What should we talk about when we talk about poems?

Literary criticism
Grace L
Feb 8, 2011

the numerical elements
lacking order
like chaos
in a sea of

so vivid and uniform
the parade of bishops look like
a stream of hot lava
pouring their way down
the mountainside to the pope
or perhaps

a bird
delivering its message on
wings so sharp, jagged
cutting through the blue sky

its message
fundamental to the core
of the earth, of the heavens
without it,

You are a Cardinal!
Jess Born
Jess Born
Jul 7, 2012

There’s a bird perched on a tree high above me
He’s singing,
Singing is what he does best.
As he’s singing, I try to sing along
And I’m waiting for affirmation
I’m wanting to know
If I’m singing this song right,
Or if I’m singing it wrong.
It’s his song, not mine
& he’ll sing it all he wants to.
The bird has taken off, and I’m chasing him,
I am running so fast and so far
I’ve finally found him.
He was tired of the buckeye tree
So he perched himself on a Cactus.
I asked him, “What’s so special about a cactus?
Come back to the Buckeye Tree!”
But the bird just started singing his song again.
So I sing with him.
Now I have a new song that I want to show him.
I want him to sing my song with me.
So I started singing it,
But he’s not singing along,
Just his own song.
The seasons have just changed.
His feet are sore from that thorny Cactus
& he’s about to take flight again.
Maybe now he’ll want the buckeye tree
So he’ll be at home with me.
There he goes, he’s flying away!
So I’m running as fast as I can
I’m trying to catch up
But this isn’t the way
This is isn’t the way I remember,
The way to the Buckeye tree.
The bird is perched on a Palm tree.
I am tired, weary, and out of breath.
“A Palm tree! Why a Palm tree?
You are a Cardinal!
What did you fly away for anyway?
Come back to the Buckeye tree!
Be at home with me.”
But no.
The bird just began singing his song.
I am done trying to sing along.
It’s his song, not mine.

Hannah Sabine
Hannah Sabine
Feb 19, 2013      Feb 20, 2013

You’re dreaming again, and it’s love at first sight. You’re walking home and it’s love at first sight and if you could only taste him your heart would explode. You’d burn from the inside out. Every nerve writhing in explicit ecstasy, a thousand tiny deaths over and over, and as your feel your lungs expand you are attuned to this earth, you feel every atom brush against your throat. He’s like a poison, he’s like pinot noir, he’s like orange crush and it burns when he takes hold of you. You’re walking home and it’s snowing but your eyelashes are blocking it out so all you see is him. You’re walking home and it’s cold but you’re burning from the inside out. You’re walking home and your legs can’t hold you anymore. You’re walking home and you start to fall, but not in love, and no one's there to catch you, no one even sees you stumble over your own words and fall without moving your feet or walk without hitting the ground. Just shadows in the snow banks, witnesses to your frailty.
· me,

Dawn, and just me and a lonely cardinal
Will Moore
Will Moore
Jul 22      Jul 23

Dawn, and just me and a lonely cardinal
Play out our songs for God to hear
In the spare air the bird twitters
I, in my chair stretch my wits
We each sit, the bird on a branch
And I, leaning in the Lazy Boy
The day lies before us like an unwritten score
or a scroll unaccustomed to ink
We will fly across this unknown expanse
and cherish our freedom to fly where we will
The white clouds and clear blue skies
will be the ears for our stories
And nightfall will draw our tales to an end.

so the day begins
Dec 14, 2012      Dec 15, 2012

I had a dream that my thoughts were
sifted out of my head into a bowl, they
were grains, a million dahlia beads that
surfaced on a cerise reef, split from top to
bottom, I didn't mind so much, to be

(c) Brooke Otto
constante quirino
Mar 10, 2013

sounds of the engorged worm’s lumbering steps,
they pierce not so stinging as the golden glow of orbs outside your window.
Quietude will find no home here.
neither will that longed-for sense.

what we want,
the ‘soul sleep,’
rests further,
further still, and away from finger tips,

gently rest me in myself,
to sweetly mine the interiors of subterranean caverns,
within which, we held exiled domain for millennia before we were men.

looking cardinal
Lidi Minuet
Lidi Minuet
May 17, 2014

The cardinals feathers are rich in blood.
His family used to be affluent because
they used to have the highest perch.
Now there's poverty behind his mask.
He lost everything to a wood pecker
looking cardinal

He hunts for provisions, when the whole
neighborhood isn't looking. The dawn
used to guide his beak. Now he scratches
at the icy snow for seeds. His wife wearing
brown has lost the fairytale meaning of life.

He once promised her a gown of blood.
Their nest pricks just like thorns. Her feet
sweeps the snow away. She moves with
the energy of a carol. The wind shoves
the nest into flight. While gravity has
other plans. The sky shoots snow like

Her wings cut through the
river like oars. All the eggs are speckled
with their yoke. The crash frees them
from the toils of the future. Their mother
hides the shells from the sharp cold. Her
husband wasn't as sharp as the tuft on his head.
Her husband gambled with winter and lost.

Kaila Wenker
Kaila Wenker
Mar 6, 2014

Bird perched on a vein
Pumping, pulsing
Talons on my pain

Beating sets the stage
Fluttering, flying
Against its cage

Away, it may try
Fighting, crying
But unable to fly

Cole Nubson
Cole Nubson
Dec 18, 2014

Blinded, blinding
the sweet aroma
suffering, binding
around your neck

A fear of the fallen under
starts to grow
Need to take cover under
a black eye crow

your mountainous cup
cusp the silhouette
filling it up
rust of the sun

licking the salt
liver and all
I'm ruffling exhaust
burnt in the leather

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