HomePosts Tagged "poetry" (Page 33)

by N. A’Yara Stein One night on the crunchy sand of Biloxi my mother lay with my father and i became I. The stars, she said, whispered; her husband was a distant silken conspirator. Afterwards, they returned to their sparring and to the delta with its raped cotton plants in reddened soil. They toiled, oiled the machines almost ferverishly as the doomed do. Don't you? Haven't you? Never? I have want of luxury but not fury. Easy promises slipped bee-like from tongues and children's ears grew numb with fear of the way things fall apart and people disappear. N. A’Yara Stein is a Romani-American poet and writer living on a chicory farm and has been nominated twice for the 2010 Pushcart Prize. Born in Memphis, she holds an MFA from the University of Arkansas and has been published in The New Orleans Review, The Birmingham Poetry Review, The Oxford American, California Quarterly, Chiron Review, Crossroads: a Journal of Southern Culture, Great Midwestern Quarterly, and Poetry Motel. She currently lives near Chicago with her sons and is looking for a book publisher. 

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by Darryl Willis Pedestals are designed for urns and figurines but not for priests and parsons. Stained glass and sacred art cannot hide a heart stained by greed and pride. And I so long ago seemed far too strong to fall victim to the lesser sins of lust and rage and drunkenness. My flock held me in respect (and I confess, not without a little awe). And when I walked into a room they turned to me and gave a smile and nod of deference. When the parish built for me a brand new parsonage to honor my long years of service I could not see what was plain as the pious look pasted on my face: how I manipulated and cajoled to get what I thought I deserved. Now as I gaze into my avaricious eyes (as in a mirror darkly) I can see all so clearly now: my glass house is filled with stones. Darryl Willis lives in Texas, and this poem was originally published in Eclectic Flash Literary Journal, Volume 1, September 2010. More of his work can be found on his blog at www.poema2009.blogspot.com.

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by Tracy Sopko As summer painted the night with thunder, Time collapsed down on the grass, his legs akimbo, his white hair mussed about his head like the stuffing pulled from a too-loved teddy bear. Soft flashes of fairy light danced in and out of the subtly bruised clouds. Death grew roots out of his walking shoes, buried his toes into the dirt, dropped his hood and made the decision to take the night off. The stillness of the Southern night was complete. Tracy Sopko was born and raised in small Florida town, hovering, like the state itself, on the fringes of Southern culture. She currently lives in Jacksonville and attends the University of North Florida.

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Harlan D. Whatley I park the blue Chevy ragtop Down by the old Coast Guard station. There are lots of cars in the parking lot Which means the beach is really crowded today. As I stroll down the sandy beach I think about how I got here And how relaxing St. Simons Island is Compared to the big city where I used to live. The people here are as friendly as can be And nobody is in a big hurry. The seafood and local cuisine is delicious And the sunsets are beautiful to watch. So when I feel a little blue I go down to the pier in the village Or sometimes I go to see old Harry Who serves me a most palatable vintage. Harlan D. Whatley is a native of North Louisiana whose poetry has been published in the Birmingham Arts Journal, Heavy Hands Ink, Papercut and Poets for Living Waters. He currently teaches English in Zhengzhou, China.

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by Lydia Ondrusek He takes the hatband off, unspools a Mississippi of black grosgrain; too long alone in the dim back room, he talks. Tells about learning to make hats, shape them to fit people to whom it was important, a good hat. A sign of who and what you were. Tells how gents wore boaters once, all summer, cool and shady. “Punched the tops out when the season ended!” I put my boater on, with its new black ribbon; tip it to my grandfather, watching from the past’s dusty mirror. He raises his own black-banded boater in salute to summer, and to me. A good hat is important. Lydia Ondrusek lives in Richardson, Texas, and often writes about Southern experiences and locations. She has had fiction and poetry published online and in print since 2008 in a diverse range of publications that include Flash Fiction Online and Falling Star Magazine. Follow her on Twitter @littlefluffycat.

