Dogfight Sonnet

Demon snarl curdles into a roar
doubled with the counter-howl of defense.
Darkened winter street was quiet before
that tired walker’s leash-beast lost its sense.
The guard dog growls, holds his ground upon sight;
quivering mutt against great yellow Lab.
The hoarse barking claws at a hard black night.
Stop! Stay! Weak human tongues feebly grab
air begging our terrible monsters,
reminding us of animal within.
Our trusted friends become devil dancers;
a savage terror has become our kin.
We want to believe, what is kind can’t kill,
knowing this moment, if allowed, it will.


The Plagiarist’s Guile

Would you, if you could, Sweet Thief?
You’ve tried already to be me. Taken
my thoughts, letters, stories, sworn
to the soonest moon that my life was yours.
But in your prevaricate afterglow,
it is enough for me that we both know.


Class Reunion

We all begin as the Tarot’s Fool; dance
the journey into self, into yearning
our imaginary lack, romance
syncopated with ambition’s burning.
Then, fear the pulse might be all we can trust.
Isn’t it funny how we circle ‘round:
Learn that what we leave might not have left us.
These prodigal shoots from a shared root’s ground
stay connected yet apart; single tears
together form rivers smoothing rough-edged
stones that roll playfully forever.  Here
is merely measurement, and distance wedged
against bliss. We reside elsewhere, always
changeless—dancing better every day.


Julia Gordon-Bramer an award-winning poet, memoirist, fiction writer, and professor of Humanities and Creative Writing at Lindenwood University. Additionally, I am an accomplished scholar of Sylvia Plath. Recent publications include: Plath Profiles, All Rights Reserved, and the Arkansas Review Journal of Delta Studies.

These poems are among the entries for the Society of Classical Poets’ 2012 Poetry Competition.

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