Featured Writer: Poet Rachel Custer’s “spring”

Rachel Custer


“Samsara Series- Vanitas II” by Alejandro Rosemberg


and trilling from the beaks of birds returning,
war like an elsewhere song

us raising walls of glue and ground

bone, us stuffing our mouths with the dead
grass carefully chosen, with pillow fluff

we fed our own ground, now feed to widening cracks
in our own facades. how we are dark

houses to one another, eyes drawn down
like shades. how like mankind we all are.

there’s a robin outside our window, well-fed
and ready, fattened on the warmth

of another place. she knows what she knows
about building a home with a hymn

in her throat. how music can fill the fear-
split gaps. we know what we know –

how war somewhere else flies back
to us all. how even a war
can sound like a building song.


About the writer:
Rachel Custer‘s first full-length collection, The Temple She Became, is available from Five Oaks Press. Other work has previously been published or is forthcoming in Rattle, OSU: The Journal, The American Journal of Poetry, B O D Y, [PANK], and The Antigonish Review. Rachel Custer is the O:JA&L “Featured Writer” for February 2019. On February 13, 2019, Rachel Custer officially became a recipient of a 2019 Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Image:Samsara Series- Vanitas II” by Alejandro Rosemberg. Oil on canvas. 20.5 x 31.5 inches. 2017. By permission.Rosemberg is a hyperrealist painter. Rosemberg is from Buenos Aires where he paints and teaches classical techniques. He attended the National University of Codoba Art School where he received his degree on Fine Arts in Painting. He continued his study of classical painting based on the Italian Great Masters Tradition with Maestro Claudio Bogino. Alejandro Rosemberg is the O:JA&L “Featured Artist” for February 2019.