width=61 height=87> Voracious Verses
Spring/Summer 2009


Lisa Zaran
featured poet


does the world
not fall into my lap.

And if God
were to send me
a private message,
would I react?

possibly not knowing,
reluctant in every passing

Nor trusting,
holding the weight
of every word spoken
in the palm of my hand,
looking into the not-so-distant
future of every gesture
as if behind each
was a guise
or a secret.

There's always 
the thought
that something 
might go terribly wrong.

Every day
the world falls
into my lap
and every day
I'm afraid to touch it
frightened of what it might bring.

 2009 Lisa Zaran

Epiphany Hill

The thin man
high on his perch,
looks on the road below,

the grassy sides
with cattail floss and dandelions
breath, with the faithful irony

of sunlight 
curving into a warm glisten
like a prayer table

before the meal is set.

At every arrival
and departure, 
he carries the look

of having
a requiem on his mind,
each eye a stone

each reflection, a porridge
of thought.  Opposite
of time, he resembles

a caricature, a pitiful puppet
whose inclination is none
but to watch.

An observer of all
that comes and goes
as instances detonate

in his memory.

All the way up Epiphany Hill,
the people walk and drive,
footfalls and wheel dust

each one a bully
on his way in or out,
back for more

or forth for loss
of equilibrium.
The sun lights the path.

By nightfall,
enough starlight crumbs
to make one's way.

 2009 Lisa Zaran

The Mortician's Fear

is that my father's body
will rise out of spite,
out of anger, if he didn't
know better, would sit
right up, high on the table
and scream like a starling.
and how would the mortician
feel, formally, upon seeing 
such a thing.  and what
could we expect him to feel,
but fear, though mortician's
are not the fearful type,
some are.  and he is.

That my father will rise
and open his eyes
and gasp in a breath
of sterilized air and
not even mind that he
is alive or remember
he had died, was dead
just moments ago,
that he will rise
and be surprised
to find himself undressed,
meanwhile I am at home crying.
My father is dead.
My father is dead.

 2009 Lisa Zaran


Stars build direction
lighting like little blue lanterns.
Blue hill over my shoulder
seventh moon rises.

Better it were you had never
been born.  I lie here beside
you expunging images from
my mind.  The sky is so close

we can almost touch it.

Surely, as off springs of God
we can only do so much.
I can lie here and tell you
I love you more than the stars

love the sky like any God fearing
mother might, but I would only
be guessing and I want you to know
the truth, that beast.

That prolonged monster of fang 
and teeth.  As small as you are
I believe you understand.  
For even as you show me a radiant smile

the zinc sky reflects
in your eyes, disturbance.
Oh my child, if tomorrow the sun doesn't shine
and you are forced through a long trajectory

of darkness, please remember me.
You have earned your way out
from the stone of my womb.
It is your duty now to live your life

in truth at all times.
So tell me now, what are you waiting for?
The moon to grow?
For your mother to build dark blue wings

and leave?  Life is much harder than death.

 2009 Lisa Zaran

From Bride to Buried

It is a chorus, her mother thought
when she was born, a fragile lilt
of voices singing rise rise rise
as if her daughter were already a myth.

She was a knowledgeable child,
too trusting perhaps but never flighty,
no never that.  Her center could always
grasp what her mind could not.

She learned very early to trust
her body, its rhythms and advice.
She being an only child, grew with the speed
of those shown to know everything

in corresponding order.
This is your nose, see, touch it.
These are your feet.  Soon you will walk.
Out there, beyond this window, is the world.

Which is also a perception.
See that tree over there?  Could be
a madman standing in utter stillness
in the breach of night.  Shhhhh.

The earth is tired now.  The moon is up.
Lock the door, fasten the windows.
Sleep and dream of every possibility.
For beyond this childhood you will meet

a man and fall in love.  He will ring you out
of yourself.  He will convince you that 
you are not yours but his and at the apex
of your dependency where hands and hammers

become one in the same blunt instrument,
he will strike you again and again and again.
To seek your remains, I will pass my fingertips
over your picture.  I will try to remember

the scent of your breath, your intangible life.

 2009 Lisa Zaran


She is the author of the last famous work.
There will be no others.  
Everyone else in slumber, will not wake 
to write the next great argument.
Only stare into the eye of her
and try to understand.

 2009 Lisa Zaran

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