Möbius, The Poetry Magazine | “The Flood,” | Barbara Lydecker Crane

The Flood

By Barbara Lydecker Crane

Migration, 2015

I’m shivering, girls, to talk about that time.

Gramps and I heard sirens, walking home,

and gasped that awful moment we were sure

it was our front door the firemen came out.

A burst sprinkler pipe on your attic floor,

one called. We’re sorry, folks–you have a flood.

 

We rushed into the nightmare of that flood–

alarms blasting for an incessant time–

indoor downpour sloshing over floors.

We ran around our condo, grabbing home’s

best treasures, lugging sodden armfuls out.

The chief intoned, I hope you have insurance.

 

Insurance, girls, is not the same as assurance

that loss can be borne. I crumpled in a flood

as I pictured walls and flooring ripped out,

work to take who-knows-how-much time.

Thank goodness for your nearby home

and your mom, a mainstay; I was floored

by her help. Gramps and I slept on your floor

those first two nights. You said you were sure

that we could stay forevah. It was your home,

though. We had to leave ours after the flood,

put everything in storage. How much time?

We were nomads nine months–not without

 

our tribe, though. Months in, we flew out

west to your Aunt Sarah’s family. That floor

felt fine (we were sleeping pros by that time).

When Sarah nursed baby Paige, I was sure

that I could feel the ache before my flood

of milk letting down for her, in our home

 

long ago. That week out west, my home-
bemoaning shifted, as if I peeked out

through a crack and watched the flood

of fears and losses start to ebb. A floor

was framing up beneath me, assurance

of what matters most. There were times

 

when I’d still wail for the time we’d come home,

but I grew surer that all I couldn’t do without

was family, my floor. That love rushes in a flood.

 

Barbara Lydecker Crane has published two chapbooks, Zero Gravitas and ALPHABETRICKS. The winner of the 2011 Helen Schaible International Sonnet Contest and a Laureate’s Choice award in the 2014 Great River Sonnet Contest, she has recent or forthcoming poems in Angle, Atlanta Review, and Light. 

Möbius, The Poetry Magazine | “A Sestina About Resilience | Judith O’Connell Hoyer

A Sestina about Resilience

By Judith O’Connell Hoyer

Migration, 2015

This is what my father told me,

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do

or do without, my friend.”

In the Great Depression times were bad.

He remembered when everyone was poor.

Lucky he was to find work selling shoes.

Funny, he loved to polish my saddle shoes.

 

It was a Sunday night ritual he performed for me.

He never considered us to be poor.

It was the simple things he chose to do.

His mood was always sweet and never bad.

No wonder so many called him “friend.”

He was my mother’s best friend.

Dad was like an old soft shoe-

 

our comfort and protection from all things bad.

When Lawrence Welk was on T.V. he’d dance with me.

My mother was jealous yet there was nothing I could do.

You could say her sense of fun was poor.

For her it was a challenge to be one of the working poor.

She always wanted to befriend

fashionable women with bouffant hair-dos

 

and expensive high-heeled shoes.

My mother saw me

as somehow lacking, neither good or bad,

as if my blood type was bad,

the quality inferior and poor.

She never knew how to love me.

She wanted to buy my friendship

 

with dresses and Capezio shoes.

She didn’t really know what to do.

I tried but there was nothing I could do.

It always ended badly.

I could never fill her shoes.

My grades in school were never poor.

I had lots of friends.

 

There was nothing the matter with me.

I never think of myself as bad.

I know my do’s and dont’s and give to the poor.

When visiting friends I take my shoes off at the door.

 

I am a former school psychologist for a small district in Massachusetts. For the past five years I have been active in a poetry workshop that meets in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Recent poetry credits include “The Worcester Review,” “Naugatuck River Review,” “Pudding Magazine,” “Off the Coast,” and “Small Portions Journal.” My manuscript,”Bits and Pieces Set Aside,” is a finalist in the 2015 Slate Roof Chapbook Contest.

Möbius, The Poetry Magazine | “In Progress” | Robert Manaster

In Progress

By Robert Manaster

Migration Issue, 2015

These so…. These irretrievable. – Walt Whitman The excavator’s bucket thuds the dug-into ground of the closed, mobile homes

park…

A down and forward foundational dig then lift…. The diesel vibrancy, its cab’s

side-door reverberation, the grind of movement over sunstroked ground… To where it rigs its load above the massive truck.

 

In the unfinished city of my youth:

My arms stiffen…. My hand opens enough to hold the gray railing as I cross a simple

truss bridge,

Its beams a paint-peeled green with rusted patches.

