Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Will Justice Drake’s “Intercession” is #251 in the never-ending series called BACKSTORY OF THE POEM

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***Will Justice Drake’s “Intercession” is #251 in the never-ending series called BACKSTORY OF THE POEM where the Chris Rice Cooper Blog (CRC) focuses on one specific poem and how the poet wrote that specific poem.  All BACKSTORY OF THE POEM links are at the end of this piece. 

Can you go through the step-by-step process of writing this poem
from the moment the idea was first conceived in your brain until final form?
The poem began during a confluence of things: ruminations on poetic form, what it can or should do, what communion with God and another person together could be, and a particular conversation with my grandfather. After the conversation, I went home, and that night, with pencil and paper, I drafted the poem. It simultaneously felt a good, complete poem and a failed poem. I typed it in a Word document and sent it to a couple of people I trust with my work. I received some feedback and reworked it. It was good but did fail, so I put it away and went on to other things. (Above Right: Will Justice Drake in 2018, the year he wrote "Intercession"  Credit Mayce Hodges (IG: @maycekatelyn) on the October 2018 author photo (black&white).

That next year, my grandfather died, and I took the poem back out for the funeral. I read the draft I had, and later I remembered accidentally leaving it in the podium. I was a bit worried it would go somewhere unfinished. Someone reassured me the funeral home throws away everything left behind, but I decided I had better be first to publish it anyway, so I reworked it and sent it out. It was rejected through a couple rounds of submissions.  (Left and Bottom Right: Will Justice Drake's grandfather in his younger days.  Copyright by Will Justice Drake) 

I sent it for more feedback, reworked it again, and sent it out again, this time with more serious consideration for who would want this kind of poem. That final form is what appears in Trinity House Review. 

Where were you when you started to actually write the poem?  And please describe the place in great detail. I sat on my back porch in north Alabama. It faces the woods, and Highway 278 runs just the other side of the woods. As bothersome as it is to write near a highway, that one connects a lot of the South--I don't know whether that makes the highway more or less bearable.  (Above Left:  Will Justice Drake's view from his porch) 

In any case, I sat in a rocking chair on the porch. It was mid-fall, and mosquitoes still pegged me despite the porch screen. An owl lived nearby then. It was hooing in its tree a few hundred yards away. I angled myself so the dim bulb in the porch fan wouldn't cast a shadow on the page. Partway through, I stood up, pulled the rough chain, and sat with the light out so I could adjust to the dark and see beyond the screen and drink bourbon and remember what I was doing, or why. Occasionally a trailer truck jake braked down the hill or a high school kid revved up his Chevy, and that was enough to snap me back to the page. (Above Right:  Will Justice Drake sitting in his rocking chair on his front porch.  Copyright by Will Justice Drake.)

What month and year did you start writing this poem? I first put some of this poem on the page in October 2018, but really the poem started as a conversation. I am unsure when exactly. My grandfather, my dad's dad, was in the nursing home several years before he died. One visit, he talked about his time farming and the rooster, which appears in the poem. He had a cough while he talked, and he just couldn't seem to shake it. He would pause and breathe and come back to the details. In those long pauses I remembered old stories he had told years before when I was young, possibly some eleven years before. In that way, the poem synthesizes years of stories and my imagining and reimagining them. (Above Left: Will Justice Drake in 2018, the year he wrote "Intercession"  Credit Mayce Hodges (IG: @maycekatelyn) on the October 2018 author photo (black&white).

How many drafts of this poem did you write before going to the final? (And can you share a photograph of your rough drafts with pen markings on it?) The poem went through five or six versions from the first draft to publication. (Right:  Will Justice Drake's grandfather in his later years.  Copyright by Will Justice Drake.)

Were there any lines in any of your rough drafts of this poem that were not in the final version?  And can you share them with us? I changed partial lines when the diction was heavy-handed, and I changed the title twice. One idea about TV-watching cows never made it to the page. The most important and most difficult edit was changing the verb tense from present to past. That edit initially caused trouble for a poem that somewhat minds the meter, but it improved the experience. (Left: Will Justice Drake's rough draft of "Intercession"  Credit and copyright by Will Justice Drake) 

What do you want readers of this poem to take from this poem? Hopefully, readers take the poem as a whole, particular event. If I say more than that here, it might mar the meaning.

