Emily Benson

Bio:

Emily Benson writes poems of humanity, longing, and nature. A former professional stage manager who now works in digital marketing, she has been writing poetry steadily through it all. She lives in Western New York with her husband, two sons, and two cats.

Coming Soon!

Fall Away; Holes; Missing; Sleepless; The Ant, A Thin Slice of Anxiety

Literary Mama

Nov/Dec 2022


photo: bharath g s


Bulb Culture Collective

October 2022


image: stock

Lilac Magazine, Issue 3: Moonlight

August 2022


cover image: "Underwater City" by Susan Solomon


Endings

August’s last day

And turkey vultures ride

High blue thermals

In thick air that wavers

With heat distortion

The radiant song of cicadas

That have left their paper wrappers,

Their false eyes,

On the neighborhood trees

And are cacophonous

Do the monarchs notice the din?


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Gastropoda Lit Mag

May 2022


image: stock

Moss Puppy Magazine, Issue 2: Puppy Love

Spring 2022


cover image: "Piece Me Together" by Arden Hunter


Brazos River Review,

Issue 1

Spring 2022


cover image: "I Made a Wish" by Kelli Bonnickson


Immersion

I turn the hot water on high

While outside the open window

Warm rain falls steadily

Redolent of hyacinth and spruce

All the good green growing things

The copper wind chimes sing gently

And grackles caw to one another

Like cartoon birds

In the branches of the cherry tree

Making me smile

Water kisses the brick walk

Water kisses my bare breasts

I close my eyes and waver

Full of dreams

Of rolling in the grass

My breath short from laughter

Lounging like a little lizard

On rocks hot from the sun

Barton Creek

Warm as a bath

Pouring over sculpted stone

Heady and headlong

In a mad rush to the Gulf

I was torn apart and reborn

Aching, old and young and

Something wholly different

Slim as a little fish and

I don’t know how to recapture

That ineffable spark

Though I begin again and again

I long for a wilder baptism

And swallow the urge

To go run in the rain



Raw

How can I say that I miss you

When you have stolen my tongue

Placed it in your desk

With the Bakelite pencil I gave you

(Like your dead heroes

You prefer your words in lead)

The theft runs through me

Stinging thrice-severed flesh

Until my breath catches

Because the sky is black

And the snow glitters sharply

Beneath the streetlights

I remember my hands on the wheel

The milk jugs in the trunk

My gloves are off

And a bruise blooms blue

On my knuckles

For no reason I can recall

I’m afraid to take the highway

The shadowed trees beside it

Too dark and wild

I might run off the road

Become a fox and crunch

The bones of little birds

Raw

Stacking strange hurts

Like a game with razorblades

They fall and cut

And I keep on pushing

Muscle warps and wefts

But nerves broken cannot reconnect

Numb under fingertips

That shouldn’t be out in this cold

Why am I sitting here freezing

On a Tuesday after dark

When there are creatures

That need to feed

When my soul is so hungry

When night spreads like an ink stain

And I am so far from home

Ayaskala Magazine

February, 2022


image: publication produced

Lilac Magazine, Issue 1

December 2021


cover image: Brittany M. Reid


Gone

He wonders at this ceaseless longing

The thrill of possibilities in those silent hotel rooms

New eyes behind every door

He can almost feel the road beneath his feet

The staccato white lines of the highway flashing by

As he bends to brush her hair gently from her face

“Sleep,” he whispers softly

Unwritten songs humming in his head as he tells her

He’ll be there when she wakes

But his heart tenses at the lie

He will be miles gone when she opens her eyes to the dawn

The wanderlust tied to his every nerve compels him

Chances and regrets rise before him like the moon

And he is gone again in the night



Thoughts on a Western Night

Standing before an open window

In this cool-flagged back room

The night breeze fragrant

With wet juniper and piñon

I am suddenly seized by the wild impulse

To run bare skinned through the desert

My lamp shines

Past the bright path of stones

Glistening in the dark

And I lean out

Feeling the warm rain on my shoulders

This night is made for escape

Running free in the damp sand valley below


The Daily Drunk Presents Marvelous Verses

November 2021


cover image: Derek Mainhart


Loki to Mjolnir

It is said

Only the worthy can lift you,

Wield you.

