—the dragonfly knows his name
refuses to meditate
understands moments as hours
as days as years, seconds. Short.
Eternal. Dragonflies frenzy in august.
Why august no one knows
A squadron without form or
structure of any kind, a swarm
oddly fractal, portions of many more
make doppelgängers variously placed
in maniacal flightpaths and still avoiding
any possible collisions.
O, the length of the suns that groan
above entire lives, repelling all shadows
adrift left to right across lawns. Like
Macedonians now too far from home
to ever return, dragonflies have reached
their glorious, brief Indus.
L. Ward Abel
L. Ward Abel’s work has appeared in hundreds of journals (Rattle, Versal, The Reader, Worcester Review, Main Street Rag, others), and he is the author of four full collections and ten chapbooks of poetry, including his latest collection, Green Shoulders: New and Selected Poems 2003–2023 (Silver Bow, 2023). Abel resides in rural Georgia.
The fisherman has tied up his boat,
carries two fish on a pole over
his shoulder. Across the wide river
dim vista of trees and bushes,
Mt. Fuji outlined in mist behind him.
His boat has no motor, needs no dock.
When “the earth was without form and void”
it was wet, as soggy as it was shapeless.
Once there was light, Scripture says, God
spent two days putting water in its place,
wringing it out of what we now call land,
setting boundaries to seas and rivers.
Art blurs them again, the edges
of tree and river, air and mountain.
The fisherman’s river, source of life
and livelihood, is more solid to him
than the distant mountain.
Ellen Roberts Young
Ellen Roberts Young’s third chapbook with Finishing Line Press, “Transported,” came out in 2021. She has two full-length collections, Made and Remade (Wordtech, 2014) and Lost in the Greenwood (Atmosphere, 2020) as well as poems in numerous print and online journals. She lives in Las Cruces, NM (Piro-Manso-Tiwa territory). www.ellenrobertsyoung.com.
Nothing to eat but snow
As far as I can see.
You’ve turned my eyes right, so
I cannot know what’s back of me:
Shadows—violets and blues
In every hue the light
Of winter noon could use
To make the great Salon refuse
Me—those who thought in white
And black. Well, though I'm black
(And stilled), still I was frozen
Out by those by whom I wasn’t chosen.
Do I have eyes behind my head?
Forever at my back:
Time’s wingèd leaves them all for dead.
Now I am loved, the people say!
Your cold revenge, Monet.
Len Krisak is a prolific poet and four-time champion on Jeopardy! Krisak is the recipient of the Richard Wilbur Prize, Robert Frost Prize, Robert Penn Warren Prize, The Able Muse Poetry Book Award and The New England Poetry Club Book Award. Krisak has poems published or forthcoming in The Antioch Review, The Sewanee Review, The Hudson Review, Raritan, The Southwest Review and The Oxford Book of Poems on Classical Mythology.
Krisak has published books of poetry beginning in 1999 with Fugitive Child, Aralia Press. More recently, Krisak’s published works include Say What You Will, Able Muse, 2020 and The Aeneid, Hackett, 2020.