Saturday, February 6, 2016

The Garden of Seasonal Verse: "These Fragile Lilacs"

      A happy morning in the Massachusetts snow. Up today I have three poems on a new (to me) poetry journal elegantly titled "These Fragile Lilacs." It's the second issue for these "lilacs," including many attractive blossoms (from what I've read so far), unlikely to fade. 
Included is my poem "Emergences" written early last spring. It begins:

 "Backyard traffic picking up
Big brown white-footed cat sniffing the exposed
branch of the arborvitae
as if snow had a smell
Does it smell like February, that aging catastrophe?
Like the day the hawk played tag with the cardinal?..." 

          Here is the link for "These Fragile Lilacs":

         This winter has been a lot different from last winter's snow-athon, when I was writing that kind of poem in late March or early April. The heavier the winter, the more extravagantly revolutionary the spring. 
          However yesterday, the first real 'classic New England storm' of the winter dropped eight inches of very wet snow on the Boston area. So maybe the matter of springtime "Emergences" will start feeling timely again in a month or so. The great thing about winter is that it ends.  
          Since it's February, as I'm sure everyone is well aware, a new issue of "Verse-Virtual," the poetry journal that publishes fresh work every month, is up at This one has work by 74 poets; quite a substantial package. Most literary journals publish twice year; some offer quarterly publications. 
         I have three poems in this issue, all on the theme of leadership. Each in a different voice. One very personal ("My Leader" -- guess who?); one a response to what I found an important and moving film ("Spotlight"); and one a rhymed, metered response to the takeover of federal land, formerly Indian land, in Oregon. 
         Here's how that last one ("Sacred Land") begins: 

They bring their guns to land we stole
From treaty's vow to make them whole
We little knew or cared to know
What crimes still darken white man's soul

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