Poetry From Past Issues

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VOICES

I used to live in a house that stood by itself,
On the comer of a large lot.
The small road on the side, going up a hill,
And the road in front both carried some traffic,
But by and large
The noises that I heard
Were made by me,
The cats and the dog,
And family members,
All of whom eventually left
One way or another.
Now I live in a two-family house,
On the bottom floor.
My cats still tell me what they want
(I guess that's what they're doing)
But I hear a lot more too:
People next door,
Large trucks and dog-walkers out on the street,
People upstairs,
And indeterminite sounds,
Unplaceable, unintelligible. Usually the noise is barely audible,
And sounds strangely like voices talking to me.
The shower door opening and closing
Has vowels and consonants.
Often I seem to hear my name-
Pa-tri-cia,
Quietly,
Or some message I can't quite make out.
I think of olden days
When certain people claimed their God
(Or Gods)
Talked to them,
Told them what to do.
I thought they made it up,
Pretended to have heard God speak;
But maybe, like me,
They heard what they reported,
Interpreting the soft sounds as God telling them
What he had to say.

                Patricia Fillingham
_____________________________

TODAY

The universe begins on West 4th Street
winds its way around Omaha, dips
into the sun, makes a little bang
and drops back to skip along Barrow Street
like a stone:

Life as we know it began dying on
Bleecker Street one paper coffee cup at a time.
7th Avenue screamed in the red of traffic light,
Andromeda cringed.

The guardian angels of storefronts plucked
their feathers from their wings until
there were no more angels

      -everything's changing,
everyone is suddenly a stranger-where
are the stores, the shops?

Today the universe has shrunk
It can fit in the dot of a small "i".

              Frank Murphy


_____________________________

BUGS ON THE BRAIN

Bewilderness when I wrote "leather"
   for "rubber"

Forgot where I was   made a turn i disremembered

Doctor says I could take a pill to ward off this
   Forgettingness

Keep till   later the only sometimes I'll wake up

  Until I don't wake up and am a Zombie with no bowel training

People already look
  At me with such amaze

I wonder if I have on
   Enough clothes   or did I

Lose loose change   or gust about,

  a tornado out of gear?

When Vincent did his painting of

  crows that was when

   He lost all.

What was that likened? Did Lazarus smell?

And I am slipping glimpse   a crevasse before or

   Belowcut cut acute cut

Where can I find you? How? How much     How
   Green was my Valley?

         Shirley Powell

______________________


Created on ... September 27, 2007