editor's notes

The White Crow

Poetry - Selections from The White Crow v4, i4 - Osric Publishing

(More poetry from Anne Webster, David P Offutt, Charlene Mary-Cath Smith, Richard Dinges, and Jack Shadoian in the print version of The White Crow, available for $2.00 ppd from Osric Publishing.)


You sit on your porch
like a spider
waiting for a feed, and what
your fat eye sees
is far from what it will be
when it meets
with your digestion.
Mercy on the poor, unassuming
fly, the common dowdy,
or the one with wings
of filigree,
for nothing at all could
fill you
or satisfy your perfect
and all-consuming need.
In the end will you eat your-
self I wonder, when
all the world’s imperfections
have been spit about
in the fine lines
of your lacy rage, or will some
larger beast behold
your ferocious beauty
and suck you, finally, dry?

- Mary Rudbeck Stanko

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I perch on this twig,
and I watch the wind blow.
I see that it sorts out
the sky from the snow.
When the wind takes my hopes
and my worries away,
it will hear all my quarrels,
leave me nothing to say.

Feed your dogs cardboard!
Feed nails to the geese!
I have filed for a patent.
I can sell you a piece.
I have broken unicycles.
I have fleas that live in doubt.
It would eradicate my thumb print,
if I turned inside out.

I have hypodermic haystacks.
I have high-tension wires.
I’m the sparrow in charge
of the mock-ups for the Fire.
I’ve been wading through the hen house,
swimming in the cow shed too.
And I dialed this number
in the hope of reaching you.

- Stepan Chapman

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Winter Light

The well is not lined with brick
not even, cemented the way
Poe designed the death
of a rich and powerful fool, jocular
homing to the cask, soured wine

John Lennon comes back on the news
every december as though
he weren’t dead. In november
they keep re-killing JFK

The well is not lined with brick
making descent clean and direct
like a falling star. Its earth walls
protrude stones, bent back roots
that found the emptiness lacking.
At the bottom the water is silent
when overhead a full moon
invades the dark tunnel, soft

as love.
- Nancy McGovern

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Cross Hatching

We stood for more than twenty minutes
in front of one painting
while you were explaining cross-hatching.
and I looked back and forth
from the colorful Avery seascape
to you, and I imagined you naked, and running along the pink sands,
from the striped cabana to the yellow sea,
naked in the MOMA on a cold November day
when Avery has me believing
in the seashore and you have me
believing in what goes on
under the paint, just beneath the surface.
- Louis McKee

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A Trucker's Wife

her voice grinds -
a diesel truck missing gears
low rumbles, rust worn brakes
half a life counting smoke stacks
along the highway

doctors say cancer docks
a big-rig in her throat
and still she feeds her tank
with carbons, poisons
shunning remedial placards

sometimes, there is no sound at all
wind pushing the pipes, stalled
her lips move like the birth of a whisper
but a screaming engine wails
behind the hood

she backs into danger
without regard, accepts a few backfires
smoke swirling into clouds above her head
too late to change direction -
in for the long haul

- Elizabeth Fuller

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Last updated 09.24.2000