Featured Writing

An ambulance driving through a city at dusk.

The Sacrifice

By Kristal Peace (This poem contains domestic abuse.) My mother holdsMy hand as we navigateThe city’s streets during rush hour,The song of sirens escorting us home.She holds the grocery bagThat yanks her toward dinner. She holdsThe sharp words my fatherFlings at her when she thinksThe day is going well. She…

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Author Archive

A crescent moon and cloud in the night sky.

Waking on My Birthday (After Liu Yong)

By George Freek The moon is a crooked thumbnail,clawing through a hollow sky.I stare at the stars,obdurate as quartz or leadlike the mattress of my bed.The moon is hidden bythe withering leaves of a tree.Sympathy is rare.Compassion is a mystery.I feel like the crumbling ruinsof a marker in a cemeteryto…

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Two glasses of wine side by side

Message to My Dead Wife (After Mei Yao Chen)

by George Freek The generations come and gowith endless repetition,as people travel along the roadand pass away in due time,as spring flowers or winter snows.It’s something we all know.In a few hours I’ll be sitting withanother woman, drinking wine,trying to make new memoriesto forget our past.Perhaps it’s not tragic,but it…

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Budding peonies in a garden

The Lark (After Liu Yong)

by George Freek I hardly recognize in this pileof rotting flesh and bones,that blithe lark, ascending,as he strained to reach the sun.I tried and lost, his carcassseems to say.What was he hoping for?Was he simply young?Did he dream of thosemiraculous clouds in the sky?Then learned they were vaporand vanished like…

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Swallow sitting on a tree limb in nature

Alone at East Lake (After Li Shangyin)

by George Freek Swallows rise in the air as softly as feathers, but they go nowhere, then disappear, as if they’d never been here. I feel the heaviness of my fate, as if some God was once in this room, but is now gone away, to leave it a sterile…

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The Dead

by George Freek A sultry breeze weakens,as the dying sun fallslike a ball of lead.A raven searches for carrion,hovering above my head.I walk the lake shore alone.I walk like a man made of stone.If she were alive my wifewould walk by my side.My thoughts are disconnected.Like dead leavesthey scatter in…

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Nightfall

by George Freek The sparrow builds her nest,but the wren sleeps in it.The world’s a nasty place,even for the human race.Stars fade on a bleak night,Stars fade on a bleak night,and December windsnose through the streetslike hungry swine,searching for scraps to eat.The moon climbs the sky,like a curtain on a…

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Note to Myself (After Tu Fu)

by George Freek When young I was carefree. I drank the strongest wines. I never touched tea. Mother you raised a fool. Now you are dead, and I am old. Reaching seventy, as stars sharp as scimitars spin like mad dervishes in the night, what good for me to scold?…

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In Imitation of Catullus

by George Freek The generations come and go with endless repetition, as spring flowers or winter snows. It’s something we all know. In a few hours I’ll be sitting with another woman, drinking wine, trying to make new memories to forget our past. Ave atque vale, dear wife. Perhaps it’s…

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Cat Poem (After Ou Yang Hsiu)

by George Freek My cat creeps carefully among spring flowers, over petunias and into jonquils, around budding hyacinths, confronting rising hollyhocks. He’s seeking new adventures in his garden universe, stepping amidst this bursting life, while he, poor fellow, grows older, day by day. If he could, would he wonder why…

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