—JD DeHart, Chattanooga, TN
I take a bit of shade,
a modicum of shadow, and place
it in my bag. Call me some
version of Aeolus.
In the afternoon, heat came
and I rustled in my bag for
the bit of coolness, finding
it had evaporated.
Guess I forgot to feed
and water it.
of a world that I thought
we had created. This was
many nights ago. Peace
Last night, I dreamed about
the world we might be creating.
Furtive glances, interrogation
rooms, hiding and tucking away.
I woke with a sense of being
undefeated even after finding
that civility has not completely
conquered our flaws.
BY THE ACCIDENT OF BEING ON PURPOSE
They finally got it right
with that one, folks said.
Do you also get the image
of porch swings and lemonade,
old people with large eyeglasses,
when you hear the word folks?
They rumored and they gossiped
him into great success. You would
have thought he wore sandals
and carried a sword and scroll.
Now, every time he comes home,
he feels like he has to put the
legend on, and boy is it itchy.
I decided one day
the trapeze was no longer for me.
Maybe it's getting older
that did it.
I decided the lighted circle,
center-stage, was to be abandoned.
It's okay. I usually flubbed
my lines anyway.
REVISITING A POSTER MY PARENTS
GAVE ME WHEN I WAS YOUNG
—Michael H. Brownstein, Chicago, IL
This poster is not enough to fill me with food—
at its apex Jimi Hendrix cannot play the guitar
and Janis Joplin, already dead, has her mouth sewn tight.
There are colors in this poster, too, but not psychedelic,
not Jimmy Page, not Billie Holliday, not Ringo—
his drum sticks broken at his feet and his snare drum torn.
I never go to concerts. They are empty of sound,
empty of substance and yet I can remember the exact
look of Sha Na Na at Woodstock—their only song
worth repeating as if Joe Cocker could actually
balance his hands at the end of his wrists.
—Michael H. Brownstein
My daughter blossomed into a wild flower
Hummingbird, sparrow, honey bee
Nourishing herself in the wind.
My daughter flashed her new colors
Brighter than a flamboyant tree,
Its leaves relish golden red.
In a flash a rainstorm loses its tea
And my daughter alive and invasive,
Straight and lovely, finds a way to give it back.
—Michael H. Brownstein
Heart shape, cloud shape,
A beat to the wind,
Flash flood, flash light,
A soul within the snow,
Soda winter, soda stream,
The riff of the line of kites.
Our thanks to today’s fine poets (from far away), and to Katy Brown for more eclipse photos (from closer to home). JD DeHart writes that he is working on a project at dehartreadingandlitresources.blogspot.com, a site where he writes book reviews and posts author interviews. Check it out!
And Michael Brownstein has played a trick on Medusa: somehow I got the idea that he was from N. Queensland, Australia. I featured him and posted him several times, saying that’s where he’s from. But recently, for some reason, I Googled him and found out he’s from Chicago! When I asked him why he let me be so silly, at last he confessed. His excuse, he says, was that he loved the idea of being from Australia…
Well, I guess it doesn’t matter where he, or anyone else, sends poems from, just as long as they keep sending them, right?
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