Saturday, November 14, 2009

Here is a selection of poems recently submitted by our friends and members. Work is published as received without editing or proofreading. All submissions are published. Thanks to the poets below for contributing and to the rest of you for being here on the page.

Me and the Magdalene

by Grant Tarbard

She could bend the farthest
than any girl I've ever seen
ankles about ears
knickers about knees
her hips were the saviour
of a wretch like me
Those lightning eyes
were just the summit
of her icon topography
She spoke of lust
She spoke of the moon
She spoke to the sounds
of the Seventies
those lines etched on her lips
I'm a prisoner in vision
a floundering ship
bailing with the good china

Hiccups, lollypop and a rose tattoo
Hard frozen vanilla
beaten with a dessert spoon
Hunchback’d over a bowl of sloppy cereal
my eyes fixate on her as she leaves the room
Coffee cup between palms
coarse wiggle, a sip of house maid's brew

The flower,
white tulip I think it was,
lies amongst the wreaths
from the road traffic accident griefs
petals down to the dinner taste of bloodied meats
Kiss the Magdalene upon the feets
as she weeps,
she weeps,
she weeps down on her knees
upon these scenes
We meander home amongst the leaves
trodden soft and wholly young
Carried home
to coffee cup between tender palms.

© Grant Tarbard (2009)

High Priestess                                                                      
Goddess of Jade, Lee Su, cruel messenger of death,
            Behold your servant.
Your maiden sings the pleas, promises of your city,
            Offerings, she brings.
Bali, Isle of the Lost, fair land of the Lady,
            Remembers the Goddess.
Bali, of the sea of storms, dark with gales,
            Sends your priestess.
Angel of Death, the High Priestess dances,
            Turning in her silk;
Servant of the Temple, covered in black robes,
            Black cloth of Bali.

Jerome Brooke 
Prince of Mindanao
Prince of Mindanao, splendid in bronze,
            Marching, so young, so pure.
Vassals bow before your horse, the warband,
            Does salute you, bright in azure.
Gold and silver, robes of silk, gleaming bronze,
            Vassals before you bow.
Girls beg for mere copper coins, peasants mutter,
            Reap as you sow.
Bring the fire, young and immortal,  dear one,
            Prince of the lie.
Your arms will surely weaken, false friends,
            You too will die.
Prince of Shades, see your lady, at your feet,
            Captive of seeming.
Beauty she sees, a god among us, love gazes,
            Love pure, fleeting.  
Love below you, eyes of a peasant,
            Girl in rags, low of the land.
Hate, envy, pity, all weave the web,
            Pass on with your band.
  Jerome Brooke
                  War Leader
            Through the waste marched the warriors,
                        Silent was the band.
            In the swift, hot wind, were seen the men,
                        Quiet in the sand.
            Gold, red gold, at their feet, gems,
                        Cast far, far away.
            Swords no longer shone,  as on parade,
                        Dull this fearful day.
            My prince looked, saw this lost line,
                        Lost, dead on this dark day.
            Men of the Queen, lost by fate,
                        Found where they fell, and lay.
  Jerome Brooke

Laura (1944)

I watched the movie twice, now wonder if I could
play the part, win his heart, get him to forget his
hand-held game of pinball, and, stepping through
the light and shadow pattern of the slatted window
blinds, have a chance at living happily ever after.

Morgan Harlow

Dream in October

The warm evenings have left me sleepless.
My dreams steeped in humidity
Of strange men who I have never seen before
Yet some how know of me.

Like the man who poured concrete over the sea
I begged him to thin it out
Or the shore would set, forever, unmovable.
And the sea birds would suffer,
Legs held as fragile prisoners
While their wings beat mercilessly to fly

Climbing down a rocky embankment with a hand hoe,
He stirred the sea as I requested
And I felt a shiver from the waves
As they broke free from their concrete statuary.
A cry of gulls and a small sigh from a sandpiper
Broke the balmy silence

The sky turned grey in the nearing twilight
And I offered him my hand as he climbed
The jagged rocks, causing him to stumble, slightly
Dislodging a large stone
Where a small fire was exposed
That had been burning undetected.

And so we stood.

In silence we looked across the sea
As the fire rose up, scorching a small cabin.
There were slight breaks in the heavy clouds
Causing subtle illuminations.

Sarah Higdon
October 12, 2008


Lincoln Park 4:30 a.m.

Once ferocious, it cowered behind the steel bars
Amongst the squeals of taxicab tires
And the unfamiliar smells of vagrant men
Whose urine stained clothes sent off primal signals
Telling it, Animal, but not of its kind.

A rustling of dry leaves, and the darting of a tail
Caused it to involuntarily salivate
And for an instant, it forgot its imprisonment
Pouncing forward and feeling the cruelty of pavement
Scraping its feet, sharp and foreign

A hollowed out log and a stainless steel bowl
Were all it had to navigate around.
Breathing heavily, it edged itself into a corner
Clammy and stressed, tail pressed between its legs

Its ears prick up to a familiar sound
A brother lost somewhere in the night
And it connects to its origins through an unexpected vessel
An ambulance on route to some unfortunate ending
Howls in harmony.

Sarah Higdon


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