Beginning Mask Home — Faruk Buzhala

Only with expiation and forgiveness of mutual sins,
Can we change ourselves, and maybe others, too.

The beginning

Flock of roaming sheep,
lost, wasted in hunger of wolves
are left without a shepherd,
who laying under the shade of centenary wood, 
dreams of the beginning.
 
The sheep lost,
the shepherd wakes up
looking around toward the horizon! 

Notices that
He is left alone
after his doze 
on a summer day.

Mask Time

We wear masks to shut-up our mouths!
Our lips remain invisible under them,
Our teeth are not visible, too, 
Even the smile remains not a hidden secret,
The bad smell, too,
And the words we speak are not well articulated, with no regret.

We do wear the masks to prevent the virus from entering in us, 
And vice versa, not letting go out from ourselves.

We do wear a mask over our face-mask, 
The lipstick in women’s lips remains unseen,
Same with botox in their swelled lips,
Can’t feel even the breath.

We wear original mask to cover the fakeness in this pandemic time,
we follow the advice from the responsible institutions
How to care about ourselves and the other, 
Although, most of us do not follow it.

We do wear masks while we walk in the streets and
When we see a familiar face,
We take off the mask to greet them, as sign of respect!


Home

My home is
where I meet my silence,
My breath,
My soul, 
My fragility.
 
At home
I have my memories,
My thoughts, 
My life.
 
At home
I have my happiness,
I have myself, 
I have the hope,
I have the future. 
 
At home
I have my moments,
The time,
The space. 
 
At home
I have my warmth,
I have the fire,
I have the ash,
I have the light.

At home
I have my destiny,
My wishes,
My risks.
 
At home
I have my sky,
I have my sun,
I have my moon,
I have my stars.
 
At home, my home
I have the access,
I have the love,
I have the harmony,
I have eternity.
 
At home, my home.

©2021 Faruk Buzhala
All rights reserved


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Climate Crisis – Anjum Wasim Dar

Think. Do not cut the funding
Rapidly warming Earth cries,
droughts, conflicts, floodings rise.
Pastoralists compete, struggle, worry,
as grazing lands gradually shrink.

Think, do not cut the funding.
Depending on subsistence farming
humans fight for life in camps.
Searching for food each day, as
plants trees crops slowly ... die
Think, do not cut the funding.

Pandemic lockdown proving seismic,
adaptation, adaptation, is the call,
O, please do not cut the funding.
Help All!  Do not cut the funding.

©2021 Anjum Wasim Dar
All rights reserved


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“no visible mark” — Judy DeCroce

Teeny’s Barn

a smell of cows
stone walls in ruin

scattered wood
a contrary face—

that sliding roof
scrubbed by winter;

unneeded, unheeded,
difficult and drafty,

as reality closes in
refreshing the land,

Teeny’s barn
all but fallen, yet,

holding to stubbornness
in its determination

                   for Wilson (Teeny) Luce

The First Pilgrim

Shadows that leave no visible mark
wait as I ripple the air.

I’m becoming the art finding its way.

Hidden beneath March’s dead leaves;
a phantasm of possibilities.

My new feathery green
nudges a promising landscape,

there, on its way to something else.

©2021 Judy DeCroce
All rights reserved


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Extinction Event — Michael Dickel

Winter Nights
Painting
Miroslava Panayatova ©2020
I’m going to sink into oblivion,
obviously linking this planet 
we’re living on to contagion
so many see raging in our lives.

The planet eyes a sad reprise
in an extinction surprise designed
to rid it of us—such a fuss to save
the ducks, dolphins, and newts.

Bring luck to what our environs once
meant, turning now to the battle cry:
Arise quills, venoms, and ills! Erase
the worldwide virus that is us!

©2021 Michael Dickel
All rights reserved


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A Gathering of Stones — Michael Dickel

A Gathering of Stones

I gather stones from ocean, sea, lake, river, stream, and the dry desert wadi; to protect my straw life from the storm winds of time they line the walls, shelves, walks, and a small corner rock garden. Snow buries them in winter, the outer ones, and the inner turn invisible beneath plaster and book dust as these stories and poems renovate the narrative, revise my living space into something that might hold up to erasures of climate, and my life into—something. Long after my DNA strands become a statistical probability chancing in some descendants’ groins; long after the house falls to dust, the garden to weeds, the shores of the oceans and seas recede, advance, the lakes come and go, the rivers dry and flood, the wadi erodes to flatlands; long after all of this; a few stones out of place here in a row, there in a pile, might attract some little notice, a bit of curiosity. This flint tool from Baaka.  This agate from Superior. Amethyst from Ontario. Lava from Hawaii. Mica from Pennsylvania. Polished smooth granite. In some way we will remember. Where did such stones come from? When?  How did they end up here? Why? What story do they tell? Who gathered them in? And who after all will stop to notice; in what climate will these stones be uncovered? Perhaps by a robotic rover returned from Mars…

