Category Archives: blog

Anna Teresa Slater

Peripheral

There is a certain float
xxxa falling leaf makes
that calls to the eye. A golden

blink, kissed by the back
xxxof a boy racing
his bike to school. A quiet quiver

gliding on a dog’s
xxxfull moon howl. A ballet
dancer outside the glint

of an airport window.
xxxThe messenger in the middle
of that first driveway

goodbye. Freed from a fire
xxxtree, a rogue tickle
in the wheeze of a ripe summer

wind, the ocean
xxxa sieving backdrop
to its fleeing sigh.


Editor’s Note: The poem personifies the stages of wind by attributing human behaviors to them. The slow buildup starting with ‘a golden blink’ becomes ‘a quiet quiver’ and ultimately becomes ‘a rouge tickle traveling to the ocean. The hint of a back story with the ‘first goodbye’ adds to the intrigue.


Anna Teresa Slater is a teacher in Iloilo, Philippines. Her work is published in a variety of international journals and in anthologies by Kasingkasing Press and Hedgehog Poetry Press. The eBook version of her first poetry collection, A Singular, Spectacular Chore (Kasingkasing Press), was released in November 2020, with the print version forthcoming in 2021. Anna lives on a farm with her husband, dog, and cat.

Lorraine Caputo

SQUALLING

I.
The storm finally erupts, torrents tumbling
down roofs into patios, streaming down the street.
Lightning shreds the sky, immediate thunder,
the rain blowing in waves across the Carib sky.

Quick currents rivers rise in these calles,
eddying with leaves & trash.
Black waters strong & rancid seep through wooden
dikes wedged in doorways, seep through tiled floors.

A dappled hackney pulls a scrap-wood wagon
through hub-deep water, still rising, still swirling
& disappears into the rain undecipherable from
solid grey clouds from the churning sea.

II.
After two hours the downpour lessens, the booming
thunder further asea.
Pallid sunset bleeds through a tear in the clouds.
The river recedes, yet whirling yet rushing
towards the Caribbean.

III.
& with this new night, a softer rain falls.


Editor’s Note: The poet paints a series of pictures with words to create an experience of squalling in a reader’s mind. The last line brings the calm after the storm home.


Lorraine Caputo is a poet, translator, and travel writer. Her works appear in over 200 journals on six continents; and 14 chapbooks of poetry – including On Galápagos Shores (dancing girl press, 2019). She also authors travel narratives, articles, and guidebooks. She travels through Latin America, listening to the voices of the pueblos and Earth.

Susan J. Wurtzburg

Unimagined Possibilities

Eyes focus on dust motes, yellow swirls
xxxxxhover, animal smells in the air.
My cousins soar between hay bales,
xxxxxexcitement crackles with fear.
Voices loud, mouths wide, leg scratches,
xxxxxstill we chase and scream.
Shoes full of hay stems never slow us
xxxxxdown as over the bales we fly.
Games done, we empty socks and pockets
xxxxxof dried grass, brush each other off.
A tidy for the youngest, a glance around the barn,
xxxxxready for departure.
Oblivious to the black-cloaked figures, scythes
xxxxxraised, who haunt our play.
Death lurks overhead; rusted bale claw held
xxxxxby a tattered rope.
Injury loiters by the open end of the barn,
xxxxxa two-floor drop into a manure pile.
Mortality dallies in the hay mows, a plunge
xxxxxto mangers or stone floors.
We are children, oblivious to grim possibilities
xxxxxskulking around the cows.
Back up the hill to our parents, enjoying
xxxxxgin and tonics in the late afternoon.
We leave the barn reapers to their dark pleasures
xxxxxas we escape the possibilities again.


Editor’s Note: This childhood narrative is sweet yet filled with dangerous possibilities.  The innocent childhood games at twilight, away from parental oversight, are often tinged with danger. It is a miracle that most of us emerge without any harm. The vivid descriptions in this poem bring this barn scene to life.


Susan J. Wurtzburg is a retired academic and lives in Hawai‘i. She writes and runs her editing business (Sandy Dog Books LLC), in between water sports, hiking, and socializing online, while she waits for the pandemic to diminish. Susan’s poetry has appeared in the Hawaii Pacific ReviewPoetry and CovidQuince Magazine, and the Rat’s Ass Review.

An Ode to Hillary

An Ode to Hillary

The village you needed to care for the child
That you were once was full of idiot bullies
Eager to crush the bold dreams of a young girl
Too stupid to think that a girl can be a president
You always persisted, never tasting the sweet
Nectar of victory, yet a naive belief in the power
Of your own strength, toil, and compassion
That you spread for the children of the world
Too hostile to see the kind heart buried under
The tough exoskeleton that you had to create
To survive the animosity surrounding the spirit
Of a woman striving to become larger than her
Assigned station in life, a woman independent
Yet a foot soldier to the ambitions of a man even
As the sphere around your crumbled, mocking
Your deepest core, launching it in the tailspin
The only way to find your fulcrum was to stand tall
Pivot, forge a road ahead for your dormant self
A soldier that you are, you marched on to duties
Larger and larger, reaching for the sun that
Was ready to shine on the perfected facets
Of your diamond that had sustained centuries
Of heat and pressure to emerge with the purity
Only the world had not run out of the bullies
And today here you are, radiant in your purple
Hue cheering on your younger sister, victorious
paying homage to your fearless foremothers
When you become the valiant foremother
to the budding young girls in this dawn
of the world with open doors to let the light in

— Pratibha


Editor’s Note:

The journal has been in existence for the last six years, yet I never published my own poem. I am making an exception this one time. Watching Hillary Clinton’s gracious presence during the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris inspired this poem. Hillary Clinton was ahead of her time and belongs to a generation when women worldwide had received mixed messages. On the one hand, they were encouraged to become independent and enlightened, and on the other hand, they were expected to carry out the traditional roles of wife and mother. The conflicts left women in limbo and often left them questioning their choices. As history turns another page and we celebrate and welcome women in power, we need to celebrate the women who paved the way and created the cracks in the ceilings that are being shattered now.

