Saturday, June 1, 2024

SUMMER ISSUE 2024 Responses to "Ode on a Grecian Urn" by John Keats


Responses to John Keats's "Ode on a Grecian Urn"


As this issue presents poems that are a response to John Keats’s “Ode on a Grecian Urn,” you may wish to read Keats’s poem again, or, perhaps, for the first time.  The poem is easy to find on the Internet, but here is a link to the Poetry Foundation’s presentation of Keats’s well known poem: Ode on a Grecian Urn by John Keats | Poetry Foundation Comparing what Keats’s wrote to what our poets of today wrote as compliments—or even as arguments—can be very engaging. (CAS)

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Unless otherwise indicated, all art is taken from "royalty-free" Internet sources. 


Chief Executive Editor

Steven Wittenberg Gordon



Terri L. Cummings

Charles A. Swanson

Guest Art Editor

Clayton Spencer 

Associate Editor

Clayton Spencer


Frequent Contributors

Terri Lynn Cummings

Steven Wittenberg Gordon

John C. Mannone

Karla Linn Merrifield

Vivian Finley Nida

Clayton Spencer

Howard F. Stein

Charles A. Swanson

Tyson West



Biographies of our editorial staff & frequent contributors may be found on the "Our Staff" page.

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A Letter from the Co-Editor-in-Chief

Terri L. Cummings

Featured Frequent Contributor

Karla Linn Merrifield

“Dear new Muse,”


“Pillow Talk”

Other Frequent Contributors


Steven Wittenberg Gordon

“Ode on Donatello's Saint George”


Vivian Finlay Nida

“Ode on The Two Sisters Reading

“Ode on Sleeping Gypsy


John C. Mannone

“John Keats on 'Ode on a Grecian Urn' in Other Words”


Terri L. Cummings



Howard F. Stein

“From Ekphrasis to Ekphrasis on the Surface of Keats's 

'Ode on a Grecian Urn'

“Chasing the Sun, or, A Reply of Sorts, to Keats's 

'Ode on a Grecian Urn'


Charles A. Swanson

“Ode to Sop”

“Youth Still Standing”


Tyson West

“A Hormonal Ode to Space and Time”

“Opening Day”




A Guest Poet Responds

Parks Lanier




Guest Poets


Paul A. Freeman

“Ode to the Zeer”

Melanie Faith

“In Response to Keats”


Parks Lanier

“Deconstructing Keats’s 'Grecian Urn'”


M. Benjamin Thorne

“Ode on a Plastic Starbucks Cup”


John Guzlowski

“After Reading 'Ode on a Grecian Urn'”


Marjorie Tesser

“Ode on a Grecian Erne”



Frequent Contributor News


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A Letter from the Co-Editor-in-Chief

       Summer has long been a fertile season for poets, inspiring us with lush imagery, warmth, and languid days ripe for contemplation and creativity. It kindles the imagination and invites the poetic soul to blossom.

       For many poets, the summer months and longer days provide an escape from daily life's usual demands and routines. With schools on break and leave from work, there is more time to immerse oneself fully in reading and writing.

       During afternoons spent outdoors scribbling in notebooks, words may flow freely as a gentle summer breeze. The buzzing of bees, the fragrance of flowers, and the caress of the sun's rays become vivid details to capture on the page.

       Summer abounds with experiences and memories that spark inspiration. Recollections of childhood summers spent exploring hidden glades, chasing fireflies at twilight, and watching storms roll across the skies often find their way into a story. 

       Family gatherings, festivals, and fairs provide rich cultural details and traditions to weave into literary works. And for those who travel during summer, new landscapes and encounters await to deepen perspectives and infuse writing with transcendent meaning.

       Themes of growth, passion, abundance, and impermanence resonate deeply during this ephemeral season. Poems may tap into the mystique of high summer nights alive with possibility and mystery. Writers may embrace the sensuality, romance, and languid quality that summer's heat seems to cast over all it touches.

       While summer is the peak period for poetic creativity for some writers, for others, it is simply another turn of the seasonal wheel, providing fresh perspectives and inspiration. Regardless of when the words flow most prolifically for you, embracing summer's spirit will enliven your work.

        Let this summer's siren call awaken your artistic soul. Pick up the pen and unearth the essence of this season as you write.


Best regards,

Terri L. Cummings


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Featured Frequent Contributor

Dear new Muse,

free verse

Karla Linn Merrifield



Be gentle      until

     I’m ready to be fierce      again.

                     Go now with me     there.


Be patient      until

     lines prepare     to submit     again.

          Go now slowly     here     with me.




Be cool California jazzy     until

     syllables’ rhythm     syn-co-pates     again—

          go fingering blue-noted pianos beside me.


Be Neruda     willing to please     until

     Shelley or Keats or Wordsworth informs these needs

        to rhyme and sonnetize     again     desire.



I am a poet    of delicious syntheses;

come now     enspirit     entwine.


                                  for Nicolas Eckerson


Editor’s Notes:  Merrifield’s poem reads like a love letter, and the spacing denotes pauses, forcing the reader to slow down, consider the words, the meanings, the music, the “delicious synthesis” or fusion of two entwined spirits. Nice reference to Neruda’s love poems and “willingness to please.” Merrifield knows how to court a smile from this reader. TLC

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Karla Linn Merrifield


Truth is intimate.
Objective correlative?
Poet serves her Muse.

(Painting by John Sloan)


Editor’s Notes:  Does truth imply intimacy, and does intimacy imply truth? Are those the objectives when the “poet serves her muse?” Were those Neruda’s objectives in his “willingness to please” as mentioned in Merrifield’s first poem (above), “Dear new Muse?”  Those are the questions Merrifield leaves each of us to answer in our own way. TLC

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Pillow Talk

free verse

Karla Linn Merrifield


I fall asleep thinking of stuff

that falls out of trucks,

my decorative pillow

a prompt, a prop,

the one crudely tapestried

with a Grecian urn’s ladies motif,

brown on white, c. 1977.

My girlfriend two doors down

in our Jamaica Heights apartment building

gave it to me. C’mon, girl, I’ve got plenty.

While on the way to Levittown’s Bloomies

it in its carton somehow tumbled off the semi

on the LIE and Donna’s sis

was conveniently on the scene.

Go figure: For twenty-four years

I’ve been dreaming on stolen merchandise.


