Poems published in the December 2020 Issue
This month, each contribution I received was more ethereal than the last. If the naked trees and sparse, dirty snowbanks outside don’t give you chills, these poems will. Their words melt like ice in the mouth and warm like a cup of chamomile tea.
Introduction and Illustrations by
Mayan Godmaire, Creative Writing Editor
By Chaily Bitton
It seems foolish to keep
the same name when I am
called seven others.
My grandfather’s name
was many others, too.
But mostly, he went by
three days into labor
and two days after her
Birthday looked upon me
A “chai” just for me.
An utterance of two
and I was set
for what is seeming to be
of a head tilt
to the side.
of an open mouth and
a whisper of hesitation
Ka, Cha, Sha.
They have stories.
They have personalities.
Green, for example, is the wonderful love story
between a happy sun and a free ocean.
Together, they gave life to grass.
Grass, so small and yet so bi
Grass, that searches water to survive and wind to feel free.
Together, they gave life to trees:
Or at least that’s what a kid told me.
He told me: “That’s green’s story”.
Maybe he’s wrong, and maybe he’s not.
But what I do know is that, that kid understood something very important.
He understood that seeing life in colors is seeing life itself.
By Cyrielle Ouedraogo
the son lay stretched out on bright rock
skin taut atop crumbling bones
as besides him the father wept
and sharpened blade against grey stone
under his back slick oxen blood
below fingertips reddened mud
a heavy hand descends upon
his pleading lips. a reddened sun
around him feathers fallen all,
his tongue ashen soon fed to grief,
and narrowed eyes made wide to see
the gleam of silver quick and brief
the time is come, and sobs the child
dew pooling on quivering cheeks
a silent plea to father’s palm
the sun scorching his muffled psalm
but not a quiver in his eye
father holds faith and wields the blade
but not a quiver in his cheek
or time enough to dare to speak
By Gabrielle Pilon
Flickers of light speckled
Across the dark ocean above,
Enveloping the Earth in a
Blanket with too many
Holes. Letting the cold in.
Within its depths, I see you
I can spot you
From miles away
From my quiet field,
The tickling green grass
Confusing my senses
As I gaze up at the maze
Trying to guide my hazelnut eyes.
I am focused. On you
As you dance, among
Countless other lanterns
Each perfectly placed
Among the rest,
As they hang so low,
I reach my hand out.
Stretching my fingers
That have always been too
Grabbing onto nothing
My hand slipping through,
Grasping at the cold air,
Like a boat,
Lost. At sea.
But I believe that, you
Will one day guide me,
To the sky
some words of love
was a fool
and believed them
(I love you)
a hovering cloud shaped like a shoe over you,
through the sand in my eyes, I see through to you.
little pears dipped and dropped in warm champagne,
the yellow and gold splatter a faint tattoo on you.
a car crash in the tall trees, its color drains of blue,
two legs crushed, flesh, it feels like a déjà-vu for you.
the red corkscrew on the couch, shrimp and cashew,
do you remember when I got the stomach flu, with you?
the ladybugs crying blood in June on the Japanese yew,
I swam through the typhoon and the bullshit, anew for you.
the mother and father in the kitchen, your world of view,
an interview over fondue as I listen to blink-182 with you.
you call me honeydew, and Jeanne disappears, a preview
of the next twenty-two years. I will never bid adieu, to you.