"Stems, each blunted by a red node or bud-knot Stiffly held, the stems angle heavenward."

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Issue6: No More Tears

BobSward's Writer's Friendship Series

Book Reviews

Need to Know



A quick list to poets featured in this issue:

Mary Moore

Kate Benedict

James Walton Fox

Jane Blue

Tom Goff

Kate Lutzner

Heather Burns

Maria Melendez

Karen Alkalay-Gut

Laverne Frith

Laura Ann Walton

Roger Pfingston

Scott Odom


Bei Dao

Mary Moore

First Fiddle

For Gwendolyn Brooks

December's dismembered the scrubby brown
Woods; the leaf-world has fallen, making aisles
Eyes can thread through tree-limbs and boles,
And paper-sac brown leaf-meal only earth's
Burrowers borrow and eat.  I'm writing the day I mourn,
A morning I've wintered.  I mourn the dark-
Wise poet.  Who's dead? Her words are alive. I mouth
Them aloud, taste them like bread.  The bark-brown
Woods are said over and over;  but trees are still
To be seen, still to be said.  The bark-wizened
Poet Gwendolyn's dead, but her word-play
And quirks, her word-sparks still quicken and praise.
She's fiddled, rubbed and tethered her words
On poetry's cat-gut threads.  Somebody's dead,
Not Gwendolyn, though.  Her fiddling's still being said.


Mind of Winter, I

The shades of seeing brown grow subtler
In Connecticut when slate's the light's way.
The young maple branches the window sills
Frame end in sprays of three, five or seven
Stems, each blunted by a red node or bud-knot
Stiffly held, the stems angle heavenward.
Each tree branch bobs like a crossing arm in one plane--
Up, down, up, down.  It signals the crossing
of yesses and nos, reds, and blues, of stall 
and go in the winter light.  The oldest 
knot-holes the poplars keep are rimmed with the quelled
milk of lavender evenings.  But quiet!
The maple's inward branches arch toward mauve;
The buds are urging their red word.


Mind of Winter, III

The nine shrubs are rubbed to the knub
By the steel-wooled clouds, the weather that fates a place
To its look.  The head and bell-shaped stones
In the field-stone wall look Westard through
The stone-colored light.  The gravel
Colored clouds have sieved it all.  The given--
Weather, earth--is not like a mother at all--
Pillowing, kind, receiving.  It's like the stones'
Harsh sentence.  The words of stone alternate
With space's speech.  The spaces languish between
The stones.  The language of the stone wall
Is anguish, a chorus of the unburied,
Of dislocation in stark weather.  They are not
Supplicants, though they wear surplices of ice.


Mind of Winter, IV

On the pond, the weather floats and pouts
Ellipses around each leaf.  The arrow-shaped
Leaves of poplar point out the way,
Which is all ways.  They give directions and mis-
Directions like inset house numbers
On the sky's glass floor.  They tell the address
Of winter, this pond, this day, in Connecticut.
The pond joins weather and sky, dying them brown.
But weather is weightless and flies.  It will
Not stay to be arraigned, though suspended
Motes or notes of it shine or dim the air.  The stones
Weathe rit.  The spears of wheat-colored light
Grow taller in it, where they strike the pond just so.