Jared Carter, “Lakeshore”

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Lakeshore

You will go down that path again
     and every trace
Will be gone—the fires that had been
     so bright, erased,

The undimmed faces swept away.
     Some part of you
Will carry on, and yet the play
     of light, the blue,

Perpetual waves, the dunes, the wind
     will never change,
Nor the long stretch of sand, its end
     still out of range.

 


Jared Carter’s Darkened Rooms of Summer was the first book selected for the Ted Kooser Contemporary Poetry Series and was published in 2014 by the University of Nebraska Press. Carter lives in Indiana.


 

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M. J. Iuppa, “Rough-Hewn Stones, a Wall at the Top of the Field”

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Rough-Hewn Stones, a Wall at the Top of the Field

It does not move, but
divides two sides few see

indefinitely—like limits
measured in lengths of steps

To build this took considerable
thought, making stones join

like names or time passing
overhead—or, without

weather’s moss growing
green in its gaps—no saying

how long it will last

 


M. J. Iuppa is the director of the Visual and Performing Arts Minor Program and a lecturer in creative writing at St. John Fisher College, and since 2000 to the present, is a part-time lecturer in creative writing at The College at Brockport. Since 1986, she has been a teaching artist, working with K-12 students in Rochester, NY, and the surrounding area.

She has three full-length poetry collections, most recently Small Worlds Floating (2016) and Within Reach (2010), both from Cherry Grove Collections, Night Traveler (Foothills Publishing, 2003), and five chapbooks. She lives on a small farm in Hamlin, NY.


 

Jared Carter, “Promise”

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Promise

Water will be your solace now—
     not tears, not rain,
Not ocean wave, but rather how
     it can explain

The motion that makes each of us
     resemble dew—
That falls, and disappears, and trusts
     that on a new

And sun-filled morning, nothing will
     have changed: each trace,
Each droplet shining with a still,
     prismatic grace.

 


Jared Carter’s Darkened Rooms of Summer was the first book selected for the Ted Kooser Contemporary Poetry Series and was published in 2014 by the University of Nebraska Press. Carter lives in Indiana.


 

Don Brandis, “A Rainy Day’s unFinish”

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A Rainy Day’s unFinish

when its early signals are ignored like winks and blushes,
it signs into distracted minds
as a flock of sparrows pecking at the roof
here and there at first then indiscriminate
drumming that rises, falls
filling up a primordial emptiness
with splashy gestures of an unfinished moment
declaring itself unfinished in crisp detail
hundreds of blur-streaks try to erase the scene
outside our windows, failing but continuing
as if to say, you’re not seeing this
O blinkered men of Haddam
for we are at least a plague of locusts
come to ground as seven-foot snakes churning
wearing dozens of leathery batwings twirling for show
in a carnival you’ve never heard of
with crackling lightning booming thunder
while we hack like claws of blackbirds
at your roof and windows
we are your chthonic cousins
behind, beneath, within your costumes
here to the unfinish: first seeing to last unseeing
the depth of a clear night sky

 


Don Brandis is a retired healthcare worker living a happily married hermit’s life in a small town not far enough from Seattle, reading and writing poems, tending fruit trees, and meditating. He writes because good poems are invitations to engage intrinsic values in a culture that only values tools. He has published some poems with Melancholy Hyperbole, Wild Goose Poetry Review, Red Fez, and elsewhere.