What You Wish For by Joan Kantor

What You Wish For

The morning air
is heavy with heat.
Not even a leaf is stirring.
Beneath a blanket of grey,
emerald and evergreen
silently watch
the murky brown river
flow by.
In the distance,
mowers drone,
then slow to a halt,
as guzzling workers
wipe sweat from their brows,
those workers
who months ago plowed
while dreaming of summer.

by Joan Kantor

Editor’s Note: The title of this poem complements its clear imagery with hidden depth.

Beauty and the Beast by Joan Kantor

Beauty and the Beast

Thick with snow
the slope behind my house
rolls its whiteness down
and over a thick sheet of ice
broken only
by shimmering black
long liquid slivers
of river
while out front
cars splash salt and sand
as fluffy drifts morph
into dirt tinged mounds
and careless plows
scrape raw brown scars
into sleeping green

by Joan Kantor

Editor’s Note: The initial personification in this poem threads through the rest of the imagery, and it becomes easy to imagine the world has a voice.

Why I Swim in the Rain by Joan Kantor

Why I Swim in the Rain

Everyone else has left

but immersed in the water
I gaze
from lake to wooded shoreline

longingly waiting
as lush green branches
gently bend and sway
against heavy grey clouds

that finally let go
of taut liquid threads,
tapping leaves
that shimmer and shake,
as the deep scent of soil
fills the air

I embrace the delicate rhythm
of plinks and plunks,
the bubbles
that suddenly surface,
then almost as suddenly burst

and the plunging drops
whose splash-back spurts
retreat into circular ripples

as slowly swimming,
I stir myself
into the sweetness
of solitude

by Joan Kantor

Editor’s Note: The careful line breaks (especially the first) create a sense of rippling calm that perfectly support the narrator’s meditative stubbornness.

Seduction by Joan Kantor


There’s flirtation
in the intermittent swoops and swirls
of falling flakes
outside my window,
as the day stands still,
and winter begins to seduce me
beneath its gathering sheets
of white,
filling me first
with the softness of silence,
then a guilty sense
of giddy play,
and in a momentary fantasy
of whitewashed sins,
I forgive the stinging bite of wind
and the frightening touch
of hidden ice

by Joan Kantor

Editor’s Note: The play of imagery and alliteration in this poem carefully nudges the reader towards the last three lines’ brilliant address.

Daylight Savings by Joan Kantor

Daylight Savings

In the silence
there’s an aura
of mingled shadow and light
as slowly the day switches over
and in sadness I sit at the dining room table
looking inside and out
through confusion
towards the warm glow that wafts
from the top of the stairs
and the rouge-tinted blanket
of leftover fading blue sky
beyond the bay window
as darkness falls
over late afternoon
in this room
full of unwelcome evening

by Joan Kantor

Editor’s Note: Some poems tell one simple story, and like this one, tell it exceedingly well with staggered line breaks and clear imagery.