On Contemplating Leaving My Children



I’ve hesitated beside the jewelweed, deep in the sevenbark,
told them I will not, not again

What sovereign lies? What queen in her epistolary cage?
An ochre shotglass empties,
a lantern, unlit, heedlessly shines.

In vain I have opened mirrors & edges of mirrors.

read more at Muzzle

-Jennifer Givhan

NO MAN’S SKY (Honest Game Trailers)

Poetry: “Boketto” by Susan Rich

Jasmine flower

Outside my window it’s never the same—
some mornings jasmine slaps the house, some mornings sorrow.

There is a word I overheard today, meaning lost
not on a career path or across a floating bridge:

Boketto—to stare out windows without purpose.
Don’t laugh; it’s been too long since we leaned

into the morning: bird friendly coffee and blueberry toast.

read more at Poem a Day

Friend Susan Rich had a poem selected by the Academy of American Poets, so of course I had to feature it. Plus, I swoon over any poem that mentions jasmine.

Play On: Kathryn Joseph – The Weary (The Quay Sessions)

And salt will find the faithless soul
and endless waters welcome cold
and safe and sound
and safe and sound
worn and weary of your home

Poem: “More Than You Gave” by Philip Levine

Graphic art illustration girl looking over city at sunrise

We have the town we call home wakening for dawn

which isn’t yet here but is promised, we have
our tired neighbors rising in ones and twos, we have

the sky slowly separating itself from the houses
to become the sky while the stars blink a last time

and vanish to make way for us to enter the great stage
of an ordinary Tuesday in ordinary time. We have

our curses, our gripes, our lies all on the stale breath
of 6:37 a.m. in the city no one dreams

read more at The New Yorker


Saturday Song: Max Brodie – “The Summer Song”

Poem: “5PM in Bloomington” by Alex Dang

Headlights illustration graphic art


And we’re driving again. We live out of these

suitcases and I’m feeling like that glamour

shines through the car fatigue that we wear

tight on our skin. I’m still convinced I’m

dreaming. We’ve been through a dozen states

and not one of them has been regret. Wasn’t

I destined to a textbook shaped coffin today?

There was a test, right? But now, now

these days are cup runneth over

read more at Love the Queen!

Poem: “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore” by Nathan McClain

Mother in kitchen graphic art illustration

She thought she was alone.
My father had left her.

She’d hum in the kitchen—
she thought she was alone—

her song the sound
a needle makes lapping

the innermost groove of an LP,
almost a screech—

she thought she was alone
since dad had left her, leaving behind

some burnt down trees.

read more at District Lit


Poetry: “Blood” by Naomi Shihab Nye

Red sky at night illustration
“A true Arab knows how to catch a fly in his hands,”
my father would say. And he’d prove it,
cupping the buzzer instantly
while the host with the swatter stared.
In the spring our palms peeled like snakes.
True Arabs believed watermelon could heal fifty ways.
I changed these to fit the occasion.
Years before, a girl knocked,
wanted to see the Arab.
I said we didn’t have one.
After that, my father told me who he was,
“Shihab”—“shooting star”—
a good name, borrowed from the sky.
Once I said, “When we die, we give it back?”
He said that’s what a true Arab would say.

Poetry: “The Colour of Pomegranates,” Sujit Prasad

Digital art snowfall Japanese winter

It cuts through suddenly, expertly, this want to talk to you — like the way you used to open pomegranates. Nothing was wasted, not time, not an extra ruby-seed on the inside. You always said that one does not cut a fruit — you ask them to open, gently, and they would let you in. They knew you would be fair while splitting them. I try to talk to you, cutting through time. It does not open. It says, learn from your mother.

-Sujit Prasad

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