A segment from Perseverance’s Mastcam-Z First High-Resolution Panorama
March 02, 2021 — Cropped and adjusted in Adobe® Photoshop® by Michael Dickel
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS

Poem ©2012–2021 Michael Dickel
All rights reserved


An earlier version of this poem appeared in Synchronized Chaos, November 2012.


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Three Hours — Januário Esteves

7th Hour

When the spirit rises more
More of the human defects are seen
And everywhere there is darkness,
Languid malice that provides

In so-called cinematic language
From the real the assembly transforms
The scenery in a fantastic atmosphere
In fact what passes the norm

Silenced songs of yesteryear
Blazing epiphanies dazzled
They are in dementia right now
The voracious song of the hurt souls

Afternoon shakes or gesture unable
In the clear waters that cry
Become a quick guy
The calendas that always were.



11th Hour

The unspeakable is about to be written
Out on the street that is destined for us
Whenever something wants to die
An Intestine Fever Falls In Us

They are psychosomatic lenses
That on the whole line make career
In extragalactic travels
Everything is good in the voice of a mourner

And we lunatically prefigure
The judgment of that which
For only what we have achieved
Makes us live in axiom

From the hypothetical declared
The logos is pronounced
Act like harassed fire
By the voice of resignation.


21st Hour

Shine the mind in diaspora
The constant quibbling
That opens Pandora's box
And makes her belligerent

In heavenly domains
Travel by creating planispheres
Between stars and portals
Leave the seed of mysteries

Myriad kaleidoscopes
Throb in the substrate
By the Pleiades
Seeking the Desiderate

In paranormal hallucinations
Of body and soul
Supernormal Experiences
Horizons without a soul?

©2012-2020 Januário Esteves
All rights reserved


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Crawfish / Haiku 2020 — Dennis Formento

The Crawfish

the little crawfish that nipped my finger 
has the coolest job on earth

rolling clods of wet humus
into moist balls 

to build a chimney & bring 
rich dark earth to the surface 

its chimney had closed somehow, so
I turned the tower over with my foot
thinking I did him a favor
opening an air duct

a cardinal mistake—

this tiny crawfish emerged 
from the thick gray mud
claws raised toward me
flexing & threatening

so I slipped a finger beneath it 
to lift it back into its hole
the mudbug pinched me hard
a little fold of skin

bunched up between the pincers, the mudbug
not half my thumb’s length 
squeezed it tight
today that hole was plugged again 
from the inside

when the weather’s warm & dry 
the crawfish rolls another ball
capstone to close the chimney 
and hold moisture in

until late winter rain 
or a much too early spring

Haiku 2020

“may we all have better vision in 2020”

          picked off my hand
the ant that just bit me
          —I might have killed it—
                                3-8-2020

          two bumblebees buzzing
	             belly to buttonhole
	             zizz over my head
                                  3-22-2020


                     turning over 
                     the garden shovel and-- 
                     out drops half a worm
                                  3-23-2020


second night of quarantine
          —the smell
of someone else’s barbecue
                                  3-24-2020



carpenter bees on 
corner of the garage next door  
eating the building            
                                  3-25-2020



The clouds are about 
to drop from the sky
Aw! They crushed the moon!
	                                  3-29-2020


a curtain over
          the window keeps lightning
                    from coming in
                                  4-19-2020


epigram

“it's either in this world
              or never”


waiting for the wind
          to raise a ruckus
                    tornado warnings again
                                  4-19-2020

it was just a handful of rain
          flung out of a cloud onto
                    the sidewalk
                                  5-16-2020

©2021 Dennis Formento
All rights reserved


Dennis Formento promises never to write a bio longer than the average poem. He lives in Slidell, Louisiana, Mississippi Bioregion, USA. St. Tammany Parish co-ordinator of 100,000 Poets for Change. Author of Spirit Vessels, Cineplex, Looking for An Out Place. Poem “Amarcord,” appeared in English and Italian, in Americans and Others: International Poetry Anthology, Camion Press, 2nd ed., 2020. Poem, “the floe of ice,” performed with Simone Bottasso on organetto, is on Youtube  at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlXNe9lKkxg 


