(This is arguably too long for a blog post, but I wrote it in Word & it was honestly just easier due to time constraints to dump it in one, especially owing to the footnotes. I think the ideas in here, if a little dense, are worth bearing with & attempting to absorb. I have …
I am currently reading Frank Herbert’s Dune. I am not an inveterate science fiction reader, despite always feeling pulled to sci-fi themes. I have been particularly affected by the death of the Imperial Majesty’s Planetolgist, & planetary ecologist of Arrakis, Liet-Kyne. The Baron Harkonnen realizing Kyne’s betrayal forces him adrift into the unforgiving density of …
It is worth remarking that "mense" is a shortening of menstruation, which I have heard Korean women, my ex-wife especially, say; however, I cannot further elucidate the reason, but can only speculate, if this is because menstruation is a difficult word, or if the shortening has become shorthand Konglish, thus the source becoming lost the …
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.
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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Pleased to have Underfoot on Ion’s long list of publications.
If you’d like us to publish your poems, you know the drill. We’d be happy to read you in all your best threads.
In this still bay, limestone blue,
the fall of mountain steep with scree.
Clumps of hard grass grip the slope, shorn
like valleys I have seen in eastern Turkey.
Don’t tell the Greeks, don’t tell the Turks;
some of them at least. The far mountains,
covered in a haze of sun and clouds,
look like the Anatolia I have seen.
In this still bay, mountains rise,
while men sit around, drink coffee, complain;
until one day the earth trembles,
rips the land apart, and the mountains
sink into the sea.
Birds roost in caves, menace to keep their space,
until they too move on, or are banished.
We talk about this place, but we talk too much.
This place is about mountains, born from the sea,
from Venetians, Ottomans, Turks, Greeks;
everything that belongs to yesterday.
Everything that belongs to today.
One day a volcano exploded under the…
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Pleased to finally have Stephanie on board, with her characteristic syntactic deftness on display in verses fat with complex scansion, thick with the sodden energies of so many images, these poems saturate you in words & meaning.
& as if that weren’t treat enough, there are 2 poems collaborated on with Bob Okaji from the blog O at the Edges, which really just makes this a special day. Get reading, get face to face with a couple of corking poets.
To the Dead White-Throated Sparrow
in my driveway: Would you at least do me the courtesy of an explanation?
What’s with your belly-mound-cenotaph arisen from the stony gloom spiel? And why
this exquisite bundle of yours, with its still-tender russets folded in the unbounded repose
of a napping cherub, as if you didn’t believe you were still reaching for the clouds?
I mean, was your plump little belly’s sky tribute supposed to un-stone the gloom
underfoot (as if your heavenward-splayed finger-knobs, all ruddy-bottomed
like a napping cherub, never knew their very purpose was reaching for the clouds)?
The spectacle of your tiny black lids pressed shut in sudden, brutal resignation to croaking
underfoot (even consecrated by such skyward-clasping, ruddy-bottomed branchlessness)
hardly passes for transubstantiation… Why package a fully-intact cadaver’s senselessness in
the spectacle of black-faced brutality’s sudden, penitent resignation to permanent blindness
for stealing a glimpse of the sun?…
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Hunger (8:39 a.m.) …I remember clearly… lepers from Bible sermons made me tickle stomached —I never read the passages alone even when mother underlined them to be read before I slept | I could summarize them enough to get away without reading them again : nature never bites off more than it can chew. “The …
- Thrilled that I was able to encourage Irena to submit to us, she is a poet with a rare insight on her lived perspective as a woman, wife, mother, migrant & humanitarian.
Please, please, please encourage Irena to write more, she’s really very good at it & needs people to tell her, to give her the confidence to do it as much as possible, for my sake, think about me dear readers, I want more to read from Irena.
Thanks for reading & see our submissions page if you are interested in submitting, we are always open to submissions from emerging writers, hidden, shy writers & the cream of the crop. We don’t care where you are in your career, we want the best, we want poems that reveal, expand, incise with insight, boldly baffle, poems impossible to predict but speak to our deeper senses of understanding, the poems from everyone to everything, the poems of our climate, clippered with lillies & speak out the kindling as they rage on the pyre.
Nothing of Me on the Moon
The moon where I live
sucks up all darkness,
it’s a pond upside down.
The moon that I know
casts a circle of brightness,
a Chinese lantern in the sky.
Like a pot of honey never falling,
she just sits there, waiting for my glance.
I no longer ask such questions as
what’s the air like, is there noise?
I am happy sitting near the window
resting my eyes on the distant ball of stone.
I narrow my view—does she ever wonder,
am I a blot of blood, a stubborn stain
or just a fleeting interest
with a shimmering spotlight,
a random puppet
positioned in a frame…?
In the blink of an eye, everything’s forgotten,
there is nothing of my presence imprinted on the Moon.
An ocean that no one sees,
drops of rain falling on its surface at night…
I mean the sea…
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(Bongjeongam is a temple complex set pretty deep in the mountain range of Seorak in the North East of Korea. Monks go there to live & study, as it is more remote than most temples. Last September i spent 10 days wandering around these mountains with a Man Dressed like a Forest. This is quite …
(There are probably a lot more i could have talked about, some of it left out purposely, some not. i want these piece to be, ideally, between 500-1000 words, i failed this time, but i am trying. i want them to be diving off points for extended dialogue with those interested. It is odd though …