the atomy

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"Satchel of Hope"
by J.lynn Sheridan

More than a handful spilled them
over the gunwales into the open mouth
of the Atlantic. It was the hunger
that bared the shame for each. Stone
cold shame for failing in the land of
mothers’ lost kisses and tyranny.

I don’t dream
as a mourner, though I should; their
fingers broke
the land where my children carve
initials into acres of cement with sticks
grown from grafted roots carried across
that great mouth 
which boasted the great
hope.

fingers that 
bled
not for them,

but for the seed scattered
into hungry salt waters.
I hunger and feed on remnants.
I dream and open my mouth for more.

Now sleeps the crimson petal, now the white;
Nor waves the cypress in the palace walk;
Nor winks the gold fin in the porphyry font:
The firefly wakens: waken thou with me.

Now droops the milk-white peacock like a ghost,
And like a ghost she glimmers on to me.

Now lies the Earth all Danaë to the stars,
And all thy heart lies open unto me.

Now slides the silent meteor on, and leaves
A shining furrow, as thy thoughts in me.

Now folds the lily all her sweetness up,
And slips into the bosom of the lake:
So fold thyself, my dearest, thou, and slip
Into my bosom and be lost in me. 

..

Summer Night
by Alfred Lord Tennyson 

The sounds
Of the Harlem night
Drop one by one into stillness.
The last player-piano is closed.
The last victrola ceases with the
“Jazz Boy Blues.”
The last crying baby sleeps
And the night becomes
Still as a whispering heartbeat.
I toss
Without rest in the darkness,
Weary as the tired night,
My soul
Empty as the silence,
Empty with a vague,
Aching emptiness,
Desiring,
Needing someone,
Something.
I toss without rest
In the darkness
Until the new dawn,
Wan and pale,
Descends like a white mist
Into the court-yard.

..

Summer Nights
by Langston Hughes 

cherries glowing between lips,
to hands, flicked, lips, breathe,
and feel the day never ending.

daylight warming worried eyes.
a glow on a beach with pearl lips
exhaling clouds cut lines in sunlight.

comfort in the ephemeral crash
eternally repeating on the sand,
and we find something lost,

only in the moment.

..


summertime personal fires and
late night last light on the water. 
by Michael Hallahan

Tis moonlight, summer moonlight, 
All soft and still and fair; 
The solemn hour of midnight 
Breathes sweet thoughts everywhere,

But most where trees are sending 
Their breezy boughs on high, 
Or stooping low are lending 
A shelter from the sky.

And there in those wild bowers 
A lovely form is laid; 
Green grass and dew-steeped flowers 
Wave gently round her head.

Emily Bronte

featured poet:
Khara House

introduction: When I think of flight, I think of myth—two myths in particular. The first is almost always Icarus, and how we humans must always fight that urge to fly too near the sun: and how a death is like a fading, like Icarus in reverse. The second is the African-American legend of the “People Who Fly,” which dreamed a literal flight from slavery. These things are fluttering in my mind with every bird flight or plane roar—even invading my dreams and, so frequently, my poems.

..

What runs deep 

Last night,
I had a flying
dream. 

One of those
endless fallings,
cliff dives—the ragged
rush of wind pouring
over the rind of me

like water over an apple’s skin,
fresh from the bough. 

The clouds
drift like fresh
peach slices,

shaped in the crisp
cool breath of morning:

that puffed air, trailing
from rattling teeth.
In the night my bones

jangle, silver and copper
coins in the pocket of twilight— 

but
dreamed air
is always effervescent, 

alive and warm
with all the things
the mind won’t
leave for morning.

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