Latest Poems


The march of umbrellas. Half stretched
domes against turbulent clouds.
Faces pitched forward. The rhythm of
drops is the exhaust from heaven. It’s a
temporary wash of mankind, touching
coats and hats but not the heart. There’s
a walk of escape to a point up ahead.
People blur the canvas of motion, fighting
against the forces of nature. Everything
is awash in the color of wet.

Roger Singer


Black balusters and mahogany stairs
lead gracefully to a parquet second
floor landing. Decades of voices carried
the water of words to this quiet
circular elegance surrounded by
bookshelves and photos of New York
and Paris. Gold painted plaster
moldings wrap the area like decorative
ribbons. It all speaks with identity
and belonging; above there is a frieze
of a garden in continuous summer.
Through a wide set of leaded windows
a forest is in the distance.

Roger Singer


What does someone see when you
offer them a glimpse beneath your water?

The pillows of your dreams

Wilted emotions

Thoughts without makeup

Eyes listening but not seeing

Sunless days

The joy of rain

Favorite words

Fear of death

The honey of a smile

Running away

Closed doors

Acts of faith

A song that brings tears

City streets and strangers

Dirty hands

Unfinished conversations

Failed desires

Second chances

The next corner

Roger Singer


There is no unhappiness in a
Its industrial beauty shrugs with
Seasonal wars have no effect on its
There is nothing porous about it.
The stones once buried within ancient
soil are like diamonds and pearls,
protecting the perimeter of its
Fortune blesses the license of its
presence each day; a statement of
From a shuttered window the patterns are

Roger Singer


It’s my shoreline. A place of
footsteps and whispers, high clouds,
blue cobalt skies, forever horizon;
it’s a song I live. A moment brings me in,
an hour holds me tight. It’s a place
without time, without changing, it holds
the strength of me. I am the shadow of here.
I stand on the edge of myself, the backside
of the beginning. The escape with a forever
door. Rain or sun changes nothing from
where I stand.

Roger Singer


For some reason
they bring them in at night
shiny planes full of shiny boxes
There is a ghastly precision
a uniformed efficiency
indifference and order
If they gave out visitors’ passes
you could get close enough
to watch them disappear

Tim Dyson


In the cemetery of Beit She’arim
inside a tomb from the third century
paved with mosaic
and decorated with wildlife reliefs
is carved an inscription
commemorating a local resident.

The author, though Jewish, had a Greek style:

    I lie, son of Leontius dead, son of Sappho,
    who after having gathered of the fruit
    of all wisdom left the light.

    Woe is me, in my Beit She’arim.
    After having gone to Hades,
    I, Justus, lie here with many of my relatives
    for that is what powerful fate has decreed.
    Be consoled, Justus. No one is immortal.

Dark is the house without windows.
Dust is the only weather in the tomb.

Indifferent as a reflecting moon,
a green moth flitted over the stone,
then lay for a long moment on the ground.


Anne Whitehouse


As a child, I believed
I saw the face of God
in the shifting shapes of clouds,
when they swirl overhead
under the celestial dome,
or pile high in great pillows
that hurry across the sky,
or drift close to the earth,
beads of fog and moisture
snagged in the branches of trees.

Anne Whitehouse


In memory of Paul Berné

At the end of Paul’s life.
we painted the lampshade
with the stencil,
playing with colors
as in the past.
I knew his time
was getting shorter,
but not that we were
out of time

The nurse said, “Dying is hard.
You and I have never tried it.
He doesn’t want to leave.
Though he can’t see you,
he can still hear you.
You must help him to let go.”

Anne Whitehouse


Fields glow gold in the early morning,
and curtains of light float to the ground.

Leaves blow up silver
when I chase the light through woods.
I collect a shriveled leaf
in the shape of a heart,
dried brown and flecked with holes,
and hold it to the sky,
filigree filtering light
through its interstices

Anne Whitehouse


The dark-eyed salesgirl at CVS
jumped into the toy collection box,
bobbing like a jack-in-the-box,
tossing her long, dark, silky hair.

She jumped out laughing,
flirting with the salesboy,
inviting him to dance
to the background Muzak.

Under the store’s fluorescent glare,
they swayed and twirled,
overcoming the boredom
of a slow Sunday night
in a dead-end job,

in step with an old love song.


