Three Poems – John C. Mannone


Soft grasses kneel at your breath.

The rustle of your small still voice

in a breeze through a field of lilies

incense their petals, stirs your whisper

against the face of my soul. I thirst

for the moisture of your words, taste

the earth-rich rill in the air flavored

with pine—my lips sated,

                                    return your kiss.


What Have I done to His Handiwork?

          With thanks to Federico García Lorca and Emily Dickinson

Today my heart is a vague trembling of stars

and heavy with the universe

tucked into its folds. Who am I

to tread on the whispers

of God, He who fashioned

me from stardust? He has brought me

sunset in a cup, and I’ve spilled it.

I am the immense shadow of my tears.


Earth Day

A daft day, deaf to cries of the hungry. I remember when green heralded spring instead of some politically incorrect assault on Earth citizens—a denigration of the Western world.
Why does humanity prefer a gallon of bio-diesel to an acre of grain in the name of CO2 emission control? An acre of corn for twenty miles of asphalt tar for your SUV? No glut intolerance when guts go empty.
Those greenhouse gases killed any coolness, left warm weather to heat-stroke icebergs rimed under the crinkled snow. Slab after slab slid into brine like white slats of picket fences that slipped into a quaking ground.
An orange tree clings to rusty morning light; glazes the transparent ice. Late April frost bites the Florida groves. Grieved. We reap what we sow isn’t always true.
I look up for answers and see the sky crack open. Its basalt clouds seared purple along its edges; the lava sun pours fire crimsoning a long anvil cloud running its iron vein deep into the horizon, where silver braids are forged.
John C. Mannone has poems appearing/accepted in the 2020 Antarctic Poetry Exhibition, North Dakota Quarterly, The Menteur, Blue Fifth Review, Poetry South, Baltimore Review, and others. His poetry won the Impressions of Appalachia Creative Arts Contest (2020). He was awarded a Jean Ritchie Fellowship (2017) in Appalachian literature and served as celebrity judge for the National Federation of State Poetry Societies (2018). His latest of three collections, Flux Lines: The Intersection of Science, Love and Poetry, is forthcoming from Linnet’s Wings Press (2020). He edits poetry for Abyss & Apex and other journals. A retired physics professor, he lives near Knoxville, Tennessee.