Friday, October 26, 2018

Haiku #27

Centenarian
called octogenarian
a whippersnapper.


First appeared in a handful of stones - October 28, 2011

Friday, October 19, 2018

Love Begins with a Metaphor

The dining room chairs
used every holiday and when the will
needs going over.

A dusty fish tank yearning
for wet and bubbles and the scaly
hierarchy of a manufactured habitat.

A yellow balloon resting
in a basketball net, heavy enough
to get stuck in the middle,

too light for falling all the way through.
A toddler reading pictures in a book, laughing
with the exaggerated applause of his parents.

A stack of wooden blocks
waiting for one too many and the slow lean
of just before tumbling.

The cat curled up in a blanket
beneath a sunny window
sleeping with one eye open.



Full of Crow Poetry - October 2012

Friday, October 12, 2018

What We Know

The seventeen years between us,
that we have not let come between us,
mean I am going to die first. 

I will abandon you, cheat you
of the groaning laughter in mutual aches,
the wrinkled telepathy
forged through a many-decades tangle
of conflict and conversation. 

Whether the years after my death click away
like the tumble of falling dominoes
or crumble with a slow dignity
like the white ruins of ancient grace,
we know you will be left alone. 

In the children of our children,
that you will know so much better than I –
if I get to know them at all –
I hope you will see a little of me 

in their devotion to soft walks
on cold evenings in the valley,
holding your hand and enjoying the lingering
of their gray breath as it slides into twilight. 

If they laugh too easily and too loudly,
let your head wag behind your smirk
as you cradle yourself in their roar –
the way you do now, whenever I bellow
in amused appreciation of this or that little thing. 

Take them to Waterloo Park each summer
and help them find flat stones
for skipping across the shallow Santiam.
Splash with them ankle deep the way we did
right before we kissed for the very first time. 

Pack them into the car and race the sunset
so they will know what we have come to know –
the sun descends behind Mary’s Peak each night
and, sometimes, sprays red across the sky.


First appeared  in Toe Good Poetry - November 3, 2011

Friday, October 5, 2018

Galleywinter #10 - Robert Lee Kendrick

Eastatoe Canticle 

Steam tendrils rise from cracked asphalt, 
weave white curtains through sunset- 

slashed air, as rain-glazed clay releases 
long breaths. Bull black, thunderclouds 

lumber west, butt their blunt heads 
on the Blue Ridge. Limb fragments

garland blacktop and ground. Full summer 
green, severed vines glisten in shadows, 

offer their veins to dirt, the hillside 
one hum of moisture and heat. 

A buzzard floats down to pavement, 
tears a squirrel's storm-sweetened flesh. 

Rose streaks the sky's blue contusion. 
Unmasked, first stars grit their teeth.


Robert Lee Kendrick lives in Clemson, SC. He has previously published, or has work forthcoming, in Birmingham Poetry Journal, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Atlanta Review, Tar River Poetry, Louisiana Literature, and elsewhere. His chapbook, Winter Skin, was released in 2016 by Main Street Rag Publishing. His full-length collection, What Once Burst With Brilliance, was released in 2018 by Iris Press.