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

Advertisements

From the archives – Destiny of the Lone Hunter by Carol A. Amato

Destiny of the Lone Hunter

What I didn’t see was the vast length
of wing-spread and the slow deep
wing-beats planing down in a wide circle
legs outstretched, descending to the pond’s
edge accordion-folded wings against its
muted blue-gray plumage

but now
ankle deep in the silt of last fall’s leaf litter
and instantly statue-still without perceptible
movement
spear-beak poised
dark pin-prick eyes able to discern the slightest
sign of life disturbing its own reflection and the
sky’s along whose borders this fall’s wild rage of
colors will soon become air-borne confetti.

Unfazed by useless beauty, the heron,
one stilt-leg lifted, bends its sinuous neck
then lightning-strikes the stalked-for prey
it swallows whole.
All that matters in the scheme of things:
the rewards of forbearance and efficiency.

It will return here until all but the oak leaves
have fallen and a transparent film of ice
forms around its patient legs.
It may stay the winter
unknown by us mere mortals why
but respecting choices we admire:
pluck and persistence and perhaps
faith in open water

or instead lift off graceful and strong fading soon
into the layered clouds and pushed by southerly
winds those beneficent purveyors of unpredictable
destinies.

from Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, September 13, 2016 — by Carol A. Amato

photo by Christine Klocek-Lim

From the archives – Another vessel, as seemed good — James S. Wilk

Another vessel, as seemed good

The pounding in your studio
is house-shakingly violent.

Dishes rattle and tumblers
quake in their cupboards.

You are angry and punishing
the clay tonight.

The chthonic aroma of powdered
earth and water tickles

my nostrils as I descend
the stairs to watch you work.

It’s astonishing how deliberate you are
as you remove air from the clay,

your fists swinging the way
a mason’s sledge strikes the chisel,

how you and the art are at once
elemental and humorous,

how blood and melancholia,
earth and water are transformed

in the alchemy of kiln and glaze,
how proportion means more

than the ratio of height to width,
how perfect comes from imperfect,

and how a cracked pot may
make the ideal vessel.

from Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, September 5, 2016 — by James Wilk

Video thanks to All Satisfying

From the archives – In the Garden Shed by Doris Watts

In the Garden Shed

The morning sunlight has come angling in
where the door hangs open on one rusted hinge.
I suppose it worked free in last night’s wind.

In here, all scattered, are those discarded things
that, careless, we’ve left to grow dirty and dim.
To tell the truth, we’d forgotten them.

And there at the back, the roof’s broken through,
but until this morning nobody knew
how this has let sunlight come streaming in

to nurture a clever green-weedy vine
that has found a safe wall inside to climb –
the gardener’s hoe no longer a threat.

I’ll prop the door closed. Some secrets, I find,
are much better off when they have been kept.

from Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, September 9, 2016 — by Doris Watts

photo by Christine Klocek-Lim

From the archives – From an Empty Nest by Gregory Palmerino

From an Empty Nest

He watches each leaf
drop painfully slow,
parting the way two
hands shaking let go

after a final embrace:
one remains
outstretched, silent, and bare;
the other strains

and falls away
by sailing outwardly
through seas
of dubious air quality.

He knows this leaving
is natural: leaves
must fall for newer vistas
just to tease

the hairy sky; and he
must trust the bole
that memories of spring
will fill the hole.

from Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, September 29, 2016 — by Gregory Palmerino

photo by Christine Klocek-Lim

From the archives – Age of Steam by Neil Flatman

Age of Steam

Fingers in the gaps
of the chain link fence, we pull back
the lips of the tunnel’s mouth, still believing

we see magic in the world
beyond. Down the embankment
the bramble

bracken sides a slide of thorns
our grazed legs go
unnoticed, in the way of boys.

On the bridge, a dull-blue Anglia
putters its way to school, or maybe
church, and a stiff-legged crow hops

on the stone arch, calling out
an unheard warning. We are Indians
without axes, our ears against the rail

the resistance, planting bombs
beneath the ties, astronauts measuring a journey
through space and time by echo’s reach.

And deep back, in the dark throat
the place we stand, pressed hard against the wall
against the unrelenting

brick, waiting for the steel horse
steaming hard, the iron gallop
imagining

we’re someone, in the days before
we became so much
less than imagined.

from Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, June 16, 2016 — by Neil Flatman

photo by Christine Klocek-Lim

From the archives – Baby’s Breath by Kole Allan Matheson

Baby’s Breath

All day hiking long blue mountains, three
tiny strides to match your mommy’s step,
little duckling flapping upward,
patting along the path,
panting breaths escape your weary face
until the color of a flower leaps onto your lips,
“Look, Da Da!”

All night in the dozing Shenandoah,
the wheezing zees of wind inside the forest,
weaving with your breath,
rhythm in the air,
little nest of baby blankets on your chest
rise and fall, rise and fall.
Silver walls of night light,
shadows in the window,
midnight’s cold and colored voice,

no more to my core
than your breath asleep.

from Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, June 23, 2016 — by Kole Allan Matheson

photo by Christine Klocek-Lim