A Temple of Iron – Our 2018 Pushcart Nominations

So there I was, minding my own business, lifting heavy things and putting them back down. I had abandoned the bear cave for an iron temple of my own making. And Brodin had turned his countenance towards this new temple, and he smiled upon it, and he blessed it for the sacred gainz and for the pursuit of the Swole. Wheymen.

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Olivier Schopfer – Landscapes

“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.” ~Rachel Carson

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Stephanie JT Russell – Five Poems

Poets are archaeologists, charged with excavating beauty from ruins. We are watchkeepers of human frailty and catastrophes, the infirmities of age, the inevitability of death. We point to the hidden tenderness of a rusted Edsel wedged in fields of yarrow, an apple made more beautiful by a spreading bruise. We dare ask, again and again, why we don’t understand what beauty is, but are compelled to seek out its most unexpected, least obvious arising.

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Michael Skau – Three Poems

Drunk as Adam and Eve, hornets
and bees gorge on the cider of bruised apples
at Fall’s bar even as the purpled dusk calls
out closing time, oblivious of the flight
home’s erratic traffic and nighthawk patrols.

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Katherine Smith – Six Poems

Beauty smelled of tannin and it looked like the Hiwassee River and it sounded like Lucinda Williams singing “Car Wheels on a Gravel Road.”  Beauty is a real place I can touch in this world.

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John Riley – Five Poems

We are here, they said. In the future, we’ll be gone and there will be other students but we’re glad we’re on the planet at the same time that you are. Music has times and measures but we won’t think about the transience of all that exists for these few minutes. That is what beauty is and I experienced it tonight.

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Ana Vidosavljevic – Rakija

Yellow frangipani flowers and purple bougainvillea are my companions every morning. I walk through the garden and touch their petals. Soft, silky and fragile. They caress my palms and fill my body with some strange tenderness.

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Flo Au – Shadows

The weather is congenial with the sun blazing. Now she leans onto the railing, stretches her back forward, lifts her head towards the brightest part of the translucent blue sky.

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Anwer Ghani – Shadows

The first step towards the transfigured aesthetic response is the reader attraction where the reader finds himself as a part in the poem, then the poem will transform from the isolated external thing to a very special and specific thing in regard to the reader

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Judy Kaber – Four Poems

The poet’s job is to dig the beauty out, to reconstruct it in language that tastes fine and fresh, to make the world a new place again where beauty is impossibly evident.

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Patience Mackarness – The Music Tree

I’m drawn to places where lines blur between the natural and the man-made: a smoking slagheap transformed into a green hill, a brick alleyway into a garden, an eco-roundhouse with flowers growing on its roof

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Francine Witte – Four Poems

I see beauty in language. I love to tinker with words and come up with a phrase that is beautiful because it has resonance. That is, it creates a magic. It’s bigger than just the words. That is a moment of beauty to me. The other way i look for beauty in my work is creating an emotional connection to my reader. I want to know that I have possibly moved the reader in some way. Maybe it’s a sense of knowing what i mean, or being moved.  These two things, the playing with language and the emotional connection are what creates beauty when I write. 

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Eduardo Escalante – Five Poems

Beauty allows us. It is not a matter of creative maturity, but of sensitivity and wisdom. The alterations dissolve in the daily routine and we enter the state of poetic consciousness that connects the prosaic with the lyrical, the mundane with the symbolic, allowing us to express beauty.

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Andrea Potos – Four Poems

These days when I think of beauty, I think of the children’s picture book I keep by my bedside: Miss Rumphius, written and illustrated by the great Barbara Cooney.  This book is a timeless gem that tells the reader, through story,  one of the most important tasks in this lifetime is to contribute something of beauty to the world. 

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José Sotolongo – Ebb Tide

Have you, like me, ever been stopped in your tracks by something or someone beautiful? If it’s a person, I’ll steal a second or third glance at him or her, amazed that this specimen of our species can be so arresting, can so impact on me just because of their bone structure, their stance.

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Anne Hunley Trisler – Five Poems

I have an interest in seeking beauty everywhere, and I charge myself with infusing the beautiful into words, braiding it into rhythm and rhyme, and I strive to make choices with beauty in mind.

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Meredith Bergmann – Four Poems

Beauty occurs in sudden relationships: daylight from two windows falling differently on two sides of a face at once, an adjective from childish things cropping up in a phrase that would otherwise be too full of mourning, an arm in clay with a bent elbow I tilt or extend just enough to finally embrace its atmosphere.

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Erin Wilson – Four Poems

Perhaps it’s easiest to say this — There are stones, bricks, metal and mountains. There is the great volume of space around these things. And there is how light shines down upon these things, warming them, making even the hardest surfaces shimmer.

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Wally Swist – Four Poems

What is peripheral is
              often not even what is considered,
                            but what passes just beyond
                                          our vision may momentarily

flutter there and be so enchanting
              that it offers a revelation as to
                            why butterflies are emblematic
                                          of the evanescent. 

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David Berman – Three Poems

As a poet who had studied under Robert Lowell and Archibald MacLeish, David Berman shared his impeccably beautiful formal verse with the Powows, but kept his darker, often free verse poems, in his notebooks.

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