Since 1996 Volume XXIV

 Diane Lee Moomey


Diane Lee Moomey has lived and wandered around the United States and Canada and now dips her gardener’s hands in California dirt. A regular reader at San Francisco Bay Area poetry venues, she has had her work published in Mezzo CamminThe Sand Hill Review, California Poetry Quarterly, Caesura, Red Wheelbarrow, and has been nominated for a Pushcart prize. In 2016, 2017, and 2018, she won prizes and honors in sonnet and creative non-fiction categories of the Soul Making Keats Literary Contest. Her most recent poetry book is Nothing But Itself, published by Day’sEye Press and Studios. Other book titles include Figure in a Landscape, Love's House, and Nothing But Itself. To know more, please visit https://www.pw.org/content/diane_moomey Diane is also a watercolorist and collage artist, an experience that both seeds and is seeded by, her poetic imagery. To view her artwork, please visit www.dianeleemoomeyart.com

Water Above, Water Below
      from I Ching, Hexagram #29, K’an K’an: Danger

The lights are going out, dear—one
by one. Circuits short—listen! the crack

of lines downed, drowned by water rising
from the dark beneath our feet. Wicks,

damp, go limp, collapse in lipid puddles,
hissing. Flashlights flicker, fail in swamps 

new-made by dams broken, oaths broken.
Water goes where water will, filling:

water mixed with gas, soaking wood,
bringing to the surface pestilence

once hid. Listen! filaments of bulbs—
bright, the wires thin as hairs—now snap.

Tungsten ringlets droop. One shakes the glass
in disbelief—only tinkling

within. The lamps are going out, dear,
one by precious one and it’s for us

to choose to live in darkness or, blind
and trembling, make for higher ground 

and set ourselves alight.

—First appeared in Caesura, Summer 2018

Climbing to the Ceiling of the Gym

Left hand, right hand pulls her up; both
feet cup the wrist-thick rope and push;
sisal prickles like a cowhide—
bristles strip the tender skin from child

thighs bare below the hems of blue
shorts. Gym mats thin and few beneath—
she doesn’t think of falling. Every day
that length, calling: all the way, slap

the rafter, down again—resist the urge
to slide—she lets herself descend, ignores
admiring glares from other kids. That length—
enticing. Maybe on the hundredth climb

she’ll smack that beam, a trap door will fly open—
wide, flat roof! —and she’ll shuffle
sneakered feet through gravel, lift her arms
and soar away, like Wendy, above the chimneys

of Detroit.
—First appeared in Perfume River Poetry Review, Spring 2018

Sonnet, Forty-Three and One-Half 
                                                  on reading Millay #43  . . .
But I remember every lip, and where,
and all the hands that ever cupped my cheek;
recall the day and season bringing each
and bearing each away: our mingled hair,
an arm across me in the night,  the wary
promises we may have meant to keep;
remember canyons far too wide to leap
and lips, unkissed, that smiled across. This heart

has been no wide equator— endless vine
and leaf whose suns move gently south to north, 
timeless zone of valleys, verdant bowls
of fruit— but is the sleepless summer, time
between the thaw and freeze, brief bringing forth
of tiny berries, lights above the poles.

—First appeared in Mezzo Cammin, January 2017


So now— when silence reigns upstairs,
demanding voices stilled in sleep
and dreams, when in this bare

and empty midnight every cup,
for once, is washed and rinsed, each mote
of dust swept up, the missing buttons

found and sewn and every weed
dispatched— the edge between tomorrow
and today rolls smooth  beneath

my fingers. Only now can I believe
in magma melting stone, in caves
of water miles below my feet.

And yes, I do believe I hear
the sigh of passing space, my planet
cycling, cycling at dizzy speed

around the sun.

—First appeared in Mezzo Cammin, January 2017


I thought we’d have more days.

I seem to be mistaking a night-bird’s voice
for yours. A branch, roof-fallen,
for a knock upon my door. Be fooled
by light and shadows on a wall— mere light
and shadow. By words I think are meant
for my ears, a crescent moon I take for ours.
The children of others.

You set the last nigiri on my plate
and filled my cup. I thought
we’d have more days.

—First appeared in PoeTalk, 2015

These poems also appear in Nothing But Itself, the 2018 book by the author. 

Copyright © Diane Lee Moomey.

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Mary Barnet


Grace Cavalieri

Joan Gelfand

Janet Brennan