Chronogram Poetry | February 2020 | Poetry | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine
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Chronogram Poetry | February 2020 


the most compelling argument
against war
is the nature of war

here is a boy
who has lost his shoes
below the knees

—p


Always love yourself,
no matter how you look,
how people say you look,
just love yourself.
Because that's your own personal body.
Don’t let anybody judge you.

—Tiana Bradley (8 years)


Ferry

Are you feeling anything?
Are you forgetting
your breathing?
It's your river,
running coldly.
It’s your star,
coldly following,
saying thank you
for the anchor,
good moon, good
moon falling down.

Drowning looks like sleeping.
The quiet, a comfort,
the lighting, pleasing,
a weak rain beginning,
but nothing trying, no
nothing too terribly heavy
upon your head.
They were pebbles,
but I called them stones.
I forgave them. I tucked them in.
I kept them with me,
counting slowly, as we
put the boat to bed.

—Marni Ludwig


Youth

Young is the breath I inhale so sweetly
That I forget just how mortal these instruments of mine are
When the music notes sour, such chaotic surprise
But I rather not taste the fear of time beyond these city lights that hold me so
And my favorite part of being blue and broken is that I can be repaired so easily,
that there is hope in even the most stubborn parts of my fingertips

And I know that numbered days can become so weary
Yet tonight the moon is so hungry and full
I swallow tomorrow
And my lovers agree
There is nothing like simply
Being caught by the mouth and told to
Live

—Lullaby Rose


Leaving Atocha Station, Madrid

You accompanied me to the 12:30 train,
Your arm locked around mine
Under my huge umbrella.
“Yes,” you said, “this is what we do.”

I had mentioned how we Americans rarely link arms,
Except under certain restricted conditions—
Spouses, children, dear old relatives—
But never a man and woman un-attached.

“That’s odd,” you said laughing a bit,
“We touch and hug and kiss everyone—all the time—
You Americans, what are you afraid of?”
I shook my head because 1 didn’t know.

A year now has gone past.
I look out at the rain and people walking
And think of my big umbrella, your arm in mine,
And wonder when will I leave Atocha?

—Stephen J. Kudless


Homage: Northwest Hill Road

My wife reminds me
the mailboxes are
exactly two miles down the road
from our house. All twelve stand
side by side at the bottom
to say people here are different.
We are four wheel drivers
who think nothing of mud
gullies on warm winter days.
And those holes in the maples
are not from drive-by
shootings (oh you city mice)
but grand avenues to
the world’s best syrup.

White tails hang in our neighborhood
and red fox seeks her mate
down the street.
We don’t mind black bear
in our spring garden
his almost human paws squashing
some lettuce: we take the plunder
of compost with a pinch of salt.

We have seen your cathedrals,
your chic malls, your ballets.
We have heard your symphonies,
They’re poor copies of cellular oaks,
a red hawk’s harsh soprano,
and the dance of our own
surprising vault over a stream.

—Stuart Freyer


Red Riding Hood


Twilight sits upon the path
Cuts through darkened trees and past
Oak and birch and timid pine
Below her feet a silver line
Extends another mile or so
Before she reaches Buffalo

Her cloak floats with her as she runs
Her feet are repetitious drums
Leap over root, jump over stone
She knows that she is not alone
Behind her at a distance still
A pack of wolves just past the hill

The alpha calls, a chilling hum
Foreboding things that are to come
Things of death and flesh and bone
Turn your heart to ashen stone
Run faster now. Half mile or so
The settlement of Buffalo

Her eyes are fixed upon the peak
Ahead of her five hundred feet
Across a meadow far and wide
Where bird and fox and fawn abide
Her scent is blood. The pack is near
The air now thick and filled with fear

Her father’s name gone from her mind
Her mother a forgotten time
For years now memories are vague
Come, go, to reappear and plague
Her tortured and tormented soul
Below her now, there’s Buffalo

She turns. The wolves so near she sees
Their faces, fur, their eyes and teeth
Fangs made only for the kill
The pack arrived. With it a chill
Together they look down below
A sheep herd grazing in the glow.

And from a log, a place of rest
The Sheppard’s son his eyes turn west
What he now looks upon in grief
All his long life will never leave
His dreams and days and sleepless nights
Her red cape dances as she strides

The wolves two dozen at her call
The sheep stir frantic in their stall
They push against the wood and fence
The wolves surround them and commence
Their search for weakest, youngest blood
Their leader’s name: Red Riding Hood

—Stefan Bolz


The Old Man

there's so little time the old man said
an hour maybe a year
then it will all be over and life snuffed out
the end we always fear

well I said cheer up you never know
yes he said this is true
but you misunderstand my young friend
I was talking about you

—Richard Donnelly


Tracers raining down
on our foxholes through the night:
thousand points of light.

—Patrick Walsh


Leaving for Their Honeymoon
a fibonacci word count

we
see
two lovebirds
after the wedding
nestling in a pine tree
with the breeze they take to the sky
then circle once and depart—
spiraling to earth
one feather
their
gift

—Neal Whitman


Regrets Only

I can’t stay in this house
The siding peels and a mouse died in the walls
The neighbors are collecting cats I have to save

I’m done with this body
Crows feet and skin dripping post-baby belly
My guts are beautiful, they say

We’re failing 7th grade
Test schedules and book reports make us dumb
Our common core is in music, museums & madness

Tonight is cancelled
I wouldn’t marry again for all the tea in China
Having lost all faith in the goodness of men

I could even leave America
Hypocrisy and ignorance are displacing me
I’ll miss the things I don’t recognize anymore

I’m sorry. I’m just not available
I have prior engagements with other people, places
And things I don’t regret yet

—Chris Shaw


A Path

whether cleared land, or a path, or a road
you must leave something of yourself
behind.
there is no right way to go.
here is the way things are.

she learned to understand what it is like to face a mountain.
formalizing things
both comfortable and immediate.

there are always discoveries along the way.
only some are valuable.

—Vittoria S. Rubino


While reading poems
Shadows danced on her pale throat
Black dangle earrings

—Karen Becker


Upper Byrdcliffe Road

All I know is in that moment walking
by the side of the mountain road,
the creaking call of the trees reminded me
of the goddess who was talking in my dream
after the brown bear had appeared at dusk,
the summer smelled of burnt earth, icy cold brooks.

Sacred, sacred, sacred.

Those trees gifted me this place,
their rooted ley lines so strong
giving way to the great mystery
on this mountainside I remember
the first time I saw the monks
measured, joyous, awestruck walking
past the oaks on the side of the road
toward the footpath back to the monastery.

Sacred, sacred, sacred

Their deep maroon red clay crimson robes
streaming light like through yellow leaves
rustling with the great ability to hold
the space for peace where there was little,
in silent devotion air so thick with love
laden trees knitting together heaven and earth.

Sacred, sacred, sacred.

—Lori Corry


Constraint

I could have a new life
but I keep holding onto my old one
like a pair
of vise grips
on tattered,
warped wood,
bursting at the seams,
and torn,
begging to be repurposed,
and adorned,
with the spoils of yesteryear.

How did so much water get in?
Now the grain won’t close.

—Arina Soler


Untitled

Everything I am is a version of someone else.
Everything I do is aversion to something else.

—Britt Barnard

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