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Part 4 Contributors

 

Tony Barnstone
Willis Barnstone
Ellen Bass
Christopher Buckley
Neeli Cherkovski
Boris Dralyuk
Alicia Elkort
Mary Fitzpatrick
Michael C. Ford
Kate Gale
Frank X. Gaspar
Dana Gioia
Shotsie Gorman
S.A. Griffin
Donna Hilbert
Brenda Hillman
Glenna Luschei
Phoebe MacAdams
devorah major
Clive Matson
K. Silem Mohammad
Rusty Morrison
Harry Northup
Holly Prado Northup - In Memoriam
Cathie Sandstrom
Shelley Scott - In Memoriam
Daniel Shapiro
Mike Sonksen
Pam Ward
Sholeh Wolpe
Gary Young
Mariano Zaro


Part 1 Contributors

Rae Armantrout
Bart Edelman
David Garyan
Suzanne Lummis
Glenna Luschei
Bill Mohr
D. A. Powell
Amy Uyematsu
Paul Vangelisti
Charles Harper Webb
Bruce Willard
Gail Wronsky

Part 2 Contributors

Elena Karina Byrne
liz gonzález
Grant Hier
Lois P. Jones
Ron Koertge
Glenna Luschei
Rooja Mohassessy
Susan Rogers
Patty Seyburn
Maw Shein Win
Kim Shuck
Lynne Thompson
Carine Topal
Cecilia Woloch

Part 3 Contributors

Michelle Bitting
Laurel Ann Bogen
Laure-Anne Bosselaar
Lucille Lang Day
Corrinne Clegg Hales
Marsha De La O
Charles Jensen
Eloise Klein Healy
Glenna Luschei
Clint Margrave
Henry Morro
Alexis Rhone Fancher
Phil Taggart
David L. Ulin
Jonathan Yungkans
Lorene Zarou-Zouzounis


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Click to enlarge picture Donna Hilbert
Donna Hilbert
Photo Credit: Alexis Rhone Fancher
Californian Poets Part 4: Four Poems
by
Donna Hilbert


 

 



All poems will appear in Donna Hilbert’s new collection, Threnody

Pandemus

Upon a current flowing west,
a wide red swath divides the water.
I try to drown the thought of death,
but wish to know which curse is this
and what great beast is bleeding.

My ailing dog asleep all day,
my children grown and scattered,
sadness piles on sadness,
a layer cake of sorrow,
with icing made of daily dread,
and filling made of marrow.



From Sleep

Stupored from sleep, I survey my clothes.
Clothes left in the closet untouched
for a year, or longer, touch each garment
as if it were cashmere or silk,
hanging in a palace of goods
I could never afford, even dare enter.
Such is the breadth of my longing.

Turning to the task at my feet,
I rifle a basket of unfolded laundry
for my costume of sweatshirt and jeans.
Living from basket to hamper to basket,
I dress, lace my shoes, set out for a walk
to start one more day in the dark.



Dammit

Here I am on the back deck,
watching a guy on a tall
extension ladder paint
my neighbor’s house.
All week, I’ve nursed
a spark of indignation
that he and his co-workers
leave used face masks in the alley.

When they’re gone,
I sweep the masks into a pile
and bank them at the edge of the house.
By morning, they’ve blown back to the alley.
I sweep again to make a statement.
The ritual continues: they drop masks,
I sweep, I swear, the wind blows.

But, this morning, I see him
climb the ladder. It looks unsteady.
I’m scared for him.
He must have felt my gaze,
for he turns a bit toward me,
a big happy smile on his face.
He says, how are you?
I say, be careful.
He says, have a great day!
I say, you too.
Now, dammit, we’re friends.



Sympathy Pears

Sympathy pears are paired
with apples and a promise
of shipping within two days.
Regular pears and apples
take longer to box and send.

Sympathy pears and apples
are suitable for painting,
but the artist must supply
the skull, the worm, or fly.

Sympathy pears and apples
arrive with no protocol of care:
simply eat or ignore, no chore
to water, prune, or keep abloom.

Dear Bereaved One,
eat, or not, while you ponder
a Better Place, His Will,
Her Plan. Everlasting Love
.
Or none of the above.