ODIN & BALDR
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,
of crying trees.
It was the voice
of a wood fawn
that he heard
singing a full throated
echoing like grass stains
violating the web
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
A thin strand of
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.
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.
Like billions of dark butterflies
Beating their wings
Against nightmares, rather
Like myriads of
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
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.
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
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