The poems below were chosen as “Best Poems” and excerpted from the two most recent issues of the Aurorean. Potential submitters can get a good feel for the kinds of poetry we publish by reading these poems, and by being familiar with our journal as a whole.


The Hungry Man

He would dip his hands
into a patch of weed-stuck soil
and emerge with the bluest of
or slide a church organ out of the
and urge it to echo resonant chords
until he could no longer swallow them.

Even so, he was not full.
From red dust he gathered narcissus
and jazz.
He skipped a discus full of sighs
across the skin-like surface of a dune
and listened to it sink.

He loved a woman whose eyes
reminded him of lyrics from chandeliers,
her voice as mellow as evenings hushed
by the muffled ululations of the sea,
her smile a ripple in a spring-fed pool.

Everything filled him but he was never full.

Just before he died he spread his arms
as if to take it all with him, embracing tides,
moons and fire, the lifeblood of the planet,
and her smile.

—by Thomas A. West, Jr., from Spring/Summer 2017


Re Frost
“Nature’s first green is gold”

Or bronze, copper, claret, carmine,
chartreuse, coral, melon,
colors beyond naming,
glows and glims and blushes
pipetted out of dark chambers
into new ferments and brews,
insinuated into air
through snakeskin branch and twig
as coyly as newborn angelwings.

Then, and then,
as hour falls from hour,
gleams and gilts drain away,
pendant leaves slope toward green,
babyskin to silk,
to scrim,
to percale,
and overnight to
green taffeta matronhood,
smugly drinking sunlight.

So summer tides away.
Tired as dust, green fails
to amber, russet, ochre, tarnished gold.
Tired as time, dying leaves unclasp,
side-slip to earth.
There, in final grace,
they yield themselves to water,
leach umber underground,
where slow, hidden combustion
simmers next year’s gold.

—by Nicholas La Para, from Fall/Winter 2016–2017