Which part of the poem was the most emotional of you to write and why? The lines about the girl required the most fortitude. It is painful to imagine a child seeing a bombardment within shouting distance of her home. It is also painful to imagine the speaker forgetting something critical the girl said to him.


Has this poem been published before?  And if so where? The poem was published in the Michaelmas 2020 issue of Trinity House Review.



for WHD

The only hay baler was me and Euel

in the barn catching what our father threw

from the truck bed, hearing him shout, “You’ll

have to hold your breath if it bothers you.”

My lungs burned in the dust either way,

a hundred pounds of hay through the loft,

cheeks puffed tight with a breath I’d saved

to keep from collapsing in asthmatic cough.

I’d squint before tossing the hay in a heap,

and the golden dust would billow in the slats of light.

Each mote moved its way. I breathed.

They moved together. I breathed the light.

If I called out now, I would crow

like a rooster, like the bronze bird in the floor

of the car in town. The man always showed

up with the fowl in the front, his greens and gourds

in the back. The bird would cluck and squat on the news.

Its litter splotched out words, and its bright,

amber eye cocked upward and true

like a scope looking past the sun at the night.

Four years later, I lay in France,

cold, disarming mines, pressed to the ground

like a creature scratching food from the sand.

A mortar fell. Ventre à terre. No one around

except the girl turning round and round

on her doorstep. Her dress flared out

like a parasol twirled around

in the rain. The child beneath it wondered how

to keep us dry in the squall, became a mother

calling to come home, to look in the cupboard

for the pressure plates stacked like saucers,

and something—I’ve forgotten—about being discovered.

Back home, up on the water tower

near that abbey of German monks,

someone kept shooting rivets at an hour

when we were all sleeping. So I jumped

out of bed to find him in the dark,

but instead I heard flapping wings,

the woodpecker pecking at the metal bark

of the antenna, the tap-tap perhaps her flinging

a coded message into space, like a prayer.

Or maybe she was receiving one for me.

After a while, it suited me to hear

the rhythm, a kind of peace

like a volley of mortars,

like a cough.

Will Justice Drake lives in north Alabama, where he teaches English literature and coaches soccer. His poems and articles have appeared or are forthcoming in the Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Trinity House Review, Flyway, Poetry South, Raleigh Review, Negative Capability, and other publications. He received his MFA from North Carolina State University. Website: ; Twitter: @thewilljustice ; IG: @willjusticedrake

(Above Left:  Credit Trevor Bennett (IG: @jtrevorbennett) on the author/bio photo, taken October 2020.) 


001  December 29, 2017

Margo Berdeshevksy’s “12-24”

002  January 08, 2018 

Alexis Rhone Fancher’s “82 Miles From the Beach, We Order The Lobster At Clear Lake Café”

003 January 12, 2018 

Barbara Crooker’s “Orange” 

004 January 22, 2018 

Sonia Saikaley’s “Modern Matsushima”

005 January 29, 2018

Ellen Foos’s “Side Yard” 

006 February 03, 2018

Susan Sundwall’s “The Ringmaster”

007 February 09, 2018

Leslea Newman’s “That Night”

008 February 17, 2018

Alexis Rhone Fancher “June Fairchild Isn’t Dead”

009 February 24, 2018

Charles Clifford Brooks III “The Gift of the Year With Granny” 

010 March 03, 2018

Scott Thomas Outlar’s “The Natural Reflection of Your Palms” 

011 March 10, 2018

Anya Francesca Jenkins’s “After Diane Beatty’s Photograph “History Abandoned”

012  March 17, 2018

Angela Narciso Torres’s “What I Learned This Week”

013 March 24, 2018

Jan Steckel’s “Holiday On ICE” 

014 March 31, 2018

Ibrahim Honjo’s “Colors”

015 April 14, 2018

Marilyn Kallett’s “Ode to Disappointment” 

016  April 27, 2018 

Beth Copeland’s “Reliquary”

017  May 12, 2018

Marlon L Fick’s “The Swallows of Barcelona”

018  May 25, 2018


019  June 09, 2018

Alexis Rhone Fancher’s “Stiletto Killer. . . A Surmise”

020 June 16, 2018 

Charles Rammelkamp’s “At Last I Can Start Suffering”

021  July 05, 2018 

Marla Shaw O’Neill’s “Wind Chimes” 

022 July 13, 2018

Julia Gordon-Bramer’s “Studying Ariel” 

023 July 20, 2018 

Bill Yarrow’s “Jesus Zombie” 

024  July 27, 2018 

Telaina Eriksen’s “Brag 2016” 

025  August 01, 2018

Seth Berg’s “It is only Yourself that Bends – so Wake up!” 

