Since 1996 Volume XXI

          KB Ballentine


KB Ballentine has a M.A. in Writing and a M.F.A. in Creative Writing, Poetry.

Her fifth collection of poems, Almost Everything, Almost Nothing, is forthcoming by Middle Creek Publishing. Her fourth collection, The Perfume of Leaving, was awarded the 2016 Blue Light Press Book Award.

Blue, Ragged Wind

—for a student

Sky stunned by the news —

         you will not be back.

     I stare into the blue, atoms dissolving,

  taking away the shape of you.

Absorbed into Bryant’s earthly coach,

     into Donne’s wakeful eternity,

       you have traveled a distance we cannot

    reach. Robbed from us

 the young man we knew.

No noon sun can warm us from this cold

       rumor. No night more chilling

    than today’s dawn, when a dragonfly darted

  over the lake, the sky, in lonely flight,

       light broken and scattered behind.


Darkness to Hold

Listen to the stars breathing in the night.

Curse the dawn that steals your dreams

while rose and lavender unstitch

horizon’s seam and bluebirds bunch

the feeder, one red–bellied woodpecker

tapping you awake.

You stumble into this world,

this life, this day. Trade vivid

visions for monochrome moments —

bliss orphaned, forgetfulness splintered.

The unblinking sun yawns.

Work calls you into eight by eight cubes:

time measured in ticks of two blades

dragging across a face, your skin,

your thoughts.

Listen, listen to the stars, breathing

on the other side of the sky,

waiting with your dreams.

Nightingale and lark singing,

shadows knitting the dark.



Field Stone Grief

Memory swarms — promises sown,

   flown like thistle, like flies.

     Scattered to who knows where.

  Days patterned like gray tile, like slate

hanging heavy from the sky, my heart.

 Not even a breath flows through

    the fissures, splinters shorn and sharp.

   Crows hover, shadow the yard.

They watch me watching and do not blink.

Copyright, 2018,
KB Ballentine.
All Rights Reserved.

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Mary Barnet


Grace Cavalieri

Joan Gelfand

Janet Brennan