Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Video: Dark Chocolate and Artery Function

What do studies not funded by the chocolate industry show about the effect of cocoa on arterial health?

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Miriam Levine: On the Steps of the Miami Beach Cinematheque

Soon I’d be eighty. My hip ached,
the thumb he kissed bent with arthritis.
His scent was lime, and the nape
of his neck smooth as summer jade.

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Ginger Thompson: A Border Patrol Agent Reveals What It’s Really Like to Guard Migrant Children

With the agency under fire for holding children in deplorable conditions and over racist and misogynistic Facebook posts, one agent speaks about what it’s like to do his job. “Somewhere down the line people just accepted what’s going on as normal.”

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Joshua Wilkey: Blessed are the White Trash

I grew up poor. Often, when one reads memoirs or oral histories from folks who grew up where I did — that is, in Appalachia, or in the South, or somewhere … Continue reading

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Robert Frost: The Sound of the Trees

Why do we wish to bear
Forever the noise of these
More than another noise
So close to our dwelling place?

July 19, 2019 · Leave a comment

Video: Travel Deep Inside a Leaf

To really get to know the tallest trees in the world, start with their leaves.

July 19, 2019 · 2 Comments

Sydney Lea: 2019

The gulls that once patrolled the Bay
of Naples, for instance, long since shifted
attention toward the city’s landfill

July 18, 2019 · Leave a comment

Aura Bogado: The US is quietly opening shelters for babies and young kids. One has 12 children and no mothers.

One of the infants is just 2 weeks old and was born in the United States, making the child a U.S. citizen in the custody of the federal refugee agency.

July 17, 2019 · Leave a comment

Naomi Shihab Nye: Trees Gossip with the Birds

When the orange sun sinks over the AZIZI sign I feel
the darkening world soaking up all the extra noise

July 17, 2019 · Leave a comment

Majid Naficy: Great Feast

Death, like a weary actress
Has gone behind the stage
To take off her black dress
And put on her lounging gown.

July 16, 2019 · Leave a comment

Mayeta Clark: When Fracking Companies Own the Gas Beneath Your Land

Natural gas companies have cut down forests and paved over farms on West Virginia private lands, calling it “reasonably necessary” to access subsurface gas they own the rights to. A legal battle with property owners has ensued.

July 16, 2019 · Leave a comment

Michael T. Klare: The Missing Three-Letter Word in the Iran Crisis

If the United States goes to war with Iran, you are unlikely to hear the word “oil” uttered by top Trump administration officials, but make no mistake: that three-letter word lies at the root of the present crisis, not to speak of the world’s long-term fate.

July 15, 2019 · Leave a comment

Elizabeth Romero: Route Six

A bad time is coming we agree
I peer ahead at the changing shades of gray
On the road ahead
A light rain falls

July 15, 2019 · Leave a comment

Video: An Ode to Envy — Parul Sehgal

What is envy? What drives it, and why do we secretly love it? No study has ever been able to capture its “loneliness, longevity, grim thrill” — that is, says Parul Sehgal, except for fiction.

July 14, 2019 · Leave a comment

Paul Christensen: Second Sight

My mother was Italian, a passionate, sensuous woman who believed in fortune telling and heeding the voice of intuition, which was very strong inside her. She told me she had been born under a veil, meaning the amniotic sack at birth, and that this was the sign of her prophetic powers.

July 14, 2019 · 1 Comment

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