“At the Piano” by Anna Katharine Green

As all is unknown.
-The Voice before the Void

“At the Piano”

Anna Katharine Green

Play on! Play on! As softly glides
The low refrain, I seem, I seem
To float, to float on golden tides,
By sunlit isles, where life and dream
Are one, are one; and hope and bliss
Move hand in hand, and thrilling, kiss
‘Neath bowery blooms,
In twilight glooms,
And love is life, and life is love. Continue reading

“A Late Good Night” by Robert Fuller Murray

What a great poem.
-The Voice before the Void

“A Late Good Night”

Robert Fuller Murray

My lamp is out, my task is done,
And up the stair with lingering feet
I climb. The staircase clock strikes one.
Good night, my love! good night, my sweet!

My solitary room I gain.
A single star makes incomplete
The blackness of the window pane.
Good night, my love! good night, my sweet!

Dim and more dim its sparkle grows,
And ere my head the pillows meet,
My lids are fain themselves to close.
Good night, my love! good night, my sweet!

My lips no other words can say,
But still they murmur and repeat
To you, who slumber far away,
Good night, my love! good night, my sweet!

“Patterns” by Amy Lowell

Armistice Day:
A celebrated poem about the Flanders Campaign of the British army during the War of the First Coalition, written and published during the First World War as the British army was fighting in Flanders.
-The Voice before the Void

“Patterns”

Amy Lowell

I walk down the garden paths,
And all the daffodils
Are blowing, and the bright blue squills.
I walk down the patterned garden-paths
In my stiff, brocaded gown.
With my powdered hair and jewelled fan,
I too am a rare
Pattern. As I wander down Continue reading

“What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why” by Edna St. Vincent Millay

All lost, all forgotten.
-The Voice before the Void

“What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why”

Edna St. Vincent Millay

What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
Under my head till morning; but the rain
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh
Upon the glass and listen for reply,
And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain
For unremembered lads that not again
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.
Thus in the winter stands the lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet knows its boughs more silent than before:
I cannot say what loves have come and gone,
I only know that summer sang in me
A little while, that in me sings no more.

“Gavon’s Eve” by E.F. Benson

Halloween:
Legend and mystery and scandal, a witch and a ghost, and a blasphemous ritual in a castle ruin in the autumnal midnight.
-The Voice before the Void

“Gavon’s Eve”

E.F. Benson

It is only the largest kind of ordnance map that records the existence of the village of Gavon, in the shire of Sutherland, and it is perhaps surprising that any map on whatever scale should mark so small and huddled a group of huts, set on a bare, bleak headland between moor and sea, and, so one would have thought, of no import at all to any who did not happen to live there. But the river Gavon, on the right bank of which stand this half-dozen of chimneyless and wind-swept habitations, is a geographical fact of far greater interest to outsiders, Continue reading

“Lemon Wedges” by Tracy Lindquist Price

Love is a tremendous thing. I love this poem.
Read Price’s work at The Cherry Window and Plains Prose.
-The Voice before the Void

“Lemon Wedges”

Tracy Lindquist Price

Today I chewed on lemon wedges to kill the sweet taste of you
in my mouth but still the water came and the acid stung my cheeks
as the pulp tears slid down my face they leapt off my chin
hit the ground and beneath my feet a lemon tree grew

I watched as it emerged, the trunk was crusted in sugar
the leaves were glossy and crystallized, the fruit had begun to bear
from the yellow cracked bits of flowers that perched upon the edges
of candied sticks and there is where the hard rock lemon drops formed

by the thousands; and to shake the hung tree was tempting
so I did just that in my sapphire dress with a wedge between my teeth
it poured over me like rain in a storm, landing quiet as cotton balls
and a mountain of stones built around me, I was pushed atop the peak.

I took a step, grabbed the highest branch and sat quiet on a limb.
I listened when the dropped mountain began to tremble, gazed
as it all started falling upwards from the bottom to the top until nothing remained
on the grass, but me, the empty tree and the last of my lemon rinds.