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a pale reflection of the moon — Dennis Formento

if I have to sleep, I’ll sleep, but the moon isn’t there anymore  
what you see is a pale reflection, the moon
is self-generated light
what I mean when I say self-generated light 
I mean a solar sail like a giant curtain
dragged behind the moon & keeping it 
in perfect orbit above the earth’s surface

the real moon is gone, taken apart
by scientists from NASA, EU and the KGB
“the moon”
is just a thin metal disk powered by that solar sail
some people think 
the moon itself is the sail but
I think the sail is deployed behind the moon
trapping light from the sun, powering the engine
that keeps it in orbit 
you can see it if you telescope real close

astronauts know this—high-flying pilots know this—
just a few lousy miles across, the thin metal plate reflects the sun’s light
and the earth’s shadow just the way the moon did
well some people think it’s thin, durable mirror
but I think it’s metal—highly polished metal that resists
the pings and arrows and chips you’d normally get
from junk up there at the front door of space—
some people say it’s the frontier, but I say it’s the front door of space

The real moon is gone Scientists took it away
and left a lot of junk behind
Imagine all the lovers without a moon—
the bad poets—Jungian psychologists—I call ‘em
“spychologists”— basing their poems and prognoses on nothing 
but a thin metal plate hovering above the earth
Oh, the tides have nothing to do with the moon
they never did, the tides are created by the sun
Everybody born with their moon in Aries through Pisces
has to find another planet for their sign
Your lives are meaningless NASA and the Russians
have stripped the moon of meaning
and replaced it with a thin solar sheet

The moon people 
have nothing to believe in
The President knows this in his Oval Office
The Oval Office is a symbol of the moon!
He’s fighting to bring the moon back
but he can’t tell you, no one would believe him
and he’s got to keep his credibility intact
He knows why women are going crazy
their ovaries so accustomed to the moon’s 
spiritual pull— they have evolved for millennia to respond to it—

Remember Jesus has a house on Mars—but NASA
doesn’t want you to know—
there are pictures Jesus would have to be eighteen feet tall
to be seen in this resolution some people say eighteen I think that’s impossible
but he’s the son of God so you never know
The scientists don’t know
The Moon the wolves howl at, the one we see
dipping into the Western sky—our Western sky
that belongs to us—remember the flag that was planted there?
It’s in a museum in Russia with Lenin’s tomb—
the Russians must hand over the moon—
a thin sheet of glass—some people say
—but I say it’s metal 
sometimes visible during the day 
reflecting the sun’s light
and the earth’s shadow in a perfect imitation of the real
psychological moon. The one in our dreams has been stolen
and the scientists have stolen our dreams.
Only the President and his queue
of anonymous advisors know this.

Poem ©2021 Dennis Formento
All rights reserved


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Dennis Formento promises never to write a bio longer than the average poem. He lives in Slidell, Louisiana, Mississippi Bioregion, USA. St. Tammany Parish co-ordinator of 100,000 Poets for Change. Author of Spirit VesselsCineplex, Looking for An Out Place. Poem “Amarcord,” appeared in English and Italian, in Americans and Others: International Poetry Anthology, Camion Press, 2nd ed., 2020. Poem, “the floe of ice,” performed with Simone Bottasso on organetto, is on Youtube  at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlXNe9lKkxg 

Garden be Wild – Matt Gilbert

I’m letting the garden be wild, 
I think, 
stop mowing the lawn 
to benefit bee,
butterfly, spider— 
never air-puddling
gnats, they agitate my sky.

I’m letting the wild be, think garden
hedges hanging loose, 
holly thickening, 
sparrow gossip halls, 
goldfinch clown acts,
and no fly zones 
for all the shitty grey pigeons.

I wild, I think I’ll garden, 
bindweed no,
pluck it out!
slash bramble,
all interlopers can wait 
to be rotten beneath the
ash I allow to remain.

I’m garden:
Wild!
send hard boots down, 
suppress tangle and weed,
crush compost,
except you—pretty mallow, 
you may stay.

I’m thinking YES, wild garden, 
until a furred fury of
vigorous sinew 
erupts in my eyes, 
like a scream, 
upending all assumptions 
with a pink flick of rat-sceptic’s tail.


