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Poetry Summer 2020    fiction    all issues

Poetry Summer 2020 cover


Cover Vecteezy

Rodrigo Dela Peña
If a Wound is an Entrance for Light
& other poems

Shellie Harwood
Early Evening, Late September
& other poems

William A. Greenfield
The Deacon’s Lament
& other poems

J. H. Hall
& other poems

Kimberly Sailor
Two Aphids
& other poems

Sugar le Fae
& other poems

Lauren Sartor
Shopping Cart Woman
& other poems

Nathaniel Cairney
Mushroom Hunting, Jackson County, Kansas
& other poems

Elisa Carlsen
& other poems

Daniel Gorman
The Boy Achilles
& other poems

Samara Hill
I Look for Her Mostly Everywhere
& other poems

Nicole Justine Reid
Returning to Sensual
& other poems

David Ginsberg
Butterfly Wings
& other poems

Katherine B. Arthaud
Café Sant Ambroeus
& other poems

George R. Kramer
Young Odysseus
& other poems

Amy Swain
In Praise of Trees
& other poems

Frederick Shiels
Bad October: 2016
& other poems

Matthew A. Hamilton
Summer of '89
& other poems

Chris Kleinfelter
Getting from There to Here
& other poems

Martin Conte
Ghazal for the Shipwrecked
& other poems

Natalie LaFrance-Slack
I Do Not Owe You My Beauty
& other poems

Susan Marie Powers
Dark Water
& other poems

Writer's Site

George R. Kramer

Passover/Easter 2020

Since Eden never such a sanguine night.

After the slaughter in Goshen of all the flocks,

their cries abate in the last limb of light.

Against slave hut doors a blood tide knocks.

Moses chafes for the risen sun god’s eye

then the furious flight to silent Sinai.

Contagions and devils stalk this spring

as willets and warblers ring and rage

over this and that malicious king,

over these just deserts, that minor plague,

over those years of Egypt grown tired and fat

and the hungers haunting Judea after that.

Another prophet offers up feeble explanations

for each lost child and blood-let lamb.

Fear lumbers today through divided nations

and down the snaking streets of tired Jerusalem

stumbles the risen son, a savior, an enemy

falling from this weedy Garden of Gethsemane.

Young Odysseus

You sprang from the old story

Boys lined along a gully

Soldiers belting up a gun

Arguing in a strange tongue

Whether to shoot or not

Each boy half in terror half sailing away

Someone was always nosing to know

Where you were from though long

from fresh off the boat your patois

peppered words like wave

cresting crashing long after

Father feel my skin wrap over your old ribs

Drag your battered oars far from sea

Winnowing fan kindled for heat

Tread your shadow across the Canadian steppe

Horizon is border of the sailor’s knowing

But my mind is shallow against relentless ocean

All I think is borne in light breeze

Carrying this thin vessel to the edge of the world

Dividing ourselves in our dreams

We chart many headings

This sail slooping below a bright horizon

That body not dropping in a red ditch

At Your Birth
These Hopes Ate My Heart

At your birth these hopes ate my heart.

Against a fetal monitor’s anxious beat of passion

your red ear emerged yearning to wander,

sprouting like a mollusk from a glassy shell,

arising from a sea floor, alive to the limpid world.

If ever a toddler swaddled the limping world,

it was you, your lips pursed like a heart

kissing then pinched to a hermit crab’s shell,

and your faith that your tidal passion

will wash out grief to find other seas to wander.

Did I think then that you would one day wander

your way as you choose, spinning the wild world

into your dreams, throwing your passion

beyond the farthest territories of your heart,

kicking out of your cavernous shell?

Then we will mend and refill this shell,

your fading parents, and wander,

two shadows cast by one aging heart.

In a whelk beneath the wobbly world

we bathe in your conch blast’s passion.

I lie awake mulling these days of ill passion,

prelude to tattering seas and artillery shells,

or perhaps a broken fever and a patched up world,

where you can remember me while you wander

across maps marked by the travels of your heart.

I wish your heart a moment’s rest from its passion, a morning

to wander the beach for shells, at peace in this implausible world.

George R. Kramer hails from Canada, Colorado, Kenya and Alabama, but is a long-time Virginia transplant. The child of European refugees from Nazism and Communism, his parents’ legacy and his peripatetic childhood leave a trace in much of his writing. He makes his living as an attorney. His recent published poems are on his website,

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