026  August 07, 2018

David Herrle’s “Devil In the Details” 

027  August 13, 2018

Gloria Mindock’s “Carmen Polo, Lady Necklaces, 2017”

028  August 21, 2018

Connie Post’s “Two Deaths” 

029  August 30, 2018

Mary Harwell Sayler’s “Faces in a Crowd” 

030 September 16, 2018

Larry Jaffe’s “The Risking Point”


031  September 24, 2018

Mark Lee Webb’s “After We Drove”

032  October 04, 2018

Melissa Studdard’s “Astral”

033 October 13, 2018

Robert Craven’s “I Have A Bass Guitar Called Vanessa” 

034  October 17, 2018

David Sullivan’s “Paper Mache Peaches of Heaven” 

035 October 23, 2018

Timothy Gager’s “Sobriety” 

036  October 30, 2018

Gary Glauber’s “The Second Breakfast” 

037  November 04, 2018

Heather Forbes-McKeon’s “Melania’s Deaf Tone Jacket”

038 November 11, 2018

Andrena Zawinski’s “Women of the Fields”

039  November 00, 2018

Gordon Hilger’s “Poe” 

040 November 16, 2018

Rita Quillen’s “My Children Question Me About Poetry” and “Deathbed Dreams” 

041 November 20, 2018

Jonathan Kevin Rice’s “Dog Sitting” 

042 November 22, 2018

Haroldo Barbosa Filho’s “Mountain” 

043  November 27, 2018

Megan Merchant’s “Grief Flowers” 

044 November 30, 2018

Jonathan P Taylor’s “This poem is too neat” 

045  December 03, 2018

Ian Haight’s “Sungmyo for our Dead Father-in-Law” 

046 December 06, 2018

Nancy Dafoe’s “Poem in the Throat”

047 December 11, 2018

Jeffrey Pearson’s “Memorial Day” 

048  December 14, 2018

Frank Paino’s “Laika”

049  December 15, 2018

Jennifer Martelli’s “Anniversary”

O50  December 19, 2018 

Joseph Ross’s “For Gilberto Ramos, 15, Who Died in the Texas Desert, June 2014” 

051 December 23, 2018

“The Persistence of Music”

by Anatoly Molotkov 

052  December 27, 2018

“Under Surveillance”

by Michael Farry 

053  December 28, 2018

“Grand Finale”

by Renuka Raghavan

054  December 29, 2018


by Gene Barry 

055 January 2, 2019


by Larissa Shmailo 

056  January 7, 2019

“The Seamstress:

by Len Kuntz

057  January 10, 2019

"Natural History"

by Camille T Dungy 

058  January 11, 2019


by Brian Burmeister 

059  January 12, 2019


by Clint Margrave 

060 January 14, 2019


by Pat Durmon 

061 January 19, 2019

“Neptune’s Choir”

by Linda Imbler 

062  January 22, 2019

“Views From the Driveway”

by Amy Barone 

063  January 25, 2019

“The heron leaves her haunts in the marsh”

by Gail Wronsky

064  January 30, 2019


by Terry Lucas 

065 February 02, 2019

“Summer 1970, The University of Virginia Opens to Women in the Fall”

by Alarie Tennille 

066 February 05, 2019

“At School They Learn Nouns”

by Patrick Bizzaro

067  February 06, 2019

“I Must Not Breathe”

by Angela Jackson-Brown

068 February 11, 2019

“Lunch on City Island, Early June”

by Christine Potter

069 February 12, 2019


by Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum 

070 February 14, 2019

“Daily Commute”

by Christopher P. Locke 

071 February 18, 2019

“How Silent The Trees”

by Wyn Cooper

072 February 20, 2019

“A New Psalm of Montreal”

by Sheenagh Pugh

073 February 23, 2019

“Make Me A Butterfly”

by Amy Barbera 

074 February 26, 2019


by Sandy Coomer 

075 March 4, 2019

“Shape of a Violin”

by Kelly Powell 

076 March 5, 2019

“Inward Oracle”

by J.P. Dancing Bear

077 March 7, 2019

“I Broke My Bust Of Jesus”

