Other notable works by Donald Coonrod, Francis Masat and Regina Coll.
ANOTHER MOON SONG
“This crazy love amazes me”
sliding love over stones
bubbling into eyes of light
so blue to paralyze
where night takes day’s hand,
leading into other rooms
outside, all the ticking leaves
playing chase across pavement
of roads already known in dreams
don’t suck anymore
spinning up in swirls
unloosed to ride in wind again
they whisper both now and then
of all the ways we’ve been
gliding through Summer’s rivers,
drinking Winter’s streams
landing in earth’s oceans
pulling sand out from under
sky’s big, old mouth
Who can speak?
LIKE NO TOMORROW
This night will follow
down concrete steps,
slick with an inch of algae
nothing in its right mind
would be the first of
the season to disturb,
knowing how some rivers
have very sharp teeth
and no sense of humor
with sunlit promises,
currents trickling through
baked dirt banks, crushed
grass afternoons, and worn
denim gazes, this night is
for drinking the sleeping
river that wants to shiver
us out of its mind for love
Rolling us over
all that is lost
in the sprouting ground,
kissing fists full of clover
again, this night is enough
to keep our mouths busy
for lifetimes of learning
how day always breaks
in our souls before we can
touch the sun.
so surely says
close the window
and draw the curtains
capture that breeze so full
of intrusions; pull it apart
divide inhale by exhale
keepers of sun
break fast; light is moving
more slowly through glass
wet finger; shatters
in conduction, vibration
hydrogen having its way
with everything; so partial
tasting the bird’s chirp
opens easy as love
so surely says
here’s a little splotch
of rainbow yellow spiking
through and blooming
an O of petals smiling
recalling a finger drawing
circles on a shoulder
gesture of a lifetime
peeling into sheets
of sun’s flaky way leavings
overcooked yet undone
hold it up and blow
love all the ways you can
it comes back again
Tracee Coleman is a hopelessly addicted poetry lover who spends much of her free time editing A Little Poetry, an online poetry e-zine. Above poetry, she considers the blessing of a beautiful young daughter to be her most precious source of joy and inspiration. Her work appears in various journals internationally in print and online venues such as Other Voices International, The Argotist Online, Ken*Again and Great Works.
Encumbered light falls—
its rings a soft white pulp,
Easter dead depress the Spring
even as life roils.
Worms blossom in deep decay;
dead flesh and decomposing leaves
that are beyond redemption.
Salvation calls and molecules disperse,
launched on golden sails into the sun.
Rebirth is a puzzle bursting forth
in an alternate universe—hypothetical perhaps,
but I have seen a dead man trying to get back to earth!
We die in an explosion of the soul—barren altars
coming apart, flat black stones tossed in the wind—but
only life impervious to sin can truly be born again.
Oh creation, I have seen your lighted suns and
rising stars glimmering—I pray you will come
in mortal form someday riding on whirlwinds
of perfect love, flowing though cosmic dust.
hands and arms
speckled and bruised,
seasoned by age;
I still hear a song that plays
pure gold, a communion of flesh
and throaty pipes asking:
where have all our soldiers gone—
long time ago—
then it’s one, two and over,
and over again—
until the graveyard is full.
Flutes and bagpipes still
sounding of home, shuffling
remonstrance, fading sounds,
remorseful ghosts singing
of the loss of all those natural men.
Dark nude branches
define circling lines of carefully
sculptured trees—a forest
I see in dreams, their swaying
branches silent, but not unable
On an horizon of flat white, their dark
limbs sometimes seem, I think, to have
a voice of their own—crying out,
perhaps sensitive enough to feel an axe—
is murder, but they’re mute now that it’s
summer, a time of survival, savoring
the shade they cast in a hot sun,
sipping life, little by little from veins in earth
and air, begetting endless generations—who
knows what they might some day become.
Purcell sends out an army
o f sound on Saint Cecilia’s day—
a cloud of music blooms as all
the violins sound together—a love match,
a flock of grey sparrows rise, and concerned pigeons, envious at first,
seemingly too awkward to inspire—surprise as they suddenly explode
together into a golden sky—fluttering there for awhile, then tiring,
coming down again to easy earth, its yellow dandelions, green clover fields,
a world splendid with life—fragrant flowers unfolding in earth’s backyard.
Donald Coonrod is a physician with a poetry avocation. His poetry has appeared in Coffee Press Journal, Pegasus, Prairie Poetry, Between Kisses, Ygdrasil and Mid-America Poetry Review, among others. His first chapbook, Breathing Cup, has been published recently by Finishing Line Press and is also available at Amazon.com. Donald Coonrod is a member of the American Academy of Poets and the Kentucky State Poetry Society.
I Have a Problem with July
4th of July fireworks light the sky
as I walk across a dark grassy lot
and unload the car
from our August vacation,
only to see it’s a week after Labor Day
and tomorrow is October –
where did the peak of summer go
with its gulls and sails,
its tomatoes and sweet corn,
its pastures and gentle creeks?
The first frost whitens pumpkins,
though I smell July among grapes
that look like a painting on the plates
we are setting out for Thanksgiving
just before I take them out again
for Christmas with the first deep snow
in January turning March to mush
that hints at May winds that toss
orchard blossoms into the haze
of a warm June day I spend thinking
about things like the 4th of July.
Your Mother’s Maiden Name?
from a Welsh coal mine
for the last time
and headed for America,
his name used
in a hundred years
to allow me
to my riches?
Another Flier at Key West Bite
“…humility. … it was not disgraceful …,”
An old man steps off the last rock of the jetty.
Yards of coral-strewn shallows separate him
from a cormorant tangled in fishing line.
