January 15-21, 2024: Poetry from Noel Poston and Julie Martin

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Noel Poston

Noel Plennert Poston is an inquisitive spiritual seeker enchanted by words and the quirkiness and splendor of EVERYTHING. She makes her home with her spiritually indifferent yet incredibly tolerant and indulgent husband in the hills of Middle Tennessee. Noel delights in striding and humbly stumbling through the mystery and wonder of IT ALL.

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

Giving Up

I imagine getting a new sofa for the den.
The old cat, gaunt, still sheds
like she has fur to spare, towels draped
on every chair.

I imagine my husband gaining weight,
me losing a few pounds. He’s pushing
80 and the new vacuum with vigor
and resolve. We have a house
to clean.

Yesterday we tried to stop the cat
from killing the hummingbird that
had flown into the window.
The bird saw herself, aimed and shot.

A reunion quickly won,
stunned she fluttered down,
cat-snatched before I could reach out.

I didn’t know what to feel
as I choked my cat, tried
to free the bird, the cat clamped
down on death. Her
first prize in 15 years, this little
life, this chirp that shuddered still.

10 minutes later, bird buried by
my husband humbly spading a
crumbly cup of soil, the cat
casually cleaned her paws,
an iridescent feather flickered
in the corner of her smirking mouth.

I slipped a check into the mail,
to my brother, what could have been
a sofa would keep him and his wife
off the streets for 2 more months.

Julie Martin

A poet and public school teacher, Julie Martin lives near the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers. Her work has recently appeared in the following journals: The Talking Stick, Plants and Poetry, Agates, and The Coop: A Poetry Cooperative. She co-hosts  Up Close, an online literary program, with  River Urke. Read more of her work at JulieMartinpoet.com.

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

Observer and Observed

Ushering in from the north,
a mega-murder of crows,
subversively magnificent,
amass atop winter-bare trees
near the Basilica.

Glossy blue-black, highly iridescent,
the patina of feathers torque and reflect the urban
trespass of skyglow, pinwheeling charcoal, indigo,
periwinkle, violet, copper, gold,
dotted with pearlescent drops of moonlight.

Foraging through the open dumpsters
of our lives, they extract hopes,
bottle caps, styrofoam, and secrets
like discarded french fries.

Behind those shiny dark eyes,
they know things.


Previously published in The Talking Stick, Volume 32

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