Poetry

  • A whale surfacing, mouth agape
    May 14, 2019 | María Baranda
    Humpback whale / Photo by Wade Tregaskis / Flickr 7. For about a minute you spin and the world shifts galaxies. What germinates in your flesh is the viper’s dream. You slither through the underbr...
  • Thin, tapered, and lit candles arising from water
    April 25, 2019 | Sophia Galifianakis
    Photo by Dennis Jarvis / Flickr Bema In Greek it means step. In church it separates me from the nave, where the quiet sit and wait. Behind the screen the altar boys, age twelve, a...
  • A red balloon hovers mid-frame against a dusking sky
    April 11, 2019 | Meetra Javed
    Denisse Leon / Unsplash The Beginning Mother gave birth during an earthquake. She screamed, Mera bucha – my child. Inhaling, exhaling, withdrawing – Mera bucha mere pa...
  • A black and photo of a long shadow cast across what looks like a piano keyboard
    April 9, 2019 | Gary Fincke
    Richard Smith, “Piano Shadow” / Flickr A day without news. Left behind, last night’s lead story – a friend’s untimely death, his son surviving the head-on two miles from home. This evening, my n...
  • Thick sheets of ice warp to reveal a dark hole within
    March 26, 2019 | Brandon Rushton
    Ellenm1, ice formations, Barton Dam, Michigan / Flickr Dismissed from some other duty the drawbridge attendant questions the stability of days. As in: how long until what we’ve been holding on to...
  • A painting of a brown dog with just his head emerging from brown waters
    March 14, 2019 | Jonathan Fink
    A detail from Francisco Goya, The Drowning Dog, ca. 1820–23 / Museo Nacional del Prado I wish that I could find myself asleep tonight             in a house on the banks of the Manzanares,        ...
  • Coffee dregs sitting at the bottom of a red cup, as shot from above
    March 5, 2019 | Ruxandra Cesereanu, Gabriela Melinescu, Ioana Ileana Șteţco
    Iain Broadfoot, “Epic abstract art” (coffee dregs) / Flickr   The Storyteller by Ruxandra Cesereanu Just like that, we used to talk together in the café, not sitting down...
  • A statue of a reclining figure in a cemetery
    February 26, 2019 | Salvador Espriu
    Photo by Daniel García Peris / Flickr   The Pounding of Hoes The pounding of hoes — don’t you hear them? Behind high stone walls, unceasing, yet slow, beyond the folds of time. T...
  • A sculpted bust of the minotaur, who seems boyish and frail
    February 21, 2019 | Stephen Eric Berry
    Mercè Cañadell, The Young Minotaur and Ariadne / Photo by William Murphy Night Shift at the Globe I am the Master Leafblower, a.k.a. Tornado in Rags: Sopped, half dizzy, ears plug...
  • A desultory looking bar, decked with neon signs, presumably in Las Vegas
    February 19, 2019 | Rose Hunter
    Ty Nigh, “Atomic Liquor – Fine cocktails,” Las Vegas Desert View Overlook   the chipmunk’s prayer hands & hunched tremble munch & swipe at whiskers bat-like in front of bik...
  • Water lilies floating on the surface of blue water
    February 4, 2019 | Manash Firaq Bhattacharjee
    Natalia Rifai, “Floating Carpet,” Srinagar, Kashmir, 1990 on Agha Shahid Ali’s 70th birth anniversary February 4, 2019 I In the post office, moored to the ghat, Secret g...
  • A sculpted angel throws herself across a grave in a show of grief
    January 29, 2019 | Richard Hoffman
    Mike Schaffner, “Angel of Grief,” Glenwood Cemetery, Houston, Texas / Flickr In Which I Try to Imagine Justice   without a thought to efficiency, without a thought to deadlines, wi...
  • A large inkblot stain on white paper, through which writing on the opposite side just just be seen but not read
    January 22, 2019 | Nicholas Samaras
    The bruise of ink on white paper. The words that line transcription and record. I know I am more than this thin sheaf. The written name of my village can’t say anything about the openness of its...
  • A child's hand pressed up against glass with a moth perched on the other side
    January 17, 2019 | Sean Thomas Dougherty
    Greg Jordan, “Moth, Glass, Hand,” Sept. 2009 / Flickr Before there is sausage and bread And blood-red wine Like the light Over the great lake Are you a ship Or a sequin Something so tiny It c...
  • A black and white photo of elephants trumpeting at the edge of a water source
    December 7, 2018 | Achy Obejas
    Elephants in Etosha National Park, Namibia / Photo by Richard Jacobs on Unsplash for Reinaldo Arenas I have seen a land of regal elephants, you wrote some years ago, not many really, back w...
  • Poet Meena Alexander
    November 26, 2018 | Sudeep Sen
    Photo: Marion Ettlinger [Meena Alexander, February 17, 1951 – November 21, 2018]for David, Adam & Svati Name me a wordGreat, simple, vast as the skyA word that has,...
  • A close-up of a human foot in statue form with flowers laid before it
    October 30, 2018 | Manash Firaq Bhattacharjee 
    Statue of Gandhi along San Francisco’s Embarcadero / Courtesy of Ilya Yakubovich / Flickr To the farmers who braved the police on Gandhi’s birth anniversary The farmers left their f...
  • A woman holds up a book filled with illustrations above her head
    September 21, 2018 | Frank Sherlock, Carlos Soto-Román
    María Verónica San Martín, from In Their Memory: Human Rights Violation in Chile, 1973–1990 (2012), silkscreen, digital print. San Martín is a Chilean born, Brooklyn-based artist currently w...
  • Maps, maps, maps!
    September 4, 2018 | Brian Swann
    Photo by Andrew Neel / Unsplash   Journal, or Story Without Words And I follow the hand copying what it had written years ago,never knowing it would...
  • August 10, 2018 | K. Eltinaé
    Photo by Sabah El Basha heirloom  Ninety thousand men, women and childrendragged their dust to rivers,dams were never built for. Under six cataractslie the bones of my ancestors.Under my bed is the c...
  • A photograph of a sunrise over the waters off of Ithaca in Greece
    August 7, 2018 | Don Schofield
    Sunset on Ithaka by T. Zengerink / Flickr Once on Ithaca Walking the harbor that day, I saw a cronesitting at a loom on her front porch.Was this Penelope, I wondered, weavingin midda...
  • A close-up photograph of two orange flowers with lavender at their center
    August 2, 2018 | Shakti Chattopadhyay
    Photo by Paul Streltsov / Unsplash   Grief that is now old, I ask it to come and sit near me today.I’m sitting, there’s my shadow, and if grief indeed comes and sits beside meI will feel quite good;...
  • The author, Samantha Thornhill, smiling broadly
    July 26, 2018 | Samantha Thornhill
    Photo: Peter Dressel Protective by defaultaffectionate by design apron, youare my mother:sweet bread bakingblue veins racingdown white expansedotted with delicioussplatter and spill. My mother woreyo...
  • A close-up detail of sunlight on a body of water
    July 18, 2018 | Linda Hogan
    Photo by Michał Mancewicz / Unsplash Bathing with Tender Care And not this time the body of my child,but my own skin, loving the wrinkled kneesand the scars dealt t...
  • June 26, 2018 | paula ilabaca núñez
    Photo (left to right) - Translator Rowena Galavitz (courtesy of  Emerson Richards) and author Paula Ilabaca Núñez   Hell hang the heartsBlack and dull as the...

World Literature Today
630 Parrington Oval, Suite 110
Norman, OK 73019-4037
405-325-4531



Updated by World Literature Today: [email protected]