Over Chicago River, onto steel overlay panels and heavily across a dimpled

surface, cars

Clack-clack. Whirrrrrr…. Clack-clack. Whirrrrrr….Clack-clack. Whirrrrrr…

I won’t fall… I won’t fall… as I look ahead;

Or focus up and aside and look to the city’s afternoon haze and to the bar-graph

of buildings against the orange splash-blur of sky;

Or look to the railings and past their bracket maze and down into the greenish-thick surface of this river;

Or look down to intended fittings of panels, where they don’t quite join end to end.

 

It snaps and clunks on steel as it dumps its dirt… the shimmering dirt,

Startled blackbirds flinging into hollow skies… into limitless boom of blue…

Into blue, oh beautiful home: endless unfolding, grave vibrancy…

rise, oh, rise!

 

Robert Manaster’s poetry and co-translations have appeared in numerous journals including Rosebud, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Image, The Literary Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and Spillway. His co-translation of Ronny Someck’s The Milk Underground (White Pine Press, 2015) was awarded the Cliff Becker Book Prize in Translation. He’s also published reviews in such publications as Rattle, Jacket2, and Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review. Currently, he’s an Assistant Editor at Fifth Wednesday Journal.

 

Möbius, The Poetry Magazine | “The Road To” | Robert Manaster

The Road To

By Robert Manaster

Migration Issue, 2015

The Road to 

Where do you start?— there’s never been concern;

A Roanoke, Sioux-City, Hoover-Dam

Progress informs you westward. Free to turn

At will, work hard, and prosper in Puritan

Plans— oh, pursue your dream to build a home.

And buy your plots, develop roads, connect

Masses to richness of the chapel dome.

For God’s sake, raise the flag and stand erect.

And why not raise standards?— gain property,

Reserve a right to save some green and grow

Gardens, engage in grand prosperity

At a sought-out grove upon those hills that glow.

Perhaps this road ahead leads to Bob Hope,

To coconut and loads of cantaloupe.

Robert Manaster’s poetry and co-translations have appeared in numerous journals including Rosebud, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Image, The Literary Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and Spillway. His co-translation of Ronny Someck’s The Milk Underground (White Pine Press, 2015) was awarded the Cliff Becker Book Prize in Translation. He’s also published reviews in such publications as Rattle, Jacket2, and Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review. Currently, he’s an Assistant Editor at Fifth Wednesday Journal. 

Standing Still | Gail Taylor

Standing Still
By Gail Taylor

Migration Issue, 2015
Way ah, way, ah, way, ah, way ah 

Way ah, way, ah, way, ah, way ah

Way ah, way, ah, way, ah, way ah
Heh-yee, heh-yee, heh-yee, heh-yee

Heh-yee, heh-yee, heh-yee, heh-yee

Heh-yee, heh-yee, heh-yee, heh-yee
Way ah, way, ah, way, ah, way ah 

Way ah, way, ah, way, ah, way ah

Way ah, way, ah, way, ah, way ah
Heh-yee, heh-yee, heh-yee, heh-yee

Heh-yee, heh-yee, heh-yee, heh-yee

Heh-yee, heh-yee, heh-yee, heh-yee
Cicadas, wake up, wake up

Season of wake up

Trees stand, stand still

On this land of their will

Standing still, 
we create a new world

Standing still
Way ah, way, ah, way, ah, way ah 

Way ah, way, ah, way, ah, way ah

Way ah, way, ah, way, ah, way ah
17-years, forgiving years

Wake up, wake up

17-years, 17-years
Forgiving years, frightening years

Generous years, wake up

Underground, not undermined
We rise up, we rise up
Standing still, Standing still, 

We create a new world

Standing still
Way ah, way, ah, way, ah, way ah 

Way ah, way, ah, way, ah, way ah

Way ah, way, ah, way, ah, way ah
Heh-yee, heh-yee, heh-yee, heh-yee

Heh-yee, heh-yee, heh-yee, heh-yee

Heh-yee, heh-yee, heh-yee, heh-yee
Gail Taylor, Morgantown, WV, Möbius, The Poetry Magazine.

Möbius, The Poetry Magazine | “The Unveiling” | Dorothy Shannon

The Unveiling

By Dorothy Shannon

Migration Issue, 2015

 

The young rabbi fails to show up, lost

while driving to this forgotten graveyard.

Once peaceful countryside, tract houses

push against the cyclone fence.

Our parents’ plots, passed on to them

by their own immigrant parents,

who longed for familiar faces even in death,

lie among our grandparents’ lantsmen.

Children, spouses, grandchildren,

great-grandchildren in arms

circle the grave for a final goodbye,

send our messages to the man

we finally knew in his last years

when he no longer drudged long hours

at work that helped us all move on.

Stalwart Red Sox fan, he claimed

they keep me alive.

We want to tell him how

the prize is finally theirs,

wonder if he helped this happen.

