October- Week 3
October 16, 2012
Michael Baca is an art teacher in New Mexico and also Cowboy Poetry Press Art Editor in his spare time, outside of his own painting and sculpting.
Gloria held happiness
in a blue calico bag
resting between her breasts,
those crests of flesh spilling
out of a brown linen dress
hiding a corset and pantaloons
of French flowered lace.
She marched to the tune
of the Pied Piper of Mirth,
to the dance of chance
to honeyed notes of a sonnet
pressed in a book
in a secret pocket
where love’s call rang out,
out of tune.
Her smile chased clouds
from the sky till the crops
went dry. Then the cry
for rain brought the rainmaker
to town, a cloudbuster with bluster
and a mustache he’d stroke
to stoke passion in young women.
His words were a potion
and Gloria fell into his pocket
for burnt kisses, promises
of wind chimes on a prairie porch,
a mule to pull the plow,
a child to tug at her pink
She never spoke sorrow
till that rainmaker came
to steal her calico pouch,
sack her pocket of poems
with his kiss of bliss,
then run to chase rain
in another sky.
Rosalyn H. Marhatta would have been a cowgirl in a different life or more likely a Lakota Sioux which she claimed she was at the age of 10. She asked her teacher to call her Little Star and read 300 page books on American Indian life. Now she’s grown, she writes poetry and performs at as many open mics as possible. She has been published in Dead Mule, Eclectic Flash, Referential Magazine, Calliope Nerve and Vox Poetica. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize last year for “Ocean Flight” and is always on the lookout for a great poem to come to her.
Memory and Sacrifice
I can still smell
the kerosene lamps
in my father’s house,
their soft glow
harmonium like dusk
in late summer.
The top was cut down
for the journey
across the plains―
the excess wood
first to be burned
along the trail.
Justin Evans was born and raised in Utah, but now I live in rural Nevada with my wife and three boys, where I teach a variety of subjects at the local high school. I have been in the military, graduated from Southern Utah University with a degree in History and English Education, as well as a Master’s Degree from University of Nevada, Reno. I have published four chapbooks and the full length poetry collection, Town for the Trees (Foothills Publishing, 2011). I have poetry forthcoming in Weber—The Contemporary West. I also edit the on-line journal, Hobble Creek Review.
I buried Dakota in her favorite dress,
calico snug, said a prayer that I’d never
have another daughter born in a black blizzard.
I looked out over the clay gullies,
the impossible fossils rising like
hands. Flung her floppy sunhat over
the empty coulee. The dog barked.
In time, her pups would fetch it, bring it
back to the ranch. As if they knew something
by sheer dog sense. I looked East,
prayed for sorghum and flaxseed,
sunflower and milk-veined maidens.
Saw Dakota in the parting lips of clouds,
low and moving over drought and badlands,
saw her pantomime and sway
before the young moon,
her voice over the Cheyenne,
over cottonwood and willow
gently mocking me, the way it did
when she pressed my hands to her cheeks,
she, so numb from the cold, from chasing
the sheep that strayed. On top of this
bare hillside, I looked everywhere,
hoping for a sign of the next harvest.
It would keep me above ground,
this body of sod, mind of open spaces,
for another year.
Kyle Hemmings is the author of several chapbooks of poetry and prose: Avenue C, Cat People, and Anime Junkie (Scars Publications). His latest e-books are You Never Die in Wholes from Good Story Press and The Truth about Onions from Good Samaritan. He lives and writes in New Jersey.