Elegy for the Quagga by Sarah Lindsay

Elegy for the Quagga by Sarah Lindsay Krakatau split with a blinding noise and raised from gutted, steaming rock a pulverized black sky, over water walls that swiftly fell on Java and Sumatra. Fifteen days before, in its cage in Amsterdam, the last known member of Equus quagga, the southernmost subspecies of zebra, died. Most ofContinue reading “Elegy for the Quagga by Sarah Lindsay”

The Starlings by Jesper Svenbro

The Starlings by Jesper Svenbro Translated from the Swedish by John Matthias and Lars-Håkan Svensson Late one afternoon in October I hear them for the first time: loud-voiced palavering, whistles, murmurs, quarrels, bickering and warbling, croaking and chatter in the high plane trees of the street. The leaves are all turning yellow this time ofContinue reading “The Starlings by Jesper Svenbro”

Japanese Poems by Cynthia Zarin

Japanese Poemsby Cynthia Zarin Between the bent boughsof the splayed sumac the silverowl rests his head. The perimeterleft by your absence is longto walk in one day. The angel in hercredenza of extreme beautydogs swim the river I look for my heartby the lamp where the light isskitter in the wet black leaves PHOTO: UralContinue reading “Japanese Poems by Cynthia Zarin”

North of Santa Monica by Carter Revard

North of Santa Monica by Carter Revard It’s midnight in a drizzling fog on Sunset Avenue and we are walking through the scent of orange blossoms and past a white camellia blown down or flung by someone onto rainblack asphalt waiting for the gray Mercedes sedan to run over and smash its petals and leaveContinue reading “North of Santa Monica by Carter Revard”

Arboretum by Don Kingfisher Campbell

Arboretumby Don Kingfisher Campbell As you enter pea tail eyes stare at you A bush of red firecrackers seems to explode Are those tall thin “candles” speakers from The Time Machine film Yellow microdresses pirouette from a tree Spider egg sacks become burst popcorn kernels Magenta bottle brushes grow outward in all directions Here’s somethingContinue reading “Arboretum by Don Kingfisher Campbell”

James Sutherland-Smith, A Snail in Istanbul

A Snail in Istanbulby James Sutherland-Smith The sultan of moisture creepsOn a flagstone shadowed by nettles.He carries his turban on his backAnd shows his tentacles, a scholarBareheaded out of the mosque.No doubt his hidden mouth is primThough his tongue, rough with hungerNot prayer, will rasp on greenery:One foot, one lung, one kidney,One gonad, mostly male,Continue reading “James Sutherland-Smith, A Snail in Istanbul”

Snowy Owl Near Ocean Shores by Duane Niatum

Snowy Owl Near Ocean Shoresby Duane Niatum A castaway blown south from the arctic tundrasits on a stump in an abandoned farmer’s field.Beyond the dunes cattails toss and bend as snappyas the surf, rushing and crashing down the jetty. His head a swivel of round glances,his eyes a deeper yellow than the winter sun,he wondersContinue reading “Snowy Owl Near Ocean Shores by Duane Niatum”

The Jain Bird Hospital in Delhi by William Meredith

The Jain Bird Hospital in Delhiby William Meredith Outside the hotel window, unenlightened pigeonsweave and dive like Stukas on their prey,apparently some tiny insect brother.(In India, the attainment of nonviolenceis considered a proper goal for human beings.)If one of the pigeons should fly into the illusion of my window and survive (the body is noContinue reading “The Jain Bird Hospital in Delhi by William Meredith”

Porch Swing in September by Ted Kooser

Porch Swing in Septemberby Ted Kooser The porch swing hangs fixed in a morning sunthat bleaches its gray slats, its flowered cushionwhose flowers have faded, like those of summer,and a small brown spider has hung out her webon a line between porch post and chainso that no one may swing without breaking it.She is sayingContinue reading “Porch Swing in September by Ted Kooser”

Japanese Poems by Cynthia Zarin

Japanese Poemsby Cynthia Zarin Between the bent boughsof the splayed sumac the silverowl rests his head. The perimeterleft by your absence is longto walk in one day. The angel in hercredenza of extreme beautydogs swim the river I look for my heartby the lamp where the light isskitter in the wet black leaves PAINTING: “EagleContinue reading “Japanese Poems by Cynthia Zarin”