“Animals are in Communion” and other poems by Polly Roberts

I met Polly through friends, & being told she was a poet, meeting her I just got a good feeling she was legit; she sent me her latest book ‘Grieving with the Animals’ & reading just the first few pages I knew that my initial assumption was correct. Here is a body of poems, authentic in their tone of feeling, pressing in their effect & imperative as an annex to the growing oeuvre of Anthropocene poetry.
In October a review I wrote for The High Window will be published, so I am glad you can get a window into the poems before then through Chris Murray’s inimitable Poet Head. Enjoy.

Poethead

Animals are in Communion

I came home

to find him

doing nothing.

Limp armed.

Could do nothing.

Sat on the sofa

lost to the world.

I have some bad news

I’ve been seeing ghosts. Birds on water.

The day before I received the news, two swans flew low over my head. Their wings thrummed
like a helicopter.
Eyes turned to watch the rescue vehicle, and instead saw white bellies.
The sound travelled, nothing like their usual flapping, as they soared over and onto water.

Returning to my boat, a shadow shifted on the river bank. A furry creature – small, sleek – edged
its way through the grass, took a moment to drink, then slop, slipped in.

Animals are in communion for you.

As are we,

nosing each other’s armpits

as we bed in

for warm companionship.

Because you went cold.

Though the civility of civilisation frightens me, I visit…

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Adam Penna (10 Poems)

A series of 10 sonnets by Adam Penna up at Underfoot today.
Poems full of the sound of wind, natural & fresh, full of hope & exhilaration at the small mercies that come from pure observance of the minor joys in life.
You know what to do dear reader.

& an update. Go & read our Chapbook Confessions guidelines in the menu bar if you’re interested in offering your sagely advice & experience from publishing a chapbook or collection, along with poems from that chapbook. All the details are there, but if you have any questions you can email us, which is provide there.
I hope to hear from you soon.

Underfoot Poetry

How to Worship

Today, a thousand fallen leaves: some yellow,
some red, some green, some circling the trees.
They teach us how to worship, and the wind—
it lifts the worshippers. It whips them up.
They seem hysterical with happiness.
I am hysterical with happiness.
The sun shines on my head and on my hands.
It touches the whiteness of the page. Meanwhile,
inside, outside and everywhere, my friends
and people I have never met or known,
contribute to the tumult. Let’s make an aisle,
and, stepping through the happy congregation,
cradle the grocerybags, search for the keys,
and wipe our feet before we enter the house.


The Happiness of Trees

I don’t want to instruct. I want to be
instructed by trees, loosed of leaves and leavings.
I go, step over the threshold and out into the yard.
Already my arms swing overhead. And you,
watching from the stoop…

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Michael Vecchio (5 poems)

Pleased to have Michael Vecchio’s poems up at Underfoot this week. Fluid poems packed with natural imagery, inquisitive & with a sense of attachment to place.

If you’d like to be published by us, please see our submissions & read a few of the poets here to get a sense of what we want.

Underfoot Poetry

A Mythical Bird

A mythical bird
said to breed
in winter
In a nest floating
on the sea

is more actual than sand
drifting distantly
over dunes
when darkness
builds a canopy

because belief removes
any doubt that wings
will be feathered full
and the glass they cover
fished through.

From ‘An Allegiance to Some’, Selected Poems, 2010-2013 


Somnambulistic Tendencies Near to the Hudson

1. The Adirondacks in the absence of chlorophyll
reveal a hidden visual fire
beneath which run
the origin waters of the Hudson.

2. The middle opens
like a flower desire
cannot answer.

Transparent leaves
folding over
permit light
into fingered reaches.

3. As can be imagined
rock walls
reveal many greenish-grays
leaving the impression of shoulders
leaning through collars of vegetation.

4. Waiting for the deer to spring
blindly from the dark
into the hidden mire
my metallic carriage hurls forward.

5. Once the way…

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