First Real Spring Day without You
It’s sunny but son-less, birdsong and blossoms, and I remember how
you loved the row of blooming crab-apples in front of the Cardella’s house
and the different flowers in our yard whose names you
wanted to be reminded of each year.
You loved having the side deck to sit on with your pant legs rolled up
so the sun could heal your psoriatic legs
as you watched the boisterous birds, scampering squirrels and chipmunks--
and to stand on at night to stare up at the stars, scanning for meteors.
Even in the rain you’d stand there in the dark and converse with yourself--
your racing brain a churning treasure trove of data and imagined adventures,
sleep merely an exhausted state to fall into on the couch in the middle of the night,
as if you knew how little time you had in the body that would betray you.
Lox and bagels or bacon and croissants for Saturday breakfasts,
And roller-coaster amusement parks:
I’m trying to remember the things you found to love after moving north
so I can comfort myself when I think how you never seemed as happy
after we moved from your childhood home.
You delighted in discussing different religions
and observing how they all boiled down to the same thing--
but sometimes you worried about Revelations and people who might go to hell,
because one of your strangest friends kept insisting both were real and imminent; but
your God was love, and you loved your friends, though they were few and,
The more fragile ones you always took under your big wing, my sweet child,
as the mother cardinal in the old maple does now for her babies.
Today the dog found a baby robin blown out of its nest by last night’s storm,
but you weren’t here.
Tonight a friend described a subspecies of salamander she’d seen on TV
but she couldn’t remember the name, and you weren’t here to ask.
You were an old soul
and you still are,
as I sense you come to remind me every night at bedtime.
I never had to worry about your light shining on so brightly--
only about its brevity here on earth,
where it seems so dark now, even in the spring.
(Denise Thompson-Slaughter was born in Washington, D.C. and currently lives in Western New York. She received a B.A. in English from Rutgers University and worked many years as an academic editor. Her literary publications include two books of poetry, a mystery novella, two short stories, and brief memoir pieces.)
The raccoon and I
see each other,
souls as animal
eyes do, dark
space to dark
space, in a
fur and claw,
skin and bone.
When Depression Steps Out
It feels, sometimes, like
a taboo to be happy, to
breathe in the morning,
glad to be alive, to pet
a cat’s belly and delight
in its impossible softness,
to listen to the endless
chirping of hopeful birds,
to believe that tomorrow
will come and the day
after that, to not give
up despite frantic
calls to do so,
to shower and dress
and stride through
the many doors that--
(Vivian Wagner lives in the village of New Concord, Ohio, where she's an associate professor of English at Muskingum University.)
I am not sure how I did it,
how I survived
a lucky chance
but here I am
against the wind,
the hot, hot wind
which has turned the soil
into rippling sand
the rippling sand
of the unwashed desert.
I am not sure how I did it
and I am not sure how long
I can stay here
in the rippling sand
of the unwashed desert.
(Lynn White lives in north Wales. Her work is influenced by issues of social justice and events, places and people she has known or imagined. She is especially interested in exploring the boundaries of dream, fantasy and reality and writes hoping to find an audience for her musings. She was shortlisted in the Theatre Cloud 'War Poetry for Today' competition and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Rhysling Award. Her poetry has appeared in many publications including: Apogee, Firewords, Peach Velvet, Light Journal and So It Goes.)
Fragrant and Amaranthine for Thousands of Years
One day I will come back by a red cloud and bring giant's picture scroll.
My lines of lightning songs will flutter gold greetings of prehistoric huge city.
The mountains that have been sleeping for hundreds of millions of years
will be transparent in an instant and the lights will be brilliant, like five-coloured gems;
And the songs of my soul in the skeleton will be in full bloom,
like the fairyland flowers of the Kingdom of Heaven,
that will be fragrant and amaranthine for thousands of years.
The Soul is Invisible Muse
Open the eyes of your soul you'll see countless yourself.
No time goes by,which as if the sun and the moon never set and rise.
The world is only a book of phantom and the soul is invisible Muse.
Before the words hadn't beent born yet, you have been a giant
of the the kingdom of gold, that know not what is meant by myself.
(Hongri Yuan, born in China in 1962, is a poet and philosopher interested particularly in creation. Representative works include Platinum City, The City of Gold, Golden Paradise , Gold Sun and Golden Giant. His poetry has been published in the UK, USA ,India ,New Zealand, Canada and Nigeria.)
The Beautiful Space-