Editor’s Notes:  Merrifield uses a pillow as her response to Keats’s ode. I enjoy the final line’s conceit as well as the overall one. Funny! TLC

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Other Frequent Contributors

Ode on Donatello’s Saint George

After Ode on a Grecian Urn by John Keats

Steven Wittenberg Gordon


Not cast in bronze. Of marble are you made

Brave George the Patron Saint of Armorer’s Guild.

Within your niche in Florence have you stayed

The ever-watchful guard behind your shield,

And not in contrapposto do you stand,

But with both feet firm planted side by side

From which you draw the power of the earth

Exuding both stability and pride.

The strength of solid rock at your command

Absorbed into your legs of mighty girth.


Emblazoned on your shield your sacred cross,

Reminder of the mighty God you serve.

Defender! Never are you at a loss

Of fortitude, of courage, or of nerve.

Your shield the base of which is duly placed

To rotate easily to any face,

For enemies from all directions come

And you are ever ready to keep pace

To conquer them and push them back disgraced.

Shield of the Faithful! Shield of hearth and home!


You hold no sword, nor scabbard do you bear.

Faith in the Lord! Of naught else do you need.

For He your weapon is. He leaves you ne’er

But ever present in your ev’ry deed.

Your burning Fealty is your flaming blade!

What scabbard could contain such Lordly might?

Nor thunderbolt, nor earthquake, nor great wave,

Nor force of comet streaking through the night

Could ever match the power at your aid!

No better sword ‘tis possible to have.


No helmet doth your comely head adorn--

You boldly show your face to all your foes.

Your curly locks in martial manner shorn

No wind disturbs no matter how it blows.

Your visage, carved in stone, forever set,

Not grim, but burning with a holy gleam,

Composed, resolved, poised, tranquil, and serene,

An otherworldly energy doth beam

A face that knows not guilt, shame nor regret,

A countenance of noble air and mien.


Your gaze directed up and to the left,

And eyes that focus on a target far.

Such orisons! Such mystery! Such heft

Projects from them! To war! To war! To war!

What distant enemy do you espy?

What awful, dread calamity awaits?

What devilry? What nemesis? What threat?

What horror has been brought you by the Fates?

Is it your dragon menacing on high?

Your eyes speak all. No worries. No regrets.


Poet’s Notes: I considered this issue’s theme to be an ekphrastic challenge, as Keats’s ode is, after all, an ekphrastic poem. I was introduced to Donatello’s Saint George about forty years ago in an art history course at Amherst College. Sometimes, a work of art leaves a lasting impression, influences or changes one’s life, even. Donatello’s sculpture had this effect on me. Keats had the advantage of being able to wax poetic about different scenes depicted on his urn, which had to be an amalgam of many such sculptures. However, Donatello’s Saint George easily inspired my ode—from the bottom to the top.


Editor(s) Notes:  This poem has muscle, and the muscle shouts out in the voice.  I like that.  CAS   

Gordon follows Keats’s rhyme scheme and meter without a hitch and manages to “wax poetic” in his ode. His poetic heart and skill shine here. TLC  


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Ode on The Two Sisters Reading

            Painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1889)


Vivian Finley Nida


Two sisters reading, settle side by side today.

They’re half way through shared book, both mesmerized today.


Perhaps it’s Victor Hugo’s tale, Les Misérables.

Who steals, hides past, saves lives, finds love, greets bride today?


The sister with blonde hair swept up with tortoise comb

lifts page to turn as soon as justified today.


The other’s titian hair gleams twisted in a bun.

She steadies book whose spell can’t be denied today.


They’re dressed for going out in dark blue matching tops,

long dresses—rusty red, with sashes tied today.


But here they’ll stay, anticipate what lies ahead.

I won’t disturb.  They’re set to read inside today.


Poet’s Notes:  In “Ode on a Grecian Urn,” an ekphrastic poem that follows a set form, John Keats writes, “When old age shall this generation waste, /Thou shalt remain….”  This prompted me to write an ekphrastic poem about Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s painting, The Two Sisters Reading.  They have been reading since 1889.  Hopefully, they will be seen reading forever. 

                The painting is one of my favorites because my sister and I have always shared a love of books, and, like these sisters, we often wore matching dresses, sewn by our mother.  The sisters could be reading Les Misérables by Victor Hugo, since it was published in 1862, but I chose it because my hometown is Hugo, Oklahoma.  The town was founded in 1901, and its name was recommended by Mrs. W.H. Darrough, a fan of the French writer Victor Hugo

                Since the painting features two sisters, I decided to write in couplets, specifically a ghazal (pronounced “guzzle”).  The ghazal has syntactically and grammatically complete couplets and a rhyme scheme. Each couplet ends on the same word or phrase and is preceded by the couplet’s rhyming word, which appears twice in the first couplet. The last couplet includes a proper name, often the poet’s, but some poets use the pronoun “I,” which I did.  


Editor’s Notes:  Nida’s choice of a ghazal to contain her ekphrastic poem gives readers a newer form to ponder as they read her interpretation of Renoir’s painting. Her ghazal is particularly effective in the final stanza, where she fulfills its requirement (see above) with the pronoun “I.”  A nice surprise. TLC


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Ode on Sleeping Gypsy

            Painting by Henri Rousseau (1897)

free verse

Vivian Finley Nida


She’s sleeping now

in a desert like any desert

with scorching sands,

roaring winds,


like the Sahara in Egypt

with the Great Pyramid,

the Thar in India

where dinosaurs feasted on plants


and the one in New Mexico,

Dead Man’s Journey,

where the first nuclear explosion

turned sand to green glass.


Her desert’s wrinkled,

seared by fire in sky,

cool beneath full moon,

no whisper of clouds.


In dreamscape, she lies

in long striped robe, eyes closed.

Behind her, a lion stands,

placid as a sentinel.


A walking stick’s beneath her hand,

clay water jar’s nearby,

and mandolin’s on mat with her,

yearning to be held.


An outsider,

I will never know her songs,

the language of her legends,

the timbre of her voice,


but imagine they embrace

the ones she loves,

who wait for her,

who let her dream.


Poet’s Notes:  In “Ode on a Grecian Urn,” an ekphrastic poem, John Keats writes, “Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought.”  The silent forms in Sleeping Gypsy, like those on Keats’ urn, open our curiosity.  What has happened in the past?  What is happening now, and what will happen next? “Ode on Sleeping Gypsy” is an ekphrastic, free verse poem.  The truth of this beautiful art is that these questions prompt as many different ideas as the individuals who study it. 


