Poets’ Corner

Altar and Offering

i. Through November’s arterial horizon traffic flickers. Mountain bare but for a bent cloud clipping the ridge. What would it mean to see clearly— to know nothing’s there other than what is. ii. A clearing between scrub and birches peeling (white sheets flagging) where sunset sparks. And those hollow tones: geese gathered at the river’s…

Curtain Call

Allow me at my end to be like these Descending leaves that elegantly dance Their final scene, expressing festive peace As they take leave of life. Still colorful, They ornament the sky as Fall’s sun slants To warm their gold, release their sweet fragrance. They’ve felt their feebling stems, and known the call Of gravity’s…

Ode to Paniskos

  “Πάνισκος κεχρη” -P.Lond. III 658 What we share when the nights grow cold is the thrill of life’s noble luster. Perhaps you too, like me, will remember the fiery sight of water running west at night like power untouched even by the gods. They come to you, caked in sand and suffering, wishing to…

The Little Place

That little place—it burned in May this year, Touched, torched by riot flames in the city… What city? Could be any city now; It doesn’t matter which or where. They’re all Debris and fatwood meant to kindle fire. That little place—familiar, homely, worn. You sent a video of girls at play In spars and ashes…

Sunken Island

  Leaving, we took the path of least resistance, paved and prone to floods; returning now, we tramp through mud to lawns awash with silt. The walls we never mended here, the banks we never built, have left us bare. The life once tended here, its honed and hard-won peace, these currents with relentless ease…

The Hermit Prays the Liturgy of the Hours

Although he’s not a priest, he’s made an altar Beneath his eastern window. When the first sun Strikes the maple tabletop, the shine Calls to him. It’s there he keeps his psalter Between two beeswax candles. Christ Pantocrator Gleams in red and gold, His life-book open In His hand. Unreadable words, unspoken, Catch at the…

All Your Life

You’ll earn less than you feel you’re worth, Retire in debt; Old faces framed above the hearth     Your name forget. And, friends forget your failings soon, But not your wife, Who carries them like an old tune—     Or sharpened knife. You dreamed of politics and fame But that soon faded, As no one liked you,…

The Back Porch

1. Garden Here, he said, we cut a crease In which to set the seed. Tend the roots and I will bless Whatever fruit is made, Whether fig or olive grow To sanctify the air, Magnolia or willow, The leaves of common prayer. Treat them with a touch as mild As children would demand. Earth…

John the Baptist’s Brain Scan

Clinical History:Fetal synaesthesia and involuntary ecstasy; sudden adult-onset soteriological hydrophilia. Findings:There is pervasiverubicund pigmentationof the frontal lobe andluxury perfusionof the mid-cortical gyrisuggesting locust-ingestion ketogenesis.Patient’s sulciare focally engorgedwith desert flower honey.Hypertrophic changesto the circle of Willisreveal vaticination. Impression:MRI findings suggest Nazarite syndrome. Further testing with sandal thongs is indicated to assess digital non-compliance. The patient should…

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