IMG_0132

Dorothy Shannon

Former first grade teacher
Leader of memoir writing workshop
Author of chapbook A Prism in the Window
Published and winner of awards in numerous journals

Poems by Duane Niatum | Möbius, The Poetry Magazine

By Duane Niatum

Migration Issue | 2015-2016

 

Mother of Long Ago and Far Away

Stepping down the road of forgiveness

feels like the thorn in the heart

will never die before I do.

But when an old girlfriend of yours

gave me a picture of the two of you

skipping in a happy stride

on Pike street Seattle in 1943,

the memory knots evaporated like spit in the dark.

Joy sprang into my eyes at holding the picture;

you came back into my life as if you never left.

Your death, twelve years of doors slamming shut,

happened so slowly I still hear your last

faint breaths struggling for melody.

The picture shines like quaking aspen in the wind.

You and your friend appear on that day

as if you were about to bite into the apple

of the world and it would always be your treat.

Your smile radiates out of the picture frame.

The old questions and sorrows of what was

our relationship as mother and son vanish

from my lips.  The brain discards its hardest edge.

 

Lost and Found in a Dream

 

(after a dream & re-reading Edward Thomas)

I

Turning to the lost way shapes the memory

even if my steps claim it never happened.

Turning to the path of the lost has never

been far from hearing titmice in the roses.

My ear sees what’s lost on the road is the old

one that signals the new one.

In this dream the loss took me for a ride

into the mud of violent, warm rain.

The rain beat so hard and long

I began wishing for a sundial.

II

The valley was a river of green corn fields,

cabbage and zucchini sparkling

in the sun, wind and rain that filled the air.

Alderneys grazed the grass weaving in the light

and eyed me as if I was an apparition.

I asked the Muse for my soul back

and it returned with an echo off the trees.

Cows silky and pungent, more real than I was lost.

Their voices, a sad joy, traveled with me like sunset.

Searching for the missed step, a dog howled in the distance.

III

What appeared on the horizon to answer were poplars

drenched and shimmering in grey-white light.

Lark and sparrow chirped to the corn god.

A mouse chewed away a good piece of morning.

Corn fed a tribe of critters and left

a few for the aliens on the land.

A crow, with one eye looking into my eye,

the other pretending it was bathing in the rain,

scolded a little and grew silent as Buddha,

becoming a friend of more than moon and sea.

 

Pollen Mystery

Pollen and the mystery bug slide

across my eyeball.

I sneeze awake.

Air is a wind of chuckles.

This caving in and out

of the organs takes me

through several deep breathing spasms.

Spring promises more exercise

to dance through my joints

like a jolt of cognac.

In the afternoon attempt at escape

the people of our town

exchange coughs and sneezes.

We doubt time has tricked again.

More likely the sun on its warpath

edges down the sky like Apollo’s horses

ready to torch the next fool

tripping on the sidewalk.

Escape and shade grow dim,

a game that even trumped the ancients.

Children who know enough to hang

their jump rope on the parking meter

sense it becomes harder in a suit of sweat

to reach a shady side

or fit in the daylight overload.

 

Photo (1)Duane Niatum, Jamestown S’Klallam tribe, has been writing poems, stories and essays

for over 50 years.  He has been widely published in the US and abroad.  He published

eight books of poems, most recently, The Pull of the Green Kite. Duane’s writing is

deeply connected with the Northwest coast landscape, its mountains, forests, water and

creatures.  The legends and traditions of his ancestors, who have long called this place

home, help shape and animate his poetry.  Duane has made a life-long study of art and

artists, including European and American Indian art, literature and culture.

Möbius, The Poetry Magazine | “But is it Cricket?” | Nicholas Messenger

But is it Cricket?

By Nicholas Messenger

Migration Issue, 2015

What say you made it to the First Eleven and they told you,

incidentally, there are no rules left.

We’re sorry, but we’ve lost them.

Lost them? All of them?

How could you lose the rules?

We seem to have mislaid them.

How? Forgotten them?

Well, not so much forgotten, as lost confidence in them,

so when we went out in the field to play

we’d look around and somebody would grumble,

this is stupid! and we’d all feel stupid.

So you want me to go out there, and, do what exactly?

Play. Play up and play the game.

But there aren’t any rules!

You won’t need rules

as long as you can state the purpose of the game.

It’s harder to declare that, than to list the rules.

What is it? Ah! they say.

Ah now, we haven’t quite agreed on that.

There are several schools of thought –

a dozen or so – hundreds actually.

But all called ‘cricket’?

Look, it’s not that big a deal,

as long as there’s a way to score.

Just go on playing for as long as possible,

for days on end if need be.

Only, keep in mind

it’s not so satisfying if it all ends in a draw.