[With a tip of the hat to Wendy Cope]

Poem ©2021 Matt Gilbert
All rights reserved


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Volumetric Concave Evil — Gábor Gyukics

volumetric analysis

the perfect pronunciation may seem unnatural 
in this ostensibly reprimanded formless morning cavalcade
turning into a shapeless day of an awkward evening 
lost in a mute doorframe
leading to a private cloud of a colorful sky
full with goshawks calling each other 
pointing out the plummeting temperature 
in the surrounding cities where people
live off the grid due to introvert
blindsided authorities ostentatiously lurking around
protected by their frozen shells
without explicable reason that would make them
taintless before the spirits 
and their invented gods 
with thin-lipped smiles




concave manhole

shriek as a nail pulled from dry wood
is the sound of death’s hoofs 
covering a landscape measure
to reach 
a wanna be constable 
he who is hamming
behind a promisingly protective curtain of smoke
like an aardvark in the mud

we easily leave death alive 
to get rid of creatures 
unwished for

name your weapons
they cry
and those who rebel
will reach their demise

the sound of dying
reminds us of a place
we have never wished to discover

how to get rid of evil

light dirtied his pedantically flinching face
the frozen shell of rehearsed authority
cannot grasp the significance of resistance
despite our laid-out world in a stretcher
his confidence is crumbling in the gestures of this particular centrality

he is astonished in glancing at and discovering a two-way traffic in his unadorned brain
that made him lose his equilibrium 
his benignity equals with fleecing 
one can carry it anywhere
to conventional storefronts 
to inconvenient staircases
to a convenient store upstairs
and leave it there as a 
compensation of an incredulous notion of 
trap buttoned
confidence

©2021 Gábor Gyukics
All rights reserved


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Alien — Joseph Hesch

I speak their language fairly well 
and most of the time dress the role.
I’ve never felt like most of them,
but then, that never was my goal.

I wished to explore what we hid
‘neath our shining public surface.
The more I searched, the more I found
scenes like backstage at the circus.

Despite the noise and colored lights,
like the blinding blue pinspot’s glow,
inside we keep our mysteries,
as we struggle today to tomorrow.

I don’t want to find your secrets,
even if you’d still like to hear mine.
Told you some over the decades,
though I, too, coulda been lyin’.

Poetry’s my second language,
though this accent sets me apart.
Real poets won’t ever get me,
when even you never got my heart.

That’s why I keep trying each day
to reach out, your soul gently shaking.
I’m not looking for what you think,
souls are for giving, not taking.

©2021 Joseph Hesch
All rights reserved


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Well, Maybe Someday — Joseph Hesch

 I keep some shirts at the far end 
 of my closet, shirts I’ve owned 
 for decades (since back when they fit).
 I own some shoes with holes in the toe
 almost worn through; shoes I’ve kept
 in the dark corner of my closet floor.
 
 If you were to ask me why I’ve kept them,
 what with the shirt collars an inch
 too small and the shoes a few steps shy 
 of perforated, I’d say, “Well, maybe
 someday…” 
 But we know most somedays never come.
 
 I own a memory I keep safe at the far corner 
 of my mind; a memory of …something… I’ve kept 
 for a couple of decades (when I could remember).
 I hold this hope, one I’ve worried thin like a child 
 would his button-eyed, floppy friend, now worn
 to almost gossamer thinness,

 And if you ask why I’ve kept them, 
 what with the way most memory fades 
 in each new day’s light and how gossamer hope
 doesn’t spring eternal I’d say, “Well, maybe
 someday…”
 That's because, if most somedays never come, 
 that must mean some do. 
 

©2021 Joseph Hesch
All rights reserved


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Bridges — Jerusha Kananu

We watch in pain as they plunder 
The middle class worry and wander 
Peasants live in wonder 

Big bellies parade slums masks covering the stench 
They with no hope of tomorrow in hot sun sweat 
Listening but not hearing the empty blubber
by bellies under tent’s shade
Hoping they will drop fifty shillings
for the malnourished child's feed

Dust from big taxpayer range blind them, they don’t see
prime Minister leave 
The only six public toilets‘ contents lack space
and their smell sickens 
They can’t serve them all, they pee and poop in buckets
for the poop man to dispose nearby 
The poop man knock their door in the morning 
They spent the day listening to prime Minister
so no money for poop man 
The heat in slum houses is unbearable
and the poop is boiling in bucket

