week of July 9 - 15, 2007
Katherine L. Gordon,
the judges of the
2007 Poetry Super Highway
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Katherine L. Gordon
Katherine L. Gordon lives to write in a secluded Eramosa river valley in rural Rockwood, Ontario. Her work has been translated into many languages including Chinese, Spanish, French and Hindi. She is an award-winning poet who believes that poetry is a mighty bond between cultures. Katherine is the Resident Columnist for Ancient Heart Magazine published quarterly in Bristol, England. She is the author of 2 full collections, many chapbooks and anthologies. Her latest book MYTH WEAVERS a collection of Canadian myths and legends, was released by Serengeti Press this April. She belongs to a summer group of fine poets who produce a weekly poem to prod each other into creativity on a theme, very enjoyable and stmulating. try it!
The following work is Copyright © 2007, and owned by email@example.com and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.
The Unlit Fields Of Night
Gather in the light
for darkness follows fallow
leaving fields of unlit spectres
awaiting the bare unaware
........toed and cloven
........webbed and woven
no icons of day to shape the path.
spider night nets
Tears of mortal loneliness
crevice these fields,
the crackling mockery of gods
invented to hide the shock of dark
fireflies out of the fields of night
where we are alone.
Then is pain magnified in a moon-glass,
dream fragments flicker in
the swollen shadows,
vanities and fears silhouetted
abutting the black-mask stage
where futility is the theme of the masquerade.
What grows in sombrous fields
where night fires blister fair feet and shallow crops?
Where we stand offering day-dregs
........turn down cups
here is the muddied well of brief being,
beginning and end of life-form
vortex of spirit --
for all the truth is dark.
The Alchemy of Summer Flowers
Flowers thrust blooms of balm
for fallen nests, the weary, draglets of winter void,
insisting beauty with drugged wafts of opium forget,
sadness phoenix-burned in a petal pyre
of blue scarlet gold,
only the paradise ashes of promise each can fashion
from a breathless landscape -
leaves of light etching, green-glossing, dew globing
an alchemy distilled to reflect planes of perfection,
fruited in summer to affirm the mystery.
Too ecstatic to sustain
we glow in harmonious aura
with the briefness of the rose,
truth beyond the flaws
Where Green Hearts Die
You turn away, become a dot
on my vanishing horizon,
I hear guitar notes, sad-sweet air-curve
like the never-reached trees seen
through slots in dusty workshops
where green hearts die.
Yet it is spring and all the flowers
must now unfold a destiny of pollen,
sprinkling even stings of bees
coating the blade of time
with honeyed moments.
No scroll no song no note of Spanish guitar
can keep the fading colour
of drained heart,
green promises blown to maiden-hair moss
on crumbling stones.
Banshee By The River
May morning, blossoms like breast-buds
struggling to emerge from chrysalis,
pink the sky.
Time in merciless moments unravels again
as though ice-sadness never was.
I take the river-path where I can hear
a sound I must answer
though all is naively new around me:
lifting grasses, daffodil promises,
pale forget-me-not pleas,
expectations of excited birds,
re-write of an old play.
By the eddying stream a woman crouched,
basket of clothes by her side,
long silver hair falling into the sheen of river.
She turns to greet me, white-eyed, white-lipped,
offers the garments I see are mine,
her long ululating cry shocks the woods
and all is still, waiting.
Echoes of the ancient glens, rivers and mountains
of long-ago childhoods, meet at this stream.
May woman, December woman, Farewell woman,
I know your fairy face.
A wildcat paced the cliff,
stared through his own dimension
at my enclosed valley.
I trespassed with reverential side-glance,
envying his grace of purpose,
certain place in cave covenants.
No rifle or trophy sack
can blow away this inscribed moment -
the paw-lope of a predator
blending with lush life manifested briefly here -
he sensed my empathy with cold-eyed knowledge,
I would follow his truth were I free,
man's purpose here so obscured.
May Maiden Sunbows --Pharisee Frowns
Some saw angels, some UFOs, some virgins,
for it was May, and all the pent-up
phantoms of winter projected
onto fertile canvesses.
The children, innocent of doctrine,
became enchanted by the manifestation
of the May Maiden,
ancient longing to love and to mate,
meld all their matter to spirit transformation -
all true knowledge that rules forbade.