by Susan Sundwall 

078 March 9, 2019

“My Mother at 19”

by John Guzlowski 

079 March 10, 2019 


by Chera Hammons Miller 

080 March 12, 2019

“Of Water and Echo”

by Gillian Cummings 

081   082   083    March 14, 2019

“Little Political Sense”   “Crossing Kansas with Jim

Morrison”  “The Land of Sky and Blue Waters”

by Dr. Lindsey Martin-Bowen 

084 March 15, 2019

“A Tune To Remember”

by Anna Evans 

085 March 19, 2019

“At the End of Time (Wish You Were Here)

by Jeannine Hall Gailey

086 March 20, 2019

“Garden of Gethsemane”

by Marletta Hemphill 

087 March 21, 2019

“Letters From a War”

by Chelsea Dingman 

088 March 26, 2019


by Bob Heman 


089 March 27, 2019

“Clay for the Potter”

by Belinda Bourgeois 

#090 March 30, 2019

“The Pose”

by John Hicks 

#091 April 2, 2019

“Last Night at the Wursthaus”

by Doug Holder 

#092 April 4, 2019

“Original Sin”

by Diane Lockward

#093 April 5, 2019

“A Father Calls to his child on liveleak”

by Stephen Byrne


#094 April 8, 2019


by Marc Zegans


#095 April 12, 2019

“Landscape and Still Life”

by Marjorie Maddox

#096 April 16, 2019

“Strawberries Have Been Growing Here for Hundreds of


by Mary Ellen Lough

#097 April 17, 2019

“The New Science of Slippery Surfaces”

by Donna Spruijt-Metz

#098 April 19, 2019

“Tennessee Epithalamium”

by Alyse Knorr

#099 April 20, 2019

“Mermaid, 1969”

by Tameca L. Coleman

#100 April 21, 2019

“How Do You Know?”

by Stephanie

#101 April 23, 2019

“Rare Book and Reader”

by Ned Balbo


#102 April 26, 2019


by Jefferson Carter

#103 May 01, 2019

“The sight of a million angels”

by Jenneth Graser

#104 May 09, 2019

“How to tell my dog I’m dying”

by Richard Fox

#105 May 17, 2019

“Promises Had Been Made”

by Sarah Sarai

#106 June 01, 2019

“i sold your car today”

by Pamela Twining

#107 June 02, 2019

“Abandoned Stable”

by Nancy Susanna Breen

#108 June 05, 2019


by Julene Tripp Weaver

#109 June 6, 2019

“Bobby’s Story”

by Jimmy Pappas

#110 June 10, 2019

“When You Ask Me to Tell You About My Father”

by Pauletta Hansel

#111 Backstory of the Poem’s

“Cemetery Mailbox”

by Jennifer Horne

#112 Backstory of the Poem’s


by Kate Peper

#113 Backstory of the Poem’s


by Jennifer Johnson

#114 Backstory of the Poem’s

“Brushing My Hair”

by Tammika Dorsey Jones

#115 Backstory of the Poem

“Because the Birds Will Survive, Too”

by Katherine Riegel

#116 Backstory of the Poem


by Joan Barasovska

#117 Backstory of the Poem


by Michael Meyerhofer

#118 Backstory of the Poem

“Dear the estranged,”

by Gina Tron

#119 Backstory of the Poem

“In Remembrance of Them”

by Janet Renee Cryer

#120 Backstory of the Poem

“Horse Fly Grade Card, Doesn’t Play Well With Others”

by David L. Harrison

#121 Backstory of the Poem

“My Mother’s Cookbook”

by Rachael Ikins

#122 Backstory of the Poem

“Cousins I Never Met”

by Maureen Kadish Sherbondy

#123 Backstory of the Poem

“To Those Who Were Our First Gods”

by Nickole Brown

#124 Backstory of the Poem

“Looking For Sunsets (In the Early Morning)”

by Paul Levinson

#125 Backstory of the Poem


by Tiff Holland

#126 Backstory of the Poem


by Cindy Hochman

#127 Backstory of the Poem


by Natasha Saje

#128 Backstory of the Poem

“How to Explain Fertility When an Acquaintance Asks Casually”

by Allison Blevins

#129 Backstory of the Poem

“The Art of Meditation In Tennessee”

by Linda Parsons

#130 Backstory of the Poem

“Schooling High, In Beslan”

