SHRAPNEL

A Poem by Stefanie Bennett

for Paul Celan

Take one time-lapsed
Crying boy child -.

Parents? Yes! Distressed
To death…

A trickle of tanks
Daringly

Mixed into a milk-
Toothed cavity

Along with a millennia\’s
Woebegone religiosity -, then

Come. (He will be king)
Sit down.

From the reputed
Abyss see him walk

On egg-shells.
On fire-brands.

Ocean Unplugged

A Poem by A. J. Hufffman

Falling still, flat as the preconceived
earth in history’s tomes. No waves
to watch in awe or fight
to conquer on boards layered
with wax. Carnivorous
hunters, de-toothed,
bottom feeders filed away in corner
caves. Massive emptiness
echoes: Nothing.

Shoreline Sunset

A Poem by A. J. Huffman

The sky fell suddenly
from its perch, pulling streaks
of clouds to cover its tracks.

But the last one — the darkest
one — got caught on the stars
and ripped itself into shadow.

Left inside out, it seems
to have bloodied the sea.

UFO

A Poem by Robert Holman

I remember sitting out in the front yard
with my granny and papa beneath the wings of an oak.
A plump bird landed on the power-line.
“Na’, look, that there is a dove!” my grandpa said.
Pressed against the sky a grey-brown bird
nervously rolling its head in its speckled breast.
Between the smell of gasoline and sweat
my mind flew away. I’d forgotten what he said.
“Ain’t n’ dove. That’s a witch-a-ma-call-it: a pigeon!”
“Damn it, Eunice, let me teach the boy!”
“Whooo Lord ham mercy, jist right about er-thing.”
He pointed his rough, cracked finger and whispered,
“Na’ look, Eunice, that dove can fly off
–I can’t.”

A Child of Hope

A Poem by Kenya Diamond Liddell

I had not seen much I had not been much
My age the only thing mentioned
I had no wisdom I had no voice
I had many friends but no choice
I had much hope
Did not know much of the world
I made it a joke
I did not know cold cruel world
Or of the things that lay awake in darkness
I did not know one day I would have to fight
I was a child of the night
I did not know life contained chains
I found myself Imprisoned for no wrongdoing
I did not know shackles would be placed on my feet
I did not know my mental state would no longer define me
I did not know there was a wrong from right
No way to obtain truth from madness
I could not wake from the nightmare of tragedy
Please Lord look down
Take mercy on me
I was the child of daydreams
I had no aims of destruction
Images turned memories
Life beat me with a whip
A slave to my own mind
Life gave me a horror trip
Now I have hope in my sight
And I live to worship
I was the child of hope
Who Only lived to know Him.

A Different New Year’s Eve

A Poem by Donal Mahoney

An ancient couple,
he’s a hunchback,
she’s a gnome,
in the kitchen play

a game of dominoes,
drink hot cocoa, eat
warm bread dripping
with apricot jam, then

off to bed at eight
and up again at five
for the winding drive
down the mountainside

snowy miles to church
on New Year’s Day,
there to sing and praise
God for everything.

Republican Candidates on the Issue of Rape and Violence Towards Women

We know this is old news, but since the Republicans took both the House and the Senate, we have been spammed on this one blog entry. This morning, for example, we woke to over three hundred spams attached to this one entry. We’ve had to delete thousands of them. For that reason, we have taken the original off, copied and pasted and replaced it with this one.

If the Republicans are running that scared because of this one entry–then yes, we will put it up again and again and again.

Todd Akin, Republican candidate for Senate, Missouri: “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” he said.

Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock: “I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”

Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Ill., said he is against abortion “without exception,” even in cases of rape, incest, and when the life of the mother is in danger. When asked by reporters if he means that it’s never medically necessary to save a pregnant woman’s life, Walsh said “absolutely.”

Feliz Navidad

A Poem by Donal Mahoney

Pedro swings a mop all night
on the 30th floor of Castle Towers
just off Michigan Avenue
not far from the foaming Lake.
The floor is his, all his,
to swab and wax till dawn.

The sun comes up and Pedro’s
on the subway snoring,
roaring home to a plate
of huevos rancheros,
six eggs swimming
in a lake of salsa verde,
hot tortillas stacked
beside them.

After breakfast,
Pedro writes a poem
for Esperanza,
the wife who waits
in Nuevo Leon.
He mails the poem
that night, going back
to his bucket and mop.

Pedro’s proud
of three small sons,
soccer stars
in the making.
On Christmas Eve
the boys wait up
in Nuevo Leon
and peek out the window.
Papa’s coming home
for Christmas!

Pedro arrives at midnight
on a neighbor’s donkey,
laughing beneath
a giant sombrero.
He has a red serape
over his shoulder,
and he’s juggling
sacks of gifts.

When the donkey stops,
the boys dash out and clap
and dance in circles.
Esperanza stands
in the doorway
and sings
Feliz Navidad.