Tag Archives: John Sibley Williams

Elegy for an Unused Storm Cellar
by John Sibley Williams

I can’t see the whole ocean from here. Just a bird-
broken bay, backlit oyster shacks piled high in
hollow shells, incomplete haloes reflecting off

polished masts. Windless, their sails tied down
like domesticated dogs to backyard trees. A born
wildness deferred. Something I want desperately

to call my own: what is the word for wings
once skin has grown over them? We arm ourselves
with slack & acceptance, adulthood & all sorts of

gods, stories that end with boys falling, feather-
singed, from the sun. This is meant to be
a teachable moment. A father aims his son’s

cocked finger at passing barges & says bang.
He reads the morning paper loud enough
the whole house mourns each casualty.

& there are so many casualties. Just beyond
the storm-readied town, past the jetties that break
the breakers in half, in other words out of our empire

of sight: a war that reaches us ink & clean lines. Of home
I mainly remember these confident rooflines, so sharp they
could be words. How another’s tempest brings out our eyes.

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 20, Issue 1.

John Sibley Williams is the author of Controlled Hallucinations (FutureCycle Press) and six poetry chapbooks. He is the winner of the HEART Poetry Award, and finalist for the Pushcart, Rumi, and The Pinch Poetry Prizes. John serves as editor of The Inflectionist Review, co-director of the Walt Whitman 150 project, and Marketing Director of Inkwater Press. A few previous publishing credits include: Third Coast, Inkwell, Bryant Literary Review, Cream City Review, The Chaffin Journal, The Evansville Review, RHINO, and various anthologies. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

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Spectacle
by John Sibley Williams

Why in their dancing for us circus elephants don’t pull the canvas sky down each night and trample our kids into soft little star-stains in bare earth, I’ll never know. And is there anything so damaged as a broken horse left to ride itself? Feather-plume, velvet saddle, so beautifully lost without a half-naked woman kicking dust and cool autumn dusk from its hide. And clowns all frenzy and laughter, angels until we start demanding demons. And then they stay demons forever. I’m terrified of what makes me cheer, that I’ll end up clapping whether or not this tamer’s head emerges unbitten.

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 19, Issue 2.

John Sibley Williams is the author of Controlled Hallucinations (FutureCycle Press) and six poetry chapbooks. He is the winner of the HEART Poetry Award, and finalist for the Pushcart, Rumi, and The Pinch Poetry Prizes. John serves as editor of The Inflectionist Review, co-director of the Walt Whitman 150 project, and Marketing Director of Inkwater Press. A few previous publishing credits include: Third Coast, Inkwell, Bryant Literary Review, Cream City Review, The Chaffin Journal, The Evansville Review, RHINO, and various anthologies. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

See all items about John Sibley Williams

Visit John Sibley Williams’s contributors page.

CPR Journal Volume 15, Issue 2 Now Online

Cider Press Review Volume 15, Issue 2Cider Press Review’s April 2013 web issue, Volume 15, Issue 2, is now online.

Read new work by Sandra Kohler, Lois Marie Harrod, Jeanpaul Ferro, David Filer, Lorraine Doran, Rebecca Aronson, Doris Matthews, Brenda Yates, Diane Scholl, Sharon Chmielarz, Joseph Dorazio, Rachel Rostad, Christine Butterworth McDermott, Barbara Mossberg, Shawn Fawson, Susana Lang, John Davis, Susan Grimm, Grant Clauser, Kathleen Hellen, John Sibley Williams, and Jane Rosenberg LaForge.

Read the issue online today; download a Kindle version from Amazon in May.