February 12-18, 2024: Poetry from Duane L Herrmann and Lisa Delan

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Duane L Herrmann

Duane L. Herrmann (Topka), a reluctant carbon-based life-form, was surprised to find himself in 1951 on a farm in Kansas. He’s still trying to make sense of it but has grown fond of grass waving under wind, trees and moonlight. He aspires to be a hermit, but would miss his children, grandchildren and a few friends. He is known to carry baby kittens in his mouth, pet snakes, and converse with owls, but is careful not to anger them! His full-length collections of poetry include: Prairies of Possibilities, Ichnographical:173, Family Plowing, Remnants of a Life, No Known Address, Praise the King of Glory and Gedichte aus Prairies of Possibilities, plus a science fiction novel, and a number of chapbooks. Individual work has been published in more than a dozen anthologies and Midwest Quarterly, Little Balkans Review, Flint Hills Review, Orison, Inscape, Lily Literary Journal, Hawai’i Review and others in print and online in English and other languages he can’t read. He is the recipient of the Robert Hayden Poetry Fellowship 1989, and the Ferguson Kansas History Book Award 2007. He survived a traumatic, abusive childhood embellished with dyslexia, ADHD (unknown at the time), cyclothymia, situational mutism, an anxiety disorder, PTSD. Visit Duane on the web here.

The following work is Copyright © 2024, and owned by Duane L Herrmann and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Grass Knows

Grass knows wind,
soil, rain, and heat.
Grass bends and flows
under wind in sun,
over soil, dry or moist.
Grass knows day and night,
but not time or when.

New grass greets
light – warmth,
welcomes rain,
dances under wind,
green becomes tan
streaked with yellow, reds.
From gulf to tundra
grass was supreme,
once upon a time,
for untold time:
will this time end?

Lisa Delan

Lisa Delan’s poetry and prose have been featured in American Writers Review, Burningword Literary Journal, Cathexis Northwest Press, Drunk Monkeys, Passengers Journal, Poetry Super Highway, and Viewless Wings, among other publications. She was nominated for a 2023 Pushcart Prize. Song settings of Delan’s poems were premiered by Festival Napa Valley in 2022, and she is currently collaborating on a libretto for a new choral work to premiere in 2024. When she is not writing, you can find the soprano, an international performer who records for the Pentatone label, singing songs on texts by many of her favorite poets.

The following work is Copyright © 2024, and owned by Lisa Delan and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Lower East Side

when we fled Vilnius—
long before the golden door
shuttered against the Shoah—

we emerged at Ellis
from bellies of barges
processed with the
…………dross of pilgrimage

and mouthed new names
cloistered in tenements
tendering garments

for kishke and rent
we bedded on half sewn seams
and side-stepped sewage to daven
….in schul—

when we stitched over our passage
behind Singers on
rust welted chairs in

the bowels of the Bowery
drowning our ghosts in pickle barrels
….the underworld rumble of
..the IRT sounded

terror under the baseboards
like a distant pogrom haunting
our stagnant lungs as we slept—

and when we chattered
low lengths of Litvak
shouldering swarms
….in kippot and shawls

through the charcoal air
we finally breathed—
and saw ourselves
everywhere

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