Featured Topic: Dreams

Tooth by Rotten Tooth

Legs stirring before the alarm's tormenting beep, I wake from strange dreams in the autumn of my youth, and choke on broken promises I meant to keep-- a sludge that settles to the bottom with the truth where bottled thoughts belch the foam of cold fermented sleep and...

Ephemera: Beauty Lies

"It is the failing of a certain literature to believe that life is tragic because it is wretched. Life can be magnificent and overwhelming — that is its whole tragedy. Without beauty, love, or danger it would be almost easy to live." "Beauty is unbearable, drives us...

At Torrey Pines

A cruel salt wind molests the twisted pine who grovels on his gnarled knees for rain; his futile prayers won't mend his broken spine nor will he stand, as in his dreams, again. The cliffs themselves all crumble in the sea and the tumble-down rocks resent the mocking...

The Icebox

In my dream, I held too many things in my hands and my fingers grappled and fumbled with the load afraid I'd drop one as I stumbled down the road for I'd balanced several things atop an icebox and my dream-drunk brain was slow, weighted down with sand until I knelt to...

All This Juice and All This Joy

Alive and heavy with health,      syrup swells the root, and sun-dappled fields are filled      with walking flowers: the blossoms of the body      and the promise of fruit. We know, and delight, and dream      away the hours; let us have sweet Summer's cream    ...

Dream After Making 300 Valentines for Lifelong Aids Alliance: by Amy Doran

We sat, pasting crows from construction paper waiting for them to come to life. They did come to life, shuddering with breath, flapping cautiously, realizing. Jesus could be a camera watching over us when we're sick with letters sick with names, lying on a hospital...

A Child’s Sleep

I wonder if the tearful child, not yet perceiving what it means to fall asleep, might believe she dies each night. Afraid to go alone, she chokes on her goodbyes, "Please don't forget me! O please leave the door ajar!" But the swallowing Unknown will not share her...

Sunday Morning Lethargy

It's Sunday morning; I don't make the bed. Somehow worn from an oversupply of sleep, I feel empty and overfed all at once. Should I eat or should I try a second cup of coffee, or the tea? I am too weary to decide and I tire of this mush of humid luxury. The night held...

Spider Dream: a Limerick

I saw a spider fall into my bed right onto the pillow beside my head. Now I'm hunting him, like preachers hunt sin, and dare not sleep till he or I is dead.  

Featured Product: Seasons

December 21: an Advent poem for the Winter Solstice

 Long lay the world in sin and error pining      Till he appeared and the soul felt it's worth. A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoicing      For yonder breaks, a new and glorious morn. -John Sullivan Dwight  All the nations grope about in the dark to find some...

The View From Winter

By some unjust miracle I awoke again today. How? When the wasted days and hours accumulate like a grey cloak of soot-heavy snow; the sweet-sick malaise sticks and smothers me. Regret, my old friend, tucks me to sleep under these covers, while, minute-by-minute, the...

Winter Staves by Rusten Harris

Is it winter? The trees are waiting to be clothed Arms and branches lifted up to the heavens Staves - ragged upright wooden bones Sup life with a little soil - frozen Limbs clenched through the wind Some lose weight and watch their friends Keep warm through the winter...

After Walking in the Rain

I need to find a place to dry my shoes and a fresh towel after a hot shower, then clean sheets tucked tight beneath the corners of the bed. I've been too long in the wind, too long among the tree limbs all thinned of leaves and life. While winter's bare mourners rake...

A Closer Kind of Warm: a break-up-with-summer song

The tyrant sun with unforgiving light bends the boys and girls like the August wheat. He makes them strip their clothes and beg for night like mountains made immodest in the heat. Rustling in a windless night, they seethe and sweat in anguish—should they cut their...

Walking One Spring Morning

Walking one spring morning I weighed the cherry blossoms all brimming with new, full with such impossible hues that every petal, every blade, was like a schoolgirl at her promenade adorned for but an hour or two in reds or purples, pinks and blues before it's shorn...

Liturgical Time by Rusten Harris

Behold in liturgical time Both natural and ecclesial The bowing of the trees The lifting of the hands The giving of the leaves The enacting of nativity The gowning of the ground in white The singing of the old hymns The fasting of the daylight The reciting of ancient...

A Seduction: in Four Seasons

Look my young fool, born with the Spring's first green, our morning is all spent and now the afternoon bleeds red in the west. Will you really be so mean as to ignore the pot you set upon the coals? I want you, and the water will be boiling soon. Come, Fool, with me...

All This Juice and All This Joy

Alive and heavy with health,      syrup swells the root, and sun-dappled fields are filled      with walking flowers: the blossoms of the body      and the promise of fruit. We know, and delight, and dream      away the hours; let us have sweet Summer's cream    ...

Cider by Rusten Walter Harris

Three rungs from the top of a rickety four legged ladder My entire body straining to grasp those clustered King apples Mostly green, with flecks of red on their skin facing the sun Reaching further than I ought I put a little weight on an old branch Knowing very well...

