Monday, March 27, 2017

Welcome to our First Literary Page



A Hunter Waits

He waits in the cold
with schnapps and a twenty-two rifle
in a wooden look-out tower
on stilts overlooking a clearing,

now the thin winter ice,
as the moon’s face slips across it,
hoping a wild pig or a hungry deer
will be suddenly caught by surprise.

Above the tree-line wine hills
with frozen dried out saps
still clinging to the vine
can feel the sifting wind

as it plucks its way through
the hedgerows.
He warms his body with alcohol
under the weight of the moon

as a deer slithers by
the thin dark trees gnawing
at bark and fallen leaves
and the shallow pools of water

the late winter night forms.
They look through the darkness
knowing that nothing protects them
but the warmth within.

Steven Pelcman
Fourth River magazine (A Hunter Waits-fall 2011)

Between the Lost and the Forgotten

The night comes
and someone always goes with it
as he shuffles by
dressed in only a diaper
unsure of where the bedroom is.

His hands know the music
of small things
as he walks, almost enchantingly,
on a pure white floor
full of a wife’s discipline.

He travels in circles thinking
that his is a little death
the dark will not grieve over
and tightens his face
as insects do to unknown sound.

He does not belong
to the silence yet
and goes on imagining
where a straight line
can take him.

Steven Pelcman
The Baltimore Review (spring 2012 edition)

 A Gathering

The night in winter
does not roll in lazily.
Instead it bursts over the city

like a dark wound
spreading quickly.
There is a park we pass

on the way into the city
near an old Russian church
off of Tulla street

where old men huddle
over a small fire.
Their shadows press tightly

like a clump of trees
listening to the darkness
chanting a prayer lost

in the wind
only the dying
would remember.

They are not alone
as black birds
like mobsters

stalk the snowy field
burying their own shadows
into the hard ground.

They congregate like rigs
on a Texas oil field
exploiting the earth

with their beaks
until the moon
is a piece of gold
hurtling before them
but they do not fly away,
they leap and stretch

their necks out as if drunk
on cold air, and the men
join in by stomping

to keep their feet warm
and clapping their hands
to shake off the chill.

This is the dance
of the forgotten
that silently migrate

and know no difference
between day or night.
One by one they leave

and drift away
to the sound of church bells
that echo against the darkness.

Steven Pelcman
The Warwick Review (winter 2013edition)


His frail body rises and saunters
to the sounds of Irish wind
over the bog stumbling at 4AM
without a care in the dark

to the bathroom
with a thankful lingering sigh
and whiskey-mumbling lips
still clinging to the last round.

He clears his throat
as if rehearsing for a final song
and returns to the dark
hallway and the stale smell

of his pipe that guides him
to the right room,
to where his wife had belonged,
to where her outline remains

but it is the unexpected prayers
afterwards that breaches
the joint bedroom wall
and takes even the darkness

by surprise and yet
how alike they are,
still, alone, godly patient
for the first single thread of light.

Steven Pelcman
Westview magazine (Southwestern Oklahoma State University 2016)


Walking into the spring light
and out of the shadows
he left behind
to stand by the fire
made him a believer

in the dark secrets
grandma told him
he would understand in time.
And so he became grandpa’s
first responder;

the little helper
who inched his way
closer to the rising magic
of a barbecue flame
turning black coal

as white as sunlight.
He masked his face
against the smoke
with his tiny palm
and squeezed his eyes

half-closed and froze
in the burning glare
the way forest animals do
until grandma assured him
that the bucket of water

grandpa keeps nearby
will save them
and keep them safe
the way his fingers feel
in grandma’s hand.

Steven Pelcman
Poetry Salzburg Review (2012 edition)

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