Penn Kemp & Marta Croll-Baehre ~ Literally…or Litter Ally

You can hear us read “Litter Ally” on (video by Dennis Siren)
This collaboration was created for our reading in Couplets #15, London ON.

DM du Jour

Split the littoral between liminal
and lore along the shore and you,

with perse blue lids, flutter
as water expels salt in winter.

Purse your lips in the very cold
and exhale the breath to warm in

to this undulation. Your head turns
to watch crepe terns litter the stern landscape

with their offal. Their piercing screech
hits the wave with its own momentum,

cilium echoes in interstitial spray
as the cotillion of migrants shrill overhead

on their way warm, leaving beneath
all impetus of movement throughout

range mountains. You close your lids
and ruminate the smell of imminent storm,

sturm and drang, might it be, as the drag
of probability weighs you down along

the Atlantic line, you sift between currents
in destructive permanence as gyres of plastics

creep unholy expanse over the surface,
riding the surf like tiny demonic dolphins

or Martian buoys. You whirl in oceanic decay

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Flag bearers to the Olympics!

This poem, “As if you are leaping in the air”, is dedicated to our spectacular local heroes and Canada’s most decorated ice dance team, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir!

Flag bearers to the Olympics!

As if you are leaping in the air

As if you are leaping in the air
with Virtue and Moir. As if you
are running perfect simulation.

Lift and fly. Figures are skating,
whirling to wild quads like Sufis
dancing in Dervish reverence.

Perfection swirls along an unseen
slip of water that allows for glide,
ice two inches thick. Blades glint.

Fantasy hovers, floats flawlessly,
describing meticulous arcs on ice,

in air. Geometry touched by magic,
projection spun on glass surface.

Le Petit Prince and his Rose criss-
cross the ice to mirror our neurons
effortlessly after ruthless practice.

One haptic system rings in tune with
the other not by happenstance but
exquisite design, creating the perfect

illusion of romance. This pair knows
their true trick is always in landing home.

Penn Kemp


from Goddess Pages

Calling on Persephone

by Penn Kemp

A little early for Persephone to return
but how enticing is this pomegranate!
No wonder she was tempted to indulge!


Blessed be the lost ones, those who
left, in our opinion, too soon, whose
time, they say, had come. Blessed

be those whose lives have stopped
in their current form, the bodies we
know and miss. For it’s we who are

lacking, not they. Either they don’t
know any more or their essence has
dissolved to some fuller| plenitude

we too will come upon in our time.
Only the Goddess knows for sure
if we listen, if we reach out to Her.

Calling on Persephone, as seasons
darken, as night falls into autumn:
Take care of those we have lost.


As we age, the living dead increase,
surround us with presence, with gifts
of their kind, on offer if we realize

they are ongoing, just out of earshot,
beyond tangential vision. Out there,
behind you to one side, they linger

friendly—don’t worry— and ready
to offer advice, offer warning, offer
remarks that reflect a wider gnosis:

Archetypes of what they could have
become, given time or opportunity.
My friends, our dead are listening.

May be as memories fleshed real or
may be as hallucinatory flashes from
some other realm: does it matter?

Now that they are really no longer
matter but transcorporeal illusion,
their words, their nudges and sighs,

they still comfort us, familiar whiff,
where the senses condense off-stage
then expand beyond the peripheral.


May we bring their attributes to life
within us. For Persephone’s love
of flower, to surround Her in kind.

She will return; She always does, to
turn the wheel, to begin once more,
speaking the words of consolation.

May we live that gentle beauty for
her, ongoing. May She who loves
blossoms bloom again in our eyes

as we admire a purple pride of fall
garden. May Her essence enter us.
May we become what we might.

May She remember and remind us,
Mnemosyne, Goddess of memory,
inventor of the language we need

now more than ever. Speak to us.
Tell us the news in the old way we
once knew. Keep in touch, please.

©Penn Kemp

Publicité ~ Kismet!

Kismet indeed!

DM du Jour

Picture yourself as an awkward child (because even if you seemed perfect and poised on the outside, you were already a halftone off the rest of the choir, non?) and recall that beautiful and terrible moment when you first were pulled in four directions by fear, fascination, disgust and longing. Perhaps you were peeking between your fingers because you knew Frankenstein’s monster had to be lurking somewhere in the smoking ruins of that burned windmill. Perhaps you were in a bookstore gobsmacked by your first copy of Eerie. Perhaps you were unexpectedly split into two children, one sitting in a sunny classroom and the other locked in the midnight chamber with that “ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore.” Whether the spark was a volume of Poe, Tales from the Crypt, or that freaky Soundgarden video on your dad’s iPod, whether it was in…

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