From the archives – Losing the Art of Love (2017) by Ralph La Rosa

Losing the Art of Love (2017)

There was a time when poets sang of love
without embarrassment, when versifiers
happy at their trade were gracious liars
in measured sonnets. They’d imitate a dove,
an owl, perhaps a dawn-drawn bird above,
who sighting human beauty soon desires
to mate his heavenly might with earthly fires
of passion: begets a paradox of love.

But tapping keys that text or tweet romantic
notes is so archaic, old-school, stilted
that songs of love, once tender or ecstatic,
are elegies about the lost or jilted.
Raving in rhyme about a love that’s new?
Postmodern ironies evaded you.

from Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, April 24, 2017 — by Ralph La Rosa

photo by Christine Klocek-Lim

From the archives – Bone-Chilled by Martin Willitts Jr.

Bone-Chilled

These mountains were not high enough to have snowcaps
but a toddler tugged on his mother’s sleeve
as a silent plea for safety. The pond was frozen over,
although spring was coming out of its cabin,
carrying a berry-picking tin pail. The boy shivered
in his parka, back-glancing at the junipers
where the all-day bird was singing, knowing weather
was purposely fickle. His mother had pushed off
the latest attempt by another no-account guy
who had stared once too intently at his eight
year old sister. Bone-chills emanated from that man,
like a kind of mean wind blasting them in the face.
He went with his mother, searching with a group
for his sister who had run off into this direction,
into the folds of the mountains. The boy called out
in his small voice, loudly for the lost,
already dreading what he knew must be true and too late.
His mother, biting at her cold sore, seemed serene
at this same awful conclusion, holding one boot
belonging to his sister, strangely smaller,
like hope, like one blue flower in the snow-melt.

by Martin Willitts Jr.

from Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, April 27, 2017 — by Martin Willitts Jr.

photo by Christine Klocek-Lim

From the archives – We found an unexploded mine that day by Deirdre Parkes

We found an unexploded mine that day

We found an unexploded mine that day
and stared so much we let the ocean creep
to wet our feet before we ran away.

How would it be if courage let us stay
inside that story that wasn’t ours to keep?
We found an unexploded mine that day.

There was no one there to warn us, to say
how cold the water was, how deep.
We wet our feet before we ran away.

That debt of blood wasn’t ours to pay.
We should have been at home in bed, asleep.
We found an unexploded mine that day.

Older feet than ours were left in clay
like fossil footsteps, frozen in mid leap.
We wet our feet before we ran away.

The summer sky turned suddenly to grey.
The country lanes turned desolate and steep.
We found an unexploded mine that day
and wet our feet before we ran away.

from Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, April 28, 2017 — by Deirdre Parkes

photo by Christine Klocek-Lim

From the archives – Song: Go And Do It by Aaron Poochigian

Song: Go And Do It

Leap Niagara, ask a Mountie
where they keep the joie de vivre,
then cruise down to Orange County,
surf the curl and smoke some reefer.
Ride class fives in the Cascades,
water-ski the Everglades,
. . . .go, go, go
. . . .until you know
precisely where the Good Times flow.

Hitchhike through the heartland, travel
wide, acquire a taste for tillage.
Where the asphalt turns to gravel
settle down in some quaint village—
cloudy, clear or partly sunny,
your new Land of Milk and Honey
. . . .will appear
. . . .much like here
but less suburban, more sincere.

Search through endless desert places
for the perfect little spot.
When at last some plush oasis
tallies with the spa you sought,
think of me and write a letter
gloating over how much better
. . . .life is there—
. . . .I’ll still swear
we could be happy anywhere.

from Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, April 17, 2017 — by Aaron Poochigian

photo by Christine Klocek-Lim

From the archives – Vultures by by Laura Rutland

Vultures

We come—the vultures of old houses—
Circling through grass and knee-high clouds of weed
To stare with eyes jeweled in vulture greed
Upon a corpse of battered rotten wood.
We tear at nails with the talons of our hands
And gorge our pockets with their rusty shapes.
You taste the woodwork, I sample the stairs,
While another simply waits—expectant—stands
Before a half-dead row of cedars that
Mark an already buried path. They will speak,
We say, if wind blows. Reluctant vultures,
Hungry for a trace of wind, the faintest creak
Of wooden voice or moan. And these dead walls,
Oppressed by breathless wind and vulture calls.

from Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, March 13, 2017 — by Laura Rutland

photo by Christine Klocek-Lim

From the archives – The Balance Between Us by James Diaz

The Balance Between Us

arranged as you are
verdant and sleeping
hard rain shimmering
like veins under the skin
my metaphors are all mixed up
these days

I have this scar I can’t get rid of
you said on that long drive home
I wanted to say something
you might find comforting
but I know how these things work
you only make it worse when you think words
can dispel something like this

and the avalanche of aching
where do you put that?
in the palm of my hands
I hear myself saying

the lights of the houses in the field
seem like some kind of cruel heaven
and we out here on the road
so lost, so far from home.

from Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, March 2, 2016 — by James Diaz

photo by Christine Klocek-Lim

From the archives – Abiding Winter by Risa Denenberg

Abiding Winter

How we made it through another winter
is not the question. It’s not even an answer
since one of us was left behind in winter.

In Spring, in buoyancy, you asked a question.
Cups stood their ground between us, tea and coffee.
You wished to be the answer to your question.

If winter comes again and yet another,
a darkling season full of melancholy. The yanking
of my soul back to its gutter, that other

place where questions have no answers,
and answers only placate. It takes rafters
of steadfast faith, or mettle, to seek answers.

Truth is brutal. So much we can’t recover,
years I’ve begged for you to wait for Spring to bloom,
living in despair beside each other, and another

stormy season while we tussle for an answer
that is a coda to the sum of all of life’s bother.
I’ve learned to hold my tongue, to question
nothing. Questions are another sort of winter.

from Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, March 23, 2017 — by Risa Denenberg

photo by Christine Klocek-Lim

From the archives – Reading the Sky — Peg Duthie

Reading the Sky

for Mary Alexandra Agner

To seek eclipses–to prize things in the way,
the partial views and full-bore speculation
about what transits mean, what they mean to say

and whether to put stock in such a day
thick with pseudo-expert conversation–
is that what we yearn for, when we weigh

sunshine vs. frost, leaven stubborn clay
with compost and peat? Will germination
greet us before we’re ready? Who can say

they haven’t taken shortcuts, tried to stay
time’s ruthless march toward annihilation,
and learned that even when there’s will, the way

is sometimes not to be? But one can sway
and strut through shadows too. The rotation
of the earth can be measured, scholars say,

by notes on BCE eclipses. May
there be more data, more observation,
stamina past slurs, high roads past “My Way”-

riddled swamps. When I lay me down to pray,
“Deliver us, Lord, from obfuscation,”
it’s shorthand for a list as long as day.

I long for happy endings–that to pay
one’s dues pans out, that skilled navigation
will steer us out of darkness, lead the way
to answers true as stars, that save the day.

from Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, March 7, 2017 — by Peg Duthie

Photo by Christine Klocek-Lim

From the archives – You sped off in angry darkness and struck something hard. by Kelley J. White

You sped off in angry darkness and struck something hard.

Turning back, you cupped two hands around the shell
of the broken turtle, to ease it to a place
where it would be more comfortable in dying

down by the river, the flat slap of dark water dying
beneath a dim streetlight, beside the shells
of broken factories, an empty silent place

you knew alone. You moved gently to a place
of moss and sand, a soft cool place for dying,
to honor to be faithful to the turtle, the shell

pealed from her tender dying places; you broke your shell.

from Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, February 20, 2017 — by Kelley J. White

Photo by Christine Klocek-Lim.

From the archives – Go Slow, Leonard Cohen by Tricia Marcella Cimera

Go Slow, Leonard Cohen

I had a dream Leonard Cohen
was my first and I was his last.
Go slow don’t hurt me, I whispered.
Go slow don’t kill me, he warned.
He taught me why the yellow dog
howls when the pink rose blooms
in the dark of night while the rain
runs in rivulets down the window.
He showed me that sometimes I
would be the dog, sometimes I
would be the rose. But both of us
were always the rain. And to
go slow. The end would come
soon enough.

from Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, February 2, 2017 — by Tricia Marcella Cimera

Photo by Christine Klocek-Lim.