Tantalum, “Periodic Table of Poetry” poem by Chicago poet Janet Kuypers


a href=”http://www.janetkuypers.com” target=”new”>Janet Kuypers

from the “Periodic Table of Poetry” series (#73, Ta)
(with references to the poem “High Roller”)

People expected
to see me around.
I couldn’t be a recluse.
So I got out my camera
and kept myself
hidden to the world
by separating myself
with a camera lens.

But I longed to see you
sitting again,
cigarette in hand…
I wanted to be able to
walk up behind you,
rest my hands
on your shoulder,
lean my head
next to your face.

I longed to have
my cheek near yours,
not touching,
but so close —
so close that I could
still feel the warmth
from your presence.

But wasn’t I doing that
when I tried to
take pictures instead.

So I then kept myself hidden.
I’ve been a recluse.
Just sat at home
and played video games
so I wouldn’t have to
think about you.

How did I know
you’d work your way
into my shell at home.

I vowed to never
call you again,
you tantalize me so,
but I’d have to remove
every cell phone
I’ve ever used…
You worked your way
into every small crevasse
in my modern world,
and still,
you never cracked
under any pressure
I ever gave you.

It made you
the strong silent type,
you always seemed hidden,
but still so influential.

I should know,
i’m finding everything
that leads me to you
when I try to escape you
in our technology
inundated existence.


I call you tantalizing,
and I think of Tantalus,
a king in Greek mythology —

after king Tantalus
stole secrets from the Gods,
he was forced to stand
in a pool of water
that flowed away from him
whenever he tried to drink.

Kind of like you,
how I seem to need you so,
but how we just
seem to mix.

Summer Solace by Linda Straub

Summer solace painting

Summer solace painting

Summer Solace

I sit on our cottage porch

and listen to the undulation

of waves lapping against

the concrete seawall.

A family of mallards bob

around and under

the planked boat dock,

their air of perfect serenity

belying the driving motion

of webbed feet below

a calm and watery surface.

In the distance,

a pair of loons

call out to each other,

their haunting wails

echo in the wilderness.

I am hypnotized

by their conversation–

the universal language of the lake.



Linda Straub

Copyright May 2014

Art by David Michael Jackson


turtle laying eggs

turtle laying eggs

Turtles coming to the beaches again this summer to lay their eggs.


Under the tropical moon

sea turtle slowly, inexorably

leaves her element for the foreign strand

the once graceful wings

are now clumsy flippers

What was sleekly suspended

weightless on the breast of the wave

is now heavy and earthbound

are covered with the suffocating sand

but the ancient song is sung

and the tide can not be ignored

She plows the wet sand

an ancient armored chariot

covered with barnacles

What voice tells her where to nest?

What secret scent led her to this beach, this dune?

The moon rises higher

while the clutch of leathery eggs is laid

She covers the future with sand

and monumentally slow turns again to the sea

The first wave frees her of the clinging sand

and looses again the wings

that will carry her to the deep.

– Ken Peters