My Brother’s Midnight Song
The purple night
The sky—no clouds—and I—
A million stars’ swirled flight—but scarce awake.
And yet: Vermont, green swain
My eyelids’ wide hills
Open still on night terrain.
O please, a million years remain—of worlds’,
Of creatures’ chances—while with us,
Each rugged mile steer still from redding flames, where on earth’s floor
we trace stars’ dances.
Poetry Everlasting (A Villainous Villanelle)
I do not know why I cannot escape The frolic, antic fears that fence me ‘round, They open-mouthed do at me make their gape. In morning light, they sneer at day, call me an ape, And all my best evasions run to ground, I do not know why I cannot escape. Oh, tragedies of terror at me jape, Almost it’s worse when they make not a sound, But open-mouthed do at me make their gape. At eve, horripilations climb my nape, When poets, writers, say we’re all death-bound, I do not know why I cannot escape. For true, cannot my words forestall the crepe, Black crepe, from cov’ring how they do resound? The words themselves now at me make their gape! Yes, I do know my words may keep on tape, But better to be vampirish, profound In death as life, mortality escape, Reciting open-mouthed, I’ll make my gape. This is Why I Don't Call It Intelligent Design If you had long enough to plan, would you plan on birds, On cats, eyes round sink-holes’ green optics crouched, watching flights? Would you even plan on skies’ trails of clouds and ombres, Would you think of the praying mantis’s devouring of her mate after the fact, That so amuses and rhetorically rewards human husbands? Would complexities as small as spiders take your notion, Do you think you would conceive in a blink of the lizard’s winking lids and darting tongue? And among all these things, would you then, perhaps in a subtle, self-mocking, self-measuring humor Postulate men, first men, we’re told, at least, then women, Strolling around in ponderous circles, rhyming, or articulating in more erudite, less enticing ways The lessons of your universe, As if they could almost meet you halfway? Now, why would you? When the lizards and spiders and mantis, the skies full of birds And the cats preening their own positions of admiration and peering up, Would be a world all told, with all the other cohorts you’d planned for them? If you had long enough to plan, and could plan a whole universe to sing and play for you all day, Why would you invent a questioner, a critic, a made-to-order complaint department, ready to register dissatisfaction Because the catfish, fished out, are no longer full in the lake this year? Or because Neighbor Ned is querulous and tries too hard to annoy? Many and various the issues, do you want the question box to contain So many? Would you want the answers you make To be as creative as your take on planning a world? Or why would you, if you had long enough to plan, anyway? *Author's Notes The poem "My Brother's Midnight Song" is about the ecological concerns my brother has and expresses through his actual physically-engaged activism, as opposed to my poetical noise-making for the cause. Bio: Victoria Leigh Bennett (she/her). Greater Boston, MA area, born WV. Ph.D., English & Theater. In-Print: "Poems from the Northeast," 2021. OOP but on website: "Scenes de la Vie Americaine (en Paris)," [in English], 2022. Website: creative-shadows.com. "Come for the shadows, stay for the read." From Aug. 2021-Nov. 2022, Victoria will have published at least 27 times with: Roi Faineant Literary Press, Fevers of the Mind Poetry & Art, The Unconventional Courier, Barzakh Magazine, The Alien Buddha Press, The Madrigal Press, Amphora Magazine, Discretionary Love, Winning Writers (requested for 2 newsletters), Cult of Clio. She has been accepted for Bullshit Literary Magazine in 4/23 with 4 works. Victoria writes Fiction/Flash/CNF/Poetry/Essays. She is the organizer behind the poets' collective @PoetsonThursday with Alex Guenther & Dave Garbutt. Twitter: @vicklbennett. Victoria is emotionally & ocularly disabled.