Coin of the day take malnourished child
to nearby government hospital 
Nurses are on strike, no drugs, no doctors, slum dwellers
parade all sick of hunger 
Police chase them from hospital
because they don’t have masks 

The newshour, prime Minister reported to have built houses
in the slum, hundreds of billions used 
They stare in wonder, prime Minister came to ask for their help 
He talked of building bridges initiative and need
for voting for constitutional changes 
The country needs more leaders and the need
to increase constituencies 
Do they have to burn even the small rotten bridges
leading slum dwellers to national cake?
Who will pay the park of wolves that they want to increase?
The prices for commodities shoot overnight 
Another day, no pay for poop man, the day spent in hospital 

Citizens views needed on constitutional changes 
Trillions set aside for a yes or no campaign 
Children back to slums teachers on strike 
The competition for toilets is worse in the slums,
stench is unbearable 
The stench of the greed by ruling class is worse 
Global warming has made the sun mad
that it threatens to burn slum houses

Roses
Painting
Miroslava Panayotova ©2020

Poem ©2021 Jerusha Kananu
All rights reserved


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The Cows Walk In — Carolyn O’Connell

The cows graze in the green valley
on grass studded with wildflowers,
drink from a river where trout play
voles dance on through its banks.

They walk to parlour when they want
when their bodies say they need to be milked
hitch themselves to the robotic machine
that cleans udders, sucks the milk away.

There’s little labour for the farmer 
no need to round-up, milk or carry
or spray pesticides as his father did: 
he’s alerted to all twenty-four hours
for the land looks after itself, rain or shine.

He’ a happy man for his milk sells 
for premium prices, he exports it 
for its value for its great goodness,
filled with nature’s gentle bounty
and tuned to the season’s rhythms.

The cows, and the productive land
he’ll pass in perfection to his children.

                                                          —7/2/2021

Fancy Rooster at Sunrise
Colored Pencil
Kat Patton ©2020

Poem ©2021 Carolyn O’Connell
All rights reserved


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Three Poems — Antoni Ooto

The Steward

Like an actor running lines,
Wilson had stories. 

The first of us who left Vermont, he tells,
was the elder on foot who followed Indian trails
taking months to cross New York
then staked a claim, and walked back.

The first families
moved kin, livestock 
to this homestead,
right here, and worked it
for two hundred years.

Through winters, hardships,
storms and drought,
sickness and deaths,
we settled, farmed, built on…
and finally, a school.

Some gave up.
We did not.

Perhaps land accepts a steward.

Wilson at 93 remembers.


Waterfall/Sanctuary
Photograph
Fall Run Park, Shaler, Pennsylvania
©2021 Janette Schafer

Philosophy and Conviction

go out the window in warm weather;
the pain of misunderstanding,
the excuses, the predictions…

out

with the renewed force of spring,
strength surfaces,
and breathing in again,
we meet the recovering day

Apache Mare

Breathing clouds to the warming air,
in the faithful future of all her years;

proud and natural,
present as a boulder in the way of a path.

Chestnut flank pressed against a rising sun
this light, this field—all her own

there is no other place
                                   no other world.

Poems ©2021 Antoni Ooto
All rights reserved


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Falling Church Caution — Susanna Rich

The Trees are Falling

I see a branch of the watchful tree (Jer. 1:11-12).

Cyclones, starving polar bears, rising seas;
winter lightning, flooded deserts, bleaching corals—
nature sends a pandemic to clear the smoggy skies.
And the trees are falling, because they must.

New Haven green: The Lincoln Oak heaves up
a human skull, jaws agape among exposed roots.
Elms kamikaze onto the Bronco, the Matrix—
the Jag glutted with Exxon, Sunoco, Shell.

The trees are doing what they can: 
fan-leafed gingkoes faint onto garages; 
poplars yee-hah onto Sertas, 
axe Maytags, scrape Vizios off walls.

That kettle-drumming is the fall of spruce trees
scoring streets into musical staffs—
loosening wires to coil and recoil into clefs, 
to pizzicato like rattlers.

Colonnades of cypress explode gas lines
and bonzo into resulting fires.
Maples, like massive pick-up sticks, 
rubble trains, logjam rivers, karate bridges.
 
Of course, yews slam into their own shadows.
Of course, dogwoods release the August sky
to make massive snowballs of themselves,
while willows amputate their own limbs.

Let the beeches curl their trunks around benches, 
Harleys, hydrants, and wrought iron fences.
Appease the teaks reclaiming themselves from chairs;
the pines from paneling; the cedars from pencils.

