Poetry | Hektoen International

Welcome aboard

Myron F. Weiner Dallas, TX (Fall 2017)   Charon carries souls across the river Styx Greetings! Welcome to your afterlife! I am Charon, your boatman; your guide from life to death. Life differs for everyone who is born. Death is the same. Although, stooped, I am strong enough To convey you to See the river […]

To my friend with diabetes, on losing her foot

Anna Kander Iowa City, IA (Fall 2017)   The author’s friend, almost sixty years ago–when she was first diagnosed with Type I Diabetes and told she probably wouldn’t survive to adulthood. You walk sixty-seven years while childhood diabetes, against your iron will, poisons your peripheral nerves with sugar, and the muscles of your feet, starved of […]

Defining dead

Arya Shah Rochester, MN (Summer 2017)   Park Point Trail The checklist of death was foreign to me when I first ran down its list. It’s hard to describe that encounter with death, but let’s see if I can convey the gist. It started on a bright summer morning. A boy woke up for a […]

I sing the battery electric

Victoria Crawford Chiang Mai, Thailand (Summer 2017)   One, two nights there came an odd flutter when half asleep, half awake, on my left side, as slight as a moth’s wings might stutter, a beat— lopsided, not to be denied. My five year old maker unpaced me, potholed cadences , the rhythm of my life: five […]

2011-2009 Poetry

Poetry Archives 2017-2015 | 2014-2012 | 2011-2009   L. N. Allen Beech Leaves, Spring 2011 Daniel Becker Advance Directives, Spring 2011 Jeanne Bryner Morning note, Winter 2011 Prayer for my Village – When a Friend Asks Me What It’s Like to See Someone Die, Winter 2011 Anne Clemente What Matters, Spring 2011 Upreet Dhaliwal Four-Leaf Clover, […]

Letter to Pa

Charles H. Halsted Davis, CA (Spring 2017)   James A. Halsted, MD (left) and Charles H. Halsted, MD (right), 1984 I heard our tire chains clacking on slushy streets, then waited freezing, short legs  dangling, watching you—warm coat  against the cold, your bag in hand—walk   through the opened door, return after  half an hour with […]


Ken Williams Cambria, CA (Summer 2017)    Agent Orange being sprayed during the Vietnam War Triple canopy jungle stripped bare by Agent Orange Reluctance weighing his heels slowing his pace doctor enters Face gray with worry body tight with knowledge my wife’s grip tightens Blood count wrong responding not they’ve done all says he, also, […]

White coats

Ken Williams  Cambria, CA (Summer 2017)   Image of Phan Thi Kim Phuc burned by napalm during the Vietnam War. Photo by Nick Ut. The Devil’s Breath: Napalm explosion Waiting White coats hustle by nurses of compassion their gentle, sideway smiles frozen combating war’s legacy Blood counts fall Platelets White cells Red cells M.I.A. Agent […]

Poetry Series

Simon Perchik East Hampton, NY (Spring 2017)   Rothko Squared by Brett Jordan Without an address your hands lean across –another crease making the final correction though this note still opens out windblown, fingerprints everywhere on her lips on her breasts, on the bed sheet folded and over, warmed for its nakedness and side by […]


Stephen Mead Albany, New York (Spring 2017)   Commitment/Knowing, watercolor pencil on canvas paper Who am I?  Nobody but myself. Here I lie, quite anchored, a hesitant child led by questions which assure proper response. I grant them whatever they want, a nod or a name. From them I expect nothing less and get plenty […]