Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

William Butler Yeats: The Wild Swans at Coole

The trees are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky…

October 30, 2020 · Leave a comment

Deborah Bogen: Risk

In Sappho, the spaces name nothing — but the emptiness still speaks.

October 28, 2020 · 3 Comments

Donald Krieger: Unveiling

I listened to the learned
seeking meaning, hundreds crowded
into the Beth Shalom basement,
police in armor at the entrance.

October 27, 2020 · 1 Comment

Judith Sanders: A Mourner’s Kaddish

We must have forgotten thee,
o Jerusalem,
because our tongues cleave
to the roofs of our mouths
and our right hands
have lost their cunning.

October 27, 2020 · Leave a comment

Jason Irwin: Giuseppe the Shoe-Maker

Giuseppe, a simple shoe-maker,
who never learned English, stood
banging his head against the wall,
cursing God in his native tongue

October 27, 2020 · 1 Comment

Vincent Van Gogh: Art and Soul

A great fire burns within me, but no one stops to warm themselves at it, and passers-by only see a wisp of smoke.

October 25, 2020 · 3 Comments

Donald Trump: MAGA Sonnets

…you’re lucky I’m your president.
You’re so lucky. You’re so lucky, I always tell our great
First Lady, Darling, you’re so lucky.

October 24, 2020 · 7 Comments

Emily Dickinson: The Soul selects her own Society

The Soul selects her own Society —
Then — shuts the Door —

October 23, 2020 · 1 Comment

Neil Shepard: Seagull in a Bowl

Where gulls scavenge and float above the arcade,
Where waves break against the risings and pilings,
And the ring-toss winner sets off the dinging bell
And the girl laughs as the boy hands her a souvenir

October 22, 2020 · 5 Comments

Rita Sims Quillen: Taste and Other Mysteries

little oily sardines to lay on saltines
which he would make disappear
into the smile under his moustache

October 21, 2020 · 6 Comments

Ed Bieber: Cleverness

Nature is the master here: boundless, unpredictable,
full of astonishments. The children come next. I follow.

October 20, 2020 · 1 Comment

Molly Fisk: Native Landscape

Back then, the new growth on redwoods was the brightest
green and tasted of citrus, a good vitamin source if you were lost
in the woods, which I wasn’t, I was pure found girl skipping…

October 19, 2020 · 1 Comment

Mike Schneider: Bob Dylan’s Ballads of Murder, Drowning & Other Songs of Love

If one of the defining tendencies of post-modernism is breaking down borders between high and low culture—such as between Beethoven and Elvis, Dylan is a supreme post-modernist. The cultural compass inscribed by his work is huge, flattering us by the depth of his learning and song awareness. We can follow or not—the songs don’t care.

October 18, 2020 · 5 Comments

Charles W. Brice: Stupidity

The guy in his MAGA cap
yells at my friend
that she’s a scaremonger
for wearing a mask

October 17, 2020 · 1 Comment

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