Monday, September 25, 2017

From Bleachers, a poem by Mary M. Brown

From Bleachers
by Mary M. Brown

We do not sit
on grass much
anymore, seldom
on the slopes
of river beds
or among clover
or dandelion heads.
We do not sit
on the saddles
of horses, almost
never settle on
the benches of row
boats or canoes.
We rarely sit
in circles now,
or scattered in trees,
or face to face,
knees bent, eyes
or closed to every
thing but inner
sunrise, the burning
ball of our own
singular light.

About the poet: Mary M. Brown lives with her husband, Bill, in Anderson, Ind. She’s a Hoosier not by birth but by long residence and disposition, and she enjoys proximity to all six of her grandchildren. Retired, she taught literature and creative writing at Indiana Wesleyan for many years. Her work appears on the Poetry Foundation and the American Life in Poetry websites and has been published recently in Christian Century, The Cresset, Quiddity, Flying Island, and Justice Journal.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Sonnet for the New Immortals, a poem by Dan Carpenter

Sonnet for the New Immortalsby Dan Carpenter

Full lives, they lead
Fine food, craft drink
In the gym by 7
By 9, on the links
For variety, a run
Maybe 20 miles’ biking
Or 1,000 by air
To prime mountain hiking
Concerts & football
With choicest of seats
With perfect friends
With perfect teeth
Yet – my modest lot against theirs shan’t be measured.
They don’t read and they don’t worship; they wander a desert.

About Dan Carpenter: “I'm an Indianapolis freelance writer who has published poems in The Flying Island, Poetry East, Illuminations, Pearl, Xavier Review, Southern Indiana Review, Maize, Tipton Poetry Journal and elsewhere. I have published two books of poems, The Art He’d Sell for Love (Cherry Grove, 2015) and More Than I Could See (Restoration, 2009); and two books of non-fiction, Hard Pieces (Indiana University, 1993) and Indiana Out Loud (Indiana Historical Society, 2013).”

Monday, September 11, 2017

Hill Country Blues, a poem by Norbert Krapf

Editor's note: Robert Belfour was born Sept. 11, 1940. He died in 2015.

Hill Country Blues
by Norbert Krapf

for Robert Belfour

Robert, Robert, they say you are gone.
They say your spirit is gone, way gone,
but your music plays on and yes on.

You grew up in northern Mississippi Hills.
I grew up in southern Indiana hills.
I never hear your song without a thrill.

On the sidewalk outside Cat Head Delta Blues
I stood peering at your face and your shiny shoes
as you sat playing the hypnotic Hill Country Blues.

Brother, brother, how you laid down that groove.
You laid down that ancient mesmerizing groove
that was anything but slick, light, and smooth.

Somehow I hear a horse clomp, clomp, clomp.
I see and hear an old horse clomp, clomp, clomp
when you play your eternal Hill Country Stomp.

About the poet: Former Indiana Poet Laureate Norbert Krapf's most recent poetry collection is Catholic Boy Blues, which was followed by the related prose memoir Shrinking the Monster, winner of an Illumination Book Award and finalist for an INDIES Award. Forthcoming is a collection of poems about his grandson (almost three), Cheerios in Tuscany. Norbert co-facilitates a workshop with Liza Hyatt, Bless This Mess: Writing About Difficult Relationships. For more, see

Monday, September 4, 2017

Pond, a poem by James Owens

by James Owens

I trick the scum to life with a pebble,
and wonder, haloed by the water's trouble,
will this carp, cynic and fat by its drain,
still nudge among these slimy stones
when I am perfected to naked bones,
softening beneath the caustic rain?

The wind, for only answer, harries
a rattle of newsprint into the trees.

Rutting dragonflies twist in couples,
green as rotting bronze, and kiss their doubles.
Bold again after a minute's quiet,
the fertile frogs yell themselves hoarse
by scraps of garbage, a discourse
on their tadpoles' choreography.
Old car batteries seep and bubble.

The slow carp oozes through mud,
mud-fleshed owner of the lower sludge,
easing past broken bottles to draw
little prey within the vacuum of its jaw.

About James Owens: His most recent collection of poems is Mortalia (FutureCycle Press, 2015). His poems, stories, and translations appear widely in literary journals, including publications in The Fourth River, Kestrel, Tule Review, Poetry Ireland Review, and Southword. He earned an MFA at the University of Alabama and lives in Wabash, Ind.