From the archives – Seamstress by Ralph Culver

Seamstress

Belief in the thread consoles, redeems. The warm
ease of your ceaseless hands draws down
the twill-flecked light. Beyond the windowpane,
stars shred themselves and drift across silk, seams for
your later eyes to follow. Now,

deft in work, the blue irises feed through
each pass of the needle, riddle the
carcass of the cotton-flower. There is
always work, and always another hour. Your
spare form, clothed in a loose blouse and
the sweating air: stale and harried, yet
rising, constellated with the remnant sparks. You,
only sewing. Something else is joined together.

“Seamstress” is an acrostic poem dedicated to its subject, whose name is
spelled by the first letter of each line.

from Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, October 9, 2015 — by Ralph Culver

Photograph by Christine Klocek-Lim

From the archives – Simple by Robert Nisbet

Simple

Imagine this. Brown-panelled surgery.
You’re simply told of what you’ve hoped so long:
You’re clear. Just that. You’re clear, you’re bloody clear.
You hear your heart’s wild shout. Huge days stack up.

You’ll walk into the morning (will you not?)
and every cornice, pavement, starling, cloud,
each doorway, primrose, coffee cup and street,
that man’s inconsequential smile, your heart,
the whole vast, lovely, all-but-shapeless heap,
will seem to say, its breath quite still, You’re clear.
How very, very beautiful is life.

Now we, my friend, my compeer, we’ve not known
that rasping clash with our mortality.
For me, for you, might days still be like that?
Why can’t you, can’t we, every trembling day,
gaze on that drift of surely random cloud,
that coffee cup, the starling’s glossed black,
the stranger’s sudden smile (that most of all),
the whole big, deep shenanigans of hope,
and in the warm heart’s certain core, be glad?

from Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, October 20, 2016 — by Robert Nisbet

Photograph by Christine Klocek-Lim

From the archives – Tell Me Again by Julia Klatt Singer

tell me again

about the man
with the pear tree
who lost his wife
after fifty-six years of marriage
and how that tree doesn’t know when enough is enough
that last August
he had to prop the poor thing’s branches up
with two-by-fours
it was so laden with fruit.
He gave you a bagful of those pears
and their scent filled the car
even with the windows rolled down.

from Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, October 26, 2015 — by Julia Klatt Singer

Painting by Julia Klatt Singer

From the archives – Poem for our Anniversary by Johanna Ely

Poem for our Anniversary

I ask you if you still want me
the way the shore wants
the ocean to lap
against its edges,
if you still feel the strong desire
of tides that pull and push
against a moon that is
slivered forever into my skin.
I ask if you remember me,
how I was before you really
knew me,
before you pulled me
to shore, breathing life
into my collapsed lungs
with your slow blues
and blackbird calls.
I want to love you
the way the shore delights
in choppy waves hitting
the seawall at high tide,
or longs for the silent calm
of receding water caressing sand.
You answer yes to everything,
even when I ask you if you imagined
my poems flying across your lips
the first time I kissed you.
I tell you I am the swallow
who will always return home
because you follow me there,
carrying marsh grasses in your beak,
the setting sun blossoming
like a bloodshot rose in your wings,
the ebb and flow of who we are inhaled,
how the love we have smells like the sea.

from Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, September 30, 2016 — by Johanna Ely

photo by Christine Klocek-Lim

From the archives – Lost Cause In Six Or More Colors by Patricia Wallace Jones

Lost Cause In Six Or More Colors

It is no accident that I am here
where the only lane left has slipped to sea;
here on this fault with no safety belt,
no stay pole or traveler to slow the falling.

When tides run high and the herons leave,
I ride silent, north from Hare Creek
past the old sawmills and dog hole ports,
logging camps where alders lean white,
grieve in the leavings of old growth trees.

Approaching the Bailey bridge, my fear
becomes palpable, rises up from my gut–
heart to throat– while I wait for the flag man
to turn his sign from Stop to Slow, to be
the next one suspended over crews below.

Orange-vested and out-witted, they still try
to tame her. This year with rip rap, PVC
and red clover.

from Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, October 16, 2015 — by Patricia Wallace Jones

photo by Christine Klocek-Lim

From the archives – On Watch by Neil Flatman

On Watch

Il Paretaio, Tuscany 2004

Felt the hard stone of the window’s lip
against my hand, its age, the permanence
of walls. Night breathed in
the dark and swung a pocket watch
over the hills and winding roads
until they slept and in the olive grove below
fireflies swam in whirlpools in the trees
where a nightingale sang:

For god’s sake hold me or I’ll drown.

from Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, September 29, 2015 — by Neil Flatman

photo by Christine Klocek-Lim

From the archives – A Letter from the Soul to the Body by Irene Vazquez

A Letter from the Soul to the Body

Dear body,

You spoke today into being.
That’s half the battle won.

You are tempestuous, afro in a rain storm,
lightning bolt cutters.

YOU ARE LOUD.
You are heard.
You are RESISTANCE.

You are feeling EVERYTHING.
You are taking up space, and better for it.
You are the ant that makes its presence known
the elephant that sees life on a flower
you are universal.

Darling,

Demand life from yourself.

You are broken arm rainbows,
eight shades of chipped beauty–the profit of life’s nonsense,
you are not going gentle into that good night, you burn white-hot, you are light,
you are not a child.
You are the art of never running
on empty,
you are all the days that led up to today, the hot, the cold:
you are a place beyond infinity—a place beyond words.

Dearest body,
Dearest love of my life,
Dear only one I have,

You are not on your own.

from Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, June 30, 2015 — by Irene Vazquez

photo by Terry Lim

From the archives – The Girl Who Collected Fishbones by Karen J. Weyant

The Girl Who Collected Fishbones

In late April, the water was still too cold for wading,
so I clung to the edge of Bill Gardener’s Pond,

looking for bones of black crappie and bluegill
caught in brown grass or the winter slivered cattails.

I discovered the local creeks held more promise:
with the tip of my shoes, I nudged aside stones,

and wrestled fish heads and rotting fins from
the shallow pools where locals gutted their catch.

Once, I caught an old fishing hook in the ball
of my finger, rinsed my hand in the water,

and watched the red disappear from my skin.
At home, I lined up my collection on the porch banister,

sure that every ripple spoke through the bones,
that a brook trout would announce that

the water was cold but clear, that the perch
would murmur shallow like a hushed sigh.

Muffled whispers of the water drowned out
the way everyone around me laughed.

When later that summer, thousands of dead carp
floated to the shores of the local reservoir,

their bones sharp, eye sockets empty but staring,
so much that local residents swore they dreamed

of dead fish in their sleep, I wanted to say
See, You Should Have Been Listening.

from Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, Febrary 13, 2015 — by Karen J. Weyant

photo by Christine Klocek-Lim

From the archives – The Miles Before Sleep by Mary Alexandra Agner

The Miles Before Sleep

inspired by the title of a Martin Willitts Jr. poem

Country singers say they go by truck wheels,
rubber tumbling, lost in Patsy Cline,
and poets, with debated metaphor, and rhyme,
get lost in snow and near forget their horse.
The rest of us walk crosswalks, train tracks, asphalt
between the lot and daycare, food store, work.
Unlike the lyrics, sneakers leave no footprint,
except on melting days we’d just as soon forget,
indeed all roads are laid with just that goal:
to go on without notice of the ones
who go on them, whose tread, tires or tired
feet the only thing which keeps the count:
miles to go before I sleep
recorded one by one in bones, in cracks,
invisible—and numberless as breath.

from Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, May 16, 2017 — by Mary Alexandra Agner

photo by Christine Klocek-Lim