by Satabdi Saha

#131 Backstory of the Poem

““Baby Jacob survives the Oso Landslide, 2014”

by Amie Zimmerman

#132 Backstory of the Poem

“Our Age of Anxiety”

by Henry Israeli

#133 Backstory of the Poem

“Earth Cries; Heaven Smiles”

by Ken Allan Dronsfield

#134  Backstory of the Poem


by Janine Canan

#135 Backstory of the Poem


by Catherine Zickgraf

#136 Backstory of the Poem

“Bushwick Blue”

by Susana H. Case

#137 Backstory of the Poem

“Then She Was Forever”

by Paula Persoleo

#138 Backstory of the Poem


by Kris Bigalk

#139 Backstory of the Poem

“From Ghosts of the Upper Floor”

by Tony Trigilio

#140 Backstory of the Poem

“Cloud Audience”

by Wanita Zumbrunnen

#141 Backstory of the Poem

“Condition Center”

by Matthew Freeman

#142 Backstory of the Poem

“Adventuresome Woman”

by Cheryl Suchors

#143 Backstory of the Poem

“The Way Back” 

by Robert Walicki

#144 Backstory of the Poem

“If I Had Three Lives”

by Sarah Russell

#145 Backstory of the Poem


by Andrea Rexilius

#146 Backstory of the Poem

“The Night Before Our Dog Died”

by Melissa Fite Johnson

#147 Backstory of the Poem


by David Anthony Sam

#148 Backstory of the Poem

“A Kitchen Argument”

by Matthew Gwathmey

#149 Backstory of the Poem


by Bruce Kauffman

#150 Backstory of the Poem

“I Will Tell You Where I’ve Been”

by Justin Hamm

#151 Backstory of the Poem


by Michael A Griffith

#152 Backstory of the Poem


by Margo Taft Stever

#153 Backstory of the Poem

“1. Girl”

by Margaret Manuel

#154 Backstory of the Poem

“Trading Places”

by Maria Chisolm

#155 Backstory of the Poem

“The Reoccurring Woman”

by Debra May

#156 Backstory of the Poem

“Word Falling”

by Sheryl St. Germain

#157 Backstory of the Poem

“Vel’ d’Hiv Roundup of 7,000 Jews Detained in an


by Liz Marlow

#158 Backstory of the Poem

“Why Otters Hold Hands”

by William Walsh

#159 Backstory of the Poem

“The Invisible World”

by Rocco de Giacoma

#160 Backstory of the Poem

“Last Call”

by Ralph Culver

#161 Backstory of the Poem


by David Dephy

#162 Backstory of the Poem

“Mare Nostrum”

by Janice D Soderling

#163 Backstory of the Poem

“Winnipeg Noir”

by Carmelo Militano

#164 Backstory of the Poem

“Needlepoint Roses”

by Jason O’Toole

#165 Backstory of the Poem

“Singing, Studying on Whiteness, This Penelope Strings”

by Jeanne Larsen

#166 Backstory of the Poem

“How To Befriend Uncertainty”

by Prartho Sereno 

#167 Backstory of the Poem

“Shostakovich: Five Pieces”

by Pamela Uschuk

#168 Backstory of the Poem

“Bouquet for Amy Clampitt”

by Peter Kline

#169 Backstory of the Poem


by Catherine Arra

#170 Backstory of the Poem

“Silence – a lost art”

by Megha Sood

#171 Backstory of the Poem/ May 09, 2020

“Horribly Dull”

by Mark DeCharmes

#172 Backstory of the Poem/ May 12, 2020

“Celebrating His Ninety-Second Birthday the Year his Wife Died”

by Michael Mark

#173 Backstory of the Poem/ May 14, 2020

“Night Clouds in the Black Hills” 

by Cameron Morse

#174 Backstory of the Poem/ May 18, 2020

“I’ve Been In Heaven For Long”

by Evanesced Dethroned Angel

#175 Backstory of the Poem/ May 20, 2020


by Barbara Crooker

#176 and #177 Backstory of the Poem/ May 25, 2020

“My Small World” and

“My Mistake”

by Tina Barry

#178 Backstory of the Poem/ June 05, 2020

“Against Numbers”

by Andrea Potos

#179 Backstory of the Poem/ June 15, 2020


by Julie Weiss

#180 Backstory of the Poem/ June 20, 2020

“The Tree That Stood Beside Me”