Editor’s Notes:  Nida’s ode addresses vulnerability and innocence symbolized in this painting, as well as the dangers that lurk in life. Her words suggest a nomadic gypsy’s freedom and disinterest in earthly possessions. She gathers the painting’s clues and offers Rousseau’s story to us through simple language crafted with care for ear and tongue. TLC


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    John Keats on “Ode on a Grecian Urn” in Other Words

I find that I cannot exist without poetry—without eternal poetry—John Keats in a letter to J. H. Reynolds, Carisbrooke, England, April 18, 1817

cento: all 55 poetic lines are from the poetry of John Keats

John C. Mannone        



Where are the songs of spring? 

Let us inspect the lyre, and weigh the stress 

of every chord, and see what may be gained

in some melodious plot by ear industrious. 

And pardon that your secrets should be sung.

So it is: yet let us sing, honor to the old bowstring,

honor to the bugle-horn:

heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard

are sweeter; therefore, you soft pipes, play on,

pipe to the spirit forever piping songs forever new.


A certain shape or shadow, making way with wings—

sweet birds antheming the morn, and slumber[ing]

in the arms of melody. Sweet and wandering sounds,

slow-breathed melodies breathed aloft from sacred hills.

The poetry of earth is never dead.


To Autumn, line 23; If By Dull Rhymes Our English Must Be Chain'd, lines 7, 8; Ode to a Nightingale, line 8; If By Dull Rhymes Our English Must Be Chain'd, line 9; Ode to Psyche, line 3; Robin Hood, lines 49, 50, 51; Ode on a Grecian Urn, lines 11, 12, 14, 24; Hyperion, lines 122/123; Fancy, line 42; Hyperion, lines 193, 207, 208, 187; On the Grasshopper and Cricket, line 1



Here, where men sit and hear each other groan

all the gloom and sorrow of the place on the cold

hill’s side when the frost has wrought a silence—

the flaw of rain—and no birds sing.


Silent is the ivory shrill, quiet as a stone, still

as the silence of snow upon the mountains

and the moors. The chains lie silent on the

footworn stones when the soundless earth

is muffled.


And in the midst of this wide quietness,

is nearest unto heaven. And I awoke and found

me here, my sleep had been embroidered with dim

dreams. Was it a vision, or a waking dream?

Do I wake or sleep?


Standing aloof in giant ignorance

in some untrodden region of my mind,

Melancholy dwells with Beauty.



Ode to a Nightingale, line 24; Hyperion, line 91; La Belle Dame sans Merci: A Ballad, line 36; On the Grasshopper and Cricket, lines 10/11; On a Dream, lines 10/11; La Belle Dame sans Merci: A Ballad, line 48; Robin Hood, line 13; Hyperion, lines 4/5; Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art, line 8; The Eve of St. Agnes line, 368; Fancy, line 19; Ode to Psyche, line 58; The Human Seasons, line 8; La Belle Dame sans Merci: A Ballad, line 43; Ode on Indolence, line 42; Ode to a Nightingale lines 79, 80; To Homer, line 1; Ode to Psyche, line 51; Ode on Melancholy, line 21



Where’s the voice, however soft, when

my weak voice shall whisper its last prayer

and moan forth witless words with many a sigh?

So came these words and went with all its

solemn noise, yet did I never breathe

its pure serene? Voices of soft proclaim,

and silver stir: beauty is truth, truth beauty.

Beauties that the earth has lost.


I cry your mercy. Sorrow more beautiful

than Beauty’s self. All you need to know:

Beautiful things made new; a thing of beauty

is a joy forever.


Fancy, line 75; The Eve of St. Agnes, lines 147, 303; Hyperion, lines 79, 57; On First Looking into Chapman's Homer, line 7; Hyperion, line 130; Ode on a Grecian Urn, line 49; Fancy line, 30; I cry your mercy-pity-love! -aye, love!, line 1; Hyperion, line 36; Ode on a Grecian Urn, line 50; Hyperion, line 132; Endymion, line 1



And when the moon, her pallid face I cannot see;

I cannot see—but darkness, death and darkness.

I am but a voice; my life is but the life of winds

and tides, and plunged all noiseless into the deep



My spirit is too weak—mortality weighs heavily

on me like unwilling sleep. Let me not wander

in a barren dream and in the icy silence of the tomb.


O Sleep! If so it pleases thee, close

—in midst of this thine hymn—my willing eyes

and seal the hushed casket of my soul.


To -, line 13; Hyperion, lines 242, 340/341, 357; On Seeing the Elgin Marbles, lines 1, 2; On Sitting Down to Read King Lear Once Again, line 12; This living hand, now warm and capable, line 3; To Sleep, lines 5, 6, 14


Poet’s Notes: In response to “Ode to a Grecian Urn,” i.e., an ekphrasis of an ekphrastic poem inspired by an object of antiquity, I reasoned why not use John Keats’s own words to convey his sentiments of the themes portrayed (at least in part) in his famous ode. A sampling of Keats’s poems (as represented on the Poetry Foundation site: 32 poems of the 54 published) was scoured for intriguing lines, as well as several of his letters to friends (from which the epigraph originated). Subsequently, the lines were roughly grouped according to various themes: music, voice, silence, sleep, dreams, mortality—all with nature threading through it, as would be typical of the Romantic poets. The derived poem (a Cento) progresses from spring to winter, which are metaphors for new life and death, and the cycle suggests that poetry outlives humanity, in fact, poetry is eternal; it is soothing to the heart even as the last conscious thought. This poem is divided into 4 parts, which are distinct yet flow naturally from one to the other.

Citations, from which the lines (or fragments of lines) are made, are placed below each part, in order of appearance, for ease of reading (instead of clumping all 70 citations together at the end). The Hyperion reference is from an excerpt in Book I, as is the Endymion reference, which is also an excerpt from its Book I.

Concerning poetic licensure: except for two instances [in brackets] where clarity was necessary, no words were added; however, punctuation, capitalization, and line breaks were adjusted to suit the structure and style of this poem, as well as eliminating verb contractions since it does not affect the rhythm. In all but the last stanza, the few pronouns and “verbs to be” presented in Shakespearean English were replaced with modern English for consistency (designated by underlining).  


