TURTLE ISLAND QUARTERLY 9
Jared Carter (2 poems), Michael Spring (1 poem),
Kathleen S. Burgess (1 poem), J.D. Trejo-Maya (1 poem)
TWO POEMS BY JARED CARTER
Abandoned farm, where one can hear
Of music gone astray. Draw near
to harsh demands
Of wind – barn clapboard working loose,
tin pail that crawls
Across the milking floor. Each goose
aloft still calls
Ahead, and croaks – how far? As far
as you can go
With shards of crock and Mason jar
Ice, when the creek bed flows again,
breaks up in panes
Of tarnished silver. Only when
the darker veins
Of melted snow appear beneath
that scattered world
Does wakening begin. The leaf,
once frozen, whirls
Away; the feather, damp with snow,
The wind, but finds, upon the flow,
Jared Carter lives in Indiana. His most recent book is Darkened Rooms of Summer: New and Selected Poems (University of Nebraska Press). He has received the Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets, the Poets' Prize, a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, and two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.
POEM BY MICHAEL SPRING
for over a month its brassy-yellow beak
battles my window
hooded like a bandit, it stabs
staccato, with laconic heartbeats –
a complicated philosophy
Pueblos called it the snow bird
that drags rain and snow
like a blanket trailing behind a sleepy child
but this junco is not sleepy
it’s fixated on cracking open the beak
of its double
my neighbor said it must be a male thing
one attacked the side mirrors
of her Chevy truck all spring
I drink my coffee and tap the keypad
as the junco taps the window—
how long will this last?
will it damage its brain? will it
I wonder if I’ll soon find
the poor bird knocked out
last week, in April, snow fell for the first time
in over a year.
my wife says the snow bird has something to say
that I must capture its message
before it will leave
but I can’t imagine it gone –
every morning it drums
as I reflect
snow bird, stay as long as you can!
Michael Spring is the author of three poetry books and seven; chapbooks. His chapbook “Blue Wolf” won the 2013 Turtle Island Poetry Award. His latest, Ravenwood, has just been published by Left Fork Books. New poems have appeared (or are forthcoming) in: Absinthe Poetry Review, Chiron Review, Gargoyle, Hermes, and Modern Poetry Quarterly Review.
POEM BY KATHLEEN S. BURGESS
By riverboat we reached Iquitos.
About two miles long, it was large
for an Amazon settlement. And a theater
on the main street was the first we’d seen
since Quito, a house of lights where
Peter Cushing’s Brides of Dracula gleamed
from the marquee. Or was it Dracula Has
Risen from the Grave and Christopher Lee.
Whatever the movie, it didn’t matter.
We queued for tickets two blocks back.
The line shuffled forward, stopped.
I left Ted holding my place and found
a man, hung horizontally like a flag
in a hurricane, holding onto the window
for tickets with one hand and trying to pay
for two tickets with the hand left free.
Gripping each other’s waists, a phalanx
of men tugged on his legs to dislodge him.
Others leaped at the window to buy tickets
for themselves and girlfriends. So next night
we came earlier. Americans, we were hated
throughout the third world. Nixon ruled
from the White House. Tens of thousands
died in Vietnam. Dark skin against dark skin.
And in Peru both indigenous and Latino
were people of color. Sitting there in the dark,
I gathered their tokens of gleeful protest:
bubblegum on my shirt back and shoes.
Next day we toured a local church.
The Prince of Peace bled where thorns
of a twisted coronet of vines pierced
his forehead. Nailed to a wooden cross,
His arms, hands, and feet dripped blood,
wooden blood. In this sanctuary He was
joined by men tortured into sainthood.
Only blue-robed Mary posed inviolate
in the painted light of grace. Her face
radiated more than one pale woman’s share
of the burden compassion is. Her statue,
with its immaculate red heart, stood
for humanity, between martyrs and demons,
between blood let, and blood consumed.
Kathleen S. Burgess, editor, poet, and retired public school music teacher, has worked as clothes designer, musician, composer, factory solderer, administrator for developmentally disabled men, university secretary, waitress, union officer, and videographer who hitchhiked through North, Central, and South America. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize, she has won national and state poetry competitions. Her poems have appeared in North American Review, Main Street Rag, Malpaís Review, The Examined Life, Evening Street Review, other journals and anthologies. Her chapbook Shaping What Was Left and the anthology Reeds and Rushes—Pitch, Buzz, and Hum are Pudding House publications. New collections Hitchhiking Through Ruins and The Wonder Cupboard are forthcoming.
POEM BY J. D. TREJO-MAYA
Brawn steel –silex
complexion earth tone.
frost and green canopy shone.
Tlaxcala –hummingbirds flash
See these words
Outside skin rainbows light:
11th full moon.
owls scatter gamma rays.
Super nova split/
in between breaths
symmetry in jade iris glare.
.. Macuil Ollin/
Tititl Ome Tochtli
J. D. Trejo-Maya was born in Celaya, Guanajuato Mexico and spent his first eight years in the small, neighboring rural pueblo of Tarimoro. In 1988, his family and he migrated to California, where he would go on to earn three degrees and develop a passion for ethno-poetic language poetry. Among his inspirations, he includes the ancient poet Netzahualcoyotl, contemporary Guatemalan Humberto Ak’Abal and Blackfeet & Gros Ventre writer James Welch. He has been published in the Nimrod International Poetry Journal, Belleville Park Pages, Star 82 Review, Visions International Review, Lost Coast Review, Redactions: Poetry, Poetics, & Prose, Altadena Poetry Review, Acentos Review, Mandala Review, Qua Literary Fine Arts Magazine, Five Quarterly, and The Voices Project.