Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Sharon Fagan McDermott: Parli Italiano

Language is a song of loose coins, spilling down
from the fountains. Then bells of the Duomo ring
out over Firenze.

January 27, 2021 · 5 Comments

Willem Kusserow-Lair: The Cycle

Don’t let anyone tell you anything is separate in this world.

January 26, 2021 · 2 Comments

Sally Bliumis-Dunn: Beaked Whales Should Not Be Spotted Near a Coast

Low tide and all we hear
is the whale’s terrible breathing,
its body drying out

January 25, 2021 · 1 Comment

Michael Simms: Dust

The distinct nothingness of my life
suddenly seems glorious,
a particle of dust dancing in the light
beside eight billion others

January 24, 2021 · 33 Comments

Video: Negative Space

Based on a 150-word poem by Ron Koertge, “Negative Space” is a short animated film that depicts a father-and-son relationship through the art of packing a suitcase.

January 24, 2021 · 2 Comments

Jena Schwartz: Writing Prompt # 4 |The Book of Secrets

I find this to be such a comforting notion, that if we listen carefully, we can remember things we knew before we were born.

January 23, 2021 · 3 Comments

Marina Tsvetaeva: Thank God for the Rich

For their root, putrid and loose,
For their weeping-wound from the cradle,
For their perplexing habit of taking
More from my pocket into their pocket.

January 22, 2021 · 2 Comments

Paul Christensen: The Bluest Sky

He knew the rotting nature of poverty and the dull, disintegrating poison of lost hope. He had some of the dark anger of Walt Whitman, who could charm a winter tree back into bloom with his dreams and turn on his heels and find despair tearing at the entrails of the ordinary man.

January 21, 2021 · 3 Comments

Majid Naficy: Seven Poems During Trump

You are that apple worm which overnight
Grew into a bloodthirsty dragon
Like Haftvad’s worm in the “Ardashir Chronicles”.

January 20, 2021 · 2 Comments

Richard Levine: One Night in America

The first time I noticed my hands
trembling, I was still a young man,
just returned from a war…

January 19, 2021 · 2 Comments

Kathleen O’Toole: For Such a Time as This

The poet’s ability to inhabit the events, and actors, with King himself center stage, contribute to the power of this collection. Moreover, the questions these poems raise could not be more timely.

January 18, 2021 · 1 Comment

Deborah Bogen: Bashō

Sweet friend, hear me. There will always be trouble.

January 17, 2021 · 2 Comments

Denise Levertov: Clouds

as if death had lit a pale light
in your flesh, your flesh
was cold to my touch, or not cold
but cool, cooling

January 15, 2021 · 2 Comments

Stephen Dobyns: Wisdom

With the door shut the child sat in the closet
with his fingers pressed in his ears. Tell me
the truth, wasn’t it wisdom? Hadn’t he had
a sudden insight into the nature of the world?

January 14, 2021 · 2 Comments

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