vox poetica

A Tip for Working With Bees

Lynn Ciesielski's most recent poem to appear here was Sunday Ride at Dusk (July 2013).

A Tip for Working With Bees
By Lynn Ciesielski

On his acreage, Dan built hives
using plans from a kit and tends
bees to share honey with neighbors.

I take up an invitation to watch,
climb into a poly-cotton jumpsuit,
don helmet and metal mask.
Still, I shrink to a speck when Dan
releases bees from frames.

Air hangs like a willow bough,
heavy with honey scent.
It coats the back of my throat.
Bees hum and circle, closer until

an electric razor whirrs in my ear.
There is a slight tickle on my arm.
I am still as the ground, remembering
mom's repeated warnings,

If you act all nervous,
you'll just get it going.

It stings anyway, falling off and dying.
The pain returns me to my first tetanus shot,
a fat needle sinking into my arm.

I walk away from the apiary, taking off the suit.
Dan shares a rule all bee-keepers know,
You must remove the stinger with the proper tool
any time you get stung.

Even with the enemy gone,
the poison still works outside.

Woman in a Wheel Chair

Jean McLeod's most recent poem to appear here was Reformation (July 2013).

Woman in a Wheel Chair
By Jean McLeod

Her winter skin
in firefly light
holds beauty
unto even this age
silvery hair
glints like mica
curiosity creased velvet skin
and laugh lines illumine
past struggle and joy.
Her stillness
belies lively life
behind her eyes.

Creative Writing Class

Louis Gallo's most recent poem to appear here was Bad News (June 2013).

Creative Writing Class
By Louis Gallo

Today we did Kentucky style fried poetry
And picked it clean—wings, feet, eyeballs,
The entire bird.
But who went home
With the wishbone?

Thoughts While Driving

Julia Klatt Singer's poem In the Fields appeared here in July 2013.

Thoughts While Driving
By Julia Klatt Singer

That roads look better at night, black ribbons, unfurling
and songs are good companions, they always treat you right
and the moon so sweet, like a wedge of an orange,
is just waiting for you to see it too
while the hours slumber and the road unwinds dreams,
as distant and beautiful as stars.

Various Words

John Kaniecki's poem Lawyers appeared here in July 2013.

Various Words
By John Kaniecki

Burdensome, noisy, complicated
Scriptures studied
Politicians debated
Articulated, pronounced, glorified
Behind phrases scoundrels hid
But between you and I
The worst words
Are those that lie


Kate Hammerich's most recent poem to appear here was Robin (July 2013).

By Kate Hammerich

To my father and my brother:

I hate you for not losing what I will lose
I hate you for not being capable of such loss..

And for not allowing me to speak of such, for stumbling to the end of sorrow alone,


for bearing out injury
and pride,


And the blame laid at my door for loving,

for shameful
animal grieving,

for the way I was carefully unfolding
my heart

in words.

When You Ride With Me

Frank Cavano's most recent poem to appear here was Today Is a Good Day (July 2013).

When You Ride With Me
By Frank Cavano

When you ride with me I do not 
see the wood stork nearby standing.
If the mockingbird has spoken, it
is only to himself in whispers.
Nor do I hear the sound of tires
waxing pavement or feel the
vertigo of sudden turning.

When you ride with me I am a
sudden smile, lost in the purple
aura of your presence. I would
not trade you for the scent of
newborn babies or the taste
of gentle rain upon the tongue.

Yes, when you ride with me you
might suggest a certain turn, a
better direction, but you never
take the wheel. I am the driver.
This is my trip. You are my
guileless guide, on heavenly loan.

When you ride with me you are
the fountainhead of boundless joy,
the springboard to the eternal ocean.

Oh, when you ride with me I am
suddenly so much more than myself!

When you ride with me (it could not
have escaped your notice) I am much
more devout than clever, my brother.  

Dumbfounded Notes

Sy Roth's most recent poem to appear here was Even the Dark Night Sings the Shiva Song (July 2013).

Dumbfounded Notes
By Sy Roth

Never could figure out a B flat from a C sharp,
Ear lunker that I am.
Strings to be played ape Tarzan's yodeling cry
As he swings from branch to branch pounding his chest.

Musicality raises a bedeviling head.
Like fingernails on a chalk board,
Tongues hurl discordant, lemon-sucking distaste at those notes.
Ice crystal chords that tinkle haphazardly from a frozen eave. 

Then I listen to Stevie.
Fear plucking the strings again.
A Nelson Riddle not to be solved.
Perhaps biting the strings might be a better solution.
Plink or plunk.
Was that a B flat?
No one can be sure.


Christopher Roe's most recent poem to appear here was Last poem of the year (July 2013).

By Christopher Roe

Beneath the weight of sadness bent
the silver coins of treason spent
I heard a bird sing in a tree
and whales were singing far at sea
and crickets they were singing too
as morning caused the dove to coo
outside my window in the park
I heard a small dog sharply bark
bells sang to faithful on their knees
a child's laugh danced on the breeze
and I was overcome with awe
as deaf I heard and blind I saw
that to these songs the answers came
and like moths to candle flame
each was drawn to find its mate
and tempt the very fires of fate
I felt as one with Nature's choice
and heard a far-off distant voice
and from my heart the sadness fled
as life's sweet music filled my head
I ran to see the morning sun
to sing my songs to everyone
as dark clouds parted high above
I sang again the song of love.

Beauty Lost

Keith D'Sa's poem untitled appeared here in May 2013.

Beauty Lost
By Keith D'Sa

In a maze
of the now and the absurd
grows a single flower,

Much like a tumor
upon an unsuspecting organ.
Chariot wheels and cartwheels

All trample this being;
weeds are treated better.
In this maze of reality and 

The surreal, a wandering soul
stands long enough to stare
as the world's beauty is


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