It’s understood that means

A certain lack of moral ambiguity.

Impulses of pettiness,

Bitterness,

Of ambition (which has its costs)

Tamped down

Or, unbelievably,

Absent.

Is not the striving to live with –

In spite of –

These feelings

A better goal?

To balance the desire to sin

Against the repercussions –

Is that not at least

As noble?

If not more so!

I stare into your solid, gleaming face

And I see my shortcomings,

My failures,

Reflected.

I see the lie at the heart of my question,

And I am answered.


Rundelania, No. 10

November 2021


image: Red Sunset on the Dnieper.Arkhip Kuindzhi, Russia, 1908;oil on canvas. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Beyond Words Literary Magazine, Issue 20

November 2021


cover image: Thomas Oscar Miles


Happy Birthday

You are a tree.

No, hear me out:

Created of earth and water

Alchemy of light and green

Your mother’s tenacity,

Artist’s eyes and hands

Bark, to be sure, from your father’s side

You reach toward the sun

You unfurl

Every year you grow a ring

I can hear them ringing

You are rooted

Alongside the eucalyptus

And the oaks you once leapt over

Golden grasses gather by your feet

And your branches call to fallen birds

To fawns born into the ferns from death

Life circling, renewing

With sharp milk teeth

And the softness of Grace

Oceans swell, storm-tossed,

And you offer yourself as timber

To build a coracle

Supple and strong

You shelter

You bend

You sway with the winds that shake us

And through it all

There runs a strain

Of infinitesimal sweetness

Ineffable beauty

The depths of stone and soil

The height of a light too bright to look at

Air too cold and clean to hold

Except in heartwood

Resonance from within your bole

Setting us all humming

Your warm and wild refrain


Paddler Press, Vol. 2 Roots & Wings

October 2021


image: author's own

The Dillydoun Review - Issue 9

October 2021


image: stock


Pastel Pastoral Issue 1.5 - Gothic

October 2021


image: stock

Wonderous World: Poems that Spark Magic, Other Worldly Women Press

July 2021


image: Evelyn May

Genesis

In the darkness,

The expectant nothing,

The absence,

A seed germinates.

Alchemic spark imbuing energy

From godhead,

From stardust

Drawn in at the very beginning,

The first breath,

By collective hope,

Primordial imperative,

Chance or fate or force

Charging atoms, cells

Down in the earth,

Under the waves

Deep inside the warm place

Where fears and dreams lie in loops,

In links

Forged by a hundred thousand befores

Generations of fanfare and failures and fanaticism

Jumbled and rebuilt like a child’s block tower.

The flame within

A vigil for an end written from the start

Gold like autumn leaves

Green as new buds

Blood red

Black despair

Pale blue hope

And always such need

Pulsing and pushing, driving

A charge towards something,

Screaming from darkness to darkness

Rootstock bound to wind and rain

And the tidal pull of an inescapable satellite.

Reality that a cruel but brilliant imagination

Can whisper into illusion

Time, that insidious construct,

And all the unknowns and wish I didn’t knows,

The appalling disparity in shared experiences

Piling up,

Breeding doubt

Even in the curve beneath one’s feet

Still

By that same mechanism

Fear is beaten back

With beauty

Continuance

Reinvention,

Art, another magic

Creations of the created giving freedom

Flight

Fulfilling a destiny of soul,

That alternate realm,

Meanings lost and found and lost again

Blooming

Circles inside circles

Embracing the mysteries

And filling every single moment with wild love

The fire at the heart of truth


Blue River Review

July 2021


image: author's own


Moist Poetry Journal

June 2021


image: text art

Sad Girls Club Literary Blog

February 2021


image: stock


Five Minutes

November 2020


image: stock


Unstamatic

May 2020


image: Transitory Space, Don Valley 2 # 8, Color Photography, 2020 by Leah Oates