Featured Topic: Dreams

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...

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...

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. Other attempts at humor here on Moss Kingdom: You Violated Right-of-way: a rondel about how I hope you die in a...

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...

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    ...

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...

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...

Featured Product: Seasons

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...

To the Grasshopper and the Cricket by Leigh Hunt

Green little vaulter in the sunny grass, Catching your heart up at the feel of June, Sole voice that's heard amidst the lazy noon, When even the bees lag at the summoning brass; And you, warm little housekeeper, who class With those who think the candles come too...

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 and sweet-sick malaise sticks and smothers me. Regret, my old friend, tucks me to sleep under these covers, while, minute-by-minute, the...

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...

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...

Mother of the Storm

What is it about the sea, that heaving mass of endless grey, that stills and saddens me and bends my thoughts like clay? Upon the undulating mass the waves warp and glisten like a field of broken glass and call to all who'd listen, "I am the mother of the storm and...

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 Sad Thoughts Are Banished: reflections on Roethke’s death at the Bloedel Reserve

The woman at the counter said she could   not tell me where the poet Roethke drowned.     The Bloedel Reserve wanted to put on       a happier face, a garden in the wood         and clifftop eyes above the grey-blue Sound.           The pool where they discovered him...

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...

The Leaves Remember

Why are my poems so obsessed with doom? Is there no light their dark will not consume, no work they will not turn into a chore, nor child they cannot drown in metaphor? Sometimes beauty is neither fraud nor thief; sometimes a leaf is just a common leaf— a welcome...

Featured Writer: poets better and more famous than me

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night – Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Though wise men at their end know dark is right, Because their words had forked no lightning they Do not go gentle into that good night.Good...

Thou Hast Made Me, and Shall Thy Work Decay? by John Donne

Thou hast made me, and shall thy work decay? Repair me now, for now mine end doth haste, I run to death, and death meets me as fast, And all my pleasures are like yesterday; I dare not move my dim eyes any way, Despair behind, and death before doth cast Such terror,...

Sonnet 129 by William Shakespeare

Is lust in action; and till action, lust The expense of spirit in a waste of shame Is perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame, Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust; Enjoy'd no sooner but despised straight; Past reason hunted; and no sooner had, Past reason...

Paradise Lost by John Milton (Excerpt from book 4)

Satan's speech upon finding earth and viewing the sun for the first time: O thou that with surpassing Glory crowned, Look'st from thy sole Dominion like the GodOf this new World; at whose sight all the StarsHide their diminished heads; to thee I call, But with no...

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 you...

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...

Love and Sleep by Algernon Charles Swinburne

Lying asleep between the strokes of night   I saw my love lean over my sad bed,   Pale as the duskiest lily’s leaf or head, Smooth-skinned and dark, with bare throat made to bite, Too wan for blushing and too warm for white,   But perfect-coloured without white or...

Love is Not All by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Love is not all: it is not meat nor drink Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain; Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink And rise and sink and rise and sink again; Love can not fill the thickened lung with breath, Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone;...

New Loneliness by Sarah Harmer

There is just one apple on the tree It isn't like I'd hoped it'd be. Yesterday when there was still you I looked, and I swear that I saw two. Maybe a wandering white tail deer came in the night to make it even more clear and left me just one, a spartan no less, to...

Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie (Excerpt) by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Prelude. THIS is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks, Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight, Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and prophetic, Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their bosoms....

Featured Form: Rondel

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...

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...

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August’s End

August’s End

The thorn branches are a knot of tangled capillaries. They quarter armies of spiders standing silent and sentinel over the blackest of the blackberries-- the last and heaviest summer sweet before the coming rot. These are the scouts and outriders of the advancing...

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