by Carly My Loper

#181 Backstory of the Poem/ June 23, 2020

“Electric Mail”

by Julie E. Bloemeke

#182 Backstory of the Poem

June 24, 2020

“Her First Ten Days”

by Julieta Corpus

#183 Backstory of the Poem

June 26, 2020

“Outside My House Is A Guava Tree”

by Dr. Ampat Varghese Koshy

#184 Backstory of the Poem

July 2, 2020


by Victor Enns

#185 Backstory of the Poem

July 5, 2020

“A Way of Life”

by Dan Provost

#186 Backstory of the Poem

July 6, 2020

“The Alabama Wiregrassers”

by Charles Ghigna

#187 Backstory of the Poem

July 7, 2020

“The Seer”

by Kathleen Winter

#188 Backstory of the Poem

July 11, 2020

“Stuck At Home”

by Valerie Frost

#189 Backstory of the Poem

July 13, 2020

“Between the Earth and Sky”

by Eleanor Kedney

#190 Backstory of the Poem

July 14, 2020


of patience” 

by Eftichia Kapardell’

#191 Backstory of the Poem

July 15, 2020

“Threnody by the President for Victims of COVID-19, Beginning with a Line from Milosz”

by Ralph Culver

#192 Backstory of the Poem

July 16, 2020

“Will Be Done”

by Tom Hunley

#193 Backstory of the Poem

July 17, 2020

“The Love of Two Trees”

by Hussein Habasch

#194 Backstory of the Poem

July 18, 2020

“June Almeida”

by Lev RI Ardiansyah

#195 Backstory of the Poem

July 19. 2020

“After Grano Maturo”

by Matthew Gavin Frank

#196 Backstory of the Poem

July 20, 2020


by Linda Neal Reising

#197 Backstory of the Poem

July 21, 2020

“Will Be Done”

by Tom C Hunley

#198 Backstory of the Poem

July 22, 2020


by Ted Morrissey

#199 Backstory of the Poem

July 23, 2020

“Being In Love at Fifty”

by Anne Walsh Donnelly

#200 Backstory of the Poem

July 25, 2020

“Star pinwheel poem”

by Andrea Watson 

#201 Backstory of the Poem

July 30, 2020

“Gentle Women, Adult Female Persons, and Housewives in Indonesia ♀” 

by Kimberly Burnham

#202 Backstory of the Poem

July 31, 2020


by Don Yorty

#203  Backstory of the Poem

August 01, 2020

“I want to unfold the disease”

by Vanessa Shields

#204 Backstory of the Poem

August 06, 2020

“A Bone of Contention with the Ghost of John Lennon Over Strawberry Fields Forever”

by Ruth Weinstein

#205 Backstory of the Poem

August 07 2020

“Statement by the Pedestrian Liberation Organisation”

by Thomas McColl

#206 Backstory of the Poem

August 08 2020

“Un Poco Pequeño”

by Damon Chua

#207 Backstory of the Poem

August 10, 2020

“mary lou williams’s piano workshop (after Fred Moten)”

by Makalani Bandele

#208 Backstory of the Poem

August 18, 2020

“Roll Credits by KCK”

by Casey Kirkpatrick aka KCK

#209 Backstory of the Poem

August 21, 2020

“Ancient Pyramid”

by Mark Tulin

#210 Backstory of the Poem

August 23, 2020

“How Far the Storm?”

by Charles Malone

#211 Backstory of the Poem

August 27, 2020

“89 Tears”

by Robert Carr


#212 Backstory of the Poem

August 28, 2020 

“Food and Water”

by Brooke McNamara

#213 Backstory of the Poem

August 30, 2020

“To hold, to hollow”

by Meghan Lamb

#214 Backstory of the Poem

September 01, 2020

“Would It Be Too Much”

by Justine Quammie

#215 Backstory of the Poem

September 15, 2020

“Darkest days. . .Loneliest nights”

by Aaron R  

#216 Backstory of the Poem

September 23, 2020

“About My Death”

by Jennifer Barber


#217 Backstory of the Pome

October 09, 2020

“Leash of Deer”

by Catherine Graham 

#218 Backstory of the Poem

October 11, 2020


by Susan Tepper 

#219 Backstory of the Poem

November 22, 2020


by Volodymyr Bilyk 

#220 Backstory of the Poem

December 05, 2020

“the creature of bad habits”

