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2020 adult poetry postersno pale turquoise mountain gem, no stately green procession, this—a dull body glugging along in its wide, heavy bed, olive meandering south, banks littered by dull flecks of discarded fish scales. and yet, in its depths, the shadow of a treasure— the legendary big one, the one that got away! iowa river Ting Gao I press the button to activate the walk light "Wait!" commands a voice impatient and irritable As if fed up with all the jokers who jaywalk in this town In a tone that tells us not to even think about it. Cross Voice at the Crosswalk Alison McGoff The crop never came on so well. No squirrels stealing, for once. June days, bowl afler bowl of sweet red fruit. Sour ones, too, for pies. The cherry, for summer’s contemplation. TIME OF CHERRIES Mike Lewis-Beck Sometimes they toss old bread into the creek behind the co-op. By where the old temple used to be, that we could walk to, on a Friday night, afler work. Tashlich Rachael Carlson Rain –raccoons nested under the old pickup planted in the neighbor's driveway. The brood verbalizes its delight at the sodden moon. Tanka with Raccoons David Duer Corduroy cornfields. Brown and white hawks on fence posts. Fall in Iowa. Harvest Haiku Judith Leavitt Brooms would sweep dust off porch steps Into yards empty as future alleyways. Rows upon rows of corn tassels Shivered in congested sunlight. Crackling with its weight, The dry soil called to storms over the hill. That is what days were like, he'd say: to anyone. Prairie (Grandfather) Philip Beck Suspended in bright freeze knocking ski against ski sounds stilled by Rocky pines at altitude of hush thinking Cathedral thoughts Lifted LA Felleman Crumpled wrappers of snow melt along sunny sidewalks and linger within shaded corners in pockets of surprising white. Remnants of the Storm Lisa M. Roberts Our DNA matched us as sisters, much to my surprise But, when we met, you had my laugh, my lips, my hips, my eyes I missed you, Sis, with all the highs and low along our way But, the sum of our years apart won't blind our love today We can't look back in sadness, Judy, now is our only chance Though we might have missed the music, we still have had this dance. At Seventy-five Diane LaDuke Through the backyard window, my gaze locks with the bright eyes in the small furred face of my squirrel neighbor, vibrating with preflight energy as she completes her launch trajectory calculations from lilac branch to bird feeder paradise. Moonshot Jennifer Horn-Frasier In the catcher’s box, the heat misses my mitt entirely, whmpfs me smack in the belly. Hostility Nancy Lael Braun So her pants lefl without her and got on the bus. They ran during recess and jumped during gym. Made friends over hopscotch with her and with him. Sat crisscrossed for stories. Tip-toed in the hall. Tried holding a crayon. Made star-student wall. Afler-school chess club. Three-legged race. Home late to find Annie, still red in the face Annie Wouldn’t Get Dressed and She Made Quite a Fuss Sofia Dibble I was 6 years old when you told me. And 32 when I heard. “This life is yours, baby girl.” “Yes” I whispered back. “It is.” Remember Christina Zinkgraf The chorus line of turkeys is down to two. They no longer flounce across our yards in their feather tutus as a troupe. The coyotes waiting in the wings don’t care for ballet Gobble Gobble Trudi Rosazza Pagina,from pag,to fasten: to fit closely: a stake or binding compact: a palette thickening: a trellis to which rows of vines are fixed: a frigate to fasten on while hoisting fast her sail. Going Over Notes from the Library . . David Hamilton cloudless moonlit night the old fir stands out clearly next to its shadow Duality Patricia E. Noeth Mourning dove’s morning song dancing dandelion seed dreams Pillows made from sofl peaches honey hums and honeydew A humid breeze like baby’s breath no taste of bitter fruit Summer Lullaby Hannah Erlbacher The red umbrella in the hall of statues carved From marble quarried in the Cyclades and sold To merchants from Smyrna—this was how we knew The war was almost over. There were figs in the market, The roads were passable again, and the bells ringing Hourly in the churches stopped. In the beginning, The condemned man said in his cell. Lucky me. From “The Red Umbrella” Christopher Merrill I want a cashew who got the cash for that nut not me and not you Cashew Tyler Lubke I vowed never to settle again but in you I discovered home. IOWA CITY Phil Kemp In this house, a menagerie of dreams. A sainted lion festooned in ribbons carved as roses. A dragon with kind eyes and silken scales. A small girl in a red coat with black buttons chooses the tiniest cat, with a tail like a cloud. She is my girl. And this is her house. Her choices are a kind of magic to me. Her thoughts, a choir of animals singing. My arms will forever hold her firmly in the saddle. And I will love her longer tha n this fantasy lasts. Please let me gather all of the days we’ve ridden together, hand in gifled hand, and let me always call her home. Jen Rouse Carousel - for Madeline And you worry about tomorrow, and tomorrow, and us. When every day there is today, and today. And us. Dónal Kevin Gordon Carpe Diem You dare to don autumn colors before any other tree Soon your ballet folklorico begins Leafy ruftfes form