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  November 2016
volume 13 number 2
-table of contents-
  home   (archived)
  featured poets
  Jonathan Beale
  J de Salvo
  Darren C Demaree
  Amelie Frank
  Jerry Garcia
  Terry McCarty
  Akor Emmanuel Oche
  Greg Patrick
  Alison Ross
  Cody Rukasin
  Viola Weinberg
  Kelley White
  mailing list
Viola Weinberg November 2016



photo by mauricio alejandro ramos

    Viola Weinberg was the first poet laureate of Sacramento, California. She has ten books of poetry published, including three limited editions created on Letterpress, one of which, Monet's Kitchen, won the national award for art books. She lives in rural Sonoma County and writes in a yurt.



Beware the Lambs

In Scotland, I hiked through a sterile forest
Along the Highlands, going west, frozen
Misplaced of time, me, an unfound mortal object
Stopping in a dead village of crumbling stone
A village emptied, souls forced to factories years before
Hungry ghosts gathered with me, unfurled, gone missing –

Back to that field of home in a forecast
thick with age, the storm of forgetting
and the forgotten trial of wet, sticking truth
Along the incoherent path, a crude sign
old dripping paint
Beware the Lambs that stopped me cold
Everything in my heart died, my brain
And so much died in that instant with the lambs

I stopped to touch the stones and walk among them
I felt the disturbance, the force that took them
I can’t remember the name of the forgotten village
or what they did, or how they dressed, I guessed
they drank tea that day, tea laced with
oh what was that?
The tea of the forgotten, the forgetting
the forgot

Vague childhoods, small rooms of darkness
The cool, quiet self-directed happiness of lambs
Catalogs of unknown facts and blurry faces
children with wood, women at a fire, men
with the flock, walking meadow after meadow—
sudden shivering intense history of holiness

There, in the primeval Highlands, I came across
An empty stone barn in that bitter gale
Inside, a skinned sheep with head hung from
The high rafter and I felt at home, so at home
It scared me, sent me out into the sleet
Thinking the barn is what, that sheep is me

copyright 2016 Viola Weinberg



How Small You Look in the Bed

Like a boy in underwear with
his mother dishing up bowls
of healing, salty food, strawberries
inky red from the farm, the juice of love
the first sunflower smiling at you from
the garden's chaotic western shore
and a bandage big as a badger wrapped
and bloody around your long thin foot
you turned on your stomach, sheet over brow

how hard it is to see you like this
now, tiny and huddled in a warm room
as the sun goes down on a distant beach
and the jazz station plays soft harmony
with your snores, tears of my love dressing
the tender buttons and fragile blossoms
inside, where you are a boy with your first
stitches and it is always bloody summer

copyright 2016 Viola Weinberg