Category Archives: Weekly Feature

Feature of the Week – 7

Henrietta M. Dahlstrom
 
The Hibiscus
To observe summer’s extravagance
I bought a big potted hibiscus
for my empty front  porcha single blossom, dark pink coral,
and five overlapping petals that swirl
like a Flamenco skirt encircling

the stalk of a bright bold stamen
that thrusts up to flaunt five red stigmata
and lemon-yellow anthers heavy with pollen.

The flower lasts only a day.  It folds itself up
and falls off but by then another has burst open
and every day there is a new bloom

passionate and urgent, relishing
its short sumptuous existence

as I in my old age relish each day
as if I might fold up and drop off
this tender earth at any moment.

Feature of the Week – 6

Linda Dickman

Scoured by the Wind
For Amelia

We made it. You and I.
Oh, and Fred.
Our wings worse for the wear,
Felled far from our goal.
Rescued from the sauce.
Rescued.
Hope floats.

That little girl looked
Curious. Was it the pants?
The short hair? She looked
From me to her mother, questioning.

But we’re rescued, Electra,
Drawn out of the salt
Into the spray.
Rescued!

Who could have guessed
On this rock solid pier
That we’d end up walking the planks
Into the rising sun.

 

Feature of the Week – 5

Since there was no winner for this week’s feature, I bring to you a public domain poem by H.D. She is considered as an Imagist poet by many. See how deftly she describes the evening as it slowly turns into the night.
Next week, I hope to bring you the feature from the winner of the week 6.

Evening

by H.D. (1886 – 1961)
The light passes
from ridge to ridge,
from flower to flower—
the hepaticas, wide-spread
under the light
grow faint—
the petals reach inward,
the blue tips bend
toward the bluer heart
and the flowers are lost.

The cornel-buds are still white,
but shadows dart
from the cornel-roots—
black creeps from root to root,
each leaf
cuts another leaf on the grass,
shadow seeks shadow,
then both leaf
and leaf-shadow are lost.

Feature of the Week – 4

I chose Marsha Owen’s prose poem “Ugly Times” for this week’s feature. A heart-breaking rant. I loved the sounds. The images are vivid and rooted in reality. The juxtaposition of harsh reality and continuity of nature makes this poem effective.

Ugly Times

Hung a new fan on the outside porch today. Blades sliced the humidity, brought flutters of relief, but I coulda’ sworn I heard one whisper, Why bother? He’s just gonna’ start a war, you know, pack his suitcases with green roots of evil, play golf on our graves.

So I sat down with my new friends, squatters who swarm in my head now, drop by uninvited, keep me awake every night. I tried to send them away, but they stay—then sunshine drops its snarky self onto my grass as it has for eons, and just then in the oak tree, birds all lemony and apple-red catch my eye. Audacious, I thought, while warships circle each other somewhere, but I hear mothers still birth babies, brown babies, white babies, less than right babies, destined to be children (let us pray) but the rich bitch says now all must pay to play at school, lunch canceled, so I wonder if I should get a refund on the fan, get a little money, a few dollars maybe, enough for a bottle of filtered water because a child I don’t know drinks poison, or enough to fill your grandma’s prescription, maybe enough to buy a wheel for his chair and then I remember those pussy hats waving from crowds, a sea of pink sails bobbing along almost like they were sewn together and all the feet moved as one river of blood.

I watched the fan circle. I coulda’ sworn I saw a noose hanging there, the oak tree out back blackened against my scorched earth.

Feature of the Week – 3

Untitled

By Jerry Vilhotti

 

Their third born, Christina would carry for three days dead. Dead. Dead; afraid they would be turned away before reaching their destination of Sao Paulo where two miles outside the large city work awaited them on a coffee plantation …

“And what are you carrying in your arms, young lady?””My child,” she said in halting Portuguese.

“So you are the Italians who will make our Brazil a great country like Rome?” the second official said disdainfully; afraid for all their women.

“Sim, if your wealthy do not kill off all the dreamers,” Micalino said trying to control his tongue but even he did not know the baby was dead.

“Why is it bundled up so?” the first official said compassionately.

“He has the chills and his mother is keeping him warm,” Micalino said in a tone of voice that suggested it was none of their business.

The mother had known Ghiberto was dying while on the ship crossing the Atlantic for he had vomited three whole days but she was afraid to tell anyone; thinking they might be quarantined and then be refused port entry. She had tried to wash his fever away but it persisted and when they boarded the train, she looked inside the blanket and attempted to shake him gently to wakefulness or at least to make his eyes close into a soft sleep. She closed his eyelids with one finger and then draped the blanket over his face and began to rock him – not stopping until they nearly reached their cabin on the two-mile walk and then told her husband: “The baby is dead.” Only then did she allow herself to cry and continued as Micalino dug up the earth as he cursed the sky, the stars, Columbus for discovering the “new” world and all the future dictators who would fling their banners of Reich in the faces of the masses leading them to an abyss to a grubby greedy One World Order drinking the blood of innocence and all those with stains on their souls perpetuating misery and dug up the ground that would become his son’s bed of rest under the many blossoms of the beautiful quince trees.

Feature of the Week – 1

Welcome to the first feature of the week series.  For the very first feature, I chose the flash fiction piece by Lisa Reily.

 
Like a Bird

He was a fanatic. Always the daredevil, the jock, the sports star. She could hardly remember why she ever liked him. They had met in high school, and twenty years later they were still married.

She felt his body pressed against her from behind. Why the hell did he need her to do this? She was well and truly over the role of subservient wife. Yet here she was again, indulging her husband’s desires and jumping out of another ridiculous plane.

She’d lost count of how many times they had done this together. He thought it was a bonding experience. But to her, it was another example of the monotony of married life.

She looked out at the wide world around her, the beautiful green hills and mountains. She longed to be part of it, her own two feet on the ground. Instead, she was here with him, plummeting to earth through the blue. She didn’t even like the colour anymore. It just reminded her of the years she had spent living his dreams.

Most of her friends had the same problem with their husbands. Some of her friends laughed and fantasized about leaving, but no one ever did.

She remembered their first jump. She did not want to do it. He held her tight and she had felt safe in his arms. How consumed she was by the feeling of falling. Attached to him now, his closeness just stifled her.

Falling rapidly towards the earth, her cheeks flapped with the force. Her goggles pressed hard onto her face. She knew they would leave marks for hours on her delicate skin. Enough was enough. This time, she was leaving him.

As the world came closer, she unlocked the harness that attached her body to his, and let go. She cupped her hands and spread her arms out in the air like a bird, and flew away from him.

She looked back at her husband, his face pale with shock, his body spread-eagled against the sky. She watched as his parachute exploded its colour without her.

She was free.

***

Lisa Reily can be found here.