by Erik Fuhrer 

#221 Backstory of the Poem

December 17, 2020


by Nan Lundeen 

#222 Backstory of the Poem

December 28, 2020


by Randall McNair 

#223 Backstory of the Poem

December 30, 2020

“Broken Rainbows”

by Steve Wheeler 

#224 Backstory of the Poem

December 31, 2020

“Elegy for Michael”

by Paul Nelson 

#225 Backstory of the Poem

January 01, 2021

“No One Is Home”

by Katrina Lippolis 

#226 Backstory of the Poem

January 03, 2021

“Dream Truth”

by Rachael Ikins  

#227 Backstory of the Poem

January 04, 2021


by Lucille Lang Day 

#228 Backstory of The Poem

January 08, 2021


by Bartholomew Rothrauff 

#229, 230, and 231 Backstory of the Poems

January 10, 2021

“Armed With Imagination”


“We Siblings Three”

by Randal Burd 

#232 Backstory of the Poem

January 13, 2021

“Adventsmarkt in Wurzburg”

by Arthur Turfa 

#233 Backstory of the Poem

January 18, 2021

“Death of a Carousel”

by Richard Weiser 

#234 Backstory of the Poem

January 19, 2021

“Moon Child”

by Carol Berg 

#235 Backstory of the Poem

January 20, 2021

“In That Good Time”

by Kyla Houbolt 

#236 Backstory of the Poem

January 22, 2021

“Epilogue: 10 Years Later”

by Lannie Stabile 

#237 Backstory of the Poem

January 23, 2021

“Awards Season”

by Maija Haavisto 

#238 Backstory of the Poem

January 24, 2021


by Luanne Castle 

#239 Backstory of the Poem

January 25, 2021


by Caroline Smith 

#240 Backstory of the Poem

January 26, 2021

“Rain Noir”

by Lucia Orellana 

#241 Backstory of the Poem

January 27, 2021

“G the F Knows”

by Martha Silano 

#242 Backstory of the Poem

January 29, 2021


by Stacy Boe Miller 

#243 Backstory of the Poem

January 30, 2021

“To Recapture Faith”

by Ellen Austin-Li 

#244 Backstory of the Poem

February 01, 2021

“Mother’s Reply”

by Lesley Clinton 

#245 Backstory of the Poem

February 02, 2021


by Mercedes Fonseca 

#246 Backstory of the Poem

February 04, 2021

“In The Beginning”

by Dr. M. Rather Jr 

#247 Backstory of the Poem

February 05, 2021

“Beasts and Creeping Things”

by Jessica L. Walsh 

#248 Backstory of the Poem

February 10, 2021

“California Feelin”

by Daniel Wright 

#249 Backstory of the Poem

February 14, 2021

“Your Room – Sky High”

by Deana Nantz 

#250 Backstory of the Poem

February 15, 2021

“It’s Complicated”

by Rose Skye 

#251 Backstory of the Poem

February 17, 2021


by Will Justice Drake 

#252  Backstory of the Poem

February 18, 2021


by Patricia Osborne 

#253 Backstory of the Poem

February 19, 2021


by Kelly Van Nelson 

#254 Backstory of the Poem

February 20,  2021

“Duke Ellington, Live at the Aquacade”

by Ryan A Black 

#255 Backstory of the Poem

February 21, 2021

“The Shuttlecock In Myself”

by Aditya Shankar 

#256 Backstory of the Poem

February 22, 2021

“Fractured Planes: An Empty Defense Mechanism”

by Shareen K. Murayama 

#257 Backstory of the Poem
February 24, 2021
by Carl Poten
#258 Backstory of the Poem
March 03, 2021
“My Stranger”
by Maria Taylor

#259 Backstory of the Poem  
March 04 2021
by Christie Williamson

#260 Backstory of the Poem
March 06, 2021
"The Law of Thermodynamics I - V"
by Adam Ai

#261 Backstory of the Poem
March 07, 2021
“Dad’s Plot”
by Ellie Rees

#262 Backstory of the Poem
March 08, 2021
by Shey Marque

#263 Backstory of the Poem
March 13, 2021
“Suite Ending with the Middle School Symphony Orchestra”
by Erin Malone

#264 Backstory of the Poem
March 14, 2021
“Swan Dive”
by Todd Franklin Osborn

#265 Backstory of the Poem
March 15, 2021
“There Must Be Other Words For Cry”
by Lynn Valentine