Oh, Berkeley, the laurels are hearing each other 
in forests—the telephone poles are in caucus.
And the sycamore in charge has angled itself, 
like a cannon, atop a Dodge Avenger

whose front left Firestone is stalled 
on a felled Seventh Day billboard,
on words I thought that I shall never see:
...pare for the Unexpected.


Silver Birches
Painting
Gaynor Kane ©2020

Singing in an Empty Church

Single electric candle lights
on clear lancet window sills.
No wash of headlights from departing

4X4s and sedans. No pastor. No pianist. 
No faithful since pandemic.
I park my Prius by the blocked trailhead, 

poke in the code to unlock the side door,
press the baby grand’s B-flat key
for my Phantom of the Opera song.

I, who accompanied my divorced mother
to Sunday mass, her lace-and-beribboned 
ornament; I, praised for how still I kept

while she solo-ed; I, Glee Club nuns’
choice alto, because I stayed on pitch
backing sopranos in their soaring;

I, who made harmony of family harm, 
hurtled hurts, promenade down the nave,
spread my arms wide to the pews;

breathe full my belly and chest and face 
to sing Christine D.’s longing, pierce
through my new high G on the word strength;

the struts and beams of this old vaulted ceiling,
my back-up altos, tenors, baritones, echoing 
Wishing I could hear your voice, again.

“Singing in an Empty Church” first appeared in Verse-Virtual, February, 2021


Abundance of Caution

Gallon cans of mixed greens from Georgia;
crates of Vidalia onions from Texas;
Gouda and Beemster-Van Gogh from Amsterdam;
N-95s, face screens, and latex gloves from China—
it’s Christmas every day. 

Boxes of gluten free pizza dough,
cases of sardines and Bush’s baked beans, 
36 individual servings of Skinny popcorn
appear in the open garage.

Elizabeth, our postwoman, noticed
we date our mail and packages—
and now does that for us, 
and brings our garbage cans up the driveway.
UPS George honks the horn, 
so we know to get into the house.

We do not breathe where others have breathed.
We wait the three hours aerosols linger,
we wait five hours, to be honest, 
then tap the garage remote.

Deliveries season for seven days, 
before we slice open the box seams, 
dig through Styrofoam peanuts,
un-bubblewrap, unziplock—bleach-wipe contents
to wait on the dryer for another day—
or two, or three. 

I don’t walk the lane anymore—
a car with open windows might have passed by.
I walk the periphery of our three acres.
Then ten feet in—neighbors putter in driveways,
walk dogs, call out greetings.
I mentally measure how many six-feet away—
twelve, fifteen, eighteen—even twenty-four, too close.

Now I only walk near the house,
tapping on the walls for balance, 
the circle tightening.  
When I hear Elizabeth’s rickety truck,
I run inside and wash my hands.
I wash my hands.

Poems ©2021 Susanna Rich
All rights reserved


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“our greedy consumption” — Samantha Terrell

Advocacy

What happens when all the advocates are gone, and those who profit 
Unknowingly from battles fought by others, must learn to cope
Without 
The hope

Of realizing change? Then, 
The ones whom martyrdom didn’t spare,
Will no longer be enslaved by the victims 
Who took for granted their wares

And the rest will be left 
Questioning their fates.
But those who sought their downfall, while victorious, 
Will find the only game they won was hate.

Unknown Portrait Series
Painting
Miroslava Panayotova
©2021

Of Alchemy and Irony

Is there still time to make something
From the impending dread?
When every combination
Produces yet another
Form of lead,

Slowing progress with 
Its predictable weight,
While the true value of currency is forced to sit and stagnate – 
Knowing it can work for good, knowing it’s been misunderstood – 
Hoping for systemic change, before it’s finally too late.

Who We Are

We are the terrorists,
Who condone the murders of
Innocent children on their school buses, or
Lock them away from parents and loved ones,
Giving them a foil-blanket 
Substitute for comfort.

We are the unreasonable,
Who close off
Our safe harbors—
The same ones our ancestors
Were offered—
From others.

We are the presumptuous,
Supposing the world 
Will keep giving to us
Without repercussions
For our actions, while we 
Continue our greedy consumption.

This is what it means
To be American,
In the land who shot the man 
Who said, “We shall overcome!”
So, if this is who we are,
Who, then, shall we become?

©2021 Samantha Terrell
All rights reserved


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Photo: Sunny Inside, Fabrice Poussin ©2020

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