Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Three Poems by Karla Linn Merrifield

Where in the world am I without °?
No other notation measures up
to my °, superscript hero.
° gives me latitude and longitude:
N43°.37”         W78°.08”—
° coordinates the geography of home.
I’m not lost.
° adorns numerals to indicate
the angle of afternoon repose: 45°.
I’m napping.
°, of 360°, perfects the circle;
° denotes Mandela circumferences.
I’m not straight; ° rounds me out.
° warms me up with space-heater BTUs:
85°F. Toasty. Mmmm.
The clear-nighted ° of autumn chills
my bones to 5.555555555555555°C.
C-c-cold to my skin. Brrr.
But ° blankets me.
How cool is that?
Clever Lintner-° of enzymatic activity,
clever Lovibond-° transparency, I swoon.
° is my precise seducer.
                                    for Michael G. Smith

a version
prompted to social justice
poverty        prison
divided once again
just or not
divided                  different
contrast this
triumphalist rendering
chosen               righteous
one view
familiar     patriotic
elegance     grace
a new age
breaking of the chains of slavery
          honoring the

Spot On
immodesty whimsy
universal constants
of mythical nymphs
beauty is the beast
stolen lost forever
transferred violently
gray curls fall haphazardly
blues do charmlessly
not fatal but final
the virgin-hag’s scars

A nine-time Pushcart-Prize nominee and National Park Artist-in-Residence, Karla Linn Merrifield has had over 500 poems appear in dozens of journals and anthologies.  She has eleven books to her credit, the newest of which is Bunchberries, More Poems of Canada, a sequel to Godwit:  Poems of Canada (FootHills), which received the Eiseman Award for Poetry.  Her poem "See:  Love" was a finalist for the 2015 Pangaea Prize.  She is assistant editor and poetry book reviewer for The Centrifugal Eye, a member of the board of directors of Just Poets (Rochester, NY), and a member of the New Mexico State Poetry Society, the Florida State Poetry Society and TallGrass Writers Guild.  Visit her blog, Vagabond Poet, at http://karlalinn.blogspot.com.

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