Editor’s Notes:  Mannone gave us a detailed analysis or critique in his poet’s notes. Poetry that is eternal is a soothing and rewarding concept. TLC


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       “Beauty is truth, truth beauty.”—John Keats

free verse

Terri Lynn Cummings


A pewter heart rests on the fireplace mantle

in the bedroom where I wait as the night

spends its long demise. Silence bids life’s turmoil

cease its aimless wandering near his soul’s dear 

resting place. 


His name, etched across the heart’s breast, 

still hurts to say aloud. If you’ve lost 

a child, then you know as truth 

this lonely sea we sail 

inside ourselves. 


We smile. We chat. We act. 

To partake of mortal pain within 

the noise and bustle of the street or

the purple heathered highlands feels 

like sin.


How dare they soothe my spirit. 

Leave it withered beyond named years. 

Chain its hands to the bars between 

life and death. Lock it deep inside the 

cold heart.


Until night has flown with the storm 

of self-absorbed tears, I dread 

to walk within human sight, 

near the touch of a hand or  

sympathetic nod. 


This pewter heart, this urn!

Until I accept the cup of his heart 

in my hands, I wait for comfort 

to fold mortal weariness to my

mother’s breast.


Is that my child’s lost voice

winding on the wind through the

leaves of a maple tree, beautiful 

when green or, like me, 

rusting away?  


Poet’s Notes:  No matter how many years pass, the anniversary of our child’s death still presses on our hearts and minds. Our choice of an ‘urn’ (to keep with us) was a symbolic pewter heart that holds some of his ashes. I wrote this poem from grief’s early days to the question I ask myself today. 

       In his critique, a poet friend suggested I leave two words at the end of each stanza. It’s interesting how, in my mind, they almost form another poem. 

Editor’s Notes: Style is idiosyncratic, surely, and to say how idiosyncratic is to praise one writer because her words and syntax hit the ear the right way, but not to praise another writer whose words fail to do so.  Maybe, some of the right sound is in the hearer as much as in the writer.  Whatever the case, Cummings’ style seems effortless even though she writes about a hurtful, devastating, life-halting pain.  CAS  


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From Ekphrasis to Ekphrasis on the Surface of Keats’s “Ode on a Grecian Urn"

free verse

Howard F. Stein


I have dreamt of deep green

Summers that last forever,

Never felled by autumn’s piercing chill

And winter’s leaden ice.


I have known lovers

Who will never kiss

Or maybe even meet,

No matter how

Outstretched their arms,

But who can never

Forget each other –

I have been one, too.


Better to be frozen

In yearning

Upon the smooth face

Of an ancient vase –

Deathless dancers,

Frozen in time,

Move to music

I still hear.

Each day I touch

The immortal

Surface of desire.

Art is inextinguishable fire.


Yet . . . my life echoes

The so many cannot be’s

And impossibilities

That torment you from mute pottery.

I order myself not to grieve,

Instead to celebrate –

Still, mourning will have its way.


John Keats,

Maybe somewhere,

You know even urns

Turn to shards.

Yet . . . truth and beauty

Linger, as does love –

If not for eternity,

Then fugitive, so more urgent,

Good enough, though,

Worthy of your song.


Editor’s Notes:  Yes, worthy indeed. Stein compares an inanimate love with animate love and loss, which reminded me of another convincing discourse written by Lord Tennyson in his poem, From In Memoriam A.H.H. 1849, “’Tis better to have loved and lost/Than never to have loved at all.” TLC


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Chasing the Sun, or, A Reply of Sorts, to Keats’s “Ode on a Grecian Urn”

for Bill Bullock

free verse

Howard F. Stein


Ach wie flüchtig,

Ach wie nichtig,

Sind der Menschen Sachen.

Alles, alles, was wir sehen,

Das muss fallen und vergehen.

Wer Gott fürcht’

Bleibt ewig stehen. 

J.S. Bach. Final Chorus. Cantata No. 26 (based on Michael Franck, 1652)

Oh, how fleeting,

Oh, how nothing,

Are what humans do.

Everything, everything,

That we see,

Must fall and vanish.

Who fears G-d,

Will stand firm forever.

(HF Stein translation)




Near day’s end,

On the see-forever

South Plains of Oklahoma,

We drive due west

To chase the sun,

Knowing full well earth’s

Turning will outrun us. 

Still, dark against bright

Draws my eyes –


Thou still unravish’d bride of quietness,


So many silhouettes

To savor, to which in daylight

I would give no heed:

Lone trees in wheatfields

And pastures, monster

Scarecrow towers that bear    

Electrical wires

En route to distant towns.


Scattered buildings,

Only outlines now

By sky’s final glow –


Thou foster-child of silence and slow time . . .


Church steeples, houses, barns,

Farm implement stores,

Repair shops, warehouses,

Tall, cylindrical grain silos.


We pass several towns

On our hunt for

A last glimpse of day.

Content just to ride,

I seek neither

Silhouette nor shadow;

They find me as much       

As I find them –

On our chase

After the fleeting sun,

Into night.


Editor’s Notes:  I see a metaphor here. As we run here and there, place a checkmark after daily chores or responsibilities, each day a race against time, against night, we chase a depleting life until our final departure. Stein’s poem shows us how he paused and reflected on the passing scene, just as Keats did with the urn. TLC


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Ode to Sop

       --with a grateful nod to “Ode on a Grecian Urn”


Charles A. Swanson


What men or gods are these, who clean the dish?

What mighty wrists, what bold stoneground pone?

Fair youth, do learn to sop with joy and relish,

no leavings left behind.  No matron’s moan,

no tsk, no grieving of the mother’s soul

because you missed a bit.  Ah, grease is best,

the pot-strong liquor’s bottom of the bowl,

so sop it all.  This is your mortal quest.


So winning near the goal, you win the kiss,

the kiss of salt and vegetable and meat,

the bite of biscuit and the greasy sweet,

for grease is sweet when met with all of this.

If beauty is truth, truth beauty, then bless

the beauty of the sparkling, clean-sopped dish.


Poet’s Notes:  I have been wanting to write a poem about sop.  With this tongue-in-cheek effort, I may not seem to be a fan of the sop, but truly I am.  Bread and gravy—or even bread and vegetable broth—make me happy.


