The poems of Lisa Vihos have appeared in Big Muddy, The Camel Saloon, Forge, Main Street Rag, Mom Egg, Red Cedar, Red Fez, Seems, Verse Wisconsin, Wisconsin People and Ideas, andY.A.R.N.. She has two Pushcart Prize Nominations and two chapbooks: A Brief History of Mail (Pebblebrook Press, 2011) and The Accidental Present (Finishing Line Press, 2012). She is the Poetry and Arts Editor of Stoneboat Literary Journal and an occasional guest blogger for The Best American Poetry. She lives in Sheboygan and is an organizer there for 100 Thousand Poets for Change. Visit her blog at Frying the Onion.
Seen from above, we are
a myriad of small circles.
We move through the streets
like blood cells in veins bobbing
our way in and through to the heart
of the matter. We make ourselves
known as a collective system.
We work to keep the greater body
alive and healthy, we work
to keep at bay that which would
like to annihilate us. We band
together in arteries all over the planet,
all systems flowing toward a common
goal: to speak, to be heard, to listen.
We flow like water, like wine, like blood.
Each one unique, each one connected.
When we ignore our small discrepancies
and remain united, we cannot fail.
We surge like a tide. We will prevail.
Ladies Guide to Becoming a Goddess
Begin when the moon is full
or when there is no moon,
only a blanket of stars.
Begin in a desert
or a rain forest.
Become in the middle
of a vast city or in the middle
of nowhere. Become on the sea
or a creek. Become where water
is fresh or salty.
Begin where things
are dark and full,
wet and flowing.
Begin where things
are light and empty.
Become where fish spawn,
where seeds drop to the earth.
Become where dry husks
are carried away
on the wind.
Begin as a child
or an old woman.
Begin in laughter or in grief.
Begin in every ending.
Begin in paradox.
Become in peace
where there is war.
Become in joy
where there is suffering.
Become in love
where there is no love.
Begin in every beginning.
Begin as many times
How to Be in This World
Grow like the bent tree
that gladly redirects its arms
to accommodate wind and wire—
anything that stands in its way.
Fly like the torn flag
that is happy to let the breeze
tease it and display its charms,
faded though they may be.
Open like the lowly sponge
that does not guard its holes,
and let God soak through you. Then,
when you are squeezed, let God pour out.
For you are the permeable membrane
between heaven and earth. You are
the beacon and the guide post; your life,
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