Anne Whitehouse

How to Eat a Pomegranate

Score skin so lightly

slices can’t be seen

Cut at the lip

Soft pith same color as northern
sky after snow falls
to dirt

Brush arils
into your palm


You are temporarily stained

Turn sideways

No one should see
this feast


Amy Schmitz

Canaletto’s Skies

Half the painting is
sky, sometimes more;
just what the critic
Clement Greenberg wished for.
Placid sky and languid clouds;
almost blues,
mouse turd gray shrouds.

Classical breezes only
blow here;
no Tiepolo skies
to die for –
just plain sky that would
never suffice
as alibi.
No Constable
no baroque pomposity.
Nothing happening here
to disturb
this ant farm of detail.


David Headley



She holds her face up to him
and he leans against the wall
staring back, around them the eddies
and swirl of the others, the shouts
and calls between classes,
she creates an idea that this
is the only world, the one between them:
his earnestness of desire is her proof of love;
this intensity holds them rooted past
the late bell and the hallway quickly empties:

Jeffrey glides by, a quick smile,
somehow no girlfriend but the girls
all watch, and his scrawny shape
transforms with an audience.

Everyday he flexes and poses, his body
impossibly sculpted, a rushing stream
of a body, he pokes and teases the girls
with this body, and they read in his shoulders
and stomach the soliloquy of sex
it promises them.

Then he is sprawled in a desk,
the metal and plastic covered in ink declarations
stop and make shapes with his smooth skin
and he is writing quickly, attempting to keep up,
he is alone then, furiously so sometimes,
and the girls cautiously examine him,
his lax form contains poetry
they would not dare utter.


Andrew Decker


A Whole World

She leaned forward everyday
right before the bell rang,
ending class.

A world to see, she was pregnant
by seventeen, the usual story
and the loyal boyfriend
loyal for awhile.

Metallic yellow curls, an afternoon
in a beauty parlor in the Heights,
other girls placing their hands
on her belly. She still fawns
over the boyfriend in photographs
she once took delight in, he looks out
cardboard tough, do-rag and turntables,
behind him the unadorned geometry
of somebody’s apartment.

She’s a collector. She unfolds
and shows what is hers: the photographs,
the notes and text messages. She shows
her friends these last exchanges
from the phone she snuck
through the metal detectors on her way
into school this morning.


Andrew Decker

Real Life

How can I go back to the real life
when I have flowers like this on the table?
Blossomed and proud.
There to remind us where they came from.
The kind that take in light,
not to be greedy, but to grow.

Standing quiet.
They sway slightly,
Just enough to make room for the breeze.

Eve Van Dyke

Is that you?

Sometimes I read your obituary
To remember where I came from
According to Google,
It’s the only piece left of you.

Sometimes I read message boards
And find the comments you left
From years past
Your memorable usernames,

Your use of all CAPS,
Your strange humor.

Sometimes I find profiles
Of people who share your name
And wonder if there’s a little
of you
in them

Sometimes I think
That if I search long and deep enough I’ll find you there
Floating and waiting, your picture next to an “add” button

And I’ll finally know
where you’ve been all this time.

Eve Van Dyke


Perks of prosody: hurtful memes
are hidden in images and innov-
ative wordplay. It’s no longer
embonpoint or porcine. In my
head I’m not fit to be seen: this
fusillade of feelings continue
to swell as I do nothing except
the occasional mop up.

Sanjeev Sethi

Kiwi the parrot

When a friend of mine leaves town for a vacation,
a couple of times a year,
he brings his parrot into my house.

Babysitting somebody else’s pet earns no reward:
as a proxy I am only tolerated, not loved.

Yet the bird begs for attention
so I speak to it, it squawks at me – to the end of its stay
we get close to what may pass for a mutual understanding.

When my friend comes to get the parrot back
I am almost jealous watching how happy it is:
nodding, dancing on the perch, spreading wings…

It takes a few minutes to clean the room afterwards.
Everything gone: the cage, the jar with food,
the small bottle with vitamins, the plastic bag with toys,
the cloth for covering the cage at night.

Sleep-sleep-sleep, Kiwi murmurs softly.

Boris Kokotov


A quick change of weather,
a cold wind off waves from an ocean
we never see. The window, still half-open
for afternoon’s sun, let’s in instead
a breeze that chills the sheets.
I arrange my books again in this new place.

The clouds hang to the edge of land
and the birds stray only to collect
in our windows: sounds at dawn,
shadows in morning,
buddhas in the afternoon.
In the darkness they are just one more
fragment of the mystery.

Late at night, half-listened to songs
heard hundreds of times in similar moods,
wondering at the folly of desire.


Andrew Decker