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New Poetry, Fiction, Essays

Poetry by Robert Knox & Ash Slade

Robert Knox is a Boston Globe correspondent, a poet, fiction writer, and the author of a recently published novel based on the Sacco and Vanzetti case, “Suosso’s Lane.” As a contributing editor for the online poetry journal, Verse-Virtual, his poems appear regularly on that site. They have also appeared in other journals such as Every Day Poet, Off The Coast, Houseboat, Yellow Chair Review. His chapbook “Gardeners Do It With Their Hands Dirty” was published in May 2017.

http://www.verse-virtual.com/robert-c-knox-2017-august.html

 

 

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American Dream-Time

 

The Pilgrims came,

they prayed, some died

Some natives fed them on the side

The Irish came,

their backs they bowed

unwelcomed oft, dug in uncowed

Germans, Dutch, and those who sprang from Nordic lands

Some traveled west to deeper ground

and worked their plows and new life found

In Factory Days the steamboats bragged

that jobs were waiting for those who dared

uproot their lives, their children dragged,

they ventured, labored, by looms ensnared

From Old World countries flowed the brave,

and to this place their futures gave.

From Russia, Greece and Portugal

ancestors in the old regalia

weeping for those left behind

in shtetl or Italia

Until they filled old neighborhoods

with foreign scents of foreign goods

Then old white heads with whiter blood

impelled a Congress to conclude

We need old laws that will exclude

those who come from birth and brood

too far from Anglo-Saxon at their root:

 

For these we do not give a hoot

 

They settled on a new device

that really wasn’t very nice

And rigged a system, produced a quota

For justice spared not one iota

The new plan keeps the numbers small

too bad that we can’t shut them all

behind cruel doors the men of ICE install

— Maybe we should build a wall!

In time we all may go to sleep,

forget to dream, our souls to keep.

now we’re here, let’s close the door

on the unwanted ones, downcast, and poor

and celebrate what made us great

forgetting the roots of our own estate.

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The Tennis Ball

 

from New Jersey

traveled to Port Authority

then changed to long Island

and began a career in a famous match

that took thirteen sets

without once resembling a black bird

 

I was reminded of the time

I lost my second pair of glasses beneath the driver’s seat of a tired tiny family car

too small for the packages, luggage, holiday gear,

or the weekly garbage

we lugged to the transfer station on the day it was open,

not to mention occasional people

 

Until my son, small enough to see beneath the places

that were blind to me,

mere abstract spaces such as rabbit holes,

shuttered wells, capped mineral seams in Western states of mind

I never visited,

unfinished basements in the houses we rented

or occupied on weekends off from the group house

where we minded disturbed teenaged girls,

the cages of their abominable pets,

and places in my own dark fears…

 

Discovered it there and returned it to me,

proud but sensitive to my discomfiture

 

And when I put old lenses before my eyes,

everything, once more, came into view

He was older:

good for him

And so was I,

a mixed blessing

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Not Saying

 

Guess who’s coming to dinner

He’s neither a saint nor a sinner

His bat is like Hank Aaron

His glove is Willie Mays

He’s taller than Wilt Chamberlain

Every year he runs a marathon

In times that do amaze

 

You’ll see him on the London stage

Or fancy free in Paris, France

He plays the horn in Le Chat Noir

Though she seldom sings in Pinafore

Her songs have taught the world to sing —

and you should see her dance!

 

Guess who’s in the capital

Guess who’s on the phone

Who told us that he had a dream

Whose death made people want to scream

Who Bible verses did intone

In measure analytical

On matters metaphysical

That startled our awakenings

from dreams of ancient queens and kings

And won a verdict mathematical

… on tendencies alone?

 

Guess who’s in the neighborhood

Guess who’s on the train

Guess who’s in the mirror

Guess who’s merely crazy

and who’s driving me insane?

Guess who’s at my shoulder,

guess who’s in my brain

guess who’s not the other

guess who’s everywhere

A secret self and shadow lover

(if you riddles entertain)

the always fated brother

and born to be my twain

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Ash Slade considers himself to be a mysterious person. Poetry has been his passion since 12 years old in 7th grade. A poem can take minutes or days to write, each one is important. Ash lives in Connecticut in a small New England town. Hobbies included collecting notebooks and poetry books.

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Autumn Haiku

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leaves scatter cold earth

walking, crunching ‘neath my feet –

they disintegrate.

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Summer Storms

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like hands clapping together booming

meets grayish-black skies.

white n’ silver streaks implode in vaults of chaos. raindrops are

melodies,

housetops, n’ asphalt instruments they play.

blueness appears as clouds roll by.

bravado is captured in storm winds blowing through trees.

branches bending, dancing in the night.

sometimes rubbing each other,  slapping window panes.

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The Page

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My pencil, an arrow of expression.
It’s fine, gray, tip the connection
between thought and paper.
A tool breathing life into
immortalized ideas.
A sword slicing through
what can’t be seen, but
felt. It’s eraser, a magic wand
zapping away fragments
which don’t mesh.
A lever releasing proclamations
of misunderstood spirit and soul.
Misconceived lines a blueprint,
tape measure gauging the
distance between conception
and fulfillment.
Mirrors, simultaneously clear
and cluttered, the writer sees
the best and the worst reflecting
from a single lens,
panoramic.
Page creases are miles
of a struggle, telling a story,
each one a marking, of a
composite.
Stray marks indicate steps
walked, easily perceived
as an unfriendly highway.
My pencil is the ticket,
gets me from point A
to point  Z. A pointer sets apart
the narrow pathway
and untraveled road.
A chisel that carves away
the past engraves a new
future.
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Light in Darkness
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Light in darkness

 

candles lit in windows

flickered glow.

 

Pillow cushioning us from hard fall.

 

House sheltering us from storms.

 

Rock upholding us –
protecting us –
leading us.

 

Pathway to elation

roadway to completeness.

Glue holding shattered pieces
pulled out of rubble.

Ressurected shards of brokenness

reworking us anew.

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