Posts for June 21, 2015

Gaby Bedetti

For Our Son, Counselor at Interlochen Arts Camp, on His 19th Birthday

The outlier in the family, you defy attempts to redirect your attention–
our miracle baby, more gregarious than your parents and sister,
the rest of us being first children. For years you performed
on the stage and soccer field and in the classroom,
and now you lead your charges in the Michigan woods.

When your sister left for boarding school,
you transferred your sweetness to the cats,
feeding them, replacing their litter, and taking them outside.
You walked with Pop, and challenged him at chess.

I wondered whether you were clairvoyant:
cannily targeting me like Machiavelli
planning a campaign toward your desired end—
a package of Pokémon cards or 20 more minutes on the computer.

At ten you wrote from camp in a penciled scrawl:
“Even though this is a few days late, I just went to the Ice Cream Social.
I GOT A DATE!!! You know Kira from the Stone Hotel?
She asked if I could dance with her. So we danced
but we did not hold hands. It was fun and the music was good.
After Kira’s friends came and wanted to dance with her,
another girl wanted to dance. How could I turn her down?
So I danced with her too but mostly Kira. I had a lot of fun and a good time.”

For a while, your humor was sassy, even snarky.
Yet the boy who drew cartoon cats that said, “Hug me!”
now offers me gentles embraces.

Over six feet tall, eager to move beyond what you already know—
you’ve visited Spain, Portugal, and Japan, Ohio, and Tennessee—
impatient to discover your vocation. You wonder
whether the world will continue to bend to your will
as you seek your fate. We were proud of you then
and we are proud of you now, patrolling the waterfront.



Poem 21, June 21




I’m painting kitchen cabinets white

when you knock on the door.

I wonder who could be knocking

on a Sunday afternoon.


When I see it is you,

a flood of feelings enough

to sweep me off my feet

rushes through my blood.


You say you have been sick

& I say I know.

Your sister told me.

You say thought


I might like to see my  son.

I follow you outside.

As you pass the fender of my Ford,

I put my hand over your shoulder.


You stop. You turn to face me.

I think, Oh, hell remembering

how you felt when your best friend’s

husband put his hand in your lap


& how he felt your ass later.

I tell you I put my hand

on your shoulder to keep

you from crashing into the mirror.


I see no anger in your eyes–no fight

or flight attitude when you turn to face me.

Pat Owen

Springing from Earthenware

A brown earthenware pot
on the mantel
shines with reflected light
roughly hewn–
you can feel texture
with your eyes.
Cattails spring from it
as though naturally
growing from mud,
soft nubs from brittle stems
shadows behind on the brown wall.
It’s what I could take
to honor my mother.

Joseph Allen Nichols

Fado Donedia

                “The use of traveling is to regulate imagination with reality,
                 and instead of thinking of how things may be, see them as they are.”
                                                                                         – Samuel Johnson

This is the origin story, the root
where fatum, fata, & fatista blur
their lines, slipping behind

                   Of Saudade, we are told
seven words will capture the heart—
seven strung likes beads from seven
syllable lines, lingering in muscles
& the memory of quatrains.

                                    I am of four minds—
the poet, the idealist, the classically trained,
& one who wrinkles logic in the cool
grey confines of the soul.

                                             & we wait
                           as the World waits—
decoration to consort Time, who waits
for no man.

We gather our thoughts and our things—
press them to fit, hide them in baggage
& the folds of brighter words

& hope
they will follow

the rules of foreign travel.

Carole Johnston


gunman speaks
ghost voice dredged up
from wells of hate
stark uranium eyes sting
sleepless Saturday midnight
dark wings flutter over us

Lennart Lundh


the language of ice
when swallowed by fire
is the new beat of a heart
once content to be frozen
it screams at the light
but goes willingly
it adds vocabulary
even as it is changing
but never shakes its primal fear
that winter must come again