Selected Poems from Kenneth Pobo's Glass Garden
and Crazy Cakes (chapbook)


Featured Book
Glass Garden


        click book







The Call

At the window I check
for any sign of
a storm with tractor-sized

hail to plow fields
of roofs.  And lightning
that spills a silverware tray

over the county.  Sun
wobbles in, wind yawns,
and I go back to my book,

drop into a deep well
between chapters,
call and call.


Poetry Happens

Standing at our screen door,
we watch the poem walk
down Barren Road

not ugly,
but it thinks itself ugly.
Maybe in a store window's

reflection, the poem
sees no beautiful word
skin but a graveyard's

mossy stones
like those found Haworth
by the Bronte house.

The poem isn't strong
like a bodybuilder;
but strong like a single

feather that can stop
wind.  Or make wind
think that it has stopped.


Fork, Spoon and Knife

Weary, bleak and deconstructed,
he fears he's become a flat tire,
but he stands before his eight o'
clock class, and lectures on some dead
poems he once loved but hasn't read
in years, wishes he could retire
but he's got twenty years to go,
his belly of ashes, not fire,

there's only so much literature
can do, he thinks, while preaching how
several texts have saved his life,
but he turned them into tenure
and spends most evenings alone now,
talking to his fork, spoon and knife.


Yellow Robe

I stand under a bald lamp
waiting for an aspirin
moon to sink into
midnight's glass. Wind curls

up underwear, flings
my robe's sash over asters
in an autumn garden

covered by the vast umbrella
of a yellow dream,
we whistle as a train
rumbles out of
a sleeve.



We breathe in
their brevity.  Some

get only one day,
a single hour
with the sun just right,
wind silent
as a skull.

Others last longer:
the dahlia pitching
red on the sky,
candytuft clutching
earth's rattle.

They must go,
fall where no eye
can see,
without pity,
without color.


March Garden

Knees wet, I pull
winter's corpse off cold
a goofy Goliath,

I almost crush a daffodil shoot,
uncover a busy columbine
near purple sun-grabby crocuses.

The Mirandy rose sprouts
on many canes.  Sweatpants
soaked, I lean over

thumb-sized stems
four grape hyacinths
toss blue on overcast sky.



from hard
a singular
of purple
or apricot
so much fight
under snow
they know
they must



Kenneth Pobo's Crazy Cakes (Chapbook)


In the Iraq War,
women, kids,
whole faces
scraped off

in living rooms
across "the greatest country
in the world,"
TV beams
gadgets, creams,
ways to soften


Network War Coverage

When news personalities show up
at the bank to cash their paychecks,
tellers say, "Would you like that in blood
or bone?"  Indignant as unfed venus flytraps,
they say, "We'd like it in American money."

"We have no money, not for you,
we're very sorry."

Cameras off, they march out of the banks
news personalities can't be
caught crying. Viewers want tough anchors.
After a good night's rest, they stop
at the bank on the way to the studio.

"Blood," one tells the teller.
"Bone," says another.

They load their trunks with their earnings,
think about how to ask the boss
for a raise.


U.S. Government Response to Katrina

Wow, what great news! You mean
a bunch of poor blacks
drowned and lost their homes?  How many?
Fewer votes against us to worry about.

But what to do about the homeless
survivors?  The Astrodome!
They're poor anyway
and like being together.
Most enjoy sports.  They'll be fine.

I wish more storms would hitif only
we could tilt them toward all cities,
wipe out the unchristians, minorities,
a buttload of Democrats.  Let's pray.

Dear Jesus, please destroy our enemies.
Send bigger storms.  We ask this
in your holy name, amen.



Kenneth Pobo is a master at writing the essential poem—every word counts.  With a Keatsian sensibility, he draws our attention to the natural world, its rich diversity, the human condition, and how the nineteenth century’s industrial paradigm has produced the worst global threats, the politics of greed and violence, of our times.  As a poet, educator, gardener and social critic, Pobo’s sympathy for the victims of corporate exploitation are the materials of his poetic conscience. Imaginative, humorous, witty, ironic—Pobo uses his magic to wake the soul and stun the heart.   Without being judgmental, academic or didactic, he reminds us of what we all sadly lost to some alarm: Our humanity.  It’s always a pleasure to read and reread Ken Pobo’s work! 

The above poems were selected from Kenneth Pobo's new book, Glass Garden (Word Press;  2008.  To order Crazy Cakes: click Chapbooks.

Jacqueline Marcus, Editor


About Kenneth Pobo: Pobo teaches Creative Writing and English at Widener University in Pennsylvania.  His book Introductions (Pearl's Book'Em Press) was published in 2003.  Ordering: A Season in My Garden was published by Higganum Hill Books;2001.  His poems have appeared in Chiron Review, Rattle, Roanoke Review, Centrifugal Eye, Hawaii Pacific Review, Poets Against the War (Anthology), and many more print and online journals.  He is a regular contributor to

Click here to read more of Kenneth Pobo's poems at