Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature: over 400,000 monthly users

George Yancy: What I Learned About Death From 7 Religious Scholars, 1 Atheist and My Father

Just a few days before my father died in 2014, I asked him a question some might find insensitive or inappropriate: “So, what are your thoughts now about dying?”

January 9, 2022 · 11 Comments

Rachel Hadas: Ghost guest

I sometimes think I recognize the face
of my own death. Knowing it is nearer
makes me feel it ought to be familiar,
a neutral guest I’ve seen somewhere before.

December 29, 2021 · 4 Comments

Jason Irwin: Ouija Board

I asked When? And How?
I was thirteen. My cousin, twelve.
It said I would be 41.
The same age my mother was that Christmas.
Elvis was 42 when he died. Jesus, 33.

December 23, 2021 · 3 Comments

Al Ortolani: Paper Birds Don’t Fly

Sitting at the table with the paper birds,
she unfolded mine and began to read.
I couldn’t make out a word
she was saying.

December 7, 2021 · 1 Comment

Fred Everett Maus: Yellow

In the days after, we did not weep in each other’s
presence, nor hold each other, nor say much
about our feelings. It was how we had always been.

November 30, 2021 · 5 Comments

Christopher Bursk: The Necropolis of Tarquinius

We’d just discovered a new word—necropolis—
and now we wanted a city of the dead
of our own. But it was too hard digging life-size
trenches, so we settled for the flower garden
our mother wouldn’t need anymore.

October 28, 2021 · 2 Comments

Gary Fincke: The Double Negatives of the Living

I could talk
Two hours past midnight with
My father in the steelworker
Idiom of his city.

October 21, 2021 · Leave a comment

Gary Fincke: The Local Cemetery

Says she has purchased space
In the Garden of Dreams,
Which, so far, leaves me out

August 31, 2021 · 2 Comments

Patricia Jabbeh Wesley: In the Other World

Our beloved lay down and then eloped
to that other world.

August 22, 2021 · 3 Comments

Doug Anderson: The Gravestone and the Continuing Self

When I was in my twenties I thought old age was an island only accessible by a bridge I’d never cross. But I’ve crossed it, and at seventy-eight the subject … Continue reading

August 1, 2021 · 10 Comments

Video: Crannog

Alexis has a life-threatening disease. She spends her time in the wooded expanse of northern Scotland, where she takes care of dozens of animals who are also sick, wounded or dying. Some have terminal cancer, some would otherwise be killed because of their disabilities, some were saved from slaughterhouses. Alexis provides palliative care for them.

March 7, 2021 · 1 Comment

Deborah Bogen: Sisters

I’m the last sister standing — but tonight I mean to lie down, to practice being in the box

March 3, 2021 · 6 Comments

William Stafford: Traveling through the Dark

Traveling through the dark I found a deer
dead on the edge of the Wilson River road.

February 5, 2021 · 3 Comments

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

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