Through the sky the drops flew higher, beyond the clouds and the moon
and I could not tell what twinkled more, the sugar or the stars
each stopped in time to find its place and I fixated on Cepheus when into
his crown did a handful slip as Cassiopeia sighed; love within reach forever.

http://cherrywindow.blogspot.com/2012/03/lemon-wedges.html

Interview with Noelle Myers of the Northern Ink Writers’ Group of Grand Forks, North Dakota

I sat down with Noelle Myers, the moderator of the Northern Ink Writers’ Group, which meets every two weeks in the Grand Forks Public Library in Grand Forks, North Dakota.
The Red River, which flows through Grand Forks north to the Hudson Bay, catastrophically flooded the city in 1997. The Grand Forks Herald won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for its coverage of the flood.
We talked about Northern Ink’s Life in the North anthology; fiction genres; literary charities; writers’ conferences; constructive criticism; narrative construction; creating a new genre; geological and economical fiction; the “new adult” genre; “heat” or sex in fiction; rules for publishing and “pirate rules”; taboo subjects in fiction; the difference between romance fiction and women’s fiction or literary fiction; science fiction and Hugo Gernsback; sub-genres; anthologies; the purpose of life; being a better writer; the UND and NDSU sports rivalry; sports, arts, literature, and other frivolity; beauty; collegiate sports funding; online writing groups and writing sprints; dead-tree books and Nooks; antique children’s books; book collecting; the Grand Forks Flood of 1997; antique stores; the library swap shelf; support and encouragement; the Grand Forks Herald and its Pulitzer; and writers’ characters.
“There’s like 20 different -punks.”
-The Voice before the Void

Northern Ink
The Laughing Girls Poetry Reading Series and The Laughing Girls on Facebook
Teegan Loy at Dreamspinner Press
Written? Kitten!
WriteOrDie.com
PaperbackSwap.com

Interview with Noelle Myers of the Northern Ink Writers’ Group of Grand Forks, North Dakota

The Voice before the Void

“The Glory of the Day was in her Face” by James Weldon Johnson

St. Valentine’s Day Special

“The Glory of the Day was in her Face”

James Weldon Johnson

The glory of the day was in her face,
The beauty of the night was in her eyes.
And over all her loveliness, the grace
Of Morning blushing in the early skies. Continue reading

“One Morning” by Ambrose Bierce

St. Valentine’s Day Special:
How to apologize for running late.

“One Morning”

Ambrose Bierce

Because that I am weak, my love, and ill,
I cannot follow the impatient feet
Of my desire, but sit and watch the beat
Of the unpitying pendulum fulfill
The hour appointed for the air to thrill
And brighten at your coming. O my sweet,
The tale of moments is at last complete—
The tryst is broken on the gusty hill!
O lady, faithful-footed, loyal-eyed,
The long leagues silence me; yet doubt me not;
Think rather that the clock and sun have lied
And all too early, you have sought the spot.
For lo! despair has darkened all the light,
And till I see your face it still is night.

“The Lovers” by Rumi

St. Valentine’s Day Special:
Become this. Become this.

“The Lovers”

Rumi

from Hush, Don’t Say Anything to God: Passionate Poems of Rumi

translated from Persian by Shahram Shiva

The lovers
will drink wine night and day.
They will drink until they can
tear away the veils of intellect and
melt away the layers of shame and modesty.
When in Love,
body, mind, heart and soul don’t even exist.
Become this,
fall in Love, and you will not be separated again.

“The Canal” by Everil Worrell

Vampire romance – vintage, and done properly… that is: with horror.
⁓The Voice before the Void

“The Canal”

Everil Worrell

Past the sleeping city the river sweeps; along its left bank the old canal creeps.

I did not intend that to be poetry, although the scene is poetic—somberly, gruesomely poetic, like the poems of Poe. I know it too well—I have walked too often over the grass-grown path beside the reflections of black trees and tumble-down shacks and distant factory chimneys in the sluggish waters that moved so slowly, and ceased to move at all.

I have always had a taste for nocturnal prowling. Continue reading

Escape North to Indonesia: My Dream and Her Interpretation

Indonesia doesn’t even have a southern land border.
“Yo, are you ready?”
“Am I ready? What do you mean?”
(Though provocative, I don’t agree with her assessment, largely because I consider my life to be characterized fundamentally by privilege, and really not at all by anguish.)
⁓The Voice before the Void

Escape North to Indonesia: My Dream and Her Interpretation

The Voice before the Void

“The Repairer of Reputations” from The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers, part 2

A portrait of weirdness and insanity and horror, indulgence and love, the city in springtime, forbidden knowledge, foreboding.
⁓The Voice before the Void

“The Repairer of Reputations”

from The King in Yellow

Robert W. Chambers

part 2

II

I climbed the three dilapidated flights of stairs, which I had so often climbed before, and knocked at a small door at the end of the corridor. Mr. Wilde opened the door and I walked in. Continue reading

“Song of a Second April” by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Springtime Special:
Gone and gone for evermore.
⁓The Voice before the Void

“Song of a Second April”

Edna St. Vincent Millay

April this year, not otherwise
Than April of a year ago,
Is full of whispers, full of sighs,
Of dazzling mud and dingy snow;
Hepaticas that pleased you so
Are here again, and butterflies.

There rings a hammering all day,
And shingles lie about the doors;
In orchards near and far away
The grey wood-pecker taps and bores;
The men are merry at their chores,
And children earnest at their play.

The larger streams run still and deep,
Noisy and swift the small brooks run.
Among the mullein stalks the sheep
Go up the hillside in the sun,
Pensively, —only you are gone,
You that alone I cared to keep.

“The Mermaid” by Ben King

International Women’s Day Special:
Glorious romance, if a bit fishy.
⁓The Voice before the Void

“The Mermaid”

Ben King

Sweet mermaid of the incomparable eyes,
Surpassing glimpses of the April skies.
Thy form, ah, maid of the billowy deep!
So rare and fair, but to possess I’d creep
Where the old octopus deep in his briny haunts
Comes forth to feed on anything he wants;
Where mollusks crawl and cuttlefish entwine,
There on crustaceans be content to dine.
What ecstacies in some calcareous valley,
Had I but scales like thee ’tis there we’d dally,
There seek each peak and let no other bliss
Be more enchanting than one salt-sea kiss;
There sit and bask in love, and sigh, and feel
Each other’s fins throb, Continue reading

Last letter to Sarah Ballou by Sullivan Ballou

St. Valentine’s Day Special:
Made famous by Ken Burns’ 1990 documentary The Civil War, Union Army Major Ballou’s final letter to his wife before he was killed at the First Battle of Bull Run is an unbearable expression of love. All of life is made more rich and more agonizing through acquaintanceship with this letter.
⁓The Voice before the Void

Last letter to Sarah Ballou

Sullivan Ballou

July the 14th, 1861

Washington D.C.

My very dear Sarah:

The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days—perhaps tomorrow. Lest I should not be able to write you again, I feel impelled to write lines that may fall under your eye when I shall be no more. Continue reading

“The Kiss of Death (The Inexorable)” by Carmen Sylva

Chillundity by the Queen of Romania.
⁓The Voice before the Void

“The Kiss of Death (The Inexorable)”

Carmen Sylva

translated from the German by Helen Zimmern

The sea was running high and was black as night. Only the crests of the endless waves glistened in the lightning that flashed across the heavens. The storm was raging towards the land and threw the ships upon the rocks, so that hundreds of human lives perished in the ocean. Then of a sudden it seemed as though the storm grew entangled among the cliffs on the shore, and condensed into a form that reared up tall and pale against the mighty heavens. It was a grave youth with unflinching black eyes, who leaned upon a sickle and held an hour-glass in his hand. He gazed across the waters with an indifferent air, as though the wrecks, and corpses beneath, concerned him as little as the sand in his glass, which trickled down evenly, steadily, regardless of the blustering of the storm, or the sudden quiet. There was something iron-like in the youth’s features, in his eyes there lay a power that destroyed all things they looked upon; even the ocean seemed to be numbed by them, and to grow silent with fear. Day dawned, and flooded with roseate hues from the rising sun. Sorrow came stepping over the cliffs. She stretched out her arms to the youth.

“Brother,” she cried, “brother, what have you done! You have raged terribly, and did not hear how I called you, ay, cried for you so eagerly.”

“I heard nothing,” said Death. “I felt myself too quiet, so I roused myself. A few vessels were lost in the act.”

“O pitiless one!” said Sorrow.

“I do not comprehend your grief,” answered the somber youth; and turning from her, he walked away. Continue reading

“Joy” by The Voice before the Void

Armistice Day Special:
In commemoration of World War I

“Joy”

The Voice before the Void

Millions died in mud

Joy exists only as a shadow’s shadow
For death is the model and senses but fracture

Yet within ten centimeters lies buried pleasure Continue reading

“October’s Bright Blue Weather” by Helen Hunt Jackson

Autumn Special:
Jackson asserts that people want to have sex with each other in the autumn even more than they do in the summertime.
⁓The Voice before the Void

“October’s Bright Blue Weather”

Helen Hunt Jackson

O suns and skies and clouds of June,
And flowers of June together,
Ye cannot rival for one hour
October’s bright blue weather; Continue reading

“When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes” by William Shakespeare

Love expressed.
⁓The Voice before the Void

“When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes”

William Shakespeare

When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
(Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth) sings hymns at heaven’s gate;

For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

“How many more times must we meet…” by Susan Loone

An extraordinary piece.
⁓The Voice before the Void

View other art and poetry by Susan Loone at sloonepoems.wordpress.com and at sloone.blogspot.com

How many more times must we meet Susan Loone art love

“How many more times must we meet…”

Susan Loone

When I took you aside and told you we have met a thousand years ago, it was not meant to be a pick up line. It was meant to be a reunion of two old souls.

Eventually, it was only I who recognised you, while you have no inkling of who I am. Continue reading

“A Red, Red Rose” by Robert Burns

International Women’s Day Special:
Sublime sentiment distilled.
⁓The Voice before the Void

“A Red, Red Rose”

Robert Burns

O my Luve’s like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June:
O my Luve’s like the melodie
That’s sweetly play’d in tune!

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I:
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry: Continue reading

“How do I love thee?” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

St. Valentine’s Day Special:
One of the most famed sonnets of the English language.
⁓The Voice before the Void

“How do I love thee?”

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

“A Valentine” by Eugene Field

St. Valentine’s Day Special:
Sweet and silly, a perfect valentine.
⁓The Voice before the Void

“A Valentine”

Eugene Field

Go, Cupid, and my sweetheart tell
I love her well.
Yes, though she tramples on my heart
And rends that bleeding thing apart;
And though she rolls a scornful eye
On doting me when I go by;
And though she scouts at everything
As tribute unto her I bring–
Apple, banana, caramel–
Haste, Cupid, to my love and tell,
In spite of all, I love her well!

And further say I have a sled Continue reading

“Annihilation Speaks to His Concubine: An Urban Fantasy Dark Romance” by The Voice before the Void

The seductiveness of Death: an original vignette.
⁓The Voice before the Void

“Annihilation Speaks to His Concubine: An Urban Fantasy Dark Romance”

The Voice before the Void

I have come to you now in your sleep. Now, you hear me as a voice in your dream; in a moment, you shall sense my presence near you, and fear shall paralyze you. This shall pass, for I am familiar to you; you have felt me near you many times.

I have come to you now to take you completely.

And now you are excited, for you know that you cannot deny me. I have never been denied, and I never shall be denied. My power over all of your brethren is total; my power over you is total.

I shall take all of you, including all of your memories, and all of your tomorrows. My ravishment of you now terrifies and exhilarates you beyond all else you have ever felt, for you know that this experience is unique and ultimate.

After, I shall leave you forever in perfect peace.