Editor’s Notes:  Swanson’s sop-filled sonnet is an unexpected and welcome surprise for this issue’s theme. Clever conceit. TLC


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         Youth Standing Still

iambic pentameter, ABABCDECED rhyme    

Charles A. Swanson


A look into a mirror long ago

on Easter Sunday morning. Shirt as white     

as Clorox can obtain.  Small specks show

of blood from shaving close.  Grey eyes wide

and nervous.  This moment frozen in my mind,

abiding image. I remember where

my appointment is.  The wet, green grass

on resurrection morning.  Blazing sunshine,

a glinting off of coastal water. Splash

of worry lapping in me, close to fear.


I remember.  The podium awaits.

The audience in their folding chairs.

The coffee urn already steaming.  “Late,

late, don’t be late,” I choke, and stare

into the mirror. My wife is sleeping still,

the baby not a year.  The son a child

as well.  They’ll stay behind.  It’s so early,

this waking time.  So cold, such morning chill.

I plaster down my hair, too brash—unruly—

to look mature, well-groomed. I practice smiles.


I freeze a moment longer.  I’m frozen still,    

caught looking at myself.  I second-guess     

my fitness.  Preaching is a fight of will  

against surrender.  My desire to bless           

seems impotent without the Spirit harnessed,

and who can harness God?  I’m caught standing   

before the mirror, saying I’m so new,                   

so young.  I’m ready, or at least I’m dressed.        

The rest, the preaching, grass green, water blue, 

just swirls.  Before the mirror, I’m still standing.


Poet’s Notes: I thought I was following Keats’s rhyme scheme precisely, and then I realized that he varies the rhyme in the last six lines of each stanza.  Ah, the masters are the masters for many reasons!  I thought of the moment I describe as frozen.  I keep seeing myself, and the mirror in which I stare, as something that doesn’t change.  I still feel many of these insecurities.


Editor’s Notes:  My great-grandmother once told me she didn’t recognize herself in the mirror. She said she felt young and still had that image of herself. Now that I’m older, I understand what she meant. Swanson’s poem is easy for readers to identify with because he shows us his insecurities and does a fine job of using the senses to do so. TLC


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    An Hormonal Ode to Space and Time

    free verse

    Tyson West

When I had counted an equal number of spins around the urn as you,

John Keats, your focus had found its six great odes while I
was moping the same male machinations
sweating pillows with lonely dreams of species and sex.
We both beheld blockchains of reason assembling
above the fog swirl of young men's sporting fields while we harrowed
competition for courtship and place―position and purpose.
We kept closeted our passion for meter and rhyme from frat house aristocrats
who flash titles and trust funds like gang signs and mock
minds who savor dream time at the edge of the ice.
You subtly minueted your age's pristine motifs―
daffodils, pasture without predators, unscarred knights, and louseless damsels.
What could you have done with Hardy and Hopkins wedging
into Hubble's red shift universe―
suns and star deaths coming into focus
through space telescopes against the alchemy of internet?
In this electron and silicon chipped paradigm
reason and feeling comet into a perfect spire
identical from all angles, yet seen as
a multitude of colors and textures.
Though your place too narrow and transit too terse
still you packed enough positivity between bloody coughs
to offer a young man's lyrics to time's cookie cutter shark critics
and generations you would never osmose bind to your words.
I have heard it opined the finest lyrics
collapse from those young enough to cradle the ecstasy of new ideas
so strongly they must slam fervor in loud, clear voices.
I too face finale, trapped in my transit through cold war, pop art, and digitized reality
but after three score and ten years of sketchy choices
I dream of Donatello's Magdalene, not La Belle Dame Sans Merci.
Far more positive in my mellowing calculus
than the Ishmael of my salad days
I square the circle of negative capability even
as back pain bites and my eyes slough focus under
a galaxy of floaters.
It takes far more space and time than the hours allotted you
to grow cozy with how beautiful truth and how true beauty morph.


Poet’s Notes:  Unlike his two co-conspirators, Shelly and Byron, Keats was a commoner. Although he could ill afford to take time off work to write poetry, fortunately for posterity, he set aside his hospital job in 1819 to write and explore the concept of negative capability. The strength of his poetry lies in its relative simplicity. Young persons' poetry burns more intense and brighter than the poetry of the grey, because they do not appreciate the nuances. Keats' world view was limited, as he lived long before the expanse of media and the internet. I don't enjoy the pains and limitations of age, where some body part or another malfunctions each week, but I would not trade the serenity of the knowledge that nothing any of us does really makes any difference in the long run for the intensity of my twenties.

    I have deliberately used the word "An" before "Hormonal" as an homage to Andrew Marvell, specifically his poem "An Horatian Ode upon Oliver Cromwell's Return from Ireland."  Andrew Marvell's poem "The Garden" is an ekphrastic poem which approaches art and its effect on the reader or observer. Unlike Keats, who provides his general feeling of excitement, but somehow seems to assume that the reader will share those feelings, Marvell is far more detailed and describes metaphorically how his soul is moved by the work of art, and moves into a different reality. There is definite Neoplatonism in Marvell's poem, and a tinge in Keats's.
    Contra to this is, if art is not the object itself but the response in the human mind, or the feelings in the human soul regarding that creation, since humans change over generations, art itself is never the same. Art flows through time like a river, as a catalyst to create feeling in those who step in.

Editor’s Notes:  I enjoy West’s questioning approach to this theme. He pushes us to think about how a poem flows through different centuries. TLC

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    Opening Day


    general submission

    Tyson West

I vectored my spot in the Shenango's waters a pinch east of our town's cemetery as my childhood body in half lives decayed into adolescence. The pool where I cast my line whirled soft and slow under the elderberry blossoms near Chad's Ford. Gondola cars on the Bessemer and Lake Erie Line rumbled russet loads of iron ore each hour or so to glowing mills at Wheeling. The bank on which I cast last May had crumbled in the swell under March sun.

iron ice creaks―
unseen currents promise trout
spring rising

This season earth and stone collapsed from my former stand altered the flow along the channel's west edge. What I had thought flowed a never changing course had reshaped itself. Still, I savored the thrill of catching last year's first trout, bright, unaltered, and burned in the memory of younger me feeling the tug of the life on my line.

feathers fur steel hook―
rainbow rise to the myth
of a nymph

My dissolving and reforming flesh and mutating mind, opened to truth: I would never stand twice in the same river, and its corollary, no river ever can envelop the same fish or fisher again. For the first time, I felt blood and river flow forever through oceans of impermanence.

if i don't name
each trout i eat―always will
a rainbow feed me

Poet's Notes:  When I first learned of this topic, I immediately wondered how Neoplatonism would compare to Eastern thought. Although haiku has a long relationship with Zen Buddhism, it does not appear to share the sense of eternity Neoplatonism and Western religions pursue. I drafted this haibun to explore this concept.

