Saturday, October 22, 2011

October 2011


October 2011 has brought us many wonderful poems. There are two from Glen Snyder, one of them a haunting meditation on a specifically Buddhist image. Constant contributor Patrick Mizelle submitted five short poems on uniquely Japanese qualities. As with candy, we decided to cheat a little and count two of these as one Selection, so we could have more. New submitter Ruth Temple delights us with a sly literary joke. Our Canadian correspondent Dan D'Agostino returns with his carefully honed work.

Next month, November, will be very exciting for us. Of course, we will be selecting our November poems. But that's not all! Our distinguished friend and contributor, Poet Peter Levitt, has made us a present of three autographed copies of his beloved book One Hundred Butterflies. In November, we will consider all the poems we chose in 2011; a Second Prize Winner will recieve one of these marvelous books; a Grand Prize winner will receive two, one to keep and one for holiday giving!

First Selection, October 2011

the coin clatters in the heart of the bowl.
held within folds of clothing
there are passing motor scooters, cars, pedestrians
breezing by on this warm humid evening
by the streetcurb
his stillness bathed in the colors of fluorescent signs
and the last remnants of sunlight
the night markets of Taipei just opening
and the temple, whatever temple,
nowhere to be seen
the young moonfaced patchrobed monk
actually moves
we look deeply into each others’ eyes
each with our hands raised in gassho.

--Glen Snyder

Second October Selection

(south of Iquique)

stepping through the ruins
of saltpeter mines:

broken glass
sun-bleached leather shoes
tin cans scattered
over hardened desert floor.

darkened wood crosses
with the names of children
by a century’s worth of
dust devils.

the wood ties of the railbed
long ago removed,
the roofing
of the crumbling adobe
mining camps
also scavenged.

a mountain-sized
horizon of slag pile
hauled up upon itself
by brute force and sweat

the sun drops
behind the
coastal cordillera
and suddenly I am
in bitter cold and
golden light.

the full moon
is due east now.
in darkness
the moon’s halo
is only swirling dust.

--Glen Snyder

Third October Selection

This is just to say

I have used

all the Moon words

that were in

the paint-box

and which

you were probably


to make poems with

Forgive me

They were luminous

lusciously liminal

and so Full.

--Ruth Temple

to fully appreciate this sly literary joke, read This Is Just To Say by William Carlos Williams

Fourth October Selection, Two Short Poems


the dinner party guests

with a little laugh and shock

are suddenly aware

it’s long past twelve o’clock

*group harmony

--Patrick Mizelle


tomorrow morning

half the other girls

will have their hair up

in a french twist too

*chic, stylish

--Patrick Mizelle

Fifth October Selection

The Sea Turtles’ Return

Expelled by the rhythmic sea they return en masse

And laboring, scrape shallow holes in the earth.

They lay their eggs and leave and three weeks pass

Till the sea birds’ ravenous cries announce the birth.

Synchronized in sudden, silent riot,

Breaking forth they infiltrate the night,

And beckoned by the ocean's turbulent quiet

Are fed to the pounding surf's relentless appetite.

--Dan D’Agostino