Sexy Tree

Nicholas Messenger had his first poems published in New Zealand as a schoolboy. He won the Glover Poetry award in the 1970’s. In recent years he has had work published in a good number of online magazines.
           
He was born in 1945, completed a degree at Auckland University, travelled extensively, and lived at various times in France, England and Japan. He has worked at many jobs, including seaman, security guard and demolition worker, and for a long time made his living as a teacher, of science, art, and languages, in High Schools in New Zealand, and of English in Japan.
           
Now he runs a small publishing operation, Konuoi Imprint, publishing his novels for adults  and young people, volumes of his poetry and fables. He has been married twice and has two grown-up children.

Möbius, The Poetry Magazine | “12 times I’ve left houses behind” | Jade Sabajo

12 times I’ve left houses behind

By Jade Sabajo

Migration Issue, 2015

tore me apart from the faces that raised me from the places that made me

always trying to grow stronger, taller like the buildings I entered and ventured.

many places different faces waiting to tell stories about the stories they’ve climbed to get to this little rhyme

watching the cars rush past me like my thoughts rush past me, pink plastic chairs full of despair breathe in that beef patty polluted Jamaica air. Wake up to the sound of reggaeton as the stray cats meow to the beat. Feel that heat on the bottom of my feet as I run home bare foot after a fun filled day, please let me stay!

basements, backyards sleeping on your best friend’s floor what are best friends for, eleven cats there were never any rats, kicked out always missed out on the block barbecues, walked into school in some new shoes with new news that only I knew. sleeping in chairs get up, fix my hair go to school try and play it cool, ten o’clock curfews shelter rules restrictions my sister couldn’t stand felt as though she had to be the family ‘Man’ this was never within the family plan. Sirens were my lullaby I never really knew how to cry and before I knew it time flew by and I was saying goodbye to the city that raised me.

NYC to the memories that I won’t get back and to the ones I’m coming back to create.

Intense Sunlight

My Name is Jade Sabajo. I am 19 years old. I was born and raised in New York City until I was 16-years-old. New York is where I started connecting with poetry. I competed in two poetry competitions and made it to the third round each time. I am currently a freshman at Dean College majoring in business and dance and I continue to write and study poetry. 

 

Möbius, The Poetry Magazine | “Ode to My 160GB iPod” | John Paul Davis

Ode To My 160GB iPod

By John Paul Davis

Migration Issue, 2015 

Box of magic, little wonder,

same size as a deck of cards, you sci-fi

my everyday, shining pacemaker

of all my parties, concert-hall

of my coat-pocket, dance club

in my palm, metal mouse

who swallowed a jazz history

class & gurgles in my ears like a secret

while I’m surfing the C train,

lamp of right angles I rub

with my thumb to coax

out the jinn who offers me 27000

wishes, pirate radio

next to my heartbeat,

oh how you hopped like a hatching

egg on the end-table the night

I figured out how Dana liked

it, a black tongue

snaking from your always-open

eighth-inch mouth feeding

hip-hop directly to her stereo,

oh trading card of romance,

how I slid Roshni’s headphones

into you as she slid mine into hers

so we could each DJ

the other’s N train SoHo to Queens,

little angel of all my journeys,

tugboat that pulls the yellow wash

of taxicabs north on 6th Avenue,

rock and roll sparkplug on the interstate,

soundtracking my road movies,

San Francisco to Ohio, Ohio to Chicago,

Chicago to Brooklyn, oh tin household god

I make a shrine to you first every

new place I move, let you bless

the empty rooms with their cardboard

skylines, oh second brain, oh the pale

fire of your screen I have used

to find my way in actual darkness,

you who sometimes offers songs

I don’t recognize by bands I don’t remember–

I soon learn to sing along,

because not everything new

is an imperialist trick, oh personal

savior from the eternal torment of radio

roulette, oh how clever we human beasts

can be, my six-ounce library,

how I have danced alone

because you have no eyes,

how I have mouthed the words

to songs I have not the voice to sing,

how I have clutched you through insomnia,

staring up at the roof of night’s closed mouth,

how I have had you instead of patience,

or companionship, or a lover,

how you were safe under the pillows

the next morning, how I dialed

without looking like I was calling

a god I don’t believe in & how you answered

with a song I didn’t expect

but needed, oh prayer wheel,

oh second heart, oh compass

oh slingshot, oh fakebook,

oh Bible to replace the one I put

down years before,

someone bit the apple

tattooed on your back,

oh tree of life,

warm & humming knowledge.

unnamed

John Paul Davis is a poet, musician, designer and web developer living in Brooklyn. HIs poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies including Word Riot, The Four Way Review, Columbia Poetry Review, The Journal, and MUZZLE. You can find out more about him at http://www.johnpauldavis.org