Editor’s Notes:  Using metaphorical language in his beautiful haibun, West shows the earth continuing to change, the uncertainty or sense of mortality humans find in that change, and the safety or peace we may find in our memories. Nicely done. TLC

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A Guest Poet Responds

In one of his poems, Robert Browning asks the somewhat crass question, “What porridge had John Keats?” How did he live? How did he pay the bills? But it may also mean, “How did he feed his imagination?”

Keats left behind a drawing or tracing of the Sosibios vase. Some would like this to be his Grecian urn. We know he saw the Elgin marbles; his sonnet tells us so. Indeed, in the Elgin Gallery of the British Museum, there is a small placard on the marble heifer lowing at the skies, suggesting she inspired Keats’s poem. These fed his imagination.

Songs of Eretz asked in return how Keats’s “Ode on a Grecian Urn” has fed our imaginations. The very question itself has fed us, fired our imaginations. We six guest poets have either embraced the form, resonated with the theme, challenged Keats’s message, or saluted the achievement. We are latter-day Romantics honoring the master.

Here in three odes, you will find the urn set beside a fragile pottery zeer (Paul Freeman) and an imperishable Starbucks cup (Benjamen Thorne), or wittily punned against a contemporary Grecian scene (Marjorie Tesser). I think Keats would enjoy the contrasts.

The other three of us have felt the force of language and reacted. Melanie Faith can find comfort from it even in a dentist’s chair. John Guzlowski lets Keats’s closing elliptical sentence that transforms into an oxymoron explode into a powerful, even historic, memory. Like him, I feel the deconstructive beauty of those closing words and tremble.

The frequent contributors have more lessons to teach us. Enjoy them, too, as we honor one of Romanticism’s great voices.

                                                                                                               Parks Lanier

                                                                                                                Guest Poet

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Guest Poets

photograph of a Zeer, by Guest Poet Paul A. Freeman

Ode to the Zeer


Paul A. Freeman


Across the Sahel states, the humble zeer,

A pear-shaped or full-bellied earthen pot

Strains muddy water, turns it cool and clear

Beneath a tree or other shady spot.

Constructed from alluvium and clay,

It’s reddish-ochre hue’s a welcome sight

To travellers and thirsty passers-by,

Or mosque-bound Muslims hastening on their way

At prayer-time ’neath the desiccating might

Of cyclops Sun, pulsating in the sky.


Held upright, in a flimsy metal stand,

We find our zeer, its tapered mouth agasp,

But stoppered by a makeshift wooden lid -

A barrier, proclaiming flies are banned.

Atop it sits a cup for hands to clasp

And dip inside, as ancient hands once did.

Evaporating moisture is the key,

The zeer reveals. Its sweating outer skin,

Part green with algae, keeps the water free

From outside heat, yet quenching-cool within.


Poet’s Notes:  Back in the day, working in a desert town in northern Sudan, I often travelled on foot. Much of the time, the temperature was in the forties Celsius, so the zeer became a bit of a lifesaver. On the street, the cool, clear water inside the earthen pot was an offering from the household outside which the zeer stood, nestling in the shade of a leafy tree. My poem is in honour of this all too Sudanese everyday object.


About the Poet:  Paul A. Freeman is an English language teacher. He is the author of Rumours of Ophir, a crime novel which was taught at ‘O’ level in Zimbabwean high schools and has been translated into German.

In addition to having two novels, a children’s book and an 18,000-word narrative poem (Robin Hood and Friar TuckZombie Killers!) commercially published, Paul is the author of scores of published short stories, poems and articles.

He is a member of the Society of Authors and of the Crime Writers’ Association, and has appeared several times in the CWA’s annual anthology.  He works in Mauritania.

Editor’s Notes:  With Keats’s poem, I sense the aura of Greece and of days long ago.  With Freeman’s poem, I’m suddenly in Sudan, traveling on foot with him.  I’m immersed.  Wonderful! CAS

Freeman’s ode is filled with wonderful imagery, and I particularly liked his use of the senses in the final stanza. TLC 

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In Response to Keats

"Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
                 Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know."

free verse

Melanie Faith

I think of Keats on this rain-drenched Wednesday, looking
out the window that faces the dental-surgery chair
and abuts the brick house with shutters melded shut.
The dental drill lifts from the tooth before going in
again full bore, ready to sculpt and shave the crux
of the bicuspid as its fellow was carved out
with precise but cruel susurrations from equipment
whose names, blessedly, remain unknown.
A third tooth, this time a worn molar, its neighbor, is set
to get its own second or third filling. In these calm seconds
free from the jolt of metal on enamel on bone
on mostly numbed nerve endings (even after three
shots on the bottom and two on the top gums, I feel more
than a twinge throughout the bottom tooth’s aching ouch),
in these fleeting moments, it is then I land on Keats’ handsome
meditation on beauty on this rain-drenched Wednesday.
I hold fast to the paper napkin the hygienist gave me
which I’ve fidgeted and folded over into a rectangular origami
for when my lip numbed too much to contain its closure.
I think: No, I don’t think it is quite beauty that is truth after all.
Not in a body older than forty. The urn was lovely, but was it
resilient as a patient has to be? Patient: cooked into the very
name is the endurance, the prolonged wait. A patient knows
from experience that when the drill does start again,  that this
pang,  too, shall pass in another twenty minutes that feel like
at least ninety, but pass these agonized minutes shall
because other agonized minutes before these have passed.
And this is a good guarantee or at least one kind offering. Small,

granted, this relief, but enough to offer comfort.


Poet’s Notes: Few poets set their poetry within a dental office, so this poem was particularly unique to write. My dentist, hygienists, and staff are skilled, incredibly caring professionals who do a great job with their patients, but I was still anxious about sitting in the dental chair. I’d like to think that Keats would appreciate how responding to another poet’s work helped to distract my mind and to soothe a commonly dreaded, uncomfortable experience and also perhaps get a kick out of how the setting led me to think about the famed poem in an entirely new context.


