Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Photo: Peter


~ Peter (Fingret at Deviant Art) lives in Sweden. This is his first appearance in Elegant Thorn.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Two Poems: David Chorlton

Rain Meditation

On days of slow rain the house
shrinks a little, its rooms
hold their occupants with a more
than usual gentleness,
and its windows shiver in their frames
without sunlight. Grey absorbs
all thoughts while the radio
emits what warmth there is
along with a stream
of songs in Spanish. The hummingbird,
flicker, and two cactus wrens
come to the offerings
suspended from a porch beam,
each bringing its flash
of color from the wild. Water slips
from the overhang
to pool among the dormant stems
of plants in winter,
and then sink into darkness
that runs deep in the ground
where the future depends
on resources available
for those who will take our places
at the glass, on a day like this,
listening to the minutes
dripping through the clock.

* * * * *

In the Middle of Nowhere

A picture on the television screen shows fields
with a forlorn path winding between them

and trees heavy with afternoon sun
where the announcer states

a casino will be built in the middle of nowhere
as if a roll of the dice will turn

land into a place. Some nowheres
stretch between horizons and exist

only in the dizzy memories
of those who went there by mistake, or sought

a corridor to the future through
a wide expanse of thorns and thirst. Some

are grassland, others are brush.
Weapons are tested in the middle of nowhere

because they can’t destroy what doesn’t exist.
Armies practice warfare there

and become invisible. Land speed records
are set where there is nowhere to arrive when the fuel

runs out. Empty spaces rest
uneasy on the curvature of Earth. A province

of sand blows away in a storm. A continent of ice
is melting into history, to be mentioned on the page

that lists whatever disappeared for want
of being recognized for what it is.

~ David Chorlton lives in balmy Phoenix, AZ. This is his first appearance In Elegant Thorn.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Three Poems: Margaret James

not yet named

I will not feed him beef,
nor chicken, though I've made no friends
in that family. We mothers worry so,
it is no wonder she worries.

But I refuse to feed him beef
because I once had a summer friend
who became winter sausages
and I do not eat my friends
nor feed them to hungry relatives.

But, yes, I agree to teach him the Bible,
and make his pillow God.
He will hear the parables of Jesus
our fish will multiply in the form of broccoli and sweet potatoes.
I will show how we should share bread
and sit back and watch our baskets overflow.

I will show him Krishna, the dark haired flautist,
I will teach him how Radha longs,
the painful joy of Mirabai
and how, if you stay up all night chanting,
the light will come in one form or another.

I will teach him how to bow deep in prayer
five times a day, so unlike those heathens
who only rarely think of God.
We will lift our hands and cry “Allahu Akbar”!
and know there is only God.

We will sit with Him at the dinner table,
carry Him in our pockets to school
and uncover Him in the smallest
sugar ant.

I will instruct him how to sit still
to find silence…
how to love everyone,
because they are yourself
and never eat your friends.

But all this planning is for nothing.
She'll return from Las Vegas like Jesus
rises each Easter. And if not,
she'd never leave her son to such a radical life,
though she really likes the sound
of pillows stuffed with God.

* * * * *

Outside of the Garden

It is because I can't stray so far from home.
Even now I know God is in the garden saying,
“where are you? Why have you hidden from me?”

But I haven't hidden, I've just covered myself in absence.
It is a bitter/sweet apple, this city life.

On rainy nights the garden beckons with the call of the wind
but in the morning the children's voices cry louder
for breakfast.

I bit the fruit, fell into another warm body,
wailed in the pain of birth.
Yet still he calls to me from the garden
wanting me naked and in the Presence again.

He is looking for me
and I will not stray too far from home.

* * * * *


I always return
to see how God has been coming through me.
Here, he is a dream of arrows;
there, he is the slingshot and the giant.

I am always waiting for the one to come
with the ring:
the reminder of why I've been sitting so long,
the reassurance that we will be reunited.

His Name is the thing that makes rocks float.
He says it isn't his power, we are the magicians
traveling his galaxies.

He watches in awe while we pray
and learn to walk across the water.

~ Margaret James (Metta) is a frequent contributer to ETR. You can read more of her poems at her Zaadz blog.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Two Poems: Tim J Brennan

Fifty White Stones

blue sky blends
into somber fog,
a soon-darkness
that will drop the ground
a little lower

and if i am to be translated
like this winged she creature,
she of bending back and black
wings, if i am ever to be
as permanent, let it be here
in this northern field
where i have stopped
among fifty white stones, long & flat;
being here is less like surrender

fifty years will do this to a person looking
for signs, looking for any reason that having been
can be as lasting

* * * * *


we heal, simply, others,
like leaves resting next to a bare tree stripped
naked by seasons, naked like we all are
at birth

workmen took rest here, next
to this tree, a hundred years ago;
their sweat still lingers in the air.
Down-river the bridge they built
still stands. the same names carved
in its railings as in their granite headstones


we heal, simply, our children,
like some kind of morality play. We
put leaves, like tiny boats, into cold water,
watch in mystery as they float away
like so many emigrants


we heal, simply, ourselves,
and in the silence near our death, we hear
our own hearts beating
as quietly as falling leaves

~ Tim J Brennan is from southeastern Minnesota. His poetry has appeared in The Elegant Thorn Review, Shampoo, The Rose and the Thorn, Main Channel Voices, The Green Blade, and is forthcoming in River Walk Journal. He is frequent contributer here.