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Moving Words 2001 Poems


the Greeks had a word for an East Asian people
S_res (the Chinese)
on which floor were built Latin for silk (sericum)
and French serge de Nîmes
and thus our denim
but I can’t explain the blue
of blue jeans or the sky
in whose reflection on a piece of glass I see,
quickly gone, a hawk.

David McAleavey


Forsythia bear a hanging blight, a wilt
like clowns on gallows. Frost-blasted daffodils
wither, brown sunspots of cancerous bloom.
They were lured by a false warmth in February
to believe in April. Trusting their senses
to spring, they cast away their infant wool
and opened their petals to a lion’s embrace.

Miles David Moore


My body unwrapped
The icy bite of morning
You stole the blankets

Malcolm Shute


…With the road longer this late, the body
moves outside, making the outside part of the body,
making the darkness more lamp black within me.
These things move up through the stillness,
through the body, up from the road to the sky.
And waiting for the bridge to come down,
I think of you heading up the stairs, your feet
bare to the wood, your back full to the water,
your eyes green to the sky.

Tod Ibrahim


Now in summer after the rainy season
green corn walls higher than your house
line these back roads of seashore
smell milky and sweet and rustle so
against the endless black and open dome
you’ve taken flight, somehow distanced the summer heat
while Portuguese laments blare
of life intense and wild in some foreign place.

Martha Sanchez-Lowery


Powhatan wore a fur coat made
from several Aroughcun,
whose flesh he roasted for supper.
That happened quite a while ago,
but last night when I put out trash
the raccoon I startled growled.

M.A. Schaffner

About the Poets

David McAleavey has an MFA and a PhD from Cornell University, and has taught since 1974 in the English Department of George Washington University, where he is currently the Director of Creative Writing. He has lived in Arlington since 1976. He is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Holding Obsidian (Washington Writers’ Publishing House, 1985). His largest writing project is Huge Haiku, an as-yet-unpublished book-length sequence consisting of 17 sets of 17 poems, each with 17 lines of 17 syllables, parts of which have been published or accepted for publication in a variety of magazines, including Ploughshares and Poetry.

Miles David Moore is a Washington reporter for Crain Communications, Inc. He is founder and host of the Iota poetry reading series in Arlington. His books of poetry are The Bears of Paris (Word Words Capital Collection, 1995) and Buddha Isn’t Laughing (Argonne Hotel Press, 1999). With Karren L. Alenier and Hilary Tham, he co-edited Winners: A Retrospective of the Washington Prize (Word Works, 1999). Fatslug Unbound, a compact disk of various poets readings Moore’s work, was issued in 2000 by Minimus Productions. Moore has won essay and poetry prizes from Poet Lore, Potomac Review, and WordWrights! 

Malcolm Shute leads the Writer’s Way Workshops in DC ( He is a writer, teacher, and manuscript critic. He is also a modern dancer, performing with Nancy Havlik’s Dance Performance Group and the Jane Franklin Dance Company in the DC area.

A two-time recipient of George Washington University’s Jenny McKean Moore scholarship for poets, Tod Ibrahim has a Master’s Degree in Liberal Arts from The Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor’s Degree in English from the University of Maryland at College Park. At Maryland, he served as Poetry Editor of the Calvert Literary Review. This is his fourth year as a reader for the Washington Prize for poetry, which is sponsored by The Word Works. Tod has given readings throughout the nation’s capital, including at the Library of Congress. He has studied with Lucille Clifton, John Haines, Linda McCarriston, and Stanley Plumly. Currently, he is Executive Director of the Association of Professors of Medicine.

Martha Sanchez-Lowery’s poetry has appeared in The Hispanic Cultural Review, The Federal Poet, Loose Lips, and other publications. She is the poetry editor for Minimus, an annual literary journal and literary production company based in Arlington, and Director of the Washington Prize, a national poetry book award sponsored by The Word Works, Inc. She has read her work frequently in Washington area venues, including the Library of Congress Poetry at Noon Series, the Miller Cabin Series, and Art-o-Matic. Ms. Sanchez-Lowery studied in Berkeley, California and is the recipient of two Jenny McKean Moore Fellowships. Her chapbook collection, Bocanegra, was published in 1997 by Mica Press. Ms. Sanchez-Lowery is currently completing a bilingual edition of her translations (Galician/English) of The City of Night by Manuel Rivas to be published by Anaya Publications in 2002. Ms. Sanchez-Lowery works in multi-lingual video production and happily resides in Arlington in a small cottage with many resident birds.

M.A. Schaffner has poems forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, The Formalist, Cumberland Poetry Review, Ekphrasis, Planet: The Welsh Internationalist, and Poetry Salzburg. His first collection of poems, The Good Opinion of Squirrels, won the Washington Writer’s Center publication prize and the Columbia Book Award.