About the Poet: Melanie Faith enjoys old-school film cameras, ASMR videos about maps and books for relaxation, reading, teaching creative writing, doodling, and spending time with fellow writers and her nieces. Does It Look Like Her? is her most recent narrative poetry collection that explores a protagonist developing as a creative artist at middle age and features a painting, an artist and new teacher, and a son (published in February 2024). Vine Leaves Press has published six of Melanie’s writing craft books for authors about such diverse topics as publishing, flash fiction, poetry, photography, teaching online, and writing a research book. She has also written a Regency novella and several other narrative poetry collections. To learn more about Melanie’s writing, teaching, and visual art, please visit: or Instagram: @frompromisingtopublished99.


Editor’s Notes:  Through the years, I’ve learned how to distance myself from pain, but my most feared minutes were as a child, trembling in the waiting room, dreading my time in the dentist’s chair.  Melanie Faith brings those anxious moments back to me full force.  Perhaps, if I had known of “Ode on a Grecian Urn” at that time, I would have imagined myself to be the sacrificial calf, “lowing at the skies.”  CAS

I enjoyed Faith’s setting, a dental office of all places! And I liked her play on the word patient. TLC

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Deconstructing Keats's "Grecian Urn"

Amore condusse noi ad una morte

Love brought us to one death. Inferno V, 106

rhymed verse

Parks Lanier


This troubled vision I have seen before

In Dante's tale upon the Stygian shore:

It is of lovers striving for one kiss,

But by a storm denied their sweetest bliss.

Francesca yearns for Paolo's warm embrace

And he once more to touch her lovely face.

Bold lover, never, never can he kiss;

Forever will he love and she be fair. 


Upon the Grecian urn no love is there

For love requires a taste of Death's despair.

"No death, no love" is Heaven's high decree

And is the highest law of Truth Beauty.

A burning forehead and a parching tongue

And melodies unheard are Hell's delight.

Be happy here where mortal songs are sung;

Be happy here where dawn goes down to night.


Poet’s Notes: I favor blank verse, but rhyme suggested itself for this poem. I let the couplets, triplets, and quatrain shape themselves. Perhaps I should give the spirit of Keats some credit for that. 


About the Poet: Parks Lanier specialized in Romantic and Victorian poetry at UT-Knoxville before going on to teach thirty-seven years at Radford University in Virginia. His favorite moment in Rome was drinking from "the boat" fountain at the foot of the Spanish Steps beside the Keats memorial house. Next door was Byron's men's shop.


Editor’s Notes:  I like how Lanier gives us the moment of the kiss.  Although the kiss is held in continual abeyance, Lanier rewards us in the last two lines with its earthly possibility.  CAS

I enjoyed Lanier’s use of rhyme in this poem and particularly liked the closing stanza. TLC


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 


Ode on a Plastic Starbucks Cup

free verse

M. Benjamin Thorne


Walking along a creek bank I find

half-buried beneath leaf-litter

a Starbucks cup, stained and trampled.

The sea-queen stares back haughtily,

her faded raiment, once emerald green,

resembles now a paler sage; yet still

her pursed smile remains intact.

How wise this refuse Mona Lisa,

to refuse decay as coyly

as a princess does a suitor!

Plastic polymer bonds cohere

with immutable tenacity, preserving

the inscrutable veracity behind her grin….

or perhaps a smirk, knowing in the end

she’ll win. Centuries hence she will abide,

if not here then on the tides or entwined

with stone. Parts of her may even live

as particles within our blood,

that generations hence will yield

a strange bud, host to some hybrid flower.


Poet's Notes: This poem owes its genesis to the quite literal discovery of the titular cup while on a nature walk, which made me think about what archeologists of the future might glean from it about our culture; this in turn brought to mind Keats's ingenious poem. It was serendipity--or kismet?--that Songs of Eretz announced an open call for poems on a similar theme.


About the Poet: A Member of the Religious Society of Friends, M. Benjamin Thorne is an Associate Professor of Modern European History at Wingate University. Possessed of a lifelong love of history and poetry, he is interested in exploring the synergy between the two. His poems appear or are forthcoming in Autumn Sky PoetryDrunk MonkeysSky Island JournalWilderness House Literary ReviewCathexis Northwest, and The Westchester Review. He lives and sometimes sleeps in Charlotte, NC.


Editor’s Notes: Thorne shows us that art survives—whether it is high art or commercial art—especially in our age of plastics.  Thorne’s poem is quite the sly treatise on ecology. CAS

What fun! Thorne’s use of litter for his ode made me laugh. I particularly liked, “How wise this refuse Mona Lisa,/to refuse decay as coyly/as a princess does a suitor!” TLC


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After Reading “Ode on a Grecian Urn”

free verse

John Guzlowski


My mother’s dying mother 

Was no Grecian urn,

No bride of “wild ecstasy.”

My mother never held 

Her mother’s bleeding face, 

Never looked into her eyes,

Never said goodbye to her

After the German soldiers

Raped my mother’s mother 

And shot her for kicks in the face.  


The soldiers who did this?  

They were not men or gods. 

They sang no happy melodies,

No songs Keats’s maidens sang.


The soldiers raped and killed her

And moved on to the next house

To rape the women and girls there,

And while they raped and killed,

The soldiers sang a song they learned 

In the beer halls of Germany, 

About a young girl named Lili

Standing beneath the lamplight 

Waiting for her lover to come back 

from the war and the killing he did.

That’s the kind of men they were.


What else is there to say

About my mom and what she saw

And what she always remembered, 

The years behind the barbed wire fences

The girls beaten and dying in the snow

Their babies smashed against the wall? 


Keats once said, “Beauty is truth, 

Truth is beauty” and that’s all

You need to know.


If my mother had read this,

She would have shook her head

And said, “Truth is just truth. 

There’s no beauty in truth.”  


About the Poet:  John Guzlowski’s poems about his parents’ experiences as slave laborers in Nazi Germany appear in his award-winning memoir Echoes of Tattered Tongues.  His most recent books of poems are Mad Monk Ikkyu, True Confessions

and Small Talk:  Writing about God and Writing and Me (available at His novels include Retreat:  A Love Story and the Hank and Marvin mysteries:  Suitcase Charlie, Little Altar Boy, and Murdertown, all published by Kasva Press. He is also a columnist for the Dziennik Zwiazkowy, the oldest Polish newspaper in America.


