“Upon Waking to Find a Sparrow Loose in My Room”
I dreamed again the ghost of you.
I dreamed again the folds and the heat of you sudden in my sleep, I dreamed you wet
against the salt of my want. This is a thing a dream,
a muse, becomes: a flutter whispering about the dust of the drape, a shadow tangling
must webs in high, hard corners,
the flit, the rasp, of wings tattering against the pane, against the false, baring light.
I pen you to the sheets, your song
against the dark of my palm; this is a thing a dream, a poem becomes.
by J. Brian Long
Autumn Sky Poetry, Number 1, June 2006
photo by Christine Klocek-Lim
Ramble of the Bygone Mind
So we see more partings
than returns. So we are old. So the wrinkles do not make a workman, but a crippling, a reed or weed on lawn. So cattails bend, unbend, at this lean hour. It means nothing but the wind is strong today. I shuffle by marsh- mires: here no reed stand strong to take hold of and lift me, dirty but just- dry against the wind, that which beats me. Clouds cross like ships, fire ammo the sound of thunder and shape of lightning. My clothes swell in the wind and in the rain that shape it into breathings, shapes without shape. I haven’t told of the dream in which a Greek boy hunched beneath the shelter of trees, but he dripped and shivered like me. In the wind, by daybreak, each leaf a grape pulled up by the stem, as from somewhere a force had come, they rustled and bowed like that as the cattails bend, unbend, at this lean hour.
by James Uppstad
Autumn Sky Poetry, Number 7, December 2007
photo by Christine Klocek-Lim
And now into the viscous dark –
that blacker than imaginable heart of things – I go to undergo new throes
of recollection – transformation. My
mother loved carnations – their peculiar sweet timidity – I remember their
strange scent and hold on her and
on the hollow casket (she was nowhere to be found in it) where they bestowed
their blushing and their bloom: riding
off the sides, they filled the room with dissonance and odd perfume.
Three years ago, approximately
today, she started sliding on the way to die the first week in July.
And now against the viscous dark –
that blacker than imaginable heart of my unknowing – I imagine pink arising –
growing: redolently weird – its power
blasts the past and future into now – enigmatic blossom of eternity: her flower.
by Guy Kettelhack
Autumn Sky Poetry, Number 2, September 2006
Sonnenizio on a Line from Neruda
The night turns on its invisible wheels.
The stars are gone; first sunlight splinters in the branches of black trees, drips onto
tired earth. And so a shadow falls on us,
on our love. I want to rub, to brush it off. I want to strike a match, turn on another
light, grow my own sun, a wonderland
where waving wands is all it takes to forge and reforge bonds, where nothing breaks
forever. Place your hand on my hot cheek
again, breathe life into my eyes, connect the freckles on my back to spell out: Yes.
Write on my skin:
We want. We can. We will. Let me respond with sighs. Then let’s be still.
(First line from Pablo Neruda’s Sonnet LXXXI)
by Michaela A. Gabriel
Autumn Sky Poetry, Number 5, June 2007
Somehow I knew this would be how it began.
So easy to say, the coral fire of sunset; the bright hand of a god at the end of the world. You
just have to be there. Try not to picture it.
A lens can’t capture a moment the way the eye sees. Cliché
And that this stanza would consider
how you pass a finger through a candle’s flame without burning, or, at most, with a little pain. Trial
and error. Some know better
than to linger long, others come to love then need, the sting.
Now I can only tell you
how it is I love the way she often laughs so hard her body heaves
loose the strings. Convulsions in the waves
that reach her feet and beat a jig no mermaid could dance.
It’s like trying to stand
on the horizon, the corner of a canvas but this is soon, I can’t see
more than shade at the periphery, how
gears change in the dark, turn down the sun.
by Neil Flatman
Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, July 27, 2015
As I entered my eighth month
of pregnancy, my grandmother, timeworn and ripened, exited our line.
Far from home, I received the news
in a whoosh of air, as a warbler trilled a melody I suddenly understood.
And though there was much to fear,
the awareness settled in me like a deep stream. She companioned me for the lying-in.
A feral cat crept into the room and stayed
during the long hours of my labor. She howled as my son crowned, cries louder
than my own, then disappeared. And, just
before he emerged, I reached inside and felt black curls protecting his fragile skull.
At that moment, I received her blessing and saw
his face, still curled in his confinement, and knew, as a mare knows, it was time to bear down.
Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, July 7, 2017
She paid five bucks a month to have a star
named after her. She would point to the sky’s crush of stars and say there it is.
This is the same Viola whose creditors
took away her furniture every quarter as if her house were a stage set.
Viola, who used to pay me
to pull Spanish moss from her oaks as she lay in a lounge chair, the bachelors in the apartment complex eyeing her through binoculars.
Viola, whose husband came home one night
and threw her lover naked into the street. Viola, who reprimanded her husband for not trusting her, demanding an apology.
Viola, who I learned today
died several years ago. Viola, who I suddenly miss. I squint up at the night sky. I wonder how many times, Viola,
your star has been renamed? It’s missing,
as if you didn’t keep up the payments.
Like you, reclaimed by your creditors.
by Bob Bradshaw
Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, June 24, 2016
My mother’s cigarette flares and fades,
the steady pulse of a firefly, on the patio under the chestnut.
The next door neighbors are over.
My father, still slender, is telling a joke: laughter jiggles in everyone’s drinks.
On his hour’s reprieve from sleep,
my little brother dances in the sprinkler’s circle of water.
At fourteen, I’m too old
to run naked with my brother, too young to laugh with my father.
I stand there with my hands in my pockets.
The sun refuses to set, bright as a penny in a loafer.
Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, June 22, 2016
The sound of morning
steps down a mountain, not really a noise, more the eyes explain the sun walks on water to the other senses. If it is Saturday I sit in a chair that rocks and overlooks the role of the river, how it holds a heron in place by the ankles until its long neck forms the bones at the end of hush to let loose such a wingspan no amount of highway is necessary to know which direction the day is going
by Charles Carr
Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, June 26, 2018
But Skin Is Different
There are indentations in the blue
porcelain like impressions on soft wax where it was held softly, when
the tea was warm, for a while, and it
would not stop raining. We leave marks on things that least expect it, on a passing
wing, on yellow afternoons, on the serrated
silhouette of leaves against a midnight moon, on time standing on one leg, back
against the far wall, waiting. Truth is a
collage of careless fingerprints, the rain can draw your picture from the way your hand
caressed the clouds, but skin is different,
naked skin can be cleansed, memory carries the deliberate guilt of sieved pain. This tea is
cold, a level certainty in an imperfect cup, it
is only mid-June, the sun flattens like an unleavened candle, and it will not stop raining.
Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, June 20, 2018