Enjoy three short poems by award-winning poet Richard Garcia, who won the 2016 Press 53 award for Porridge. He is the author of six books or poetry, recently The Other Odyssey, from Dream Horse Press, and The Chair, from BOA, both published in 2014. His poems have appeared in many journals, including The Georgia Review and Spillway, and in anthologies such as The Pushcart Prize and Best American Poetry. He lives in Charleston, S.C., with his wife Katherine and their dog Max. He is on the staff of the Antioch Low Residency MFA in Los Angeles.
Palmetto Poem by Vera Gómez
Charcoal can be found almost anywhere
there has been fire. Among the ash,
dust to dust, among the embers set aglow.
Almost anywhere: in the streak
of teared-lace mascara, in the remnant
of a striked match, in the man cremated.
By Len Lawson
Five-and-dime. Antique store. Cash and
Carry. Drug store. Barber shop. Shoe shop.
Record store. Bridal boutique. Dive bar.
Though Charleston is a shrine to the past,
where every alleyway and weather-worn road
tells the story of a city resurrected;
time is never standing still.
Running beneath the surface
are fault lines of our own making,
reshaping memory brick by brick.
Al Black: By Al Black
Yesterday, in her voice
I heard a little girl who
walked rows of beans
picking worms from the vine
to plop in a tobacco can
By Marjory Wentworth, contributing editor
Unfolding my grandmother’s apron, tucked
deep in a box of Christmas decorations,
I rub my hands across the wrinkled
cream colored cloth as thin as gauze
and the bright red and blue boxes circling
the hem and see her standing at the stove
wearing her Christmas apron, stirring pots
on every burner, a turkey already roasting
in the oven, plates of gingerbread men
cooling on the counter.
By Samuel Henry Dickson
I sigh for the land of the Cypress and Pine,
Where the Jessamine blooms, and the gay Woodbine;
Where the moss droops low from the green Oak tree,
Oh! that sunbright land is the land for me.
Kendra Hamilton: You speak of the rivers of your homeplace far to the north,
How you’d leave the city in summer for the long trek
to Minnesota, then gather at the creekside in boats,
singing, to beat the grasses till they yielded their sweet black grains.
Music of doves ascending, by Marjory Wentworth:
Yellow crime tape tied to the rod iron fence
weaves through bouquets of flowers
and wreaths made of white ribbons,
like rivers of bright pain flowing through the hours.
Palmetto Poem author: Originally from Vidalia, Georgia, home of the world’s best onions, Katrina Murphy is a poet and baker living in Charleston, S.C. Both of her English degrees are from Georgia Southern University, and she is active in Charleston alumni events and planning.