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My Ear is a Sieve

16 April, 2019: My Ear is a Sieve


My Ear is a Sieve

by Kevin A. Risner

Toy planes and paper
bags swirl in afternoon breezes
brewed by cats who bat
at peanuts in the playground
pounce on little fishes
left by the women
dragging carts to the market to
dig through mounds of lemons.

The eternal eye
just one
peers through each shop window
dares that kid
to snatch a piece of lokma
coat teeth with eternal promise.

I chip my teeth on beer glasses
when my soccer team concedes
yet another goal
and those cats will still be there
skulking in the weeds
pouncing every day
at nothing more than oxygen.

Peace bred in the alleys
mixed with the long loaves
of bread
overpriced artifacts.

I almost feel at home
until the rain seeps into me
and my ear is a sieve.

Words melt like butter
on the sidewalk
washing into the sea.
“My Ear is a Sieve" by Kevin A. Risner, from My Ear is a Sieve. Bottlecap Press, 2017. Used by permission of the author and press.
Kevin A. Risner is a writing instructor and ESL coordinator at the Cleveland Institute of Art. His work can (or will) be found online in publications that include Rising Phoenix Review, Noble/Gas Quarterly, Ghost City Review, Indicia, 8 Poems and Riggwelter. He has two poetry collections published: My Ear is a Sieve (Bottlecap Press, 2017) and Lucid (The Poetry Annals, 2018). Follow him on Instagram and Twitter.


Write an ode (a poem in praise of something) to an anonymous place that has meaning for you: a landscape, a street corner, a particular attic or a spot in an airport.

mary grimm
I like your poem, Kevin!
4/21/2019 11:15:18 AM

Diane Kendig
Ryan, I have really enjoyed reading your responses to the prompts.
4/17/2019 1:57:04 PM

Canopy of this green cathedral
Where trees bloom in spring and summer
Providing shade from the hot summer sun
For a gentle slumber

Canopy of this green cathedral
Shading the summer bikers and walkers
Who stop to watch feeding deer
And form gaggles of talkers
Canopy of this green cathedral
Not pristine; just right
Suburban paradise
Dream of you on winter nights
4/16/2019 9:34:23 PM

READ + WRITE: 30 Days of Poetry is a collaboration between Cuyahoga County Public Library and poet Diane Kendig. Our thanks go to Diane and the poets of Northeast Ohio who allowed us to share their poetry.