A morsel of sparrow darts
across the window. And because
you cannot sleep for the rumbling
under your ribs, and because the lemon-drop
sun is seeping into the deep dark
of the kitchen where you sit with
a needle stitches together
the sides of your stomach--
you imagine taking the lettuce-
green shadows, balling them
together, throwing them
against the wall.
Night swims upstream, while
you suck the collar of your
shirt, taste fish. An itch,
a pinch, a pang for that
butter knife that’s only
knife now, that fruit bowl that’s
only bowl. You lick your
parched lips, take
head in your hands.
Lavina Blossom is a painter and mixed media artist as well as a poet. Her poems have appeared in various journals, including 3Elements Review, Kansas Quarterly, The Literary Review, The Paris Review, The Innisfree Poetry Journal, Poemeleon, Common Ground Review, and Ekphrastic Review. She is an Editor of Poetry for Inlandia: a Literary Journey.
Solving a Domestic Hunger Crisis
The question of coupons has resurfaced with vigor
as our resources have steadily dwindled
and our exigencies at home
have soared with equal rigor
Thus it is we who are aspiring to acquire
some of those handy slips of paper
that pave the way to edible gratuities
as if we too were deserving servers
After a forty year absence to pursue an academic career, Charles A. Perrone has returned to the glorious environs of Santa Cruz, California to enjoy retirement between the sands and the redwoods. His critical work, translations and poetry have appeared over the decades in USA, Canada, UK, Spain, Mexico, Brazil and virtual (on-line) domains.
ARE WE GREAT YET?
My neighbor’s dog jumped his fence
the other day and took off running.
Across the city, on the west side,
the neighbors are shocked that a string
of cars have been broken into:
“This just doesn’t happen here!”
These winter months bring out
the cold in too many hearts. Sends people
to the streets in acts of desperation.
Sara and Scott were kicked out of the bar
for pissing in each other’s drinks.
Just like the government.
They still haven’t found my neighbor’s dog.
He was last seen trying to jump over
a higher fence down the road –
probably to get inside a warm house
for a bite to eat.
I don’t know his name, but it doesn’t matter –
nothing does, when you’re scared and hungry.
The poem first appeared it first appeared in Trajectory.
Cathy Porter’s poetry has appeared in Plainsongs, Homestead Review, California Quarterly, Hubbub, Cottonwood, Comstock Review, and various other journals. She has two chapbooks available from Finishing Line Press: A Life In The Day (2012), and Dust And Angels (2014), as well as two chapbooks published by Dancing Girl Press in Chicago: Exit Songs (2016), and 16 Days (2019). Her latest collection, The Skin Of Uncertainty, is now available from Maverick Duck Press. Cathy is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, and serves as a special editor for the journal Fine Lines in Omaha, NE, where she lives with her husband Lenny and their dog Marley, and cats Cody and Mini.
Phones reach around the world.
GPS / vast information streamed.
Mass transportation connects.
Even a space station orbits.
And I ask:
Did we forget the basics?
Hunting / gathering.
When the few,
Who do it for us,
Are no longer,
Nick Romeo is a multidisciplinary artist, musician and writer. Nick lives in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania with his wife and cat named Megatron. Poet’s Haven press has recently released his first chapbook entitled, “The Insolent Somnambulist.”
Hungry for the rain
Hungry for the fall
Hunger for all
As the drops fill me with hope
I breathe a sigh of relief
I spot green growth underneath
my rumbling stomach disagrees
so I imagine the fruits of my labor
fruits that will deceive
Hungry for the truth
Hunger rises up
Hunger and its pain
Below is the video of Waseeq reading his poem:
Waseeq Mohammad is a Karachi born Houston raised poet. He has self published his first chapbook titled Nature Animalis. If you want to get him talking, just mention superheroes, tea, anime, or video games.
The grocery store gave us seven bananas we didn’t ask for
in our curbside pickup bag. Our next door neighbor said
he’d take three off our hands for his trip tomorrow to Utah.
His wife with dementia gone just a week. The other three are going
to our neighbor on the other side, who gave up sugar but not fruit,
so God would let her daughter keep the newly adopted baby
during the trial period. And we’re keeping one. Banana. The New York
Times asks if we have been hungry and the answer is no. But I wish
I could find more bananas for all the hungry people, children
and their parents. Then I would be doing more than writing about it.
About how this pandemic is starving some of us. I would figure out
a way to feed the people who are ravenous, give them food trucks,
restaurants, unlimited curbside pickups. Because it’s not okay
to be famished, to be craving security when there isn’t so much,
people dying as usual and more than usual. At least the baby
is going to stay where she is. At least one less tragedy to face.
Click on the file below to listen to Phyllis reading her poem:
Phyllis Klein’s work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. She has a new book, The Full Moon Herald from Grayson Books. Living in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 30 years, she sees writing as artistic dialogue between author and readers—an intimate relationship-building process that fosters healing on many levels.
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:
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.
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.
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 writes poetry and short stories about social justice issues.
Her poem, “I’m Hungry” is based on her observations while teaching in Ontario, Canada.
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!
Now more than ever
These poems have been submitted to the call for poetry "Now more than ever"