Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Paul Christensen: On Silence

I am possessed of a brooding spirit, some ominous angel who has landed on my shoulders, staring at my ear. It wants to know why I do not understand silence, the poetry of space.

July 5, 2020 · Leave a comment

Paul Christensen: The Reluctant Summer

I could feel the rage building as I saw the nation writhe, then uncoil its wrath and take to the streets. I was demoralized to realize that my whole life had been lived in the twisted emotions of a country poisoned to its soul with racist hatred.

June 14, 2020 · 1 Comment

Paul Christensen: The Book of Eternity

The dark has stairs and doors that have never been opened. Who knows where they lead, or what impenetrable paradoxes await the person who turns a knob and presses against the infinite ignorance we cower from?

May 4, 2020 · 6 Comments

Paul Christensen: Timbrels in the Marsh

The sky is a stoic blue, hard as a marble, with little wimpy clouds that carry nothing more than a few regrets from a dying winter. We’re here, right on the precipice of a season.

March 22, 2020 · 8 Comments

Paul Christensen: When the Ice Won’t Melt

It’s one of those diamond-bright days of early winter, with the ground ringing like iron when you walk on it.

February 6, 2020 · Leave a comment

Paul Christensen: Snow Bound

The snow and the dark wind, the impassable wastes of one’s backyard, the icy draft that leaks in under the front door tell you you have no place to go. You must sit down and allow the slightly old-fashioned language of self to drift in.

January 19, 2020 · 3 Comments

Sydney Lea: Passing the Arts and Crafts Fair

There aren’t many like him anymore, the handy, soft-spoken old ones, who still know how to farm, how to raise up a house you can live in, how to still-hunt a whitetail.

January 17, 2020 · Leave a comment

Robert Frost: Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

December 27, 2019 · 2 Comments

Paul Christensen: The Rain It Raineth Every Day

They say the average cloud weighs about the same as eighty elephants. A big storm such as now darkens the sky overhead must be an infinite parade of elephants milling around in the dark gray pastures above us.

October 27, 2019 · Leave a comment

Paul Christensen: Ghosts and Memories

It’s the place where the dead are sleeping, barely breathing in the moist black earth along the creek. They will rise when the time comes, and ask the living for a candle, perhaps a dish with a cookie on it.

October 13, 2019 · 1 Comment

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

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

Michael Simms: Dogsbody to the Muse

Sometimes it’s painful to watch a group of poets trying to work a room as if they were politicians. The AWP conference, as the wag put it, is comprised of 15,000 introverts pretending to be extroverts.

August 25, 2019 · 12 Comments

Paul Christensen: Second Sight

My mother was Italian, a passionate, sensuous woman who believed in fortune telling and heeding the voice of intuition, which was very strong inside her. She told me she had been born under a veil, meaning the amniotic sack at birth, and that this was the sign of her prophetic powers.

July 14, 2019 · 1 Comment

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