#266 Backstory of the Poem
March 19, 2021
“A History of Hardtack ( in one sentence)
by Paul Szlosek

#267 Backstory of the Poem
March 21, 2021
“Do Not Read in Bed”
by Kerry Rawlinson

#268 Backstory of the Poem
March 22, 2021
“Good Ol’ Boys”
by Sarah Z. Sleeper

#269 Backstory of the Poem
March 24, 2021
“Toward An Arctic Circle”
by Candice Kelsey

#270 Backstory of the Poem
March 26, 2021
“Asch’s Line Study in the Current Anthropocene”
by Paola Ferrante

#271 Backstory of the Poem
March 28, 2021
“For Dion in Belmont”
by David Blair

#272 Backstory of the Poem
March 29, 2021
“A Penance of Sundays”
by Rye Aker

#273  is now deleted.

#274 Backstory of the Poem
April 03, 2021
“My Neighbors in Lincoln, Nebraska”
by Patron Henekou

#275 Backstory of the Poem
April 04, 2021
“Jesus Never Laughed”
by Clint Margrave

#276 Backstory of the Poem
April 08, 2021
by Laura Reece Hogan

#277 Backstory of the Poem
April 13, 2021
“Prayer for Weeping”
by Ellen LaFleche

#278 Backstory of the Poem
April 19, 2021
“The Irish Washer Woman”
by Eileen Farrelly

#279 Backstory of the Poem
April 25, 2021
“Saratoga Passage, August 2014”
by Matt Hohner

#280 Backstory of the Poem
April 26, 2021
by D.A. Gray

#282 Backstory of the Poem:  Charles Rammelkamp’s “The Astronomy Professor’s Hubris”

#283 Backstory of the Poem  Iva Ticic’s “The Exodus/And Then There Were None”

#284 Backstory of the Poem:  David B. Prather’s “EXODUS” 

#285 Backstory of the Poem:  Los Angeles Poet Laureate Lynne Thompson’s “Elegy For The Red Dress”

#286 Backstory of the Poem:  Shana Ritter’s “What’s Gone”

#287 Backstory of the Poem:  Tricia Dearborn’s “‘[50] Tin”

#288 Backstory of the Poem:  Sophie Segura’s “Ghazal for Marginal Sea”

#289 Backstory of the Poem:  John Findura’s The Last Straw”

#290 Backstory of the Poem: Grace Bauer’s “Ms. Schadenfreude:  The Early Years

#291 Backstory of the Poem:  Barbara Crooker’s “A Villanelle for Kim”

 #292  Backstory of the Poem:  Katherine E. Young’s “Salt”

#293  Backstory of the Poem:  Meg Kearney’s “Crow”

#294 Backstory of the Poem: Kristi Carter’s “Translation of Internal Mappa Mundi”

#295 Backstory of the Poem: Kathie Giorgio's "Sex After Breast Cancer"

#296 Backstory of the Poem: Indian Poet Vineetha Mekkoth's "Ashtavakra"

#297 Backstory of the Poem: Alexis Rhone Fancher's "I Was Hovering Just Below the Ceiling, Contemplating My Death"

#298 Backstory of the Poem: Gregory Luce’s “A Face on the Metro”

#299 Backstory of the Poem : Stacey Z Lawrence’s “Cuffs”

#300 Backstory of the Poem: Patricia Carragon’s “At Last”

#301  Backstory of the Poem: Bill Cushing's "With Dad"  

#302 Backstory of the Poem:  Lorraine Caputo's "Archivo de la Memoria"

#303 Backstory of the Poems: Lee Murray’s A TALE OF THREE POEMS : RETOURNE, the pestilence followed us, and NEW YEAR

#304 Backstory of the Poem: Leslea Newman’s “13 Ways of Looking at Life Before the Virus”

#305 Backstory of the Poem: Lesley Ingram’s “Tap Dancing In The Lift”

#306 Backstory of the Poem: Mary Barnet Schiff’s “Birds, and Birds”

#307 Backstory of the Poem: Lauren Camp’s “Into Sleep I Sang the Destruction”

#309 Backstory of the Poem: Kathryn Ann Hill’s “COVID CURE”

#310 Backstory of the Poem: Pamela R. Anderson-Bartholet’s “What Color Are the Blue Ridge Mountains?”

#311 Backstory of the Poem: Robert Simon’s “To An Unjust Rejection”

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