Featured Writer: poets better and more famous than me

Yet Do I Marvel by Countee Cullen

I doubt not God is good, well-meaning, kind, And did He stoop to quibble could tell why The little buried mole continues blind, Why flesh that mirrors Him must some day die, Make plain the reason tortured Tantalus Is baited by the fickle fruit, declare If merely brute...

The Waking by Theodore Roethke

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow. I feel my fate in what I cannot fear. I learn by going where I have to go. We think by feeling. What is there to know? I hear my being dance from ear to ear. I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow. Of those so close beside...

“I wish I could remember that first day” by Christina Rossetti

I wish I could remember that first day,      First hour, first moment of your meeting me,      If bright or dim the season, it might be Summer or Winter for aught I can say; So unrecorded did it slip away,...

From Aurora Leigh by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

TRUTH, so far, in my book;—the truth which draws Through all things upwards,—that a twofold world Must go to a perfect cosmos. Natural things And spiritual,—who separates those two In art, in morals, or the social drift Tears up the bond of nature and brings death,...

Exerpt from “The Lanyard” by Billy Collins: a poem for Mother’s Day

I was told that all the firsts would be hard. Today is my first Mother's Day without my mom. Billy Collins, in his poem "The Lanyard," has captured my own feelings better than I could myself. In it he tells how, as a child, he'd thought that giving his mother a...

“I will wait for you.”

This is an amazing performance that articulates a healthy view of singleness in the Christian life. I feel that it is a powerful and much needed corrective to a protestant/evangelical culture that overvalues married life.

Excerpts from Ecclesiastes 1-2

What do people gain from all their labors at which they toil under the sun? Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever. The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises. The wind blows to the south and turns to the north;...

Elegy 20 To His Mistress Going to Bed by John Donne

COME, madam, come, all rest my powers defy; Until I labour, I in labour lie. The foe ofttimes, having the foe in sight, Is tired with standing, though he never fight. Off with that girdle, like heaven's zone glittering, But a far fairer world encompassing. Unpin that...

Mad Girl’s Love Song by Sylvia Plath

  "I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead; I lift my lids and all is born again. (I think I made you up inside my head.)The stars go waltzing out in blue and red, And arbitrary blackness gallops in: I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead. I dreamed that...

We Wear the Mask by Paul Laurence Dunbar

We wear the mask that grins and lies, It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,— This debt we pay to human guile; With torn and bleeding hearts we smile, And mouth with myriad subtleties. Why should the world be over-wise, In counting all our tears and sighs? Nay, let...

Featured Form: Rondel

Where is the Boy? a Rondel for Stephaun

"Look at the picture.      Where is the boy?" "Use your finger, like this, and point right here." Some sounds come out of the scowling man, "We're wasting time. Better to let him enjoy himself, stare at the sun, fondle a toy." "When we talk, it's like he can't even...

Yes, I Was Once Afraid of Bees

Back when I was afraid of bees with a fear most grave and sober; I would flinch when they'd flyover, would shrink and beg my mother, "Please let me stay inside away from these!" Whining from May to October. Yes, I was once afraid of bees but now I see with eyes more...

You Violated Right-of-way: a rondel about how I hope you die in a fire.

You violated right-of-way when you cut in front of all of us-- a hundred drivers and a city bus-- to be the first car parked on the freeway. There were a few words I wanted to say but it's Lent and my wife growls when I cuss; you violated right-of-way when you cut in...

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Winter Makes Wonder

Winter Makes Wonder

Winter makes wonder which summer will wake me last before I under? Grey will rain outlast this stink, sink, sourful mood when wince-wind will past. And I blood, burn, brood— what was said and wished unsaid— fat, fresh, fill from food. Pull the push loose thread; pluck...

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A Center that Will Hold

A Center that Will Hold

Even as we all are hurtling apart, following diverging vectors, there is comfort in the circling. Even our anchoring sun, who hectors the planets, orbits in a greater sky. We all circle and are circled by. We seek the very center that we fly from— the power that both...

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The Bloodred Stone

The Bloodred Stone

I once plucked a beach rock from his watery bed; beautiful, once brushed of sand, he did not complain, but now that he's home, he just lies there--dull and plain. Somewhere along the dirt path home he must have died. A lifeless grey replaced the impossible red, so I...

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Dandelions

Dandelions

They say to write what you know, but what if there is nothing left to show? Nothing to paint but green on green, and all there is to see—already seen. No fresh petals curl up from the dirt, and meaning hangs like an ill-fitting shirt: stretched and shrunken, thin and...

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Wizard Nap

Wizard Nap

This dull and wintry day is still a weeping grey. But with the turning of a dial perhaps I'll force a smile by conjuring the warmth of June against this gloomy afternoon. Like a bored cat, I linger. I boil water with my finger. Yet, despite this warlock power, I mope...

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