 

 

 

Lois Levinson

In Darkness

Migrating birds
cross the disc
of the full moon,
silhouettes flitting
on a white screen,
like moths caught
in a searchlight beam.

But a moonsworth
is only a fragment of sky,
the visible just an inkling
of all that moves
in darkness.

Coyote, venerable dignitary
of the country of night,
swaggers past me
on his nightly patrol.

A family of mule deer,
antlers moon-silvered,
browses on dried grasses,
the old buck
keeping an eye
on the interloper.

A great horned owl
looms high
in the scaffolding
of a dead cottonwood,
scrutinizing all.

What I know is of little use here.
Furless and featherless,
I’ve forgotten the nocturnal
language of shadows,
the song of bare branches
as they fracture the moon.


Editor’s Notes:

The rich imagery of the dark nights and the moon fills this poem with a melancholy tone, and the last stanza cinches all those images into the futility of human knowledge. The assonance in almost every stanza is captivating.


Lois Levinson is the author of one book of poems, Before It All Vanishes, and a chapbook, Crane Dance, both published by Finishing Line Press.  Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Canary Journal, Global PoemicGyroscopeThe Carolina Quarterly, The MacGuffin, Cloudbank and other journals. She lives in Denver, Colorado where she is quarantining, birding and working on her second book.

Miriam O’Neal

Remembering Liam

“He was just walking with time as wind does with the air, in and away.” Ankit Shah

He was just walking with time as wind does
was walking as wind does with time,
just with the air in deep and away,
walking
with walking, he was just air
time, wind does as he does
as with wind the air does walking,
wind was walking, just as time does,
does he walk with the air away,
with wind in deep and
the time was just as he was
air with wind with away
and in. He was time he was air he was walking
deep and away.

in memory of poet and essayist, Liam Rector (1949-2007)


Editor’s Notes: The nature of memory is persistent, and yet memory is ever-changing and fleeting as air and time. The repetition and alternating and transposing of the terms wind, air, and time symbolize this.


Miriam O’Neal’s, The Body Dialogues was published by Lily Poetry Review Books in January, 2020. We Start With What We’re Given (Kelsay Books) came out in 2018. Runner-up for the 2020 Princemere Prize, O’Neal is a 2019 Pushcart nominee and a Poet of Note in the Disquiet International Poetry competition. Recent work has appeared in Nixes Mate Review, North Dakota Quarterly.  Translations of Italian poet, Alda Merini, appeared in On The Seawall  in Fall 2019.

Turning Over the New Leaf

The Literary Nest will turn 6 in 2021. In the past six years, we have published some great poetry and also fiction. Except for a handful of initial pieces, every poem and story published here came from unsolicited submissions. I am so grateful for the poets, writers, and a few visual artists who trusted us with their precious words and images. To keep up with the changing needs of the submitters and our scarce staff, I propose a new journal model.

Beginning in January, the journal will provide almost instant gratification to the poets. The outline of how it will work follows.

  1. The submissions will be open all through the year.
  2. If a poem is accepted, we will post it online immediately.
  3. If your poem doesn’t appear online within a month, please consider it as rejected.
  4. We will not send out formal acceptance or rejection.
  5. At the end of the quarter, the journal will announce the publication of the quarterly issue.
  6. We may hold occasional contests, and each contest will have separate guidelines posted if and when we hold a contest.

The primary motivation behind this policy is that I don’t particularly appreciate sending rejection letters. It is excruciating for me to write one. As a poet, I am also on the receiving end of such letters, and no matter how polite of encouraging it is or how valid the reasoning behind it, it is still a rejection, and there is no way to sugarcoat it.

This new model will be good for the readers as there will be ongoing fresh content and suitable for the poets as they will get a quick turnaround for their submissions.

Feel free to send your feedback either in the email or in the comments below.

Stay tuned for the regular winter issue coming out on December 30th.

100 Thousand Poets for Change Reading

The reading and an open mic for poets for change.  If you have a poem about positive social change that you would like to share with the world, join us for this reading.

What: Open Poetry Reading
Who: Poets and Poetry Lovers
Why: We care about building a better society by effecting positive social change.
When: Wednesday, September 23, 2 PM (PDT)
Where: online via zoom (RSVP appreciated – theliterarynest@gmail.com)
Topic: 100TPC Reading
Time: Sep 23, 2020 02:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88395042137?pwd=NldHMmxNcXhGWE51U2lZSFY5NHU1QT09

Meeting ID: 883 9504 2137
Passcode: 394304
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Theme and poetic forms for Fall Issue – Fire

Dear Poets,

This post will guide you to navigate the submission guidelines for the fall 2020 issue. The theme for the fall issue is ‘fire.’ As always, you are free to interpret the theme the way you seem fit. Fire can be an actual fire, emotional rage, an idea that catches fire, and so on. Just let your imagination guide you.

About the forms that we are looking for this issue are,
Pantoum
Bop
Villanelle
Golden Shovel
Ballad

Check out the blog articles about these forms on this site and are linked above.  Happy writing and submitting.