Halfway Across There Is No Shelter / Andrew Mandelbaum


Dressed in tatters
this is our beauty
this is our energy
this is our fury

This fragile bone wrapped soul
Laughing the twilight heavy down
to light the gutter path
Treasure find me a coin to buy the freedom
Of thirsting dreams with their tale caught
beneath the weight of the city
crying head back to the sky
Howling their way between us

Listen to them girl
A Hunchbacked ringing in the ears
A counter melody rising against
the domestication of our fathers

A levelling sound

Howling across borders
To the Patrols
To the Cellblocks

Howling across species
To Civilization

The contract is broken
The cervix is thinning
A rage is coming

Hollowed cheek bones
mutable
waxing and waning
Against the lonely you are looking me deep
Tincture of bridge-ash
Write Osip on the walls
Write Rosa on the wind
Write Anschel on the water

Folded fury carried on crumpled words
Red stitched pockets are
The coffers of this fragile union

Against the silence you are
singing me a mayday hope
About diggers train hopping over kings
About fire breathers finger rolling
camels through the eyes of needles
About the Wet and the Green
dancing Long John silver harsh on the grave of the tamers

Hava
come with me and see what burns
Halfway across there is no shelter
Hava come with me
Halfway across there is no shelter

Delta Lullaby / Michelle Castleberry


Let me hide you in the country
away from the mosquito whine
of work and want. I will replace
traffic tide with cricket song.
Let me wrap you in a blanket
of kudzu and trumpet vine,
swaddle you in pulled bolls of cotton.
I know the many names and shapes
of poison plants and will distill
their breath into a lethal perfume
for your monsters. I will rock and croon,
No harm will come. Gaze with me
into a waterfall of fading light.
You see how distance fades,
how everything is close and vanished,
near and away? Let the blueing light
lie like moth dust on your eyes.
The dusk is a quilt of bluebird wings.
There is no need to hide. Hush, now.
From a hollow I will watch
you crack your carapace and walk
into the safe and sober day.

haikus / david oates

Like some impossible symphonic score--
all those blackbirds
hunkered in the bare branches.

Ballet recital, the teacher coaching from the wings,
along with her sharp whispers
her own feet cross, point, cross.

Sunny winter day old dog drowses by the swing set

Gray dawn catbird hops
motion detecting porch-light
flicks on

cool night wind
empty hammock bucks
ghost lovers

this crazy burst of branches--tree jazz

Georgia / Lemuel LaRoche aka LIFE

Spread my ashes over the mountains of North Georgia
Or bury me deep in Confederate clay.
Let my bones purify this soil
Cursed by the trees that unwillingly partook
In the legal lynching.
And those carved and ashd away in fire worship rituals.
Burning crosses display a deep devotion and love for GOD.
Yet, a deeper hate for GOD's creation of the darker brothers.
Daddy's doctrine still rots the core of the sweet and tender peach,
Once born with love in their hearts,
With warm spirits baked by the Southern sun
And cooled by the mist of the Savannah breeze.
I lost patience on the concrete block in a cold city
And found her while holding a fishing rod on the Oconee Creek.
It was there that the trees made this confession,
And the flapping of old flags broke my meditation,
Carried by a heart still full of love
And stared through young eyes with old hate.
It is our generation that must break our fathers' curse--
Climb out of the Hate Holes they dug in our hearts
So we can once again LOVE WHOLE.