Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Poem of the Week #6
February 10, 2008


The world subsists
on the breath
of children,

feeds on their
fresh air.

Playground shouts
and songs sung

from tree tops
from roof tops,

music of tiny
wind pipes

rises and falls
like bread dough.

Mouths open
to the future,

their breathing,

their lungs gulp
whatever we float.

© Lisa Vihos

Poem of the Week #5
February 3, 2008


The pigeons knew,
seconds before.

Not so the people
in the pet market
cautiously enjoying
the first nice day in a while,
a good day for a stroll
and a neighborly chat
with old friends.

Not even
the crazy lady knew,
the authorities surmise.
She sold cold cream
in the morning;
was detonated
by remote control
in the afternoon.

feathers, claws, and tiny bones
mingled on the bloody ground
with fingers, skin, and wallets.

Even pigeons—
who spend a lot of time on the ground
maligned and grubby as they are
pecking out a little existence—
are able to fly up now and then,
look from a higher place.

© Lisa Vihos

Poem of the Week – midweek addition
Week of January 27, 2008

This poem won "runner-up" recognition in the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters statewide poetry contest and will appear in the summer issue of Wisconsin People and Ideas magazine.

Planting a Memory (for Owen)

I make us a lunch
for the train ride from Chicago to Milwaukee.
Granted, it’s a short ride
but it’s lunchtime and we’ll want to eat.
I pack salami, bagels, tangerines,
and a small bag of kalamata olives.

I want you to know this simple pleasure:
olives on the train. How delicious
they taste as we speed past houses and fields.
Olives run in our family, you know.
Our own special comfort food,
tumbling down the Greek
and Italian branches of our family tree;
little dark nuggets of love.

Someday, you’ll be in Tuscany
wanting to impress a girl.
It’s important that you learn
this sense memory now
so that when you’re standing in the market
outside the train station
you will not hesitate
to buy good olives for her.
You won’t even know why you do this,
but she’ll love you all the more
for spending a little bit extra
on something that tastes so good.

And when you are rushing together
past the lush green fields
and crumbling stone walls
of your Tuscan future,
bite into the rich, dark meat
feel slick oil on your fingers
lick salt from your lips and smile.

In her olive black eyes, there is warmth
and a beckoning road like a train track
vanishing into the distance
connecting you to something
(or someone) that loved you.

© Lisa Vihos

Poem of the Week #4
January 27, 2008

Song of Innocence

My son wrote a song;
a sad song,
in a minor key.
At nine-almost-ten
he sits with his song
on the brink
between childhood
and the dark abyss.

His song has no words
but its melody
holds the innocence lost
the first time we witness
some small evil
behind the garage;
the first time
someone we adore
ignores us

the first time
we hear of a mother
who drowns her own child;
the first time we ask
if there is more to life
than growing up, getting old,
and dying.

He leans over the guitar
and carefully picks his notes.
They tumble from his fingers
like water under a bridge;
they fly like dry leaves
on a winter wind.

It is his song.
It is him taking hold
of his own story.
Better to claim it
in a song than to let it
fester or run wild.

My son wrote a song;
a bittersweet song
in a minor key.
When the song ends
and he plucks the last note
he looks up at me,
not sad,

© Lisa Vihos

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