William Doreski (2 Poems)

At the Grave of Randall Jarrell The clunk and rasp of building a wood fire distracts but warms me. You love the grunt and groan of chores, talking to the cats, paying bills we can’t afford to pay. Meanwhile I’m picturing a pair of cypress almost doubled over with ice in a North Carolina graveyard….

Irene Hergottova (7 Poems)

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…

Barton Smock (8 Poems)

funereal as some things incorrectly have wings, we stamp a chicken into the hood of a cop car. the groundskeeper on break inside the church wonders aloud how much is left of the lord. a boy not part of our boyhood bikes over to us with his feet he’s named individually show and tell. the…

Pablo Cuzco (5 Poems)

Flowers of Dawn A yellow moon over the rooftops—striking in silence—blue sky, dark and twinkling—stars meld into street light—alleyways cluttered with bottles clink | a cat howls in summer heat— water washes away the smear | bleary-eyed and broken, I stumble among dust bins and sediment of the living—crowned with a halo—spirits | God and…

Tom Laichas: 9 Poems from “Naming the Animals”

Named and Nameless In the midst of the naming, the boy asks: What’s your name? The Voice remembers: years in the future, others will ask this question. The reply is the same: I am what I am. The boy: That’s not an answer. We’re all what we all are, nameless or no. The Voice: But…

Marie Marshall (3 Poems)

104 The river’s in constant re-set mode, sighting by its hand against the banks what’s up and what’s down. It has the tattoo of the sky in its eye. Two girls, leaning against the wall, ignore it, choosing instead to contemplate : hills and the warmth of each other’s shoulder, but each has plashed puddles…

Caroline Hardaker (6 Poems)

Clansmen ‘Bring me at my close to the Water Dogs’,                                             my father would say. ‘When I’m tired, waning, take me to play with those who ward the cusp of this earth – the…

Wordsworth’s Sonnets (Forerunners)

While William Wordsworth is rightly known for his longer poems – whether on the poor and destitute, or his immortality ode, or the book-length Prelude – his sonnets are also something to be reckoned with. Here are a handful of them; if you know of others, do note them in the comments. And since Wordsworth…

Melissa Rendlen (6 Poems)

Snowless Woods In snowless winter woods, tree trunk skeletons raise brown branches toward grey skies suspended softly inches above. Oaks cling to their few remaining dry dead leaves, like a mother, aware too soon her children will be lost. Under foot, crunch of leaves mold into the feel of soft mulch as dog and human…

Emily Dickinson (Forerunners)

While some of Emily Dickinson’s more well-known lines had been in my head for years, I didn’t sit down with all of her poems until a flight from Atlanta ages ago, to attend my grandmother’s funeral back home. As Dickinson says, time does not assuage; but her strange words and stranger company of her presence…

Ken Craft (6 Poems)

from the collection The Indifferent World Trigger This is where I held my breath— a stand of red pine, needles and snowdust scribed about my boot, cold crescent resisting a swollen finger itchy-numb with November. This is where a buck held its breath— mouth mid-meal amid the mast, a single line of berry drool spiking…

Philip Larkin (Forerunners)

Thanks to Daniel Paul Marshall for selecting the nine poems below from Philip Larkin, as well as for the following comments. Be sure to check out his blog for his own poetry, essays and photography, as well as another piece on Larkin. Larkin was a poet I knew more about than I had read. In…