ODIN & BALDR

Tim Miller

         

The High One heard the lowest prophecy:

Already riddled with the worst of dreams,

His boy Baldr would be killed by his brother.

And worse: another brother would avenge

Him, family hacking down family.

And worse: These murders would lead to the end,

To three winters of war and three more years

Of only winter, and all swept away.  

 

Old grey Odin went to the Underworld

And avoided the hall to call on the graves,

And he raised there a reluctant seeress

Who complained, “I am covered in winters,

I am covered in mornings and evenings,

How dare you wake me from this my long death.

You know already what you would deny:

Mead down here is being brewed for Baldr,

For your boy, the dead hall and the high seat

Are being readied for him, for the world’s

Folding over—for your own death, Odin.”

 

And at Baldr’s funeral the High One

Held this knowledge close as the pyre went up,

As the burning ship was pushed to water,

As it was given to wind and the earth,

As Odin bent and whispered to his boy

What none could hear and few would ever know,

Mourning for a son, a family, a world,

The heavy inevitability.

Tim Miller’s most recent book is the long narrative poem, To the House of the Sun (S4N Books). His other fiction and poetry have appeared widely. He writes about poetry, history and religion at www.wordandsilence.com.

EPHRAM PRATT SINGS FROM THE WORD BOX

Jack e Lorts

 

The word box,

brown and yellow

 

from leavings found

along the river,

 

bent with a small voice,

silently into

 

a wilderness

of crying trees.

 

It was the voice

of a wood fawn

 

that he heard

singing a full throated

 

no sound—

echoing like grass stains

 

violating the web

scribbled between

 

two voices

that don't exist,

 

or that exist

(maybe a little)

 

in the poet's mind,

like silk poems.

Jack e Lorts is a retired educator living in a small isolated town in eastern Oregon where he has served as both school superintendent and mayor. His poems have appeared in such literary magazines and sites as Arizona Quarterly, Kansas Quarterly, and Arsenic Lobster. His most recent chapbook is Dear Gilbert Sorrentino & Other Poems.

HOW THINGS LOOK

Bill Pruitt

 

A thin strand of

Horizontal cloud

Across the lower

Half of a full moon

After a night of rain:

A hair out of place?

 

The thrill of her

Letting you see her

As she is

Bill Pruitt is a fiction writer, storyteller, poet, and an assistant editor with Narrative Magazine. He has published poems in such places as Ploughshares, Anderbo.com, Cottonwood, and two chapbooks with White Pine and FootHills. His story “My Cousin Gabe” appears in a recent issue of Crack the Spine Literary Magazine.

LIZA

Carl Boon

 

She'd arrive at night, this Liza,

thin-legged, craving chocolate.  

 

This Liza, whose parents fell

apart when she was six,  

 

fell into people with necklaces

and tempting smiles. I think  

 

they swayed against each other

until the music of the dance hall  

 

in Ribache fell to silence, dark,

the waiters arranging the tables

 

for breakfast—for plates of green

plums, boiled eggs, cheese,  

 

what the Soviets ate while I

played ball and dreamed this Liza

 

into being—who came to me

for chocolate, for a battered ball  

 

we kicked against the wall

while the adults drank tea  

 

and gossiped at the marvels

of the block, Vladimir drunk  

 

and chained to the bed, Masha

feeding her cats, Svetlana holding  

 

a soup spoon, all in Crimea,

with the soft wind in the hills

 

and the warships in the Black Sea

drifting toward Sevastopol.

Yuan Changming grew up in rural China, became an ESL student at nineteen, and published monographs on translations before moving to Canada. Currently, Yuan edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan in Vancouver, and has poetry appearing in Best Canadian Poetry, BestNewPoemsOnline, Threepenny Review, and 1,109 others across 37 countries.

WINTER VISION

Yuan Changming

         

Like billions of dark butterflies

Beating their wings

Against nightmares, rather

Like myriads of

Spirited coal-flakes

Spread from the sky

Of another world

A heavy black snow

Falls, falling, fallen

Down towards the horizon

Of my mind, where a little crow

White as a lost patch

Of autumn fog

Is trying to fly, flapping  

From bough to bough

A native Ohioan, Carl Boon lives and works in Istanbul, Turkey. Recent or forthcoming poems appear in Neat, Jet Fuel Review, Blast Furnace, Kentucky Review, and many other magazines.

SHALL WE DANCE

John Grey

         

In our heads,

we're Fred and Ginger,

me in top hat and tails,

she in sparkling evening gown,

and we dance elegantly

across the floor

like we're straight out

of one of those 30's RKO musicals.

 

To onlookers though,

we're the dancing hippos from "Fantasia,"

waddling in our tutus,

out of step and possibly out of our minds.

 

Oh well, Ginger,

wrong movie maybe,

but at least we're in the frame.

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, Big Muddy, and Spindrift, with work upcoming in South Carolina Review, Gargoyle, Sanskrit, and Louisiana Literature.  

 

 

January 2016

Poetry

Odin & Baldr - Tim Miller

Ephram Pratt Sings from the Word Box - Jack e Lorts

Liza - Carl Boon

How Things Look - Bill Pruitt

Winter Vision - Yuan Changming

Shall We Dance - John Grey

IN THIS ISSUE

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