raft

i am drowning under a raft of history.
i have nothing but
tanager trills in the dark,
a handful of wildflowers,
an ineffective rage.
i’m tired of growing vegetables
that die every year and must be
endlessly restarted by hand —
i want a yard burgeoning with blossoms,
overgrown, tangled, useless and thriving
by itself. i want
love like a field of wildflowers,
love like a mountainside spring,
cascading untamed, fragrant. i want
to grow a world where food
doesn’t have to be political, love
doesn’t have to be political,
the fucking wildflowers
can just grow where they grow without
being required to mean anything.
i cannot save this world.
instead i am growing vegetables,
tired annuals, non-natives, needy
and exhausting as colonialism,
to survive the world as it is
and try to help build a raft
that could hold us up
instead of holding us under
while the world around us
drowns.

 

by Kat Heatherington

Kat Heatherington is a queer ecofeminist poet, sometime artist, pagan, and organic gardener. She lives south of Albuquerque, NM in Sunflower River intentional community, sunflowerriver.org. Kat’s work primarily addresses the interstices of human relationships and the natural world. She has one book, The Bones of This Land, printed by Swimming with Elephants Publications in fall 2017, available on amazon.com and through SwEP, as well as several self-published chapbooks, available from the author at yarrow [at] sunflowerriver [dot] org. Her work can be read at sometimesaparticle.org.

Daniel Edward Moore

King Erasure

At your intervention which was nothing more
                                      than a pageantry of post it notes

stained by a ballpoint’s opium ink
                           dangling on an inch of yellow adhesive

stuck to your armored chest,
                                 you told us what you wanted to be-

a cold steel coffin of pink champagne
                               where a jewelry box gleaming with

dirty needles floated in the hands of ladies
                             in waiting who no longer spread their

legs like wings, sheltering veins of regal blood, as
                      your shimmering crown of aluminum foil

sparkled above a bath towel cape
                                                hailing you King Erasure.

 

 

Commando Ballerina

                                   The need to remember
not to remember   
    swallowing yesterday’s glassy swords 
                       sharpened by trembling hands,


                          by fingertips calloused from
dancing on lighters
                       to the beat of blood beneath these nails                                   
                                 that kept me alive through the night,    


                              is why ten little soldiers in
pink fishnet stockings  
                      salute the light in my eyes,
                                twirling at dawn on the shores

of my face, like commando ballerinas disarmed.

 

by Daniel Edward Moore

Daniel lives in Washington on Whidbey Island. His poems have been in Spoon River Poetry Review, Rattle, Columbia Journal, Western Humanities Review, and others. His poems are forthcoming in West Trade Review, Duende Literary Journal, The Inflectionist Review, Magnolia Review, Isthmus Review, Glass Mountain Magazine, Columbia College Literary Review, January Review, Under a Warm Green Linden, Yemassee and Cumberland River Review. His books, “This New Breed: Gents, Bad Boys and Barbarians” an Anthology, and “Confessions of a Pentecostal Buddhist,” can be found on Amazon. Visit Daniel at DanielEdwardMoore.com.

Vanishing Point (October Vignette)

on the bus, after we heard the news,

I saw a woman softly sobbing into her hands;

beside her was a Whole Earth shopping bag

containing what must be heirloom or designer apples

that were almost orange in color –

perhaps a miniature pumpkin,

if such a thing exists –

and what resembled a purple pomegranate.

 

another woman was picking at her nails

nervously

like a monkey searching for nits.

 

the crying woman patted the pockets

of her all-weather jacket;

maybe she was searching for a handkerchief

to wipe her face?

 

but then I noticed that her face

was darkening, like the tears

were soot, and by mingling with her skin,

they were turning her entire person

into black-and-white, like an old-fashioned movie;

soon, everyone on the bus

was fading into black,

or vanishing altogether

as they bleached out of my vision.

 

I looked down at my hands

and I, too, no longer

had any color except shadows

and pale, ghostly flesh –

it seemed like early Halloween,

or an Edgar Allen Poe tale come to life.

 

someone on the bus said,

I think we’re heading back into the 1950s,

before color TV, and someone else said, no,

the 1930s, before Technicolor hit Hollywood:

it’s like in The Wizard of Oz, in Kansas,

before Dorothy meets the Munchkins,

or follows the yellow brick road.

 

the woman stopped her sobbing, sniffled, then said,

yes, we’re going backwards, to when white men

didn’t have to share the country with anyone else.

 

by Alison Jennings

Alison Jennings is retired from teaching and accounting; throughout her life, she has composed over 400 poems, and recently published several of them, in print journals and online. She lives in Seattle, where she writes poetry whenever she has time.

Cherished a Hope

The emotion that lies at the heart,

not shown in gestures and words,

cannot be measured or felt,

but for myself.

Disillusion, sadness and despair,

even rejoicing and pleasure,

have created tears, salty and hot ones,

that have leavened the soil where I live,

bringing forth flowers, fruits, children.

Have also nourished and ennobled my spirit,

paying the toll I owe to the lord of the fief.

I am sure they are leading me to Canaan,

the promised land where evil finds no shelter

and milk and honey flow abundantly.

Where the woman I desire is waiting for me,

at the door of my house, longing and needy,

wife and lover.

 

by Edilson Afonso Ferreira

A Brazilian poet, Mr. Ferreira, 75, writes in English rather than in Portuguese. Largely published in international journals in print and online, he began writing at age 67. He was nominated for the Pushcart Prize 2016. His first Poetry Collection – Lonely Sailor – is coming soon, scheduled to be launched in London, November 29th 2018, with one hundred poems. He blogs at www.edilsonmeloferreira.com.

First Saturday in November

A noisy, anxious fall,

the nation hangs

on a precipice

as the noise reaches

an ugly crescendo.

In three days, we

will know the script

our nation will follow

the next two years.

As we look forward

in weary trepidation,

we mostly want it

to be over and usher

in a wintery peace.

 

by Janet Jenkins-Stotts

Janet Jenkins-Stotts has taught at Highland Community College, Wichita State University, and Kansas University. She has self-published a novel The Orchid Garden, and a chapbook, “Winter’s Yield. She has performed slam poems on weight loss, and women’s issues at Open Mics and slam contests.

V is FOR

My vagina and Venice Beach

both of which

are no longer that Xanadu

subculture of old school grooves and funk –

there’s no more riffing with Morrison,

no sonic hey-days

spent skating figure eights.

 

My vagina and Venice Beach

are haunted by the laughs of men

who’ve gentrified Bohemian-sweet virginity

with basil-honeysuckle soap

and brute celebrity.

 

My vagina and Venice Beach

were plowed by lucrative

boutiques, Silicon Beach, and tiny

yellow ghosts pulling out.

 

My vagina and Venice Beach

went from roller dancing to race riots,

Dogtown to Blue Bottle Coffee –

the boom boxes were stolen,

and the gondoliers

bought homes in the Valley.

 

The First Baptist Church of Venice

sits vacant and boarded up

while residents hold Sunday morning vigils

protesting the billionaire

who’s determined to make it his home.

 

V is for the vigil

I hold between my thighs.

 

by Candice Kelsey

Candice Kelsey’s poems have appeared in such journals as Poet Lore, The Cortland Review, Sibling Rivalry Press, and Wilderness House — and her work has been incorporated into multiple 3-D art installations. She has been accepted into the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Virginia Quarterly Review’s Writer’s Conference. She published a successful 2007 trade paperback with Da Capo Press. An educator of 20 years’ standing, she lives in Los Angeles with her husband and three children.

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