Poetry

  • A photograph of a door in a pink wall through which we can see another doorway that opens into an orange room
       By Coral Bracho
    Photo: Analusie Gamboa / Unsplash There were neither plots nor characters, only places. Neighborhoods sliced in half. Terraces and corridors between roofless rooms. Profiles only.  Staggered sp...
  • An oil painting of mesas and bluffs
       By Joy Harjo
    Winter Sun, 2017, oil on wood panel, by Kay WalkingStick. Courtesy of the artist and June Kelly Gallery Bless this land from the top of its head to the bottom of its feet        From th...
  • The lights in an operating room warming up for use
       By Fatemeh Shams
    They had to remove it and off we went: A transparent image of bones chained together; Half face, three-quarters, full face of the fingers stretched out,      fingers without recognizable lines, i...
  • A tall stone temple dominates the shoreline of a wide river, bathed in the colors of sunset
       By Kedarnath Singh
    Temple in Varanasi / Photo by Saurabh Chatterjee / Flickr Spring descends on this city suddenly and when it does a whirl of dust rises from Lehartara or Manduadih and coats the tongue of this...
  • Close up photograph of pollen on a plant
       By Marjorie Evasco
      Farol de Combate  This is how, while darkness  drew my profile with its little finger  I have learned to see past as Montale saw it,  The obscure thoughts of God descending ...
  • Spectators stand on a stone overlook that juts on to a wooded lake that sits at the foot of foggy mountains
       By Major Jackson
    Photo: Picker H/Flickr  November in Xichang  There are cities one won’t see again. – Joseph Brodsky   I. Only a bearded smile shows below a conical hat turning men to rice...
  • A black and white photo of phone booths, tagged with graffiti and lit up from the inside
       By Renátó Fehér
    Photo: Brian Ainsworth/Flickr Borderland (2) Moored in an estuary of chestnut trees is the main building – a mother ship. The sharp-eyed gaze eventually settles, studying the faç...
  • A wildflower sprouts from a mossy forest floor
       By Gemma Gorga
    Photo: M. Maggs/Pixabay La bona educació L’estiu que complia set anys li van regalar un estoig de fusta amb un llapis i una goma.  El llapis, perquè en rosegués la mina fins a tr...
  • A blue parakeet looks at the camera from behind the wire of his cage
       By Myronn Hardy
    Photo: Simon Q/Flickr A patch of sunlight on the wall     thin shadows like worn nets or the snagged stockings  of a voracious lover impair that patch. Our shoes tap the marble stairs down-down....
  • A darkly lit shot from above looking down into a blooming cabbage
    PHOTO: Scott Webb/Unsplash * Tulips and their capricious labia, their indecent appeal. The absolute shamelessness of the flowers, but also the sinlessness. The lushness of the earth, as before the...
  • A close shot of a name plate embedded in the street
       By Alexander Booth
    Lorie Shaull, “Stolperstein” / Flickr The story begins like this. No. It does not. There is no story. Or, they shoveled a load of speed and shuddered toward the coast. Saltpans. Sparse groupings of...
  • A shot from from a hill near Kukupalong refugee camp near Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh of refugees streaming in and out of the camp
       By Mayyu Ali
    View of the Kukupalong refugee camp near Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh. / PHOTO: Russell Watkins / UK Department of International Development “I can be killed here in Bangladesh. My body can earn a...
  • Rohingya children in a school in a refugee camp
       By Rohingya Poets
    Rohingya students reading The Blossom in the Community Rebuilding Centre education facility in Cox’s Bazaar refugee camp, ​​​​October 2018. Photo courtesy of Mayyu Ali. Translator’s note:...
  • A collage combining old bacterial slides with other mixed media, organized in rectangles
    Crystal Z Campbell, Friends of Friends (Six Degrees of Separation), 4x6x72 inches, vintage collection of bacteria slides circa 1940s, steel, LED strips, automotive paint, plexiglas, 2013 do...
  • A double-exposed image of the moon, tinged red
       By Xiao An
    PHOTO: Luca Iaconelli/Unsplash Watching the Moonrise Alone Watching the moonrise alone the silent moon is like the person watching They’re alone together No one utters a single w...
  • A close-up photograph of a wood match burning
       By Clemonce Heard
    PHOTO:  SkitterPhoto/Pexels considering the Upstairs Lounge Fire  We tipped our sticks to the gravel like the bent spines of men groveling beneath trunks of smoke to lure the barbed larvae...
  • Branches of a York gum tree intertangle against a blue sky
       By John Kinsella
    Photo: Casliber/Wikimedia Commons We have been away from Jam Tree Gully – now, reapproaching the name not on the gate. Working the categories, the signs, we fear the raiders? Fifteen minutes into b...
  • Two ripe plums hang from a tree branch
       By Blanca Garnica
    Photo: Domeckopol/Pixabay  6 His under- wear  white Armpits  spotless and collar neat From Monday to Monday he is like that because the drainpipe carries off the rest.   12 Before me their f...
  • A thrashing figure in shadow immersed in water
       By Ennio Moltedo
    Photo: Bash Fish/Unsplash   1 At what time must the birds lined up in gardens, trees, and cages sing? Look to the law.   2 Let’s appoint the village madman. Chief Justice on the Court of Appeals, wit...
  • A turbulent wave, capped with foam, from above
       By Khal Torabully
    Photo: Michael Olsen/Unsplash [Carry my metaphor] Carry my metaphor; I touched the sea before waves deceived me. Carry my dream; I saw it all without opening eyes of salt. Carry my soul; I met dea...
  • A fiery sunset pauses before dipping below the ocean's horizon
    Photo: Kordula Vahle/Pixabay * Granaries as long  and winding as the shores from which we look  at the lit ocean, behind us the fertile land, rivers coming to this sea, silt behind us thousands...
  • A purple flower against a black background, sitting on reflective surface so it appears there are two flowers
    Photo: Foto-Rabe/Pixabay   Guide to Bharatanatyam  Your smile, shredded into silver shards across panes of mirrors lining studio walls.Tuck your sari, tight. Open your eyes, wide.  You lear...
  • A blunt ink and water painting of a man offering a bird's head to a large bird figure
       By Ashur Etwebi
    In the Presence of the Simurg, by Ashur Etwebi How Can You Recognize a Blue Morning? How can you recognize a blue morning?The sea to his right, the desert to his left. What voices does the m...
  • A hand mirror is open, its dull face open to the reader, on a table
       By Mehrdad Fallah
    Photo: Ria Alfana/Unsplash   A Conversation from Far, Far Away * No linedear friendconnects here, where I am,with where you are.Isn’t it strange that I’m talking to you? The question you handed meh...
  • The sun shines through plants alongside the Han River
       By Hwang Tong-gyu
    Pampas grass on the Han River. Photo: dnlspnk/Flickr Wild Geese At the northern edge of the Han RiverI saw field-cannons marchdown the snowdrifts of the valley. Wild geese flew low.I woke to see mys...

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



Updated by World Literature Today: [email protected]