Fearing dreams, passions wild,
priests and bishops decried the source.
To stem the moon-flood of natural joy,
dark prophecies were pronounced -
so many revengeful god ways to end frail life.
But the children knew that other truths
are found in the wildflower grottoes of May.
Fatima melted into sun-bows
and smiles yet.
The Swallows of Pharaoh
The swallow flies between the worlds
a messenger carrying petitions
from the earth-bound to the free.
In his eliptic course
wing beat heart-beat
the curvature of light we long to follow,
the secrets of shadows sequestered.
He nests in the deepness of barns,
high-raftered, transmuted trees,
nests glued with elf-spit, blessed and quiet.
The owl, his dark brother, accepted.
I leave a high window ajar each season
to call the heat of his presence
after winter desolation
.............--return of sky-glad spring.
I shred my questions for his small nest
incubating dreams of spring eternal -
sun-spattered illusory armour
against the silent deadly dark.
PB Rippey’s poetry, fiction and book reviews have appeared in journals such as Zyzzyva, Runes, Pool, Slope, Solo, Mary, California Quarterly, The Chattahoochee Review, Poetry NZ and Phoebe and she has been a finalist in Glimmer Train’s Poetry Open and several GT short story contests. She is the current recipient of the Abroad Writers’ Conferences 2007 Poetry Fellowship. Her poetry chapbook Nightmares With Moons was published by Pudding House last October. PB is completing her first full length collection of poetry and a novel. She lives in North Hollywood.
The following work is Copyright © 2007, and owned by PB Rippey and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.
Full Buck Moon
my man runs with many others on five miles
of keeled beach lit by swingy full buck moon-
light. Little bellowing herd
of buck naked gents. Stars. The cyclopean beam
draping rocks like robes waiting…We’re all anticipation
in this Western night. I lie on decrepit gold couch
punishing a green bottle, ignoring HBO, the book slipping
from my chest. The moon in the window: bulb above nicked
pickets, each picket a finger suggesting up, up, up. Is he looking
for signs, my young buck not so young, now? Is he gathering tender bits
of driftwood to outline his bed, side by side with the howling others, one
of whom will marry shortly, only one? Is he collecting rituals like fresh
specimens jarred: When I Need This I Will---inventing wheels
and rites integral to his nagging hunch about love (oh yes he will love).
Where to when a moon is this vengeful, dogging the matted threshold be-
yond my locked front door? Oh punished bottle---moony book---oh HBO---
the rituals in this house left for a stab at the astonishing. See? The moon
is a father, patience drained---he yanks the sea’s ruffles and cuffs clear
to the chin of the cliffs. Obeying his fisted tide, shooed up top
to a fresh fire, whiskey, crowed existential banter, the men take to their
earthy beds to sleep…Unprotected---faces, salt speckled lips---fair
game, the moon strikes, cultivating dreams like ecoli…
Is it enough for the sun to remind us (man-groom, groomsmen,
the curious caustic abandoned riding her hideous couch) of her scathing
wake-up call tomorrow? Her monstrous reach? Marry, faith?
Girls On Horses
Let me dispel this one: I never
had an orgasm girl-on-horse
and I was the girl
who had the horse---
a plump, belligerent morgan: Philly
(no end of snickers in the girl-jammed stables
for the homophone and though I was not the one
who named her).
gasm. It wasn’t like that. It was:
the huge carroty swindle; muck-
to-pick, rough curry and rake-to-shine
as she dozed, left rear hoof cocked, her mildest hour.
When finally I was seated, she stopped
in the middle of the nature trot
or sweet street watching:
mule (her witch-eyes, her timing),
I had a crop of stinging
leather, boots with vicious heels.
I used them, see-sawed
from bridle purchased separate-
ly from bit (that’s the way, you see---
complicated, precise, in-
ept) as she listened to me (rai-
ded of authority) weep.
She was as obedient
as a struck child
when I led her home on foot
you are going somewhere bad.
to an emerald farm in Oregon
and I married a man
(at 17) 3 times my age---
his great paw scooping, his will unchecked;
like that. Meanwhile, on the emerald farm
at 14 Philly gave birth. Freak.
