Tag Archives: winter

ron wallace | war horses

Bukowski is inside-reading; I leave him at my desk to wait the dead of winter with whiskey and cigars             and walk outside onto the cedar deck. I carry leather, stone, steel and oak with me into the elements             Dickey, Jeffers, Komunyakaa and Howard Starks; these are my war horses.             They bleed Whitman, sometimes in fine arterial spray, sometimes in droplets that spatter in bright red splotches             and sometimes -- sometimes they seep, saturating the pages. They speak of horses, hawks, yellow jackets and mountain boomers, Osage County, Buckhead and Bogalusa             and I listen for echoes in trees and rain beyond the empty clink of beer bottles where unfolding black steals the sunset,             as I lift worn western heels up onto a low wrought iron table to watch a changing sky             before reading the blood.
Ron Wallace, currently an adjunct professor of English at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, is the author of five volumes of poetry. Published in a wide variety of journals and anthologies, his first book, Native Son, was a Finalist in the 2007 Oklahoma Book Awards, and Oklahoma Cantos was a Finalist in the 2011 Awards. His newly released book is baseball themed and entitled Hanging the Curveball.

michael jennings | remains

My son guides me up the long hill squelching in run-off, along trails narrow as goat paths through the trees to show me the strewn bones of a deer nested in her shed shreds of fur, almost golden, where some wood spirit laid her to rest, and the coyotes and crows stripped her, leaving only a hoof and furred knuckle intact among a clutter of collapsed ribs. He shows me the clean white vertebrae, the pelvis with its odd eye hole, the knee still attached with some last rope of sinew.                This is his find, stumbled on as he tried his new spring legs in a downhill, helter-skelter run, and stopped, and stared, and in his eleven year old mind knew that this was the stuff of running undone, something the receding snow left for him personally, a sign of winter’s weight.                               We eye it together. We go down on our knees to gather pieces of the witchcraft mystery. The grey trees around us are also bones that click and chatter in the wet wind of almost spring. The brown limpid eyes are gone. The crumbling gnarl of spine, once nerved and tremulous, is now only a train wreck the grass will hide in a month’s time. We feel the doorway of earth opening. We feel the thinness of our skins and the prickling of short hairs rising. We know what’s at the bottom of things, how soon the mayflies will be dancing their measured reels of the evening.
jennings-photoMichael Jennings was born in the French Quarter of New Orleans and grew up in east Texas and the deserts of southwestern Iran before graduating from the University of Pennsylvania and the Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Syracuse University. He is the author of eight books of poems, most recently Silky Thefts from Orchises Press and Bone-Songs and Sanctuaries: New and Selected Poems from The Sheep Meadow Press. He is also an internationally recognized breeder and judge of Siberian Huskies and the author of three books on the breed.

katia mitova | leap year

I open the wax-sealed envelope: a day of summer towards the end of a long winter. Father and I on a yellow tandem. We pedal quickly but are not moving. I like this. My brother in the garden, still a baby, crawling toward a blue-green caterpillar, never reaching it. A tawny puppy perpetually chasing its tail. My mother on the porch, at her sewing machine. She is hemming a length of white cotton – without thread, without making any noise. We are happy. Suddenly – a buzz. An invisible bee hitting a window pane. Am I the only one who hears it? I jump off the bike and follow the noise. It leads me to the window of my room. The pane is all iced save for a small opening scratched by the bee. I look through this peephole: inside, winter continues. I step back, slowly fold the day, put it back in the envelope, moisten the glue on the flap with my tongue and seal Being & Becoming together.
From Dream Diary (Virtual Artists Collective, 2013).
Katia Mitova was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria. In 1993 she moved to Chicago and stayed. This is an orally-enhanced version of a poem about her now almost mythological Bulgarian childhood. Check http://katiamitova.org.