"Utopian Chillin'" and "Cracks of Light"

Utopian Chillin’

(Or Snowbound with Benefits)
Quiet, content to exist in moments miraculous.
the firmament folded into a cryogenic shroud.
Skies spread across an arctic grotto’s chiseled roof
enclosed on all sides with iceberg walls that jut
out of earth and water, form four sides: North,
South, East, and West—piercing air, pushing 
remnants of a fiery welkin like polar columns
frigidly textured, linked to permafrost ceilings—
hanging damp canopies that drip then congeal
like popsicle stalactites from wet and dry caves.
Sunlight peeps through the cavern’s glacial mouth
touches life frozen in Antarctica’s drifting time warp.
A valley veiled in falling snow hosts Western Red Cedar
clusters dotting hilltops, roots into wintery lake shallows
where intrepid explorers venture forth cautious of beauty,
mystified by the subzero dreamscape promising repose;
searching, searching, searching ineffable enlightenment,
they paddle toward an island where siren voices beckon,
empathy crystalizes tears, appetites become currency,
sacrifices exchange pain’s plurality to pleasure.
The tranquil walk-in freezer sheathes a timeless cuspidor
stimulating numb bodies, reenergizing taciturn thoughts. 



Cracks of Light

Our empty hearts     once filled
with unflinching     alacrity,
agitated overnight     we stood
by oil radiators    metal accordions;
cast iron dragons     as discolored
as seasoned     crêpe pans
heated our     hands while we
embraced     common sense
depression;      huddled together
like snowed-in     hostages
sharing their     communal discomfort
in sweaty     submission,
our restless     blues cut through
a hauntingly     sober silence
like a machete     blade slicing
dense jungle      undergrowth
incessantly     screaming out
for social    emancipation
when      disunity and whimsy
displace     crude manners
dwarfing     responsibility:
lockdown     solidarity.



Sterling Warner

A Washington-based author, educator, and Pushcart nominee for poetry, Sterling Warner’s works have appeared in many international literary magazines, journals, and anthologies such as The Ekphrastic ReviewAnti-Heroin Chic, Sparks of Calliope, and others. Warner’s collections include Without Wheels, ShadowCat, Memento Mori, Edges, Rags & Feathers, Serpent’s Tooth, Flytraps,  Cracks of Light: Pandemic Poetry & Fiction, Halcyon Days: Collected Fibonacci (2023) and Masques: Flash Fiction & Short StoriesCurrently, he writes, turns wood, and hosts virtual/face-to-face poetry readings. Warner highly recommends the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Wednesday, March 2, 2022 - 22:10