A fresh mother! Un-
der his roof, I remembered the witch-
eyes, her subjugated’s rock-
stance. I remembered: brushing
her in our trance, her muzzle
seeking my left ear---how she breathed in-
.............And where is my little one? Oh dear god some-
.............And what was my love?
.............Well, I gave what I had.
Dresden Room, Los Angeles
Elayne’s shoulders are this night’s dark
moon’s retinal curve, her large hair piggyback;
she kneads piano keys, sings to her fingers. Marty,
tucked around his bass in polyester (kimono), is side-
kick to his frozen, leapt cowlick of lounge-
lizard toupee. Oh dark night. My friend and I seek
protection from your dismal mallet. Huddled
beneath crushed-berry lights with a Sidecar
and a Cosmopolitan and one burger in a booth
not quite round, but round enough---we are two brushed,
rouged maids shouldered, covered, keeping them
out. My friend’s eyes are quivering
droplets of Blue Skyy. She is discouraged:
the bartenders are slurry grandfathers and those
youths in front dressed in the frayed uni-
form of the trendy---GI Joe bodies in second-
hand wheels, spokes poking, bald or shaggy
above their beer (Budweiser is “back”),
bleached teeth, leading male cheekbones checked
by the pleather miniskirted mired in a standing room
only crowd---how they frighten us (poets locked
in private rooms---I am nobody---who are you---). When
my friend insists there is no one, I half believe her
and signal for another round as Elayne sings:
she’s got a ticket to ride, in her small pet
voice and my friend confesses: I. Am. Ugly.
Old Maid. Spinster. Rebel
in your upstairs room, smog fringing your one window,
spyglass to the smothering metropolis, parents prowling
the dim first floor, fresh cocktails and debts between them,
cats stretched on shabby sills, on your lap while you in-
cubate (blocked) as your bewitching lady rises,
elegant Californian, her touch of summer, the surprises
for those who say they know you---there is nothing for you
here. Marty, Elayne, bent, concocting---they conspire: the cheek-
bones, the dismal night.
They sing: Love was too plebian
They sing: My kind of town
This is your town. Your tow.n. And there is no-
thing for you here---no one---but for
The epileptic father of an autistic son, Steve is certain his grandchildren will be firestarters. His distinctive style does not fit neatly into literary, coffeehouse or slam categories. Steve's poetry displays lyrical, caustic and ironic wordplay that compliment 20 years of writing. Steve has been featured in many online and print journals including PoetrySuperHighway, Smog, Lid, (this), Friction, Recursive Angel, Conspire , Grumpy Dog, SFSalvo, Atom Mind, Concrete Wolf, Maelstrom, the AIPF's 1998 anthology di-verse-city, too and the PoetWorks Press publication When I Was A Child. His poem "Two Kinds" won the 2006 PSH annual contest's grand prize. Steve has two print collections of earlier works, helen could waste away and because I love you so damn much I'd wait for you . He has recently finished his first CD of poetry, nervous laughter. He also runs the blog Controlled Burning.
The following work is Copyright © 2007, and owned by Steve Norwood and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.
was it the rope? or the trowel?
the charnal air, thick and weighted
with the smell of one final feast:
is it uncooked meat,
or the scent of the dying?
when you ignore the dead
pointing up their assassins,
and settle for nightmares and nudes,
which do you think we will recall?
and which do you think we shall
the panda promulgation piece
I would hate to be a panda;
too much pressure
-to be cute
-to be potent
-to not miscarry
-to not sink my
teeth into the throat
of every hairless ape
that tried to urge me into a
with another panda
I hardly know.
I would hate to be
for the success or failure
of my species'
..........time, and tide.
It took all I had
just to draw
from the air
and give them each
So a panda? No.
I do not know my own reason.
I am allowing hope to river away.
I am increasingly raw.
I am corroded, scorned by light.
I have fractured hope.
I squire lives of clever naught.
I mean all of indiscreet winds.
I would say I was mad,
.....but I am far too organized
slight aches become cancerous.
mild desires are monoliths of triumph.
quiet is balm and rage a tonic.
I have fallen
from graceful confidence
to unrivaled shame and disgrace,
a loathing that does not completely consume me
only because it cannot gnaw through bone
and has no taste for fear.
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