JANET I. BUCK : Blackberry Vines
PEGGY MEEKS-KING : Japanese Butterfly (Tanka)
YVONNE MORRIS : Island in the Sun
contemporary international poetry - for your reading pleasure,
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Blackberry Vines Japanese Butterfly (Tanka) Island in the Sun

Blackberry Vines
I write to empty filthy water pouring from the vase of yesterday's visit home. I want to love and be loved in return, but can't redo what never was. She's never loved me simply because my father does. Father's ill with cancer and COPD, fighting the battle with getting old. All my woolish fortitude is eaten by moths of surgeries, a paralyzed arm, pneumonia pushing me straight to the brink of a grave, so close I can see the moist rectangular ditch fed by long spring rains—then I fall and break my only functional wrist. Then I break it again. I can barely hold the phone in my hand. My husband gets me up the steps and down the hall with the practiced hand of a puppeteer; I can leave my sickening wheelchair tucked in the trunk of the car. Father can barely hear, so I push a chair, heavy as a Stonehenge rock, close to the arm of his couch. Now we can watch each other's eyes. “Mother” sits across the room in a polished Victorian chair, patting the silk upholstery; “material” is all she knows. Her decorator left for the day, so she's exhausted from thumbing through colors of paint, prints for curtains, a tuft for her headboard, matching satin pillows and quilts. My father is buying a hospital bed for the den. Chessboard moves are quiet ones; I silently plan to put in my living room, so I can be directly at the side of his need. Between weak stabs at politesse, out comes blood from real knives. “Your father was the most poorly paid doctor in this town.” Then she says it again, so he can't miss out on the wound. Novels of his sacrifice for all of us, poems of his wise words, the prose of unsaid suffering sit firmly on my tongue. I'm quiet because he trained me carefully not to stab her back, to acquiesce to decades of decorum and insanity served in a martini glass. She picks at my husband's job, asks him if he got a raise. Her presence is an engine leaking dirty oil on the clean floor of a nice garage. We all need deadbolts on our hearts to save us from her savagery. Hugging her is like wrapping arms in ropes of thorns on blackberry vines— money or the thought of more, her only source of oxygen.
I have many things to write unto you but I will not write with pen and ink
--JOHN the theologian

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Blackberry Vines Japanese Butterfly (Tanka) Island in the Sun

Japanese Butterfly (Tanka) 
Lovers sweet-pink dream, Japanese butterfly down; yesterday's hope gone, eclipsed wings found by the sea; Fisherman with a moth net.
Poetry endangers the established order  of the soul - Plato

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Essays, poetry and observations on forgiveness, love found and lost, identity, the war in Afganistan, immigration, and making art and making a life.
Still, Life. Paperback
by Lisa Alvarado
available on Amazon

Lisa Alvarado is an educator, poet, novelist, and journalist, the founder of La Onda Negra Press, author of Reclamo and The Housekeeper’s Diary; originally a book of poetry and now a one-woman performance.

see also Latino Poetry
and labioga blog
Blackberry Vines Japanese Butterfly (Tanka) Island in the Sun

Island in the Sun 
I was resting among the palm trees when you appeared on an island in the sun where in all my dreams I looked up at the poet of my body and read you like hidden novels that guided me with more than words You opened my hand with your tongue and left a diamond there When you kissed me and apologized for having rough lips I licked them--they were full and curved - licked the corner of your mouth - then stroked your salty hair as you held me - held you on the sand, and you whispered that my feet were white like the sand, like a statue - Beautiful-- And there your eternal rhythm released me - I could never return over the empty ocean - I will always wake to dream of you and live all my poems in your arms
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JANET I. BUCK : Blackberry Vines
PEGGY MEEKS-KING : Japanese Butterfly (Tanka)
YVONNE MORRIS : Island in the Sun

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