Mark Liebenow
essayist, poet, blogger



Mark’s poetry has been published in a number of journals. You can find a selected list at the end of this page.

In addition, several of his poems have been set to music by composers Stephen Heinemann, “Mirage,” an eight-minute work for chorus and soprano saxophone; John Orfe, “God of the Night,” a choral piece commissioned by the Choral Arts Ensemble of Rochester, Minnesota; Robert Levy, “Maybe Sadness,” a jazz song that was recorded on Levy’s “Jazz Orgy” CD; and piano works by David Henkelmann and John Arrowood, Jr.

Muscongus Bay
     Chamberlain, Maine

The ocean rises to windows open
for any stray breeze.
Humid bed sheets stick with froth
tossed up by insistent surf
that shudders the pillars anchoring the house.
Unable to sleep, I lean
on the windowsill, listen to the dark
surge in, the insatiable tide
creneled with embryonic scents
of seaweed and salt.
Night unties its robe
and I lay back down,
sway with water that tumbles
down along the rocky coast,
the deep husked rhythm
that kisses, furrows, thrums
the rocks waiting on shore.
Seagulls and terns call over Long Cove.
Water pulses further up sloughs
like fingers tracing inside the thigh,
over the ridged skin of creek beds,
fiddleheads, marsh pools,
sinuous roots of swale grass,
pine trees, long-legged moose.
Passions spent, the ocean turns,
pulls me beyond the reach of foghorns
and Pemaquid Lighthouse,
out onto water’s invisible curve
that rises with me slow, and falls
against the stars’ dark dazzling shoals.

                   first published by the Disquieting Muses Quarterly Review

Poems      selected

Turtle Island Quarterly, “Of Mountains and Bone”
Crab Orchard Review, “Last Farmer’s Market” and “Dawn Before Planting”
Fifth Wednesday Journal, “Painting with the Dead”
Disquieting Muses Quarterly, “Muscongus Bay” and “Blues”
Spoon River Poetry Review, “Anger #15” and “Smokin’”
Clackamas Literary Review, “There’s Another Blue”
Bluffs Literary Magazine, “It’s Jazz, Man”, “Subliminal Iris” and “By the Fingers”
South Dakota Review, “Ram’s Head”
River Oak Review, “String Thing”
Swink Magazine, “Whack a Mole” and “On the Discernment of Beings in the Nine Levels of the Bardo”
DMQ Review, “Snow at Mukojima”
Bluffs Literary Magazine, “Good for the Tongue” and “Duct Tape”
Liturgical Credo, “At Merton’s Gethsemani Monastery”
Midwest Prairie Review, “Bagging Corn”


© Copyright 2011-23 by Mark Liebenow. All rights reserved.