- CounterPunch.org - https://www.counterpunch.org -

Tirado, Rajapakse & Corseri

Trail Dance



I pass along the trail in the early summer air
after midnight, the breeze dying down,
a thin purple line pushing close from the West.
Along the ridges, several Kria chirps are heard,
late cries,
too late for consolation.
Not necessarily cruel,
but all trace of kindness concealed.
Just in front, along the rise, a
stone bridge squats above its
weakened trickle which carefully turns
down to the marsh
before the lake.
It is not past the season but
the anguish reveals itself
like reluctantly unfolding leaves
holding their enclosed treasure,
too tender for summer-
a sweetness in the air is momentarily tasted and then,
along the face,
another rivulet
runs down to
another storehouse
deep within, salt and sweetness pressed together
offering calibrated solace
and a pale, liminal hope.
What’s next is wrenching.


Rev. José M. Tirado is a poet, priest, psychologist, and political writer living in Iceland. His articles and poetry have been featured in CounterPunch, The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, Dissident Voice, The Endless Search, Op-Ed News, and others. He can be reached at jm.tirado@yahoo.com.






He’s lying in a hospital bed. She doesn’t know.
Three days she hasn’t heard from him.


The phone’s been silent. Her mind drifts to
unwanted places. She sees him with another,


doing things they used to do.
Her mind plays games yet she doesn’t want to


pick up the phone, unsure of what he’d say.
Unsure of who would pick up, a stranger’s voice


she doesn’t want to hear while on the other
side of town he waits, wondering what has taken


her so long. Has she lost interest so soon? He looks
at the phone and wonders if she’s with someone


else. The pain moves to his heart but something
holds him back. Life drifts past like trains in the dark.


Shirani Rajapakse is a Sri Lankan poet and author. She won the Cha “Betrayal” Poetry Contest 2013. Her collection of short stories, Breaking News (Vijitha Yapa 2011) was shortlisted for the Gratiaen Award. Shirani’s work appears, or is forthcoming in, Earthen Lamp Journal, Spark the Magazine, Berfrois, Dove Tales, Buddhist Poetry Review, About Place Journal, Skylight 47, The Smoking Poet, New Verse News, The Occupy Poetry Project and anthologies Poems for Freedom, Voices Israel Poetry Anthology 2012, Song of Sahel, Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology, World Healing World Peace and Every Child Is Entitled to Innocence. She blogs rather infrequently at http://shiranirajapakse.wordpress.com.



fat cats



fat cats
my brain
watch me
with the
of fat
fat cats
and rub
against me,
in my ear,
my brain
with their


fat cats
are not
to be


Gary Corseri has taught in US public schools and prisons, and at US and Japanese universities. His prose and poems have appeared at CounterPunch, The New York Times, The Village Voice, CommonDreams and hundreds of other periodicals and websites worldwide. His dramas have been produced on Atlanta-PBS, and he has performed his work at the Carter Presidential Library and Museum. He has published books of poetry, the Manifestations literary anthology (edited), and the novels, A Fine Excess and Holy Grail, Holy Grail. He can be contacted at Gary_Corseri@comcast.net.

Editorial Note: (Please Read Closely Before Submitting)

Poets Basement is now on Facebook. Find us as http://www.facebook.com/poets.basement.

To submit to Poets Basement, send an e-mail to CounterPunch’s poetry editor, Marc Beaudin at counterpunchpoetry@gmail.com with your name, the titles being submitted, and your website url or e-mail address (if you’d like this to appear with your work).  Also indicate whether or not your poems have been previously published and where.  For translations, include poem in original language and documentation of granted reprint/translation rights.  Attach up to 5 poems and a short bio, written in 3rd person, as a single Word Document (.doc or .rtf attachments only; no .docx – use “Save As” to change docx files to “.doc”).  Expect a response within two months (occasionally longer during periods of heavy submissions).

Poems accepted for online publication will be considered for possible inclusion of an upcoming print anthology.

For more details, tips and suggestions, visit http://crowvoice.com/poets-basement. Thanks!