Monday, January 29, 2018

Head Up, a poem by Manon Voice

Head Up

          by Manon Voice

... shoulders back.
Don’t tell them how you struggled to get out of the book laden bed
impoverished with broken poetry hooks
ringing over your head
a quarter widowed wine glass
you took with an antidepressant and the taste of your own salt.
How you fed the dog and didn’t yourself.
How you barely breathed in the shower
And clothed yourself in war black because it was easiest to hide in.
On the way
there was no song somber or sultry
enough for the trip, everyday
how you survive the loneliness of the driver side
the overwhelm of that much control between the breadth of your hands.
Don’t tell them how you count miles as the making of a life and numbers
grow on you slowly edging you out of risk.
Don’t ask yourself
“Where have you been?
after all the “good mornings” and dirt coffee taken with emails.
No one after noticed how your legs hang from the desk chair
nor ever touch the floor,
as if you weren’t here or home or never meant to be, anyway.

Manon Voice is a native of Indianapolis and is a poet, spoken word artist, freelance writer, hip-hop emcee and social justice activist. She seeks to use her art and activism to create a communal space where dialogue, transformation, discovery and inspiration can occur.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Meeting My Grandson in Regensburg/ Cheerios in Bed in Berlin/ A Voice Speaks Late of You, three poems by Norbert Krapf

Three poems by Norbert Krapf:

Meeting My Grandson in Regensburg

A whole Popo
cupped in a hand

a tiny heart beating
against my chest

and puffs of breath
kissing my neck,

I look down upon
an innocence asleep

and would live
long enough

to love and protect
and sing it forever.

Cheerios in Bed in Berlin
You are in bed in Berlin and smiling
brightly as you hold a yellow box
of American Cheerios your Colombian
mother bought you as special treat.

In the next frame your head is tilted
and thrown back, mouth wide open,
as you salivate your circles of O oats!
Little things delight you the most.

Little man who savors what is small
and not always easy or cheap to find,
you readily give yourself to showing
how deeply you appreciate what

comes your way. Your smile is your
expression of gratitude, your thanks
come out baked half German, half English,
and your Love is expressed Wuff-oooh!

You don't want to be anywhere else.
Your favorite munchies are in your mouth.
The right light fills both your dark eyes.
You love the world wherever you are in it.

A Voice Speaks Late of You

Little one, I was listening to voicemails 
and came to a voice no longer here 
except in this last deep-breath message.

This was Louis, your great-uncle,
near the end of his life, summoning
whatever breath his lungs could give.

The message came from a Veteran's Home
in southwestern Louisiana in response
to the picture your grandmother sent to him.

In a low voice full of late gratitude, Great-Uncle 
Louis slowly voices his appreciation of you, 
your coming, your presence, your being

with us here as he was about to leave us.
The sound of his voice is more than half full 
of a world beyond this one calling him there.

Great-Uncle Louis says you are a beautiful child.  
He implies more than he says, lets us know 
he welcomes your sweet sacred presence.

This is the testimony he left behind for you.
This is a recording of his voiced welcome to you.
This is my poem embedded with his love for you.

About Norbert Krapf: The former Indiana Poet Laureate is the author of eleven poetry collections and The Return of Sunshine: Poems by a Laureate for Ecstatic Grandparents. He is the winner of a Glick Indiana Author Award, a Creative Renewal Fellowship from the Arts Council of Indianapolis, and he collaborates with bluesman Gordon Bonham. More:

Monday, January 15, 2018

Restless Night, a poem by Ed Alley

Restless Night

drags to a close.
At dawn, the hospital is waking.
with equipment clatter , 
hallway chatter, 
meal cart’s squeaky wheel,
breakfast on a tray-table,  
meds being fed, 
doctors rounding patients,
bed rumpled, alarms 
if I get up, staff rollover 
at 7.

I sit up, note 
where I am, wish I were home.

I  look out the window  
as molten gold explodes
on the horizon, fills 
the seams in the landscape, blankets
the hospital, sucks 
all the air, overflows
all boundaries, slops 
over the edges,  

the earth.

– by Ed Alley

From Ed Alley: "I woke up in the hospital after treatment for pneumonia. This poem resulted. I've always been fascinated by words, what is said, what is meant, what is left out. Poetry challenges me to go deeper into words, to make them come alive."

Monday, January 8, 2018

Winter Mornings on 17th Street, a poem by Samuel T. Franklin

Winter Mornings on 17th Street
by Samuel T. Franklin

The sky tumbles to Earth and shatters
to ice. Snow folds like colorless oceans
and shifts, greedy, across the trees.

The creek shines clear and clean
as wiped porcelain. A man in dark wool
studies the frozen currents,

drops twigs and pine needles on the ice
and tries to conjure some prophecy of spring.
Wind slips subtle as a thorn

through jackets and gloves.
I do not know this city,
and the ravens are quiet.

The man in dark wool stands,
hopeless, the twigs piled at his feet,
burned by invisible fire.

Samuel T. Franklin is mostly from Indiana, by way of Clayton, Terre Haute, and Bloomington. His first book, The God of Happiness (Main Street Rag Publishing Co.), was published in 2016. He can be found at