from my bathroom tiles, wailing
his defiance and fiery nightingale burning
with his tongue still unrooted
and his limbs bound to the rock, spread
like wings – Titan of the windfall, humanity’s
hope and champion, more brilliant than
his dumb and primitive siblings, more committed
than their arrogant and willful offspring.
Prometheus in the shower curtain, dripping
liquid fire down the drain, plunging
into the underworld depths
then up for a greater torment to meet the predator bird,
dispelling all screams and ghosts and holding tight
to his suffering-throne and his compassion
for such a flawed creation.
Prometheus finally rescued
as the warm water exerts itself from on high,
– strong Herculean flow –
the wounded centaur accepting his fate.
trustworthy, burning, speaking
your conquering gospel,
the first crucifixion
the first flame ignited
before love’s great inception.
About the Author: Allison Grayhurst is a member of the League of Canadian Poets. Five times nominated for “Best of the Net”, 2015/2017/2018, she has over 1250 poems published in over 485 international journals. She has 21 published books of poetry, six collections and six chapbooks. She lives in Toronto with her family. She also sculpts, working with clay; www.allisongrayhurst.com
Image Credit: Jan Cossiers “Prometheus Carrying Fire” (1638) Public Domain
Ariadne, in the mechanical bed, bound by stuffed mittens, breathing by beeping hose, her pulse rate, heart rate, brain rhythms and lung capacities a constellation around us in the darkened room. There are stars, Ariadne, Look!
Ariadne, your webs.
Ariadne, your unrequited love.
You were our lives, Ariadne, and your webs our ties with you, you the weaver, you the hanged man, you the Hecate, the maid, mother and crone all in one a white, fragile web in the dark while machines give you breath and life in force, as you would have none on your own.
Ariadne, what do you weave there, where no one can see?
You wake hoarse, confused, and tangled in all your knitting. You see me and don’t remember. But I will always remember these days, my sisters.
When Ariadne began to sew, and faltered.
About the Author: Margaret Crocker is an artist, writer, wife, mother, daughter, sister and thief. She collects stray animals and has this weird fantasy of being on The Great British Baking Show, despite the fact she uses a bread machine. She knows little but proclaims much. There is much we don’t know about her.
The war scenario has: [vegetables stalls], [roaming animals],
and [people] in it. The people speak
the language of the country we
are trying to make into a kinder country.
Some of the people over there are good
others evil others circumstantially
bad some only want cash some
just want their family to not
die. The game says figure
WHAT IS GROWING IN THESE WOODS
Green in here, gleaming like
being inside a fable but with
stalls of fruit you can’t eat.
To go home, leave crumbs.
When the wood circles you
back here instead, let the lost
and the impossible ripen in
you, ripen and go.
US AND THEM
“I would make love to one of our
whores before I
would fuck one of their
bourgeoisie.” There was a proverb,
like this: Don’t trust a if
he becomes a even though
he remains a for
forty years. And the sister opposite
proverb: Don’t trust a even
though he has been in the grave
for forty years. It was a difficult day,
a bomb had spun open
a bus, and children
had been crushed down by
a machine. Each wondered if he was born
too soon, if later would have been better, if 40
Nomi Stone is the author of the poetry collection Stranger’s Notebook (TriQuarterly, 2008), a PhD Candidate in Cultural Anthropology at Columbia University, and an MFA Candidate in Poetry at Warren Wilson. She previously earned a Masters in Modern Middle Eastern Studies from Oxford and was a Creative Writing Fulbright scholar in Tunisia. Her poems have been published or are forthcoming in Poetry Northwest, Memorious, The Painted Bride Quarterly, The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish Poetry, at The Poetry Foundation, and elsewhere. She is currently researching and writing a book of poetry as well as a book of non-fiction about combat simulations in mock Middle Eastern villages erected by the US military across America.
Editor’s Note: Nomi Stone’s poetry is a veritable minefield of experience. Politics, war, violence, history, proverbs, culture, peoplehood, nationality, borders, mythology, folklore, fairy tales, and biblical referentiality lie in wait for the keen and unsuspecting reader alike. The unsaid is as present and powerful as what is written, so that her poetry echoes the Bible’s black fire written on white fire. This is a poetry rich and blooming. Thick with the sights and smells of Near Eastern markets, yet heavy with human tragedy. Herein lies the old world. Herein lies the Levant. Herein lies the wild woods of our imagination set against the all-too-real world of war. If you cannot find your way out, “let the lost / and the impossible ripen in / you, ripen and go.”
“Our newly discovered object is the coldest most distant place known in the solar
system, so we feel it is appropriate to name it in honor of Sedna, the Inuit goddess of
the sea, who is thought to live at the bottom of the frigid arctic ocean.”
––Mike Brown, astronomer
Now you’re nothing
but a dwarf planet at the edge
of the asteroid formerly known as Pluto,
neighbor to demoted planet,
When the scientists ran out of Greek and Roman gods
they settled on you, “Big Bad Woman,”
as one tribe puts it.
You are made of water,
methane, nitrogen ice,
frozen all over.
It takes you
more than ten thousand years
to orbit the Sun.
I want to place a blanket
around your shivering surface,
tuck you in surrounded by stars.
Where I’m from, we’ve released
so much heat into the sky
it’s burning us back.
But I can’t turn up the heat
at your edge of the solar system,
can’t drag you any closer to the Sun.
From your corner the Sun
Is a wink of a star, so small
you could block it out
with the head of a pin.
Just look what a nothing it is
next to you, big girl.
“Sedna the Arctic Sea Goddess” was previously published in Alaska Quarterly Review and “Sedna in Space” was previously published in Narrative. These poems appear here today with permission from the poet.
Hila Ratzabi was selected by Adrienne Rich as a recipient of a National Writers Union Poetry Prize and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She is the author of the chapbook The Apparatus of Visible Things (Finishing Line Press). Her poetry is published or forthcoming in The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry, Narrative, Alaska Quarterly Review, Drunken Boat, About Place, The Normal School, H_NGM_N, Cortland Review, and others. She holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, and lives in Philadelphia where she founded the Red Sofa Salon & Poetry Workshop.
Editor’s Note: In Hila Ratzabi’s Sedna poems the Inuit goddess becomes a symbol of the trauma of climate crisis as explored through the lens of feminist response.
In “Sedna the Arctic Sea Goddess” we are introduced to Sedna’s creation myth. So, too, are we introduced to the misogyny and violence inherent in her tale. She is a “bitch goddess” whose father throws her to the sea and then cuts of her fingers when she tries to save herself.
In “Sedna in Space” we see Sedna rise again when a dwarf planet is discovered and named for her, but still she is “nothing / but a dwarf planet at the edge / of the asteroid formerly known as Pluto, // neighbor to demoted planet, / atmosphere-less, / stunted.” Through poetry, Ratzabi seeks to reclaim Sedna, to save her from the grips of oppression: “I want to place a blanket / around your shivering surface, / tuck you in surrounded by stars.” By shifting perspective, the poet empowers Sedna, making her grander than the sun: “From your corner the Sun / Is a wink of a star, so small / you could block it out // with the head of a pin. / Just look what a nothing it is / next to you, big girl.”