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by Timothy Perior My wife and I began in Maryland and ended up in a small town in Georgia. The house is one of those large, almost mansion things on a couple of acres, built pre-civil war. It is great for writing. We love it. This morning I was rummaging about in the attic. In an obscure corner I came across an old disintegrating cloth wrapped package. Between the darkness and the dust I almost missed it. I unwrapped the remains of a shawl to find a brittle leather portfolio. Inside I found a quarter inch of family financial records; among them a hand written sheet of aged, fine stationery. This is what it said. Oh my darling may I write Of the worry and the care tonight; For in the wind a rumor swirls And twists the soul of all the girls. For no man is here to save; No strength of army brave. What color will we look and see? Not gray with red striped lovely. Will the coats of color blue Come to wreak the devil's due; To march into our happy home And cast us to forever roam? Oh, gallant love, this verse is better Than if I penned a fretful letter. My breaking heart could stop this time If I don't fight my mind for rhyme. I think of you that storm inside Of those that

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by Kevin Heaton Levitating apparitions hover in misty vapor, troubling the face of cypress waters; suspended between rapture and mortality, concealing wispy souls of southern sons not yet at peace. They seek their general, mounted on a ghost stallion snorting humid gunpowder haze, charging at victory; his sword casting lunar reflections into Yankee eyes. Troop remnants mark cadence on gator, and snapper backs; scouting front lines long ago fallen, and battles; long since lost. Kevin Heaton lives and writes in South Carolina. His latest chapbook, "Measured Days," was recently released from Heavy Hands Ink Press, and his work has appeared in Foliate Oak, Elimae, Hanging Moss Journal, Pirene's Fountain and many others. He is listed as a notable poet at KansasPoets.com. To read more of his work, click here.

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by Michael Gebelein It’s always been hard for me to identify with things that are unknown. To feel the embrace from a different plane of existence or consciousness seems incorrect. I’ve made a show of tolerance and acceptance so hopefully actions really do tell more to the world than words. Leaning in closer to see the world with eyes like a fortune teller on Miami Beach, or a Baptist preacher in a small Southern town, a gas station attendant in Cleveland. Maybe they’ve got it figured out, but for now I’ll just lay in this bed with this piece of paper on a Monday morning with the snow coming in from outside and a ring of cigarette smoke over the end table. Letting the world have a short glimpse before throwing the curtains wide. Michael Gebelein is a writer living in Asheville, North Carolina. 

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by Tammy L. Beevers I watch him each morning, this blue heron statuesque in his indigo feather suit. He crouches, legs folded precisely waiting. and watching as fish flirt with the water’s edge and death. The heron strikes, his beak instantly a skewer, his neck elongated, beautiful as an orchid stem. Startled by sound, he stretches his wings, soars, then dives and disappears into the dense green. Tammy L. Beevers hails from Seneca Falls, New York, but says she's really a born-again Texan who's called Central Texas home for over 30 years. Her poem "Aspen" has been chosen as one of 10 winning poems for San Antonio's Via Metropolitan Transit's “Poetry on the Move” contest during National Poetry Month 2011, and “Texas Panhandle Slow Drive” appears in 2011 Texas Poetry Calendar.

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by Tracy Sopko Dust isn’t so hard to come by in the South. What with so many sources: The powdered sugar remnants of primordial bodies, The sun-burnt flaking paint of seven thousand and thirty two Condemned once-homes, And the equally scorched and peeling remnants of once-people, There is enough dust here to inter a culture. Under the auspices of an isolationist Mason-Dixon We would coalesce. State lines soften, Then give way entirely - weather patterns and jet streams Melding misshapen clods. Swept behind the Mexico-couch And best left forgotten. These aren’t memories in the attic to be brought down a rickety flight of stairs, and Picked through with the grandkids. These aren’t the Ill-fitted pieces of nostalgia. No, this is skin, twelve years old, with a dust bowl haircut Nothing approaching style, but with a hint of Pizzazz in the economy of it. No, This is dust like Nuclear fallout, Or triangular trade runoff. This is dust like war, Dust like war paint, This is the dust of the survivors. Tracy Sopko was born and raised in small Florida town, hovering, like the state itself, on the fringes of Southern culture. She currently lives in Jacksonville and attends the University of North Florida.

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