Editor’s Notes:  I am a fan of Gluzlowski’s poetry. This poem about his mother fits wonderfully into the landscape of his work. CAS

Gluzlowski’s ode addresses a horrible subject that plays out through the ages in war. I find the final two lines hard to read, an undeniable truth. TLC

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Ode on a Grecian Erne

       Santorini, August


Marjorie Tesser



We crest the almost final rise, the late-day 

            sun still nearly hot as noon. The “children” 

run along ahead (the youngest’s bound for 

            college soon). I stop to try and catch my breath 

and, leaning on the iron rail, gaze down 

            as if transfixed upon the celebrated 

                        view. So still it could be a painting—

a wash of sky, a fine mist sketched above 

            the water line; beneath that coverlet

                         a shadowed hulk of far-off island dreams.


The sea is set in stones, cobalt, sapphire,

            aquamarine.  A boat in sail seems stuck, 

becalmed between horizon and the shore.

             The sole thing moving in the scene: a white-

tailed bird, an erne, glides on wide-spread wing,

            trawling for something good to seize and eat. 

                        It looks the lone quick thing in this fixed world 

of bone-hued cliffs and white-box houses 

            rooted into rocks; a church, whose rounded 

                        dome boasts a tiny nipple cross, rests


on patchworked squares which slant the long way down 

            to a sea whose striations are static, 

as if clawed by ancient beasts.  The stillness 

            is illusion. The sea recedes and swells;

beneath, it teems with creatures eating and 

            eaten. These cliffs, which once arose from rock, 

                        dissolve into the waves by which they’re bathed, 

endless rearranging. That stagnant boat

            has made some secret transit, judging by 

                        its nearness to a buoy. Change contains stasis, 


stasis, change. Yesterday at the museum, 

            the pottery looked as chic as modern;

later at the beach a girl, red towel 

            framing bare young breasts, was twin to a 

Minoan in an ancient mosaic. 

            The Minoan tongue is lost; in such case 

                        we have to backtrack to re-learn all those 

cultures owned. If we had held those vanished 

            words, how might we have evolved? The erne

                        no longer sails the skies; he’s perched upon


a craggy bluff, triumphant, a tasty

            prize clutched in his feet. Now, the sun dips down 

to kiss the sea. I call the children; time 

            to eat. Tavernas line the beach below 

like teeth in a jaw-line.  I’ll serve a treat 

            to my son, and savor his company, 

                        he who’s off so soon to newer things. 

What lives, moves; what moves with purpose, thrives.

            “Go forth,” I’ll say to him, and to myself.

                           “This still and moving world awaits your feet.”

About the Poet: Marjorie Tesser is the author of poetry chapbooks, The Important Thing Is,” winner of the Firewheel Chapbook Award (Firewheel Editions 2010), and The Magic Feather (FLP 2011). She holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. Her poem “April” won the 2019 John B. Santoianni Award from the Academy of American Poets. She has co-edited three anthologies of poetry and prose (Bowery Books and Demeter Press) and is editor-in-chief of MER-Mom Egg Review.


Editor’s Notes:  Not only is the play on urn/erne delightful, but I love how Tesser’s setting puts me in Greece.  Her poem employs rhyme in a modern way, with much of the rhyme embedded, but I still catch the tribute to Keats’s poem.  I also love the line: “What lives, moves; what moves with purpose, thrives.”  I hear the declarative echo to Keats’s words: “Beauty is truth, truth beauty.”  CAS 


Tesser’s poem took me back to Santorini, Greece. Her poem teems with beauty in word and rhyme and her “endless rearranging” of the sea. TLC


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Frequent Contributor News


FC Karla Linn Merrifield continues to cope with chemotherapy for ovarian cancer. Two more infusions to go. It’s a struggle, but she has a robust support system and great oncologists and a delightful PCP to help! Meanwhile, she’s back from her balmy winter in Florida to Brockport, NY, which is home. And, despite cancer and chemotherapy, she gets by “with a little help from her friends.” And she’s been writing new poetry each step of the way. That, too, keeps her going!

Former FC, Alessio Zanelli’s, latest magazine acceptances (all forthcoming) are North Dakota Quarterly, Maryland Literary Review, and Eunoia (Singapore).


FC Howard F. Stein’s new poetry book, Standing in the Chaos, is published by International Psychoanalytic Books (IPBooks), New York. It can be ordered via for $15.95 at: 

Standing in the Chaos: Poems: Stein, Howard F: 9781956864663: Books, 

or through Stein’s page link : howard f. stein

or the editor,

Among others, Stein’s recent publications include “Unexpected life lessons from unexpected places.” [seven poems], MindConsiliums, 24(3), 1-16, and “Hope for Rain.” AWEN. Issue 124. May 2024. no page number. Atlantean Publishing. Essex, UK.

Former FC, Mary Soon Lee’s poem “Home for Old Robots: won the 2024 BSFS Poetry Contest:

Two poems, “Packing for the Afterlife” and “How to Go Twelfth,” were reprinted in The Heartbeat of the Universe:  Poems from Asimov’s Science Fiction and Analog Science Fiction and Fact 2012-2022:

And two poems, “Coffin / Cradle” and “Right to Shelter,” are in the May 2024 issue of Radon Journal:


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Something You Can Hold

       Drawing inspiration from the physical world around us provides a wellspring of meaningful subject matter when crafting poems. Consider the simple act of focusing on ordinary objects that can be grasped and held. A cracked coffee mug, an age-worn baseball, a hand-knit scarf - such familiar objects unlock cascades of memory, emotion, and significance when examined through your poetic lens.

       Handheld items have the power to elevate the mundane to the transcendent. Word choices, rendered in evocative sensory details, can make a seemingly basic item beguile your reader. Use sight, smell, sound, taste, and touch to add sparkling vitality to inert objects. 

       A book is the gateway to another place, time, or world. It may provide the intimacy of reading someone else’s innermost reflections. And yet a book belies its own modest weight.

       Every ordinary thing we can hold and turn over in our hands has a history. Perhaps it is the result of human ingenuity or nature itself. Let us appreciate these objects and how they connect us to something larger than ourselves.


(Please note the new submissions' address, both here and on our Guidelines page.  The new submissions' address is 


    Season           Theme                          Submission Period


    Spring            Holding your breath              Feb. 1-15


    Summer         Respond to Keats's                May 1-15

                          “Ode on a Grecian Urn”


    Fall                Something you can hold        Aug. 1-15


    Winter            A dramatic monologue          Nov. 1-15


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