Thursday, April 2, 2020

Spring, a poem by Hiromi Yoshida



                                                 Spring
                                                        by Hiromi Yoshida

Mud-speckled snow; clouded icicles glint a jagged fringe along SUV bumpers—
                                snow angels are whirred unwinged smudges on spongy ground;
                                                           gutters gurgle, sputter last night’s rainwater; remnant

Campbell’s Chunky Soup warms, coagulates,
a flaking tomato rind in Teflon-scratched saucepans
blunt plastic spatulas scrape away—the dregs of

winter soaked, washaway in rosy Dawn
liquid detergent—to coalesce again in askew
Ground Hog shadow. Spring,

the dilettante strumpet, gathers her chorus
of invisible doves in her snowy, mud-flecked skirts.

Resurrect the gold daffodil starburst—
                                     peonies dropping overblown heads; rabbits
                                                 nestled in backyard grass, statuesque, unblinking,

quivering ears; robins whirring jeweled wingtips
in futile pothole baths.




Hiromi Yoshida, recognized as one of Bloomington’s “finest and most outspoken poets,” is a finalist for the 2019 New Women’s Voices Chapbook Competition, sponsored by Finishing Line Press. Her poems have been published in literary magazines and journals that include Indiana Voice Journal, The Indianapolis Review, Tipton Poetry Journal, The Asian American Literary Review, and The Rain, Party, & Disaster Society. Hiromi loves to contemplate the oddities of life, such as mismatched buttons, abandoned houses, and birdsong in thunderstorms.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Morning Mountain Prayer, a poem by Norbert Krapf


Morning Mountain Prayer
        by Norbert Krapf

Morning mountain air
calls me to sit outside
and let it caress 
my knees and calves.

Just after I settle
in a chair the sun rises
above a small divide
in the mountain

and warm light slants
onto this yellow paper
across which the black
ink of a German pen
walks leaving word tracks

that knew all along
that in the end 
near the bottom
of this page

they would become
the thanksgiving prayer
I send to the universe.


Norbert Krapf, former Indiana Poet Laureate, is the author of thirteen collections, the most recent being "Indiana Hill Country Poems" from Dos Madres Press, which will also bring out "Southwest by Midwest," which includes this poem.



Thursday, March 19, 2020

Too early daffodils, a poem by Laurel Smith


Too early daffodils                                                               
      by Laurel Smith

Dark morning, fierce wind, then
stern winter gives way to a generous sun,
cold air fresh, melted

puddles in the fields. It’s the same day
but a changed season, a shift marked by small
            green shoots next to the house:

eager daffodils with no intention
to temper their exuberance, to mimic our
            cautious anticipation of spring.

It will freeze again, maybe snow
as golden blooms open—open without regret,
their splendor, as usual, on time. 


Laurel Smith lives in Vincennes, Indiana, and happily participates in projects to promote literacy and the arts. Her poems have appeared in Natural Bridge, New Millennium Writings, Tipton Poetry Journal, Flying Island, English Journal, JAMA: Journal of the AMA; also in the following anthologies: Mapping the Muse, And Know This Place, Visiting Frost



Thursday, March 12, 2020

Railway Car, a poem by Patrick Kalahar


Railway Car
     by Patrick Kalahar

The empty railway car
abandoned on a siding
complains of neglect,
but rusting steel rails
hunkering in their bed of stone
are driven to silence
by stakes of iron.
The tall grasses bend
eastward toward the sun
in obeisance or mockery,
their thin, delicate blades
licking like tongues
against wheel and car
rasping tales of death—
or perhaps it is only the wind

The railway car denies death.
It holds within
every journey it has taken,
the silent thoughts and voices
of every passenger are inscribed,
eternal in air
demanding—
it is not
only
the wind


Patrick Kalahar is a used & rare bookseller who lives and works with his poet/novelist wife Jenny in an old schoolhouse in Elwood, Indiana. He performs readings of and dresses as Edgar Allan Poe, participates in local poetry groups, and was interviewed and appeared in a Public Broadcasting television documentary about the Indiana folk-poet James Whitcomb Riley. He is a book restorer and collector.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Hey, Moon!, a poem by Doris Lynch

Hey, Moon!
      by Doris Lynch

Before I was born, my parents rolled
your clay in the translucent ether

but like a sea urchin you
spurted away from them.

During girlhood I cut you into
pristine wedges, rags to catch

menstrual blood but you changed into
a stream and cascaded away.

Later, while lovemaking, I propped you
on a pillow but my hipbones slashed

your lunar flesh and you jerked away.
When I gave birth, you duplicated yourself

and became breasts spurting milk, but
when I looked up, both you and baby

had disappeared. Now I search the night
sky for sign of you but find only small relics,

cold to the touch, barely bright enough for eyes.


Doris Lynch has recent work in Frogpond, Modern Haiku, Tipton Poetry Journal and in the anthology Cowboys & Cocktails: Poetry from the True Grit Saloon.  The Indiana Arts Commission awarded her three individual artist's grants, and she has worked as a librarian and an Ivy-Tech creative writing instructor.




Thursday, February 20, 2020

Unexpected Letter, a poem by Laurel Smith


Unexpected Letter                                                                   
           by Laurel Smith

In a dream you swear you
never dreamed, your mother
is writing a letter left-handed
on plain paper in a cursive you
must work to decipher—so unlike
the perfect hand in the letters
she wrote you. Now an urgent

message has shaken her ability
to hold a pen, or she has suffered
a stroke and expects you to see 
the chaos, to translate her pain, or
you missed the point of every letter
she sent: her calm, cheerful text
punctuating the years while

this letter is the one
she intended all the time. 
So you focus on each loop that
tries to be a vowel, each chunk
of ink that wants to be a word
since she will not speak again
and this broken verse is for you.



Laurel Smith lives in Vincennes, Indiana, and happily participates in projects to promote literacy and the arts. Her poems have appeared in Natural Bridge, New Millennium Writings, Tipton Poetry Journal, Flying Island, English Journal, JAMA: Journal of the AMA; also in the following anthologies: Mapping the Muse, And Know This Place, Visiting Frost.





Thursday, February 13, 2020

Rain, a poem by Jared Carter

Rain
   by Jared Carter

The tractor-trailer’s eighteenth wheel,
          in cornering
The broken exit curb, congeals
          and makes a thing

Of mud out of the brindled cur
          that stood beside
Him all this time. The moment blurs.
          He throws the sign--

Will Work for Food--into the ditch
          that runs nearby,
And reaches through the rain to bitch
          against the sky.



Jared Carter's most recent book of poems, The Land Itself, is from Monongahela Books in West Virginia.  He lives in Indiana.