Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

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

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

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

Video: Warsan Shire — Young Poet Laureate for London 2013-14

In her personal London Story, the latest of her commissions as part of her role as Young Poet Laureate for London, Warsan Shire uses the city as the backdrop for an exploration of her feelings of falling in love.

July 13, 2019 · Leave a comment

Video: The HU

The HU is a band from Mongolia that blends heavy metal and traditional Mongolian throat singing. Some of the band’s lyrics include old Mongolian war cries and poetry.

July 13, 2019 · Leave a comment

John Samuel Tieman: Variations

I heard the history
of the Huberman Stradivarius
how it was stolen and painted
with shoe polish to hide it

July 11, 2019 · Leave a comment

Ellen McGrath Smith — Shaken 48: How careful was I when I took my way

Hands in my pockets, the salt on the streets,
the yellowing aura that means you are here
by my side again, waking me in dread
with no buffer or bounce. It’s been ten years.

July 10, 2019 · Leave a comment

Doug Anderson: That Quotation from the Talmud

I understand the world will be what it is
when I’m dead. I sometimes look at my hands
and know they are not mine. This body on loan.

July 9, 2019 · 1 Comment

Luray Gross: If Two People Are Aware of the Rising Moon

When his mind grew empty
and his heartbeat slowed to a vague stutter,
our father no longer walked the fields at night.

July 8, 2019 · 1 Comment

The Origin of Strawberries

She sat down, but the longer she waited the stronger became her desire for her husband, and at last she gathered a bunch of the finest berries and started back along the path to give them to him. He met her kindly and they went home together.

July 6, 2019 · 2 Comments

Jose Padua: It Was the Summer After the Summer of Love

it’s the first time in my life
that I’ve ever had an image
or maybe it just an idea
(which was still bad enough)
of my parents doing it,
having sex, grabbing each other

July 6, 2019 · Leave a comment

David Huddle: The Watermelon Sutras

In the act of eating watermelon no one
ever pulled a trigger, spoke harshly
to a child, swatted a butterfly out
of the sky, or told a lie for money.

July 4, 2019 · 2 Comments

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