Poetry

  • Swallows. Photo by Kenneth Cole Schneider/Flickr
       By G. Mend-Ooyo
    Swallows. Photo by Kenneth Cole Schneider/Flickr The Swallows G. Mend-Ooyo  Returning from afar, swallows in flocksEmbrace the tales of the gentle, tranquil steppe.The waters of eter...
  • Photo by Katerina Cheiladaki
    Photo by Katerina Cheiladaki Translator’s note: Arvanitika, or Arberishte as it is called in the Corinthian mountain vill...
  • Jesus Never Understood My Grandmother's Prayers
       By Mikeas Sánchez
    Photo by Marjan Lazarevski     Jesucristo’is Ja’ Ñäjktyäj’ya Äj’ Tzumama’is Kyionuksku’y Äj’ tzumama’is ja’ myuspäkä’ kastiya’orenatzu’ jyambä’ä ngyomis’kyionukskutyamnatzu’ xaä’ tumä nabdzu’jyambäu...
  • Andrés Neuman. Photo by Simon Hurst
       By Andrés Neuman
    The Gardener  I learned to plant trees with my grandfather.“The willows need more water than you, Andrés,and their rootsin the beginning aren’tvery deep.Sometimes they grow so fastand sometimes they...
  • Nathalie Handal with her camera.
       By Nathalie Handal
    Author note: These flash semi-témoignages or reportages are inspired by stories people told me It began as a personal acco...
  • The Stream
       By Michael Cope
      How tenderly the stream flowsamong the numberless blossomswhose heads dip and weavein the tepid east wind, how warmthe insect tune, and multitudethe ripe green grasses, rank on rankthrough which i...
  •    By Niyi Osundare
      Wishes Wish I could still laugh with the lotusOn the bank of the Nile  Take off my clothes And dive into the Zambezi  Join spirit dancersIn the middle of the Ganges Romp with the RioTo the...
  • Photo by Gwaga
    Photo by Gwaga Little Men  Animals no longer speakDrums refuse to beatTanganyika slowly retreats From her shoresBloodied by the nightmare of menWhose pettiness piercesThe deep slumber of the ancient...
  • Photo by Pieter Stockmans “Syrian refugees go about their business in a refugee camp in Mafraq, Jordan . . .”  Ropes on poles, jeans & shirts fla...
  • Maize Flower
    Translators’ Note Juan Hernández Ramírez describes both Nahuatl and Spanish as mirrors for his writing: “sirven de espejo, kewak se teskatl.” He does not write solely in one...
  • Photo by Kables/Flickr Their language rolls out, soft carpet in front of them.Strolling slowly beneath trees, men in white shirts, belts, baggy trousers,women in scarves,glinting cigarettes in the d...
  • Clay Tablet Bearing the World’s First Alphabet That had comemuch later – After everythingalready had happened – Without witnessthe first stammered wordthis atomic flash forevercontaminating the oblivi...
  •    By Achy Obejas
    The first time I saw your father,I stared back into the pool at your reflectionwhile he waded through,the water moving in gentle circles away from us. The first time, I thought it was the Nilewe’d dip...
  •    By Amjad Nasser
    I Before what happened happened,I mean, before the towers became a stairway to the dayof reckoning, and the world split into twocamps, water and sand,I used to wish that I’d be among the poetswho woul...
  •    By Lauren Camp
    Letter to Baghdad Even if my father never speaks a word of it, I will knowhe brought a candle, a cough, and the occupied side of his heart.I will know the trees held him, that they rose above roofline...
  •    By Arif Shah
    The Cricket Match They have fooled us, friends, got us all to gaze night and day at the television,Entrusted us with the cricket match,While they go and steal the country’s resources, we watch the ma...
  •    By Karen J. Weyant
    Late three times for work, so it’s night shiftor my job. I’m eighteen, no experience, broke,so I make the deal. I wear jeans and a T-shirt:Shop at Ray’s for the Best Deals Around,a message more pertin...
  •    By Alan Morrison
    [Download the e-book Blaze A Vanishing by Alan Morrison] Alan Morrison's e-book Blaze A Vanishing is available here in its entirety as a WLT web exclusive to go along with...
  • Sandy stands in the designer-wear sectionof a suburban department storein her best jeans and a cheery holidaysweater picked up at the Goodwill.The Muzak versions of Christmas carolsleave a hollow ache...
  • I try to tell my brother not to call himself a “go-fer”just because he fetches cardboard  for women shouting, “Bring me a double order,”  who get paid by the piece. A thin vibration against her machin...
  •    By Aaron Rudolph
    “You’re a big guy. You should be working construction.”                                                             – a woman in line at Kmart   Every time I swung a sledgehammer,shattered the faces o...
  •    By Levi Romero
    maybe we should just writeand see what happens  and what if something does?could we live with ourselvesif nothing did?  nothing has in such a long timeand yet that’s a lie too didn’t you just laugh, s...
  •    By Jason Poudrier
    Blind dog staccato howlsin regular intervals in four-four time,on guard like me, can’t sleep.Am I happier here?When in we talked like cellmates,“How many years you got?” Wife alongside, “Wish that dam...
  •    By Joseph Millar
    Love picks its way through the gravel rutsleading into the job site, past the truck tiresexploded nearby, the crows’ rusted voices, blackwings and feet, cottonwoods risen in ghostlyfields and the leve...
  •    By Dorianne Laux
    When I was young and had to rise at 5 a.m.I did not look at the lamplight slicingthrough the blinds and say: Once againI have survived the night. I did not raisemy two hands to my face and whisper:Thi...

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