Sublime=Donald, Lowenberg, Mendes, Lee - Day 17 aaduna NPM


All the dusty caves of
           connecting like Westerns
      on stormy afternoons
of television macaroni
and cheese
       to keep me company
while your will in the other room
      ironing your dress
flat, your back
     poured into it
like a jack hammer
siphoning all your
         I cracked the icy steps
no one else could
   beneath the foot worn stones
my will
eyeing it cautiously
for signs
       of fakery.
We ate cakes on Monday
marzipan and jam
soft and pliable as joy.
            I got through all those Tuesdays
with the trains trampling the night
like lost
dogs down the wynd.

© 2014 Erika Donald                         
Berkeley, California               

Erika Donald (photo provided)

* * *

Coming Ashore

Popeye’s I yam what I yam, and
that’s all that I yam looped through
every swimming stroke,
            crawling toward the shore of my sovereign heart

Beach my belly on drying
sand, I lay upon these hard-earned granules,
this sifted mound
sprawled ribbon kelp of braided hair
            flung across cheek pressed imprint, gulping air

a clam’s bubble bursts
and Ladyslipper shells tumble head over foot
            along hem of foam, exposing their marsupial pockets
Empty now
            yet sober, as the scalloped tide recedes

Breathing, yet still
            I lay upon this remembered island      (ahhhhh….)
renewing something
of my truest self.

© 2017 Zigi Lowenberg                    
Harlem, New York                

Zigi Lowenberg (photo provided)

* * *


For face after face of grudging time. Of growling misery. Of grumpy dismissal.
Finding time to care. Finding space for hurting lives.
The wounded animal finishing its’ breath. The emotional scars of life. The ‘be strong’. The ‘make it on your own’. ‘Don’t cry’. Self-reliant spirit stumbling too often. Falling to hunger and pain. To failure.
Who lifts them? Who finds joy again? Our children remember the helping. The helper. Remember hardening for safety.
Lessons of cruelty and hatred. Of meanness. Our bullies stand the yard as gladiators. Fall under the downturned thumbs of the crowd.
Do we keep them from the sword?

© 2014 Edward Mendes                   
Varysburg, New York                       

Edward Mendes (photo provided)

* * *

A quarter of it

The noise retrieved as the silver orb
dissolved into her comfort shape.

There was still the box you handed me
the other hurried afternoon with

your sweat and ignorance and all:
The childhood,   your face,     a flashback.

It’s odd. We’ve never shared the sweetness
in it. Not on a hill, not in the stars.

The feast is always for innate families
we once were: the time your smile reflected

my devotion and warmth to a momentary
figure. Your eyes shimmered against my voice.

It was as if we have hardly been more than
photos. The box sits still by

the desk. Not to waste what it meant to
house, I had to take out a moon from the

four. And managed to swallow a cutout of
our remaining past.

© 2014 Ho Cheung Lee (Peter)         
Hong Kong    

Ho Cheung Lee (Peter)  photo provided

 *   *   *
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