Tag Archives: lyric poem

Poem: ‘Are All the Break-Ups in Your Poems Real?’

flowers anime art

(rt Moca at Pixiv)

If by real you mean as real as a shark tooth stuck
in your heel, the wetness of a finished lollipop stick,
the surprise of a thumbtack in your purse—
then Yes, every last page is true, every nuance,
bit, and bite. Wait. I have made them up—all of them—
and when I say I am married, it means I married
all of them, a whole neighborhood of past loves.
Can you imagine the number of bouquets, how many
slices of cake?

read more at Poetry Foundation

-AIMEE NEZHUKUMATATHIL

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.

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
rt

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

Poetry: “Such As” by Wo Chan

Cornfields illustration
rt Pon-Marsh

My mother was a fever. My father was a restaurant.
Every noon he fed his lungs to an entire city.
Every night he held my belly searching for a suburb.
I was the firefly that flared only once in my father’s kingdom.

read more

-Asian American Writer’s Workshop, Wo Chan

New Poems Published in “Melusine”!

Very excited and honored this morning to say that I have two poems included in the winter issue of Melusine, a journal for women in the 21st century (but not just for women, and not just including women). Huge respect and thanks to editor Janelle Elyse Kihlstrom, and I’m especially pleased because I love the work of two other poets in this issue – Mary Cresswell and Simon Perchik (I’ll  link Mary’s poem below along with mine).

Dear Peter

I came home tired from China.
You were a sudden warmth on a violet doorstep –

Present and tender, with a smudge of laughter.
Closer than calluses, you sway me and
I fall.

read more

Check out Mary’s “Spy Story” poem here.

Blood And Water: Illustrating Langston Hughes’ ‘Rivers’

In 2014 to celebrate Black History Month, NPR Books asked Afua Richardson, an award-winning illustrator who’s worked for Image, Marvel and DC Comics, to illustrate something that inspired her. She created this extraordinary video – 50 seconds that perfectly melds the oral, visual, and textual traditions of storytelling into something of pure magic, resonant with historical echoes.

rivers

Blood & Water: The Negro Speaks of Rivers by Langston Hughes from AfuaRichardson on Vimeo.

Poem: Figure and Ground

I try to understand the small outside I let in that year:
artichoke, orchid, what was beautifully composed. I admired
every sentence he spoke and the valleys of grape
Lauren Camp, Heron Tree

Poetry: Muslim Christmas

It sat downstairs on the air hockey table,
its shedding needled branches, its copper wire arms.
With care, our mother draped its false twigs in silver
garlands, two for a dollar on the clearance rack,
and the ornaments–her mother’s, long dead–
we cradled in our palms like baby Jesus might have
been held, our non-savior swathed in hay in the barn-crib, safe
and human.

read more

Leila Chatti, Linebreak

Old Chinese Women

They are moving, these women,

as if time were a vegetable to eat slowly
for dinner—as if bicycles were mountains
that could raise them to the sky.

-Meredith Johnson, from “Old Chinese Women” in Rattle

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