Welcome to the Poetry Cafe

Welcome to the Poetry Café.  Whether you love blank verse or are a solid devotee of iambic pentameter; or love sonnets but aren’t that enamored of the ode; and, if you get Emily D. but wonder what e. e. cummings is trying to tell you, you’re in the right place. Share your original poetry or your favorite poems.  


Michael Chitwood

A Coke bottle stopped with a sprinkle head sat at one end of the board. She'd swap iron for bottle, splash the cloth, then go at it with the iron. The crooked was made straight, the wrinkled smooth, and she'd lecture from that altar where rumpled sheets went crisp. "If Old Scratch gets his claws in your thigh or neck, you burn a thousand years and that is the first day." Our clothes got rigid, seam matched seam. Our bodies would ruin her work.

Golden Oldie I made it home early, only to get stalled in the driveway-swaying at the wheel like a blind pianist caught in a tune meant for more than two hands playing. The words were easy, crooned by a young girl dying to feel alive, to discover a pain majestic enough to live by. I turned the air conditioning off, leaned back to float on a film of sweat, and listened to her sentiment: Baby, where did our love go?-a lament I greedily took in without a clue who my lover might be, or where to start looking.

By Rita Dove

Copyright © 1995 Mississippi Review. Online Source



By Janice Sina

You're an enigma, my puzzle. You take me just so far then disappear leaving me with my daydreams. And in my daydreams you carry me piggyback just for fun where I can hug you safely for a long time while we walk through the new green growth mingling with last fall's leaves on the forest floor. No fair, you say, you don't get to hug me this way. OK, I'll carry you then . . . an impossibility. So then we are left facing each other to hug, which is scary. Unless we forget who we are in others' eyes and learn who we are to ourselves because I don't know who you are to me. Surely not a lover, I will not celebrate the morning with you that way. But a love, yes, a gift to me to see outside myself and inside myself at the same time. There must be something. We just haven't uncovered it yet. But maybe if we walk, kicking up crumpled oak and maple and black walnut leaves, we'll find something alive underneath to nurture and watch in amazement as it grows.

Janice is a science teacher who recently moved 'home' to Connecticut after 26 years in Pennsylvania.



Lone tiger on the couch Mulling ideas of a kill If she cannot eat the muscles Of a lovely he, She would ax the High cheek bones Of her rival tiger-ine.

Bloody tiger-ine walks her buns All across the savannah. Deep in a tent lies A fuming unconsummated Wrinkled tangerine in heat.

Rest your desire to sleep My envious treacherous soul Tomorrow your sorrow will vanish As a cinder lightly afloat.

Hemda Arad April 2008


Poet Marianne MooreMissouri-born Marianne Moore (1887-1972) loved animals and natural world ---- and baseball and Muhammad Ali.  Moore was so enamored of Ali that she wrote the liner notes to his record, "I Am The Greatest."  Moore, who lived most of her life with her mother, died in New York City in 1972.


by Marianne Moore

I, too, dislike it: there are things that are important beyond all this fiddle. Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it, one discovers in it after all, a place for the genuine. Hands that can grasp, eyes that can dilate, hair that can rise if it must, these things are important not because a

high-sounding interpretation can be put upon them but because they are useful. When they become so derivative as to become unintelligible, the same thing may be said for all of us, that we do not admire what we cannot understand: the bat holding on upside down or in quest of something to

eat, elephants pushing, a wild horse taking a roll, a tireless wolf under a tree, the immovable critic twitching his skin like a horse that feels a flea, the base- ball fan, the statistician-- nor is it valid to discriminate against 'business documents and

school-books'; all these phenomena are important. One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the poets among us can be 'literalists of the imagination'--above insolence and triviality and can present

for inspection, 'imaginary gardens with real toads in them', shall we have it. In the meantime, if you demand on the one hand, the raw material of poetry in all its rawness and that which is on the other hand genuine, you are interested in poetry.





I scream with despair things are strewn everywhere I guess that I care when there's no empty chair left to sit on.

Desks hold papers galore books litter the floor I head for the door I can't take any more time to leave it.

Should I just get away to a movie or play ignore this display... or spend the rest of the day tossing things out.

That's too hard to do things remind me of you no, that's not really true I must think it all through and get started.

Marcia Molay

Marcia is unable to move out of her house because after 50 years of living, it is impossible to clean out.



That is not what I meant at all. That is not it, at all. What a sad and lonely phrase. How wan and pale to be misunderstood. Are we ever truly known? Does anyone see our shining souls hidden beneath our greyness, our everydayness? “Now through a glass darkly, then face to face” is scant comfort. What we crave is to be understood here in this, our world.

Our poetry class was asked to take a line from T.S.Eliot's 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock' and compose a poem from it.  This is mine.  The first two lines are from Eliot – Augusta Benjamin



I dreamt the ceiling fan came loose from the ceiling and whirled down and around and down some more 'til  one of the blades imbeds its silly self into my head (on top and back) and it wakes me up. And I get up and call downstairs to my mother who comes upstairs to gasp then strangle a scream then cover her mouth and make no more human noise while I reasonably calmly tell her to call an ambulance. Perhaps this isn't a dream. Perhaps I am in pain, as I imagine myself fully in charge.


FOAM             A.W. Sawyer On a leaking, creaking flatbed of hope I paddle a fractured heart to harbor. To the sand considerate. To the shore of love. Upon this I will build a safe place and -  respectfully name each grain. One trillion and two by last count. I have been here before.  Yes. Still, they welcome me home, and wait, as I cry a new tide. What good friends! I shall kiss each one! I have time and it is the least I can do.




I used to tell you, “Frances, we grow old.

The years fly away.  Don’t be so private

With those parts.”  A chaste maid is an old maid”

Unnoticed by your disdain, old age crept

Close to us.  Those days are gone past recall.

And now you come, penitent and crying

Over your old lack of courage, over

Your present lack of beauty.  It’s all right.

Closed in your arms, we’ll share our smashed delights.

It’s give and take now.  It’s what I wanted,

If not what I want

Ausonius (c. 310-395), a Medieval Latin poet

(Shared by Lyn May)

Two Fathers

Wise Women . . . Now – Taking Some Time Off