your swirling skirts Your trunk wears the churro suit steadying you as you dance in the wind You flirt, brushing against each other Then dance away leaving a dazzling finale Fiesta Maple Rosalea Ragland When I am old I shall be crotchety— writing semiquaver riffs of jazz up and down the scales of my life. No paintbrushes for me—No! With my thorny crotchet, I shall lead flocks of black sheep into mischief. ON BEING CROTCHETY Claudine Harris In every universe, is there a switch to turn it off; or maybe one loose thread that, plucked, undoes its fabric stitch by stitch? And some fool finds it and inquires, “What’s this?” and flips or tugs? Such ponderings have led strong minds and weak to plumb the same abyss. But, switch or thread? You can’t help wonder which. So It Goes Dan Campion blue jay how tall the maple has become This Morning Jeffrey Hanson Island solstice morn Sun rose from the sea, peering Through low clouds, golden Then in measured time Settled in its ocean bed Wrapped in coral glow. Winter Holiday Bonnie Murphy Streetlight over a tree of ice. Silver crescents nested in shockwaves, scratched glass against the charcoal dark. You could make a print of that shot so black no one would be able to say what it was. Photograph from the throat of a well. Cobwebs. Someone’s cursive; an angel opening its one good eye. Via Negativa Andrew David King Here we find stillness once in a while; tell stories of our lives that were missed. In the caving in, clawing out of this great mess, I forget to be frank, except here— this is where we save us. Porch Time Allison Cascio The royal court outside my window changed regalia while standing tall and proud. Old discarded vestments once green, now brown, the worse for wear lie heaped at their feet replaced by sugary ermine slipped onto shoulders by the handmaiden of winter. Winter Trees Ron Pile I painted a bird to catch the air to capture what I wanted where I could see it, still This was more than I could ask of you To stop To wait To be held in paint or time No. You would not be held nor could I hold on to you can I hold on to you still Capture Joshua David (JD) Haveman And the last time I saw you, I turned around in the backseat of dad’s old Mercury, to see you standing alone on the driveway, knee deep in snow, and waving, waving, waving goodbye. Julie R. Nelson Cameo there's a minor madness to be managed, a feathery fever to finesse, a cuddly chaos to be caressed, a dram of drama to be drunk, a slightly shaken soda to be savored that allows my climate to be content and my boldness to be born. my peace isn't primarily a poised, placid pond more a boisterous, bubbling brook percolating with promise and potential my peace i give to you ... i'll try not to spray too much on your shirt. Spray Roger Wolsey Everyone leaves. We line up, each of us, trying to determine the absolutely latest best possible last moment to slurp down one final drop of coffee, grounds swirling down the sink while we sling messengers bags filled with toast over our shoulders, gliding to the stop precisely as the bus arrives, a perfect two-step dance as the dog barks from the top of the sofa, announcing the moment of departure. Bus Poem Diane Blyler clueless but never hopeless, can be misunderstood but knows what her worth is, Gives and shows it, but doesn’t let them hold it, tears of pain, regret, from silence love that aches in her brain, patiently waits and awakens, as she waters her black rose garden with sad rain, hoping one day, to see at least just one red rose bloom again. Hope of red truEdith Down I go into the gray and brown I hit the sides like I'm in a cradle, and being rocked too fast. It's an abrupt catastrophe. I didn’t see this one coming; but I felt it, like the slight rumble of the earthquake, or like the false dawn before the real light yawns and opens the sickly day. It's just another ending. Dapple and down. Dapple and Down Thomas W. Case Sometimes I slip my cellphone leash to wander a riverbank trail stopping where calm water reflects angled branches, cloud-dotted sky serenity seeps through my skin Escape Maxine Carlson i notice the way you speak of her and i notice the way she smiles at you and i can’t help but wonder if it wasn’t us would it be you two? risk Jordan Geriane First early snowstorm... Tree roots swimming in pools of leaves Bare branches shiver. Falling Angela Davies I do not know why or need to know why I am here. It is my time to look and pass a garden of fading colors in slowly, falling rain. untitled Tim Happel If I must die Someday I pray That all you call My grave is “Dave.” Prepitaph Dave Morice They set out on foot on a long journey home They were hungry and delighted by the wind All their efforts evaporated when they worked together. And really they had more because their heart spoke to them. So they followed the North Star and their guide And when they got there, their new friends greeted them on the railroad, Home Safe. Wayward to Post Evan Shaw I used your gifl sage today, the one I saved from years ago when we talked, and talked, talked, when I knew I didn't need it, yet, to clear out old ghosts, folks who don't treat me like a real person, even while they spurl out nonsense otherwise, including you. Loved you, once, but -- Time's Gifl: I am smarter now. I used your gift sage today, the one I saved Allison Heady