Sunday, February 27, 2011

Poem of the Week #165

This poem appears on the Verse Wisconsin website and Facebook page. Go here to read more poems:

In Solidarity

Seen from above, we are
a myriad of small circles.
We move through the streets
like blood cells in veins bobbing
our way in and through to the heart
of the matter. We make ourselves
known as a collective system.
We work to keep the greater body
alive and healthy, we work
to keep at bay that which would
like to annihilate us. We band
together in arteries all over the planet,
all systems flowing toward a common
goal: to speak, to be heard, to listen.
We flow like water, like wine, like blood.
Each one unique, each one connected.
When we ignore our small discrepancies
and remain united, we cannot fail.
We surge like a tide. We will prevail.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Poem of the Week #164

A Brief History of Mail

Once upon a time, there were
smoke signals and bird calls
and charred bones left on mossy

cairns. These early equivalents of
“alert the media” did their best
to convey the ebb and flow

of human endeavor in those grand,
nomadic days before the invention
of tampons and sliced bread.

Gradually, we realized we needed
to move our words a bit faster
and so we got the ponies involved.

These express equines dragged
our words toward the industrial age,
though they still needed to be shod

and curry-combed and fed an apple
now and then. We got the philatelists
on the case and soon, stamp collecting

was born. For a long time, we cruised
along, with rates rising a penny a year
and the occasional someone going postal.

Insanity aside, our mail options
have now advanced to texting
and sexting and tiny tweets.

And so we have returned to the birds.
Sender and receiver beware: burnt bones
crossed on fire pits may not be far behind.

Lisa Vihos

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Poem of the Week #163

Rules and Regulations

You cannot put reptiles
or animal parts in the mail.
Why would you want to?

You cannot mail firearms,
knives, or revolution.
You might change someone.

You cannot mail lotteries.
(These are marked by a request
for payment, a cash prize,

and the element of chance.)
You cannot mail the promise
of false hope or true love.

You cannot mail mountains,
oceans, or umbrella drinks.
You cannot mail peace of mind.

You can mail elephant dung, but only
if it is art (with proper documents
enclosed) and not a form of fuel.

You can mail belly button lint
but only if disguised as a love token
buried deep in the creases of your words.

Lisa Vihos

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Poem of the Week #162


I go back to my quiet dusting
in my warm house,

find a book on the shelf, given
to me on my nineteenth birthday

by a friend of my parents
whom I did not know well.

At nineteen, do we really
know anyone? G√ľnter Grass,

The Flounder. The gift-giver
died, a few years after the giving

in a car crash. I remember her
circa 1979, blond and pretty.

On the title page, she wrote:
To Lisa, who is warm and beautiful
and a delight to know

It is a hefty book,
and I’ve never read it;

just once in a while,
her inscription.

Lisa Vihos