Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Paul Christensen: Nutshells

The inside of a nutshell is chambered like the heart, with little ridges and flanges where the nut grew and prepared itself for falling into the waiting earth. That’s what I smell when I hold up a nutshell to my nose. It is the odor of anticipation, the willingness to be sacrificed to the sharp teeth of an animal worrying the shell until it breaks.

September 15, 2019 · Leave a comment

Abby Zimet: The Cruelty is the Point

Sweet mother of God. Racist and cruel doesn’t begin to cover the ongoing atrocities now daily committed – coincidentally, virtually entirely against brown and black people – by the sick demons running our country.

September 14, 2019 · Leave a comment

James Wright: A Blessing

Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,
Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.
And the eyes of those two Indian ponies
Darken with kindness.

September 13, 2019 · 2 Comments

Julia Conley: A Solution for All Generations

With her plan for Social Security expansion, Elizabeth Warren demands that the rich pay their fair share to lift 5 million out of poverty: “No one who spends 30 years working and contributing to Social Security should retire in poverty.”

September 13, 2019 · Leave a comment

Kathleen O’Toole: Half Italian

The brain’s hard-wired with the impulse to feed
when given the chance, and it’s why I always double
the garlic in any recipe.

September 9, 2019 · 5 Comments

Paul Christensen: Summer’s End

Summer is like old gold, dark with age. You feel its strength become mellow and pliable in the soft breezes. There is wisdom in the heat that still simmers along the edges of noon, as if it were trying to tell us that illness or aging are as natural as drawing breath.

September 8, 2019 · 1 Comment

Karen Friedland: Ahimsa

You could say
it was a vegetarian’s revenge

September 7, 2019 · Leave a comment

Chuck Taylor: Cutting

At first, I had no idea why the dogs were in the cages. I heard stories that the dogs were picked up running loose at night through many neighborhoods and delivered in old trucks to the hospital at night. I could tell that many of these dogs had been pets.

September 7, 2019 · Leave a comment

Sarah Chavez: The Story of Death Is the Story of Women

It is clear that our society’s current denial of death is not working. What would our culture look like if we instead met the most mysterious, painful, and transformational aspect of our lives with compassion and clarity?

September 5, 2019 · 3 Comments

Elizabeth Romero: Being Poor

It can be waiting
And telling your children to wait
Wait their whole childhoods away.
It’s knowing they blame you.

September 4, 2019 · 1 Comment

John Samuel Tieman: What is wrong with Donald Trump?

“The malignant narcissist is presented as pathologically grandiose, lacking in conscience and behavioral regulation with characteristic demonstrations of joyful cruelty and sadism.”

September 2, 2019 · Leave a comment

Elena Karina Byrne: Reality may still be unacceptable Gerhard Richter

A Repeating Dream I’m Belly-Down at Eleven
beneath barbwire like bedsprings during night-climbs

September 2, 2019 · 1 Comment

Abby Zimet: Good Job, Little Man

Before plunging into the grim cauldron that is this week’s news about the ravaging of democracy, decency and our precious, fragile, singular planet, here’s a picture of a small good thing.

August 29, 2019 · Leave a comment

Louie Skipper: The Night Nurse

Why are Hieronymus Bosch and Salvador Dali still not speaking after passing through the Crab Nebula together? . Was it necessary for Shakespeare to become anonymous before being made immortal? … Continue reading

August 23, 2019 · Leave a comment

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