The Crossing

featured in the poetry forum March 19, 2019  :: 0 comments

-After Debra Fritts, “Empty Buckets

In a rickety raft with empty buckets
and no oar, I stand transfixed, cast-off
afraid to move, the question,
Will I survive? raking me.

I slow down, look around
find a hidden oar locked on the side.
Like a parrot waking, I squeal a song,
praise for this boat that floats.

Sudden as thunder the buckets fill:
currants, apricots, cashews, chocolate
from Belgium. A reminder, I believe
in angels, miracles, ancestor guides.

editors note:

Enough, just to reach the other side; the buckets will fill themselves. (We welcome Julene to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of her madness on her new page – check it out.) – mh clay

The Things I Do Become Calendar

featured in the poetry forum October 1, 2018  :: 0 comments

Pure illusion this movement forward, no entourage,
or chattel to carry me, what we never said haunts
me with the strongest memories.

No mountains to climb on my current agenda
the river never crossed was a stone bridge, not a
wooden covered one, how I remembered it.

Trail blaze, to make a new path geological
maps are helpful, sometimes the goal is an
illusion. People talk but what do they say—

impossible to know what anyone means—
sitting with tears your heart brain knows
the answer. Something new must form outside

normal procedure. Yesterday was exactly like
today. It can be difficult to make a new map,
to reconstruct those early years if you did not

keep an outline of your life. Move one day at a
time, let go the mercenary dream, how
much we want but never achieve. Accept

the surprise violets in this long forward
dream. The call of the unspoken, we could have
been closer, or said I love you one more time.

editors note:

Embrace those surprise violets. Let the map make itself. – mh clay

Here We Are Again

featured in the poetry forum August 1, 2018  :: 0 comments

We went through things had an upswing
when we believed
in love        and goodness,
and the world         wasn’t such an unsafe space.

We could ignore        the riff raff believe we were
doing good with our small donations        our
pity poems, the way we acknowledged the problems.
We drank        lattés during meetings        we made rules

lost in archives. Now, miles from a bright future
we buckle in the wind        surprised at the swindle
how much slid away,        how wrong we were
about what might have been right.        No, it was never

but we held hope        a feather in the wind        falling
into gutters        where a storm rages        and the homeless
live against weather,        with        wet socks and cold feet
that atrophy with their loss of circulation.

There are so many    traumas        to contend with
to caress and hold close but out of sight this work
we do        endless a battle for our salt for our pittance,
what we should give to be here.        For we hold this world,

our corner, together, sweep     our gutters and give hand-
outs        more than we are able,        we fall behind     bruised
yet must rise        from each stumble       pray        the next
generation will take on     washing        the feet of those

who’ve walked miles        we behoove them       pay forward
for what        has been inherited.      Yes, it is a mess
with many     to blame.        Years of serious backlash
to weather, but keep standing        find the footholds.

editors note:

No exchanges, no refunds, all sales final. – mh clay