Editor’s Note: The human ability to create a word for every emotion never fails to impress, as this sweet poem demonstrates. (Waldeinsamkeit: (poetic) woodland solitude; the feeling of solitude in the woods)
A New Year Begins: An acrostic sonnet
Adieu to Twenty Twenty! Now it’s gone,
New hopes arise for what we could soon share:
Emancipation from a marathon
Withdrawal of companionship and care.
Yet ending this pandemic with vaccines
Entails their distribution planet-wide——
An end to loneliness in quarantines
Requires the rich to help the poorer side …
Below the radar, or behind the scenes,
Essential workers toil, and in return
Get all too scant support, while those of means
In comfort stay secure with scant concern …
New Year must face a truth the old laid bare:
Society’s most free when it’s most fair!
Editor’s Note: Hello 2021! Might as well start off with a poem that rhymes ‘vaccines’ with ‘quarantines’—not something you see everyday in a sonnet.
Weather Experts: An acrostic sonnet
Editor’s Note: It seems I’m alternating grim poems with light verse this week, but how can I resist when a gem like this lands in my inbox? I’ve always loved weather and poetry.
First Night, Perkins Pier
Here a woman draws a white coat close
. . . .against the cold. The sky
. . . .presents its chalice.
. . . .Pleas dissolve in steam at the lips of
. . . .young children refusing to come in.
. . . .Nothing will change.
. . . .Each day plays the songs of
. . . .water, of bread, of dying.
. . . .Yet the winter lasts only a moment.
. . . .Edging the lake ice,
. . . .a girl tests her new skates,
. . . .ringing a silver bell, eating a coin of chocolate.
by Ralph Culver, first published in Seven Days.
Editor’s Note: Acrostic poems need not be obvious. This gem gets its point across with simple statements and a delicious last line that leaves the reader with a clear image of winter’s ephemeral nature.
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.
by Ralph Culver
Editor’s Note: A portrait of a person can be done with words—this poem goes beyond description and into movement and character, giving the reader a sense of purpose instead of a mere reflection.