Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Tuesday poem #568 : Summer Brenner : A BIRD SEES

 

 

what a bird sees on the glass is a garden of floribunda whorls of blossoms caracoles of petals concentric lines drawn with a compass

what man’s eye sees is a fragment of cloud no less beautiful than flowers but simpler with swaths of sky in between

what a bird sees is a hill of smoke and puffs of explosions animals falling and debris flying in every direction

what a woman sees is a child shattered by a bullet or a bomb a child’s limbs bloodied and broken a child’s shirt shredded along with a child’s skin

what a bird sees is a thicket of trees standing then falling flowers also falling roofs and windows cracked grass scorched blossoms exploding like stars

what a man sees is an enemy everywhere an enemy with no name strangers with guns or bombs with a task to kill whatever comes in view

I want to be a bird a flower or a cloud not a man with a gun or bomb not a task or target

Like the bird I want to fly from cruelty like the flower fold into kindness like the cloud float
over another land

 

 

 

 

Summer Brenner’s [photo credit: Michael Weber] books include short stories and novellas from Coffee House Press, Red Hen, and Spuyten Duyvil; poetry from The Figures; crime novels from Gallimard série noire and PM Press; and the occasional essay. Dust, A Memoir was published in early 2024.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Tuesday poem #567 : Sonia Saikaley : A Winter Festival

 

 

Once in the land of the rising sun,
I witnessed lit candles along a canal.

 

It was February in a city in Hokkaido

filled with tourists wanting to see the Winter Festival

with gigantic snow sculptures

and a field of mid-sized snowballs with scarves,

carrot noses and black bean eyes.

 

I snapped photo after photo like other tourists

and longed for my cold city

in another country far from here.

 

Winter numbed my uncovered skin

between my wool scarf and hat.

It was as cold as my hometown

maybe even slightly colder on this day.

 

A winter festival with a canal lit with flickering candles,

giving the illusion of warmth on this night.

 

I bowed and prayed like a Shinto nun,

my sins would have scorched snow sculptures,

melted them into puddles of holy water.

Maybe God would have mercy

if Buddha convinced Him

I wasn’t a sinner, only human.

 

Neither Catholic nor Buddhist,

I shivered, rubbed my gloved hands together,

holding them over the shimmering candles.

 

 

 

 

Sonia Saikaley is a Lebanese-Canadian author whose novel The Allspice Bath won the 2020 Independent Publishers Book Award Gold Medal and the 2020 International Book Awards for Multicultural Fiction. Other works include two poetry collections, a children’s picture book and an award-winning novella. She is a graduate of the University of Ottawa and the Humber School for Writers.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, February 06, 2024

Tuesday poem #566 : Bruce Whiteman : Little Nameless Unremembered Acts

 

 

The sheep out the open window graze on grass
perilously close to an electric fence.

They lift their gaze at the slightest harsh or
unfamiliar sound: a squawking

squirrel, a girl lolling by at a
snail's pace, children fighting

noisily out of sight. It's afternoon but
the light is faltering, the colours in the

fields changing now to grim--slim
hope, nothing good to come.

A flock of geese invades a
nearby pond and honks like Boanerges.

The sheep, again, look up and stare
in recognition. Ajax realized his mistake

and scurried off to self-slaughter. He'd
killed a hecatomb of sheep in false belief

they were his unearned enemies and
deserved their awful fate, dying by the

sword as he thought they'd lived. Hate's
the root of everything human that

causes us dumb despair. It dares to
keep us out of love and spurns

self-sacrifice. Like spooked sheep we
lurch into our fate, bleat into the air

that will not cease from turning dark.
Love stands by with undesired goods.



 

 

 

 

 

Bruce Whiteman is a poet, essayist, and book reviewer. His most recent collection of poetry is The Invisible World Is in Decline, Book IX (ECW Press, 2022). His essays and reviews have appeared widely over the past forty years in journals and newspapers in both Canada and the United States. He has taught at several universities and was the poet in residence at Scattergood Friends School in Iowa for several years. Currently he teaches part-time in the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies. Bruce Whiteman lives in Peterborough, Ontario, with his cat Virgil, a harpsichord, and a Steinway grand piano. His collection of essays and reviews, Work to Be Done, will be published by Biblioasis in March of 2024.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan



Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Tuesday poem #565 : Iordanis Papadopoulos : get out is a verb about home

 

 

                               Mommy!!!... I love my New t!!!

I call it home
occas
it does turn round
don’t know for how long
I know what dimension means
call it leave it back
I know what direction means
on my way forth bell calls
causes my sudden growing
reminds me of all directions
this is geometry no this is geography no
on my way back I have a plan
I make sketches of all my forwardings
all my dimensions
on the ground I walk on all is flat; call it all planed
a dark ground flat no sooner do
I get in than it does turn up
occasionally I think of myself in
as dimensional
occasionally I think of myself out
as directional
as occas
trying to call
it ca
home
o here it is
where I am
an abbreviation to be
for open house
for zero for nothing o here it is
if only an answer in the affirmative
not only a continuous present
time (an auxiliary
hmmm) in
a run-away garden
staying still? waiting for? booming out?
(snapping oh here)

 

 

 

Iordanis Papadopoulos (b.1976) is the author of 3 books of poetry in Greek. His poetry can also be read in the poetry anthology Ποίηση με πείσμα (transl. from Dichtung mit Biss: Griechische Lyrik aus dem 21. Jahrhundert, Romiosini ed., 2018 and Antipodes ed., 2020), in the latest issue of –algia #4, in “Spontaneous series” by eohippus labs, in the anthologies “Kleine Tiere zum Schlachten. Neue Gedichte aus Griechenland” (ParasitenPresse, 2017) and Futures: Poetry of the Greek Crisis (Penned in the Margins ed., 2015). He was shortlisted in the Atlas Review 2016 chapbook series.

He is also a member of the live art group KangarooCourt

He lives in Athens, Greece.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan