Two Poems by Sara Teasdale

Sara Trevor Teasdale, 1907

First published in her twenties, Sara Trevor Teasdale would, in a little over ten years’ time, receive the Pulitzer Prize for her 1917 poetry collection, Love Songs. A life of loneliness, a divorce, and ultimately suicide contrast sharply with expectations of happiness that such tremendous talent and early success would suggest was her due.

In 1933, Teasdale was found dead in her apartment in a bathtub of warm water at the age of 48. There was no visible evidence of suicide; however, she had been depressed and had discussed it with a friend recently. .It is often suggested that the latter of the poems below, “I Shall Not Care,” was written as a suicide note; however, it was published almost two decades before her death. Despite her relatively short life, Teasdale wrote over 600 poems and published seven collections of poetry.

The Silent Battle

In Memory of J. W. T. Jr.

HE was a soldier in that fight
Where there is neither flag nor drum,
And without sound of musketry
The stealthy foemen come.
Year in, year out, by day and night
They forced him to a slow retreat,
And for his gallant fight alone
No fife was blown, and no drum beat.
In winter fog, in gathering mist
The gray grim battle had its end—
And at the very last we knew
His enemy had turned his friend.

I Shall Not Care

When I am dead and over me bright April
Shakes out her rain-drenched hair,
Tho’ you should lean above me broken-hearted,
I shall not care.

I shall have peace, as leafy trees are peaceful
When rain bends down the bough,
And I shall be more silent and cold-hearted
Than you are now

Two Poems by William Butler Yeats

William Butler Yeats, 1903 by Alice Boughton

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) was an Irish poet whose work is quoted and regarded fondly by poets throughout the English-speaking world. Yeats was heavily inspired by Percy Shelley and Edmund Spenser in his early career, and his early works especially often contained elements of mysticism and spiritualism and sometimes of astrology and the occult. A recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature, his later work tended more toward the political and realistic; Yeats himself served two terms as a Senator in the short-lived Irish Free State. Below are two of his more famous poems, “The Second Coming” and “Sailing to Byzantium,” both of which contain lines still familiar to many due to frequent quotation.

The Second Coming

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Sailing to Byzantium

That is no country for old men. The young
In one another’s arms, birds in the trees
—Those dying generations—at their song,
The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
Caught in that sensual music all neglect
Monuments of unageing intellect.

An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
For every tatter in its mortal dress,
Nor is there singing school but studying
Monuments of its own magnificence;
And therefore I have sailed the seas and come
To the holy city of Byzantium.

O sages standing in God’s holy fire
As in the gold mosaic of a wall,
Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,
And be the singing-masters of my soul.
Consume my heart away; sick with desire
And fastened to a dying animal
It knows not what it is; and gather me
Into the artifice of eternity.

Once out of nature I shall never take
My bodily form from any natural thing,
But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
Or set upon a golden bough to sing
To lords and ladies of Byzantium
Of what is past, or passing, or to come.

“When I Must Take You Home” by Victoria Hunter

I look past the people
who look in our bus window.
I look beyond the bus driver,
to the small red speck of light
that develops like blood as it grows.

I hear loose iron crank, ready to fall apart
like the legs of an old person,
and then a screech, as they are restrained
against the over-salted road.

I smell old grease from fried chicken
and the faint foul blends of sweat
in poor labor work
and sheds of old homeless skin.

I feel a touch of spring, not yet entirely grown
I turn to you, shake you just a little,
like the fall morning,
when you first open the front door
and I say, “Wake up, wake up, we’re home,
this is where we get off,
and you stagger to your feet,
like a baby after falling,
grasping at bars and arms,
that aren’t there.

“When I Must Take You Home” first appeared in Writers and Readers

Victoria Hunter is from Pennsylvania and loves to write, read, and travel. She was a nominee for the 2020 Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. She has received awards from online writing communities and has completed various writing courses. Her poem above, “When I Must Take You Home,” placed in the 2020 Poetry Super Highway Contest. Her work has appeared in Better Than Starbucks, Sparks of Calliope, The Stray Branch, Writing in a Woman’s Voice, Black Telephone, and Down in the Dirt, among others.

Two Poems by Arthur Dick

Gone Away

The stiff fingers of winter’s cold
are warming by the fire,
where heat like waves of molten gold
reflect of my desire
to fill the dark and lengthy night
descending on this land
with memories of pure delight
that night I held your hand;
but as the embers now grow dim
the vision starts to fade—
you dedicate your life to him,
and I’m here in the shade.
Even though you’ve gone away,
I feel your fire every day.

Warbler Song

Shining pink, the clouds at dawn
inspire warblers into song,
and walking through the frosted lawn
I wonder if I would belong
if I could sing that joyous tune,
and fill the air like sweet perfume
so all the town would bend and swoon
and dance and sing in golden plume.

Arthur Dick was born in 1983 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Music filled his life from the day he was born, which led to his passion for poetry. Freedom, Peace, and Unity, his first self-published book of poetry, is available on

“The Missing Piece” by Lisa Flanagan

A river runs on a muddy note
and I bring along my husband’s fisherman‘s hat
with black grapes I had for lunch.
They grumble and are not confident about this journey as I am.
All is well now.

My sister, Bea, answers her phone and cries deeply.
The autopsy is in.
She remembers our heads snuggling in
laughing over misplaced puzzle pieces over ruby red glasses of wine
and salt and vinegar potato chips.
We could never find the piece that showed the blue sky.
With Bea, her complexion was of a creamy white buttermilk hue
and icy blue eyes.
Her waif-like structure was prominent amongst the men.

I was so they said the smart one
hands numb from a thyroid condition
The stutterer who liked to collect stamps.

But the river runs between my toes
warm like chocolate syrup
I think this is what it must feel like to be a mother
delightfully sweet, hard and terrifying

I take my husband’s fisherman’s hat and place it on my head
even now I don’t want the sunlight to catch my hair dye
and turn it a stringy yellow
That is the gift I can share
the gift of hair, my legacy
Wavy, full, and sleek
not too hot, not too cold
says the Mamma bear
of a canine
I worry about Jake
how he will be without me
But, just maybe he’ll find the sky blue puzzle piece and
Drooly, drop it to my husband’s feet.

Lisa Flanagan lives with her husband, Lee, and their magical canine, Sam.  Her poems have been published in various New Jersey newspapers on the 9/11 and Sandy Hook tragedies.  If her poems are able to connect with someone in some way, then she has succeeded.

Two Poems by Marcello Giovanelli


You can feel him,
here, close, now,

in the early scent
of wintersweet,

your fingers pinch
memory’s pale skin,

probe its faint creases,
its hardened edges,

bedtime stories,
and traces in the snow.

And together you sing
as twin birds, limbs

outstretched, flightless,
to the point of breaking,

and all unwarmed
in the January sun.

Sun Grazes

I waited on the corner
of Coniston Avenue,
as you slowly walked

towards me, all newly
satchelled, wedged hair,
red jumper, coral eyes,

and those sun grazes
gently touching
the side of your head.

I can still feel those low
November clouds
hurrying you away,

the loss of colour,
a fine soot of
memories overlaid.

But now, slowly,
small and bird-like,
cradled between

warmed finger-tips
you’re here,
and those sun grazes,

brilliant once more,
gently touch you still.

Marcello Giovanelli teaches English in the West Midlands, UK. He has previously published poems in various online magazines such as The Poetry Village and Poetry Plus. Find him on Twitter at @mmgiovanelli.

Two Poems by Lee Evans

Quaker Blossoms


A Friend was Richard Galloway,
But Samuel, his great grandson,
Built Tulip Hill on the slave trade—
Estate so proudly Georgian.

Nearby, upon the burial ground,
George Fox proclaimed the Inner Light
To those whose shriveled corpses now
Lie vacant where his words took flight.


Ten thousand years or more ago,
The first Algonquin settled here
Beside the sprawling Bay we know,
With glaciers melting on their heels.

They signed a pact with colonists,
Beneath a spreading Tulip Tree—
Today where Saint John’s College lists
The World’s Great Books for us to read.


In childhood I explored the hill
My father built our home upon;
Where Tulip Poplars’ flowers filled
Their boughs and dropped across the lawn.
How sweet it was to contemplate
Their petals cupped and yellow-green,
With red and orange glowing faint,
Like passions fading from past scenes!


Employed to search out, sort and track
Old records at your next request,
I browsed an Archives’ moldered stacks
Of rags and wood to pages pressed.

Without direction, like sere leaves
That tumble through autumnal fields,
I turned life’s pages uselessly—
What harvest could such idling yield?


From what I read between the lines
Of Quaker Records, I will quote
The whispers of the wind that winds
Its circuits through old Poplar groves:

What does it mean? A child squats low,
And lifts one fallen flower to view
Its pigments in the dew drops’ glow,
Reflecting vistas strange and new.


The Undertaker’s face,
A mask of bloodless pain,
Conceals within its space
A crematory flame

Predestined for a corpse.
How can he not, alas,
But measure up the morgue
Of mourners who file past?

Each body he prepares,
To lovingly display
For open viewing, where
The eulogies are made.

No doubt his karma-seeds
Matured to this career.
Is it himself he sees,
Embalmed and coffined there?

Lee Evans lives with his wife in Bath, Maine, and works for the local YMCA. His work has been published in The Christendom Review, Mused: The Bella Online Literary Review, The Poetry Porch, and other places. Lee has self-published several books of poetry, all of which are available on

Two Poems by Donald Wheelock

For My Sake

The barn I love to write about
sinks into earth, if just this time of year.
Illusion being what it is,
the gable end has grown a trifle stout;
the windows have now disappeared—
the foliage is responsible for this.

The sumac that was hacked away—
was it just four years ago?—has grown
to match the metal roof in height.
The antique aspect of the barn’s display—
the weathered boards, their care postponed—
the vegetation has now masked from sight.

But this old barn will rise again,
if only by illusion. The heat will break.
Fall will clear the view of leaves,
turn brown the hills and fields of grain,
and as a favor for my sake,
revive its dignity from sills to eaves.

First Solo Drive at Night

I’ll watch you leave the house, your maiden trip
an inspiration by the winter fire;
I’ll stand watch by the kitchen door, admire
your firm resolve, your mock stiff upper lip,
the poise with which you stock your purse
with tissues, find your keys, your charging phone,
and walk the short way to the car alone.
These and other details I rehearse,
if only to myself: nighttime driving
is, for the first time, challenging enough,
without the fear of post-surgical stuff,
the unrelenting thought of just arriving.
A daughter you could be, your stage in life
youth’s next threshold—but no, you are my wife.

Donald Wheelock has published many poems in journals that welcome formal poetry. His chapbook In the Sea of Dreams is available at Gallery of Readers Press, Northampton, MA. His first full-length book of poetry, It’s Hard Enough to Fly, will be issued in the fall of 2022 by Kelsay Books.

Two Poems by Michelle DeRose


for Parker

Before your name was known,
I crept down creaking stairs at three
to satisfy our craving for Cheerios.
You spoke with sonar,
squirmed to float your needs,
unformed lips and absent teeth
two fewer tools for symbols
I could misconstrue.

When we were separated, you cried
to speak again in the language of fluid,
to lament the severed syncromesh.
And the sunlight hurt your eyes.

You see beauty I no longer recognize
in the dry leaf latched onto the dog’s tail
deposited in the corner,
and in the copper flashing of a penny
as it skates across the floor.
Only if I squeeze my eyes hard enough
can I still see silver.

Rooted in the inefficiency of words,
I am suspended beyond recollection
of the worlds that merged in me
and spend my life unlearning the perfect language.

Letting Go

One day you drop your mother’s hand,
a sudden chill in sweaty creases,
and cross the street alone. She releases
your bike seat. You jolt and wobble
without the weight. You hang
your school jacket in your sister’s closet.
It’s her room now, anyway.
You bag up slacks with narrow waistlines
for Goodwill, return the office keys
to HR. Life is learning when
to let go, hoping the red
balloon has lofted you to safety
and will fly far beyond
the volley of deflating stones.

Michelle DeRose teaches creative writing and African-American, Irish, and world literature at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Her most recent poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Dunes Review, Making Waves, The Journal of Poetry Therapy, and Healing Muse.

“Upwelling” by Carole Greenfield

Last hour, last day before break, alone in an empty classroom, is when
I hear them, sleigh bells, silver jangling in the air, then steady thudding.
Before I can leave my chair, a line of children gallop by, shaking
handbells. By the time I reach the doorway, they are past me, heading down
the corridor. No one sees me watching, not even the child at the
end, my Alejandro. Alejandro, who tries to speak English, gets
embarrassed, says, “Forget it,” folds his arms and closes up his face.
Alejandro, whose sudden smiles I can count on one hand and still have
a finger or two left to hope on. Alejandro, a skeptic at
seven, if not yet a confirmed cynic. This same person brandishes
his bell on high, proclaims to the world, “I like!” and leaps twice in the air,
rounds the corner, vanishes from view. I stare at the space that held him,
bells, echoes of clear joy resounding, reminding me of secret hearts
that try to reach the surface no matter how much weight we make them bear.

upwelling: the rising of deep, cold waters to shallower depths in response to reduced surface pressures

Carole Greenfield was raised in Colombia and now lives in New England. Her work has appeared in Red Dancefloor, Gulfstream, The Sow’s Ear, Women’s Words: Resolution, Arc, and is forthcoming in The Eunoia Review.