? where glimmers light
like every god-touched drip–the bitter’d honey from your lips?
Where can a man seek solace from his course—his wearied course—
or confirmation that his deeds are done?  despite dark horse
that stamped and drew the dirt and dust to fly before your scripts?
Despite the consternation in the mystery of the wight?

I’ve seen the store-front resting place, cathedra for the lost
and searching empires of the West—the way your violet cost
adorns these lesser waystones to excess—the merchant hope
of lesser quests, of hidebound knights and queens’ duress.
Who gathers woolen pelts? who wakes the whispering night? Much less,
who weaves the tears of Ajax with the peace of broader scope?
Who breathes the breath enflamed by summer stars and boundaries crossed?


Without the Oracle blessing, petals fall to wayward feet
and render voiceless prattle to the sound of soft entreat.
We are the chaff beneath the pestle, broken vessels in
retreat—the  lovelorn remnants, splayed on altars, clutching dead
and dying embers with our blood.  Discharge Venetian red!
Bring back the scarlet of your voice before this mortal skin
forgets the weight of deity—drinks Pride–imbibes Defeat!



Carole Johnston


in line at Starbucks
Midnight Butterfly taps
me on the shoulder
a poem pops in my mind
steams off in a coffee cloud

Gaby Bedetti

Listening to Poetry

In Lewiston, Maine, I attended the United Nations of Poetry,
a monthly gathering at John Tagliabue’s house,  
where I left my shoes at the door and read poems
and watched puppet shows and kabuki theatre.
From Lewiston, I rode the Greyhound to Augusta to hear Allen Ginsburg rant
and lunched with Denise Levertov in the school dining room. She listened.

In Iowa City, longhaired students packed the steeply-inclined amphitheater
to hear Anselm Hollo and other international poets. In Lexington, Kentucky,
poetry comes out of the engineering building, the art museum, the florist,
the bookstores, doughnut shops, libraries, and bars.   

The poet may distance himself from the poems with explanations
or read in a stylized drone but emotion will seep through.
She may acknowledge friends in the audience or a baby leaving the room.
The tone may be ironic or polished or tongue-in-cheek,

the lines may contain more layers than can be expressed in one reading
or chords more intimate and memorable than life,
bridging the gap between reader and listener,
between public and private.