Songs in the Grass

By Hayden Church "Lake Suwa in Shinano Province" by Katsushika Hokusai, c. 1830-1832 Daring countryside,Poking snake headsEntombed in weeds—Orchids surviving still,Placid and historic.And even the chicksAre out now, dancingTo a song in the grassThat says, I hear God.Pondside insects hiddenBy volumes of rainingPetals of leaves to beRaked by the followingBreeze into the rippling,Humming body—A fish, … Continue reading Songs in the Grass

Pomegranate’s Prayer

By Jonathan Mizrahi "The Dessert: Harmony in Red" by Henri Matisse, 1908 Her perfume wafts around the bowl.Azure eyes below her maneAnd a placid demeanorShow the solipsism in a soul.The flushed cheeks of power’s end May burn the walls that you defend. Melting glass under wit’s rule Preserves the sense of Luce’s fool. A relic dreams of perfect love.Beyond … Continue reading Pomegranate’s Prayer

Horizon

By Ted Metrakas Selection from "Bacchus and Ariadne" by Titian, 1520-1523 Ariadne is the horizon.Her smile is the earth itself smiling.That is what the horizon is,The earth’s smile to itself. Just as the earth smiles to itself, so tooDoes Ariadne. Why does she smile?As the earth smiles,A world is opened — that’s the horizon.The horizon is … Continue reading Horizon

Two Diptychs

By Roddy O'Hare "Grotesque" by Roddy O'Hare, 2017       I.Our modern grotto —BacklitBy damp eastern genii —Closed door blushing To be splitBy some arcade hand of Sugarcane — And skipping past  Walls will lay ashy Finger vain Down to unbreatheThe word —Basement ponds flickerShards of slicker oil And curdClotted, unfixed findsA soundUnheard by skin —           II.By cherry treeBoundRivering bodies TwineIn grounded soul In plasticine hand … Continue reading Two Diptychs

Three Poems from a Chicago Winter

By Christian Mack "Orpheus Charming the Animals" by Peregrino da Cesena, 1490-1510 I.The heart sings a song of black diamonds— Beauty, nature-crafted, ephemeral, barely lingering— Onyx rose, glinting obsidian thorns; and Orpheus twirling among the petals, twirling in crimson, twirling in shade, rapturous vertigo, Grace-- how has she come to be so sharp? And how … Continue reading Three Poems from a Chicago Winter

Elegy to Musica Universalis

By Christian Mack "Hoarfrost" by Théodore Rousseau, 1845 The sky’s gone quiet— the angels are dead.Elysian fields a mass grave, ethereal.No longer do I hearheaven’s chiming.Glittering choir,Fill this silent night,for no barebeating heartcan fill the silence— a murmur in the expanse— My god, My godSuch silence…