Archive for the ‘Worship’ Category

Confession as Show and Tell

January 13, 2012 2 comments

by Jill Crammond

after Kelli Russell Agodon

I kneel to anything these days
stop short of calling it prayer.

In cotton robes I chase fallen grapes
beneath a supermarket altar
of Vidalia onions,

place papery skins on my tongue,
choke on dusty absolution.

At the foot of the bed
(raft of abstinence)
I tuck twenty-count cotton sheets

as far beneath the mattress as they will go,
clasp my hands beneath its weight
thank the god of coil and spring-air

that it is not a king or queen
but a full—

like a sinner’s prayer
lacking real weight.

In the back seat of a car
tree trunks and branches form a sort of confessional.

I bow
take in my hands
your last hope.
I am a penitent past curfew
siphoning the last drops
of something like forgiveness.

Drink. This is what you have shed for me (not many).
That it is not grape juice
makes it all the more sweeter.

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Jill Crammond is a poet, artist and teacher funding her poetry passion by teaching children’s art and writing classes throughout New York State’s Capital Region. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Crab Creek Review, Fire on Her Tongue (Two Sylvias Press), Classifieds: An Anthology of Prose Poems, Weave and others.

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Where Father And Daughter Are Seekers

January 12, 2012 7 comments

by Uma Gowrishankar

Can you read meaning to my poetry
that father standing beside me cannot?

Father ghost writes, he runs his finger
on the scroll — write of the bees and flowers

in the temple garden he says,
of the cowherd girls who dip their fingers in butter,

write of the cloud hued Krishna… his sentence breaks off…
of the Lotus Eyed One with conch and shell;

pantomiming he blows the conch, looking ludicrous
at that early hour as ruby morning spills the sky.

He is your dark lover he says
eyes burning with passion, words I have heard

since childhood, made me fantasize even as a girl of six.
Father writes poetry too, simple straightforward stuff

meter pruned like the oleander bush in the garden,
no sparse and stark lines like other hymnists

who tease with their obscurity, he disapproves their style.
Write like me he implores: listen to the koel on the kadamba tree,

write of the sapphire throated peacock, moisture laden clouds —
write earthy poetry, he is happy with the terminology.

I struggle, I need to hallucinate to write of kisses stolen
on the banks of the dark Yamuna.

Seek him. I am mixed-up — (I am also sleepy,
writing exercises are always kept to morning and how cold it is!)

how should I worship: take vow, fast,
abstain from milk and ghee, no silk robes, no finery?

Immerse in him. How does his tongue taste?
How sweet is his breath?
In doubt, frustration, as I wrestle
with God, with father,

in aborted efforts, scored off lines,
in unwritten poetry lay my prayer to the Lord.

(For the ninth century Tamil saint poets Periyalvar and Aandaal)

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Uma Gowrishankar is a writer and artist. She blogs at

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The View

January 11, 2012 1 comment

by Nancy Scott

The View (collage) by Nancy Scott
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Nancy Scott (website) is the managing editor of U.S.1 Worksheets, the journal of the U.S.1 Poets’ Cooperative in New Jersey. She is also the author of four books of poetry. Recently, she began a foray into the art world by creating and exhibiting her collages in public venues and online.

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January 10, 2012 2 comments

by Colleen Abel

There is nothing beautiful about bodies,
their moaning, their blood. Now those, there:
the ringed planet, the moon’s sunken mouths,
that is a different story. Someday, you’ll come
to know the equation’s precision, the circle’s arc,
the perfection of immutable numbers.
Someday, you’ll turn your eyes away
from the place you’ve laid me, martyr
of the closed mouth, from where you’ve skinned
me to ribbons with a thousand shards of oyster shell,
urged on by some kind of god. You have tried.
You will never unpearl me.

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Colleen Abel’s poems have appeared in The Southern Review, West Branch, Notre Dame Review, Salamander, Southern California Review, The Bellevue Literary Review, and many others, as well as in The Book of Irish American Poetry: from the Eighteenth Century to the Present. A Pushcart Prize nominee, she is also a former Diane Middlebrook Poetry Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has received fellowships from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the KHN Center for the Arts, and holds an MFA from the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.

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Confession of Faith

January 9, 2012 4 comments

by Julie E. Bloemeke

He began catechism whispering
Jesus in my ear, his hands already
needing the sacrament of my breasts,
his mouth a host in mine. After
awhile, he was on his knees praying
please to the sweet trinity between
my thighs. After penance,
confession, drinking the wine
of me, I opened the chapel
doors. Mother of God
he said, though Mary was
nowhere to be found, only
the first, now second, coming.

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Julie E. Bloemeke’s work has appeared in Pebble Lake Review, Ouroboros Review, and Mason’s Road as well as in the anthology: Lavanderia: A Mixed Load of Women, Wash, and Word. Her work is forthcoming in Obama-Mentum, The List Anthology and The Southern Poetry Anthology of Georgia Poets.  She was a finalist in the 2001 Arts & Letters poetry competition and was awarded first place in the Spring 2010 Atlanta Writer’s Club poetry contest.

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January 6, 2012 Comments off

by Catherine Ednie

Sleep slithered up out of a hole in the floor. His horns were rubber and his tails were silver. Leaving damp spots on the carpet, he moved from here to there, making motion with his belly. When he got there, he turned his form into a balcony. He felt quiet and central as a balcony, so he rested. His mental spaces alternated with iron spirals, making a structural stability and a barrier to distraction. She came over to kneel at his railing. Sleepwalking. Her senses were lax and hair unfurled around her neck. She came to kneel in the presence of the fog.

“Remember oh most gracious fog that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession, was left unaided.”

Fog came close out of curiosity, but then resumed his implacable distance. No one had ever spoken to him that way before. Balcony felt her praying elbows in his neck and wanted to dissolve. When the pressure became too intense, he did. She fell down and down into the upper flower bed where the workmen had already trampled the peonies. “Ah, my peonies, you are dusty,” she said. She shared their dust by rubbing it into the skin of her breasts. “I kiss you, my dirt, my underground alertness,” she said.

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Catherine Ednie (louder) works as a systems analyst in the New York metropolitan area. Her work appears in In Pieces: An Anthology of Fragmentary Literature (Impassio Press), and in various locations online.

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Sitting With

January 5, 2012 2 comments

by Dorothee Lang

Sitting With by Dorothee Lang -- museum-goers sitting in front of Buddha statues
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Dorothee Lang is a writer, web freelancer and traveler, and the editor of BluePrintReview. She lives in Germany, keeps a sky diary, and always was fascinated by languages, roads and the world, themes that reflect in her own work. For more about her, visit her at

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