Tag Archives: october 2013

by Sarah Estes

We watched the wooden frames of farmhouses
groan and crumble, heave towards the water
then fall prostrate against the indifferent sky.

My father readied the final meals of my childhood,
sheer yellow curtains shifted warily in the breeze.
Mother was on a diet, quietly peeling chicken fat
in the living room while she watched the waters rise.

Downtown, where the water had grown by fifty feet,
the flag bobbed in the current, relieved finally

of its heavy weight.

Mud became our country and dusk became our home,

arms pregnant with swollen bags of sand,

the thud-thud beat of plaintive walls weakening
as the season of rains wore on.

And then the song rising, the long drone
of mosquitoes over a sullen stretch of beach.
Full then faltering then fleeing into silence.

The taste of death on the wind—her fragrant
and final ambition. The insatiable hunger for

peach-scented flesh,

your black-eyed stone.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 15, Issue 4.

Sarah EstesSarah Estes’s work has appeared in The Atlantic, Christian Science Monitor, Agni, Cimarron, Crab Orchard Review, Field, New Orleans Review, Southern Review and elsewhere. She obtained an MFA from the University of Virginia as a Hoynes Fellow, and a master’s in religion and culture from Harvard.

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by Diana Cole

You lie in the bowl,
not to bite into life,
not to spray juice into air
or bounce off branches
rolling the distance.

Your bruises and sores
are the color of fawn
but your face is ruddy
keeping up the parody
of stout life. Stay intact —

days come in metal pails,
mornings steeped red.
Leaves wedge within,
send me climbing questions.
Verdigris thickens and rains.

I am livid with life.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 15, Issue 4.

Diana Cole’s poem Though I Walk, set for double chorus by Thomas Stumpf, was selected by the Pharos Music Project and performed in New York City. Other poems have appeared in numerous journals including Blueline, Avocet, Off the Coast, The Christian Century, The Tipton Poetry Journal, Slipstream, Poetry East, and Spillway.

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Old Men and Their Sorrows
by Doug Ramspeck

The old men are sitting on
their back porches, watching

Isaac Babel’s stern-looking goose
flying above the lake. Soon it will

be twilight, the parasitic stars
gathering in the night sky, darkness

heavy-breasted with its blossoming.
The men imagine the wet earth

undressed forever, as though
all dreams are liquid.

They imagine their bodies
sleeping inside the widened pupil

of an eye, the summer sun
tattooing forgetfulness, the nude

clouds lumbering past. Here is
the watery grave, the pulse

a small piston in the wrist.
The geese lift themselves

above the great hulls of day,
like orchestrated longing,

the last sunlight hemorrhaging
amid the trees. The old men

have a map of green veins
traversing the backs

of their hands, and the warm
railing of the porch looks out

on a calligraphy of leaf shadow.
All is regret, they know,

the goose with its impenetrable
cry bruising the ribs, a magi

of slow flight, the mythic
mercy of letting go.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 15, Issue 4.

Doug RamspeckDoug Ramspeck is the author of four poetry collections, the most recent of which, Mechanical Fireflies (2011), won the Barrow Street Press Book Prize. His first book, Black Tupelo Country (2009), was awarded the John Ciardi Prize. His poems have appeared in The Kenyon Review, Slate, Alaska Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. In 2009 he received an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award. He directs the Writing Center and teaches creative writing at The Ohio State University at Lima.

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