symbolism

Looking to the Edge by Mark Fleury

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Looking to the Edge

by

Mark Fleury

Looking to the edge

Of the dawn-tinged mountain

Tops’ cliffed flaming skyscape,

The ladder to the brow of the morning

Star leans against the wall between

The night and day of a new year.

I peak over the sky, blue as the part

Of a candle flame that entrances

A child in Easter Sunday’s Grace

Before what’s thanked for is consumed

For weight toward Earth’s center.

And I see it’s the same primordial pool

Of fire and flame and lust that does

Dervish whirls from a screen door

To a backyard. April is draining

Its pain of birth, thaw and rust

As though the hinges

Of soil opened to houses

In the enclosed bark of trees.

Bio: Mark Fleury lives in St. Paul, MN. He has recently had poems published in Vext Magazine, Altered Scale, Clockwise Cat, Counterexample Poetics, Medulla Review, ditch, UFO Gigolo and the Original Van Gogh’s Ear Anthology. Mark also has a poem forthcoming in the September inaugural issue of Of/ With. Mark has a new 2014 book of poetry entitled The Precious Surreal Door Opened, published by Medulla Review Publishing.

 

Poetics Statement: My writing invariably goes back to the basement apartment where I lived when I had a nervous breakdown over twenty years ago. The different parts of the apartment symbolize various parts of my psyche; for example, the door leading into the apartment is the location of the pineal gland in the center of my brain. And the window across the room, which is the title of one of my books: The 4D Window, is the sensorium screen where my worldly experiences, including poetry, take place. I consider myself to be a student of Charles Olson’s Projective Verse essay.

Three Poems by Arthur Turfa

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Three Poems

by

Arthur Turfa

 

Late Afternoon: the Pilgrimage Church

You asked me to explain to you a past

the always-correct Party had chosen

to hide from you. Yet in a new place now

you wondered about the saints and angels

within and without of Maria im Sand.

Willing I went with you over the

hills on that grey day, October fading,

winds bringing in clouds into the valley.

I pointed out the Virgin’s deep blueness,

the smooth apostolic face at the cross,

the font, pulpit, altar, sunless stained glass,

the mixture of styles, depending on time.

In the cemetery an old man spoke

about previous warfare’s heavy toll;

we exchanged a glance thinking of new deaths

and walked the streets of the closing-down town.

Interest does not always lead to belief.

But each November you light a candle

for your mother. You are a pilgrim

pursuing an uncertain goal as you

seek for answers to your unvoiced questions.

I think back to this day, and wish you peace.

 

Sunday Morning at Beech Island

Sunny morning on the crest of the hill,

Slightly-cold wind in this January

Blowing down the slope toward the Savannah.

Red-doored neo-classic chapel readied

For weekly glimpse of transcendent grandeur.

Uncertainties hover here over us,

Somber occasions, enduring concerns.

During flow of familiar devotions

Light transfixes heavenward-pointed Host

Suffusing unveiled glory over all.

Some linger later outside on the porch

Viewing the landscape with improved vision,

Savoring the moments they wish would endure.

 

A View Backward from the Bend

Every now and then, my path will bend.

If no mists fill the valley, if cloudless

Skies permit, I can gaze where once I went.

On ribbons of path straddling the ridge

Were elusive apparent destinies

Downward sloping toward sunset beaches,

That so thinly disguised a cul-de-sac.

Stretching to the sky, several towers,

Some unfinished, others now collapsing,

Their classrooms with closed windows preventing

Fragrant air to alleviate the staleness,

Not knowing the land where lemon trees bloom,

Scholars scour the text repeatedly

For some non-existing enlightenment,

Refusing to look at the external.

Occasionally a face that I see,

Or a song wafting melody to me

Reminds me of my travels on that path,

Reconnecting me to what I had loved

Even if no longer can be found

Even if it no longer can be loved.

As quickly as it comes, it disappears

And I follow the bend to straighter paths.

 

Bio: Arthur Turfa lives in the South Carolina Midlands, but his poetry contains influences of his native Pennsylvania, California, Germany (where he has also lived), as well as other places. He is working on an e-book of his poetry, scheduled for release later in 2014. Published in the Munyori Literary Journal and South Carolina English Teacher, he also maintains a personal blog, Some Poetry at aturfa.blogspot.com

Poetic Statement: Essentially I think Wordsworth had it right, although I do not always find long-lasting tranquility. Something or someone grabs a hold of me, and lingers until I recapture the moment, the glimpse, or the time from my life. My poetry attempts to include the reader into what I experienced, rather than telling the reader all about it or me. At times I strive for a sense of closure, at others I want to preserve something (more as a Symbolist than an Imagist). Whom do I read; Eliot, Auden, Rilke (in the original), Frost, Updike, Shakespeare, Bukowski, and others.Language that sings is more important that language that rhymes.