Push mower by Charles Carr

Push mower

The first circle of half acre
elbows its way past the smell of gas,
nine arborvitae are much bigger
than planted five years ago would suggest,
stronger than my legs at sixty-one.

My weimaraner is up to her ankles
in shallow river, her webbed toes
conjugating some verb other than swim.
Afternoon heat climbs the mountain
like the first bare feet of summer.

An hour may pass but time matters less
than the sycamore branch lifts me
higher than wherever clouds go
when the sky clears
the sun pushes my tall shadow
through the uncut grass.

by Charles Carr

Twitter: @selfrisinmojo

Editor’s Note: Personification sits within the lines of this poem with ease, ushering in the scent and sense of the summer season.

From the archives – Poem Only Half About Myself by J. Rod Pannek

Poem Only Half About Myself

I can smell
the melancholia in the bedsheets,
Rumpled feelings all around,
Everyone looking down at mouth.
The dog still licks her wound,
Hidden in the shadow of the desk.
There is no sense of release,
Yet we look around and hope.

“Go in fear of abstractions” of course, but what then?
I can’t expect the clock to stop as if it were my father’s heart.
The hedgerow stands with its roots unearthed,
Somewhere my mother calls and I bring my shovel.
I expect I will still rebel long after I cover them.

I expect I will still obey them.
Everything that happens to me happens to my friends.
After all that, we sit back and wonder
What the doctor will say about our liver
Or some other piece of the infernal apparatus
That wasn’t even hurting when we walked in.

The doctor still walks through the door,
Your mother’s hand, venial and soothing,
Comforts you and the tendencies of middle-age
Yet after a while she tears at your shirt
And you become her Confessor.

from Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, April 4, 2017 — by J. Rod Pannek

photo by Christine Klocek-Lim

Your Abstract Body by Martin J. Elster

Your Abstract Body

Hon, you breathe the very same air the ginkgoes
breathed as brontosauruses lumbered past them,
bending them as blusters of wind will riffle
meadows of barley.

Ancient as the galaxies, old as space-time,
hoary as the sea, but as fresh as rollers
riding bareback over the brine to borrow
some of its water,

flung from dazzling suns that have spent their rations,
cycled through the eons, your precious body
must be worth, what, hundreds of thousands, millions,
billions of dollars?

Estimate: far less than a lunch at Denny’s.
You, pet, are the atoms of moons and mountains,
rushing rivers, thunderstorms, plants and planets—
common as comets.

Who, then, plays your melody? Why, the cosmos
coursing through the energy you are made of,
through the living cells of your corporation.
You are a blueprint.

Dare I fall in love with an abstract template?
Dare I not? What curious magnetism—
strong force, weak force, gravity, cosmic laughter—
draws us together!

by Martin J. Elster

Editor’s Note: This syllabic ode (ll and 5 syllable lines) uses dazzling wordplay and imagery to convey the narrator’s fervor for his love.

April 17 by Martin Willitts Jr.

April 17

It’s April. It’s snowing —again.
And, again, flowers close.

Snow is a cruel joke.

The world is speechless,
disappointed —
all this unfulfilled desire!
It is April, after all.
It’s not supposed to be like this —

white, cold shock,
purpose driven away —

this peculiar weather,
this unevenness,
this lack of rapture.

It’s our turn,
insist the purple crocuses.

Snow returns, anyway,
any way it can.

Death can happen at any time.

We can only sing our way forward.
The journey is long,
and the length varies
depending on each of us,

and when we get to the end,
tired, forlorn,
we will brighten up,
at last, and open
like spring flowers.

by Martin Willitts Jr.

Martin on Facebook

Editor’s Note: Anyone who lives in the USA (particularly in the east) will understand that this poem is a vivid and immediate response to this year’s exceedingly frustrating and late spring season.

Captivity by Stephen Bunch

Captivity

Escape is usually an option,
even destined

in the movies, but not
in this destination,

where the plot fails
to unwind, or thickens like

quicksand.
Even the clock’s hands are bound,

each minute contained,
then strangled, the schedule

of departures unchanged.
The cuffs tighten if you struggle.

by Stephen Bunch

Editor’s Note: The dread in this poem heightens with each line, until the last, where all hope is lost.

Beauty by JR Solonche

Beauty

From my room down the hall,
I can hear the mathematics
professor getting emotional
about an equation, and I ask
myself how someone can get
so worked up about what isn’t real,
an abstraction, nothing but what?
Signs and symbols. A scribble.

Oh, I say to myself. To him
it is a poem, a formal one,
every word in place, every rhyme
perfect, every stanza exact. Poor man.
He, too, must pound the beauty deep in
with his fist. Every time. Every damn time.

by JR Solonche

Editor’s Note: The title is the most important word in this entire poem.

[Editor’s Apology: Sorry for the double post today. I used the wrong title in the heading in the original post, and needed to correct it.]

Blood Relative by Dianna Mackinnon Henning

Blood Relative

I never knew my long, winsome Aunt Winona, her
arms a fine bone China, face
a Modigliani; someone who might
have recited Keats or Robert Burns, perhaps pressed
roses in a family Bible along with divorce filings. What

she smelled of, not a hint, her voice, no trace. In the only
photo, her holding me in infancy, there’s
a clue: her gaze stuck
between ahead and behind—pretty
woman with a bobbed cut. Her satin, A-line dress

slack over the cliff of her hips; her wedge shoes, Suiter
Hat with black veil, all speaking a certain
respectability—small ruby necklace, a blood stain,
resting in the hollow of her throat; a premonition
to the blood clot she’d later die from. Given Winona’s

necklace years after she passed, I often wore it, until
one day, taking an outdoor shower, I soaped
the spot it rested in, groped for the familiar chain, searched
drain-rocks, and understood that I held loss as though
it were the only stable thing to hold, when a woman decides enough.

by Dianna Mackinnon Henning

Editor’s Note: The meticulous descriptions of a long dead aunt fool the reader into thinking the point of this poem is mere memory, but the closing lines show that there is much more going on here beneath the surface.