August 11-17, 1997: Christina Marie Umscheid and H.A. Maxson

Week oAugust 11-17, 1997

Christina Marie Umscheid and H.A. Maxson

Christina Marie Umscheid


Christina-marie (Christina Marie Umscheid), born 1946 in Weiden, West Germany was raised in Saint Louis, Missouri and has lived in Petoskey, Michigan since 1976 Publishings include such magazines as; CHICAGO REVIEW, HIRAM POETRY REVIEW, CALIBAN, ODYSSEY, THE POETRY REVIEW, NEGATIVE CAPABILITY, THE OLD RED KIMONO, GREAT LAKES REVIEW, HURON REVIEW, THE MAC GUFFIN, SOU’WESTER and the GREAT MIDWESTERN QUARTERLY My debut on the Internet e-zine, WORLD POETRY, was December 1996 Since then, I’ve been published in the following e-zines MOONDANCE: CELEBRATING CREATIVE WOMEN, BLUE PENNY QUARTERLY, SWITCHED-ON GUTENBERG, GRUENE STREET, BLACK SWAN REVIEW, and to appear in LEXICON.

The following work is Copyright © 1997 and owned by Christina Marie Umscheid and may not be distributed or reprinted in any manner whatsover without written permission from the author.

A Ride Through The Woods

(previously published in IMAGES AND LANGUAGE, chapbook and video, 1987, published by Writers North and funded by the Michigan Council for the Humanities )

Wind remembers winter
even though May holds air
like a child tugging a balloon
Sunlight lays, a shawl
across my shoulders as I
ride my horse through woods
We ride through pines, Cybelle
and I Occasionally she hesitates
watching for deer or imagined predators

There is no sight of anyone else
but I see two lover
invisible to eyes Time is on their side, as armor
enclosing them from the world
Are they real or painted
by some artist?
Leaves change, seasons
mark their position Trilliums come and go
We ride the same paths
watching changes Will the predator Cybelle imagines
stay in her mind?

Ferns have not yet come out They are hidden like lover –
waiting for time’s shield to fall.

Burying The Dead
For Embra who died January 12, 1980

(Previously Published in ODDYSSEY, A Journal of the Humanities 1986 Honors College, Oakland University, 212 Varner Hall, Rochester, MI 48063 )

The ground refuses to open
It will not peel back to reveal
the brown viscera that has hardened
Death has seeped between living
tissues and persuaded them to
grow cold-to freeze beneath a
fleecy blanket that lies like
a sheet over my friend
Her body has turned blue with cold
I hate the white that masks
my clothes-like angels There is
no one near to trumpet her death No one sings a Requiem like I hear
inside me, beating with wings
that thread life from bone to bone
I want to breathe into her mouth
and take the cold away, like fire
burn her back to life
Instead, I grow cold,
sinking into snow
until it takes my breath.

Dream Fire

(Previously published in THE SMALL POND MAGAZINE OF LITERATURE, Winter 1975, Napoleon St Cyr, Editor, 10 Overland Drive, Stratford, Connecticut 06497)

The catapult of dreams
stands at my mouth
ready to fire me with
somewhere to go at night Enter here
where the skin is bare
and open Burn the blackness
into ashes
that fly before my eyes,
still aflame with memory Locusts, descending from the smoke,
eat my crop of tears,
devour my pain
and leave me Field
chewed down
with nothing left to burn
nothing left to eat.

H.A Maxson


H.A Maxson is the author of three collections of poems: Turning the Wood, Walker in the Storm, The Curley Poems, as well as a novel, The Younger–forthcoming in September from Commonwealth Publications, Canada, and a critical study, The Sonnets of Robert Frost–forthcoming in September/October from McFarland & Co Several hundred of his poems have appeared in magazines and anthologies, such as The Nation, Commonweal, Poetry Northwest, Southern Poetry Review

The following work is Copyright © 1997 and owned by H.A Maxson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any manner whatsover without written permission from the author.

Last Days of Najibullah
Esquire photo, April 1997

Their heads loll casually to one side as the heads of hanged men so often do in pictures out of countries wading in blood Here the heads hang eskew from knots cinched deeply into necks Eyes shut Tongues forced to the corners of crimped mouths, they hang, colorless as rags, all of the words wrung out They wear blood like vests or aprons And one man’s arms jut and drape as only disease or death could pose them in the full light of that desert A private brings tea No one sits They pour without ceremony and stare off into some middle distance where a truck, scabbed eith many soldiers, creeps toward them–guns raised in celebration or surrender?–impossible to say at this distance A soldier fills his mouth with thin tea and swishes it like mouthwash He turns and blows a mist toward the two hanging men; someone laughs and hugs him, smiles and raises a gun and fires it into the dead blue air now endless around them.

Great Horned Owl

It appears as you have imagined
angels appear when they do, or if One moment simply there:
the air cracked just once as if some god cleaved it to deposit those wings
You see first the the globe head gliding through the compass points outside a window
candle-flamed with sunset So still Certain He forces a center where his talons
strangle a limb and shapes forever
that space no owl has ever, ever held
You balance minutes, maybe hours,
then tumble into that feathery bowl
of an eye cocked so close toward you, the black bottomless center cold to watch as a well where the stone you dropped never splashed, 

so cold, when it goes, you weep with thirst

Subscribe to our weekly Newsletter: