Poetry Corner – Volume 9


For the inner ear, the voice of the vessel of silence is an embrace
felt by an infinite number of scribes.
It is my wish to offer here an oasis of present day poetic

Each month i shall invite new poets to breathe with, and they in
turn will bring guests of their own.

Poetry Corner at TIFERET has evolved out of Donna Stein’s
enthusiasm to nurture the spirit of beauty in all its forms.

silent lotus

February 2011 Silent Lotus’ Selected

Rick Stansberger

and his guest Michelle Beth Cronk

Lisa Starr

and her guest Coleman Barks


Sunset Fire, Mountain, Rain

Cloud-filled gulleys.
A killing ground– flame
smoke, steam — so

steep the fire crews
let this one burn.
Smells like incense

from ten miles away
looks like Shangri-la,
mind-road to Buddha-land

sunset pouring straight
into those clouds
then straight back out.

2 AM in the Season of Storms

Tiger tonight

growls among mountains.

The bruja

who becomes a cat to cross a road,

the duende

who sprouts from mesquite black,

they hear it too.

They and I,

greedy for the sound.

Rick Stansberger has been publishing here and there
since 1965. His most recent collection of poems, Stark, Ohio, was
published in 2010 by TMJF Publishing. He resides in Silver City,
New Mexico, where he teaches writing and maintains several blogs.
Rick can be reached at: stansbergerr@wnmu.edu

Michelle Beth Cronk



One day you will be gone
and I will fall quietly,

like rain, with no preference
for my landing place.

(previously published at Loch Raven

Michelle Beth Cronk lives in Southern California with her
husband and children. She is a contributor and editor to the online
community at PoetryCircle.com and is finishing up her first
manuscript. She has various work published here and there online at
journals including Lock Raven Review, Tryst, elimae, and
Eclectica. She is also very pleased and honored to be
featured with Rick Stansberger, who “gets” her poems and is a
constant source of support and encouragement.


Sandpipers, Again

I went back to the sandpipers today—
it’s been a while.
Six of them, or
was it twenty? Never matters;
somehow we all know when a meeting
has been called,
somehow we all know
when the surf will start
tossing back
its wild silver hair.

One time I was astonished
to find them waiting for me
on the beach in Newport.
It was so quiet
it was like rain,
without the rain.
I wasn’t planning it
my car just brought me there,
a most uncommon thing—
it’s not that kind of car
but there we were, alone on a beach.

It almost made me giddy,
like today,
just now.
I’d forgotten how much
I need them.
Like me they were laughing and
sputtering about the beauty.
A few of them couldn’t help it
and just kept throwing their small bodies
again and again
into the wild, white water.


Lately she’s been falling in love everywhere—
at the market, in the pharmacy, always in the cafeteria
sliding her tray over the metal rails,
last week with the hands of the attendant at a gas station.
It’s not right, she knows, but still, she can’t help it.
Sometimes it happens all day long.

Yesterday at the campus it was everything again—
The way the postmaster, on lunch break, went whistling past,
or how the frisbee players sing the quad.
The way some students stay after class, that usually gets her.
Cashiers, people who sing at stop lights—all fair game.
Cab drivers—forget it.

With ice cream scoopers, with their little paper hats,
it is often love at first sight,
and she will never forget the boy at the sandwich shop—
the way he said “miss, would you like anything to drink?”
to the 80-year-old woman in front of her,
then when it was her turn said “Ma’am” instead.

Later today, blessed by all this loving
she will make some tea and play a violin concerto
for her dog who is deaf.
She will play the music as loud as it will go
because she can, and because somehow, he’ll hear it
and he will stand on the porch of the fine yellow house,

She will be all choked up
because the lawn chairs
have never been this white before
and because, tired ears flapping
in a soft Autumn breeze,
the old dog will bark back his joy.

An inn-keeper, a mother, a basketball coach and a teacher, Lisa
Starr, Rhode Island’s Poet Laureate, divides her time among a
variety of interests, her children, and her passion for poetry. She
is a two-time recipient of the R.I. Fellowship for Poetry. In her
capacity as Poet Laureate, Starr has established dozens of poetry
circles in typically marginalized communities. She is a proud and
founding member of Ocean State Poets, a team of volunteers that
travels around the state, sharing poetry at facilities for the
elderly, schools, hospitals, group homes, libraries, the prison,
and agencies for children and adults with severe mental and
physical disabilities.

In April of 2009 Starr assembled more than a dozen US State Poets
Laureate in Rhode Island for Poetry for Hope, a series of readings,
workshops, and public forums. The poets worked with more than 7,000
Rhode Islanders (most of them students and teachers) during the
5-day poetry sweep.

Starr’s third collection of poems, Mad With Yellow, was
published in September, 2008. She is the author of two other books:
This Place Here (2001) and Days of Dogs and
(1993). A poet by choice and an innkeeper by
necessity, Starr lives in and operates the Hygeia House, a 10-room
inn on Block Island which is also home to the Block Island Poetry
Project, Starr’s nationally acclaimed humanities series, now in its
8th year. The brightest lights of her life are her two children,
Orrin (14) and Millie(13) her beloved dog, Brother, and Jewel, her
wild, new little cat. When time permits, she writes her heart


Coleman Barks

A Sky-Opening

Now this light,
last day of June 2010,
sun going down, gone down,
but with a glow out the east window
so strong an overall surround,
hard rainstorm just over,
pinkish blue, gold sky everywhere one glow,
reminding me again how it was in my childhood,
how it still is,
the way a change in light and air
makes you have to walk outside
to try to get closer to it
out in the yard or in the street
under a sky-opening through the trees.

Born in 1937 in Chattanooga, Tennessee and educated at the
Univ. of North Carolina (BA 1959; PhD 1968) and at the Univ. of
California, Berkeley (MA 1961), Coleman Barks has since 1977
collaborated with various scholars of the Persian language (most
notably, John Moyne) to bring over into American free verse the
poetry of the 13th Century mystic, Jelaluddin Rumi. This work has
resulted in twenty-one volumes, including the bestselling
Essential Rumi in 1995, two appearances on Bill Moyers’
PBS specials, and inclusion in the prestigious Norton Anthology
of World Masterpieces
. The Rumi translations have sold over a
million copies. It is claimed that over the last fifteen years Rumi
has been the most-read poet in the United States. In October 2010
HarperOne published RUMI: THE BIG RED BOOK, which collects all of
the work on Rumi’s ghazals and rubai that he has done over the past
thirty-four years.

Dr. Barks taught American Literature and Creative Writing at
various universities for thirty-four years, and has published seven
volumes of his own poetry. The Univ. of Georgia Press published
WINTER SKY: Poems 1968-2008 in September of 2008. In 2004
he received the Juliet Hollister Award for his work in the
interfaith area. In March 2005 the US State Dept. sent him to
Afghanistan as the first visiting speaker there in twenty-five
years. In May of 2006 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the
University of Tehran. In 2009 he was inducted into the Georgia
Writers Hall of Fame. He is now retired Professor Emeritus at the
Univ. of Georgia in Athens. He has two grown sons and four
grandchildren, all of whom live near him in Athens, Georgia.

Poetry Corner Monthly Archives

POETRY CORNER by silent lotus … JANUARY 2011

POETRY CORNER by silent lotus … DECEMBER 2010

POETRY CORNER by silent lotus … NOVEMBER 2010

POETRY CORNER by silent lotus … OCTOBER 2010

POETRY CORNER by silent lotus … SEPTEMBER 2010

POETRY CORNER by silent lotus … AUGUST 2010

POETRY CORNER by silent lotus … JUNE 2010

CORNER by silent lotus … MAY 2010