Poem by María Teresa Ogliastri
En la fila una mujer grita
Pienso en panecillos horneados
Poco después oigo
solo queda arroz
pero mi alegría es vana
Van a sacar azúcar
escucho palabras en rebote
se acabó la azúcar
La cola comienza a deshacerse
algo van a sacar más tarde
al final una mano me entrega un pollo
salgo de allí con mi tesoro
En una librería cercana
un amigo se atreve a leerme un poema largo
el poeta no sabe por qué me despido
lo prosaico de mi huida me hace sentir culpable
Hay que vivir en un país con hambre
para entender cómo se puede romper
la simetría de un poema
por un ligero goteo de vísceras y sangre
Translated by Yvette Neisser
In the line a woman shouts
I think of warm biscuits
Soon I hear
only rice is left
but my happiness is futile
They’re bringing sugar
I will wait
I hear words ricochet
the sugar is gone
The line begins to disperse
eventually they will bring something
finally a hand offers me a chicken
I leave with my treasure
In a bookstore nearby
a friend has the nerve to read me a long poem
the poet doesn’t know why I flee
such an ordinary goodbye fills me with guilt
You must live in a country with hunger
to understand how a poem’s symmetry
can be broken
by the slow drip of guts and blood
María Teresa Ogliastri was born in Venezuela and lives in Caracas. She is the author of five collections of poems: Del diario de la señora Mao (From the Diary of Madame Mao, 2011), Polo Sur (South Pole, 2008. English translation by Settlement House, 2011), Brotes de Alfalfa (Alfalfa Sprouts 2007), Nosotros los inmortales (We, the Immortals, 1997) and Cola de Plata (Silver Tail,1994). Brooklyn Rail first published the English version of the poem by María Teresa Ogliastri:
Poem by Giulianna DiNapoli
I Want Cake
is all I want, of
ancestral Egyptian spelt,
Demeter descended within wispy chaff
speared like Roman warriors, god-gifted
Cleopatra on the Nile where they can eat cake,
wise like winds that swept the plains, swept the seed.
And you, my sweet descendent, gift of goddesses’ seed I
planted on this earth, seed that sprouted across the plain,
golden like fields of spelt, fermented in foreign wind,
I wish you all the icing.
Image: Photo by Eye for Ebony on Unsplash
Other poems and essays by G. DiNapoli have appeared in literary journals and reviews, as well as Stanford Medical blog, in Europe and the US. She is an Italian American from Washington, DC.
Poem by Lisa Reynolds
The words aren’t spoken
They’re said through eyes
That watch others eat
Longing for a carrot
Piece of apple
Alone by choice
Always craving more
To hide envy
They fidget in desks
Lisa Reynolds is a teacher and an award-winning Canadian poet, published internationally in anthologies, literary journals, and magazines. Translations of her poetry were released in 2022. She is a member of The Ontario Poetry Society, the Writing Community of Durham Region, and an associate member of The League of Canadian Poets. She lives and writes in a small community east of Toronto, Ontario.
Poem by Dennis Price
My Scared little rabbit
4/15/2020 (For Toby)
My scared little rabbit.
Wide eyed staring at the
Corona news in the papers
At the bottom of your cage.
It’s no wonder you don’t come out
To nibble the clover,
And rain clouds threatening.
I love your twitching nose.
I love to feed you carrots.
I love to stroke your ears.
When the papers are changed,
And the skies are clear,
I will be here.
To hold you dear
Copyright 2020 Dennis Price
Reposted with permission from Mike Maggio: https://mikemaggio.net/my-scared-little-rabbit-dennis-price/
Dennis Price is a contractor waiting for his wife’s permission to continue his home improvement work at social distance. Father of 2 adults, owner of 2 cats. He has been using his time off to, among other things, organize his 860 or so poems into chronological order to be like a Poetry journal of his life.
About Mike Maggio:
Mike Maggio has published fiction, poetry, reviews and Arabic translations in journals and anthologies in the United States and abroad. His work has appeared in such places as Phoebe, Apalachee Quarterly, Atticus Review, Potomac Review, Pleaides, Black Bear Review, The Arabesques Review, Pig Iron , Washington Independent Review of Books and many others. His work has also been antholozied in such publications as For a Living: The Poetry of Work and Before There Is Nowhere to Stand: Palestine | Israel: Poets Respond to the Struggle. MORE
Mike has posted this appeal that we would like to encourage you to pay attention to:
Throughout June and July, we will be presenting on this web site work by poets and artists responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope you will find these works relevant, comforting and inspiring as we all cope with the economic and health-related fallout.
As you view the work on this site each day, we would like to encourage you to donate to the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC). Their mission “ is to feed our neighbors in need by providing dignified access to supplemental groceries. AFAC is seeing a record number of families due to the COVID-19 pandemic as families who never thought they would ever be in need are now showing up at our doors for much needed food.” And, in keeping with our hunger-focused efforts, you may also want to visit the Poetry X Hunger website where poems by many poets are posted and are being used by anti-hunger organizations.”
Please consider donating to AFAC. If you do, let us know which poet or artist inspired you so we can send you a personal thank you.
Thank you, Mike, for mentioning PoetryXHunger!
Poem by Teresa Peipins
Buy it now.
When you flee
the home exploding,
the burnt landscape,
trade it for a loaf of bread.
Remember the rhymes
of so many poems
to fill the confined
of prison life.
Teresa Peipins is a writer of Latvian descent from Western New York. Her poetry, fiction, and essays have appeared in publications both in the United States and abroad.
Now more than ever
These poems have been submitted to the call for poetry "Now more than ever"