On shore, diners fawn over wine and tidbits,
but take no note of the old man struggling along,
bent flat, waist deep in seaweed-laden water.
Closing in, he waits for the bird to look away –
just once – and he will be able to net and help it.
But no look-away comes, no hint of weakness.
Without warning, the cormorant springs,
paddle-flying until it lifts and disappears.
The old man struggles to the jetty looking
fulfilled in a futile way, humble but proud.
He passes by and smiles and mumbles
about missing his dinner and “another flier.”
Remembering Flanders Fields
in the same place
as last year,
I stuff money
into a donation jar,
wire a paper poppy
into my cap,
over last year’s stain,
and wonder yet again
if such a quick year
Delivering the Milk
A pearl-pink sky holds violet-gray
against the earth as cool air creeps
up my sleeves, down my neck,
mixing with the sweat
of loading milk cases, ritual
of Monday, Wednesday, Friday,
my freshman high school summer.
Boss slams the doors
and off we creep again
to bottle-clank door-to-door,
to scratch our heads
at illegible notes,
to shrug at clear ones
with no cash attached.
Except at Miss M’s house.
Boss always delivers there,
and he always takes
ten times as long
as I would.
Took me half the summer
before I noticed
Boss’s half-closed fly.
From the Mid-West, Francis is Professor Emeritus, Rowan University of New Jersey. He lives in Key West with his wife Carol. Recent chapbooks are A Taste of Key West (poetry, Pudding House Press, 2008) and Lilacs After Winter (haibun, MET Press, 2008). His work appears in over 75 anthologies and journals worldwide.
Repeat after me.’
A larger ear may have caught the meaning,
may have transformed the hammer to shovel to brush,
and might have felt dusted in crushed pearl and peridot.
But there it was again,
That damned desire and all the blood,
pools, oceans, coliseums of flesh and maim and genitals and curiosity.
Warm red earth fur,
‘I prefer threes and fives to twos and fours’ she said.
This was evident in early childhood drawings and lived now
in arrangements of potted plants and pillows – she really liked to mix it up,
especially on Sundays
when she wore a trinity or sorts, and recited her deeply urgent needs,
each of which
floated away inside an iridescent bubble.
The beautiful bull paws the ground and the ground yields. The rites within
this red arena
are consecrated in blood, and crowds witness
her flesh on black hooves blistering in sulpher,
the crowd waits for the velvets to tear for blood,
the crowd echoes the warm desire of passage
and in disbelief, they howl out their deeply urgent needs.
The wind receives the roar
while she quietly, on one knee smolders.
And the ground yields.
10 Petaled Room
I never draw now tho.
When I was a child – less than half this age,
before so many ties to social order & constructions,
staring out the window at the birds and holding a larger hand
through the maze of paintings
landed me front of what is now languaged as an ‘abstract’
and led to a not-a-teacher not-a-mother plan.
Then imagination, but now fantasy – in yellows and golds
it was the color of someone’s money.
Yes, that world hummed to me, covered me in tufts of furry down.
I wore it across my breasts (little dots)
and sashayed with it woven through my hair.
“Clean this up” he scolded
as they were splayed, piled and splayed around his truck,
yolky blonds and lemons.
I had only
yellow crayons –
a sulfurous pile of saffron –
and do you know how hard it is
to cover the skin in waxy color ?
My room was an illuminated desert,
secrets explained in gold upon gold, burning as it was most certainly for the great painter,
bronzed megacities Babel and Atlantis, giants, old women and snakes in amber
there (I’m pointing at the walls remembered)
that color wore me
“my dearest dear” said as I zipped myself around the cream.
I was its sail,
my yellow brushed the world as sun,
my yellow was crystal then,
not like the shit they show now – rants
not like the crap hung knotted these days,
not like the in-your-pants snout-to-tail walk
as my yellow.
“If you are baptized” he said,
you should feel shame
the power of waving hands and water should not be underestimated,
because word-life in our early hours holds us.
Then a soul suffers under birth-words,
seeding the soft body like a cultured jewel to wear on Sundays and high-holies-
a kind of scam.
Whose thumb are we supposed to be under in such early hours?
Is this what you had in mind?
Does this taste like an apple?
Our cherished anointed ash is
molded and spun to armor,
made immediately ugly when naming for the world in guilt,
and just missing guilt, missing ecstasy.
What if we choose carefully in early hours
make baskets make bowls make warmth,
with one finger trace the path between trailing clouds and bone…..
this for heathens this for angels, this for wandering-wondering
without the blaming anchor
without the doubt
we might just float away.
But pasts and messianic policy shift like sand
(it’s slippery stuff)
and is there a start date for life received in love alone
for angels to star our course –
call us, Cassiel, say our names all.
The Truth About Love
Let me tell you
of the reddest love, succulent and eager,
my love discovered, in readiness,
has fewer expectations, ready answers
and an acceptance of flight and rest and flight
Let me tell you this
of the many truths I carry on my skin
I favor the one that has left a mark,
forever, in love and apparent
to those who remark upon the scar
Let me tell you this and this
that the love by me, near and wrapped around me,
( the suffocating voice
the greasy reflection pool,
the lost advisor
the mile-marker )
is a braid of color jasmine and heat, it turns me, makes me laugh.
In the so short time we have
let me tell you this —
Regina Coll lives and writes in the Metro DC area. You may have seen her work in VLQ, 2River View, A Little Poetry, Blood Orange Review, Mothering Magazine, The Cloud Appreciation Society, or in various bathrooms across the country as part of the Bathroom Poetry Project. Regina believes poetry belongs in everyday life and works with other poets to bring verse to the most unlikely of places.