April 28 – Tresha Faye Haefner

Welcome to National Poetry Month and Gyroscope Review’s month-long celebration of poets – and their diverse Writing Assistants. Enjoy the audio/video works by previous Gyroscope Review poets and be sure to check out the Author and fun Writing Assistant Bio at the end of each NPM poet post. Don’t forget to tag the poet on Social Media and let them know you enjoyed their work!

Soursop & My New God Plays the Ukulele

Tresha Faye Haefner

“I’ve heard space changes you. I want to see how it will change me.”
 Jeff Bezos on using his wealth to build rockets.

I understand, El Jeffe,
why you must build your rockets
to nowhere. For the hungry
we have with us always, but you
are temporary. Small as a fever.
How can you resist the temptation
to see a moment of largess spinning,
pear-tilted. Alive. I too have spent
too much on myself. Shopping
at the local stand, buying
exotic fruit, I saw a woman
who looked like me reaching
for a white mango.
Across her arm a black rose tattoo blossomed,
and that changed me in ways I can’t describe.
I let my old life die, and still
I go on living.
Starting over, like a flower stolen
from a flower shop
that survives on a counter. And I can
tell you, all moments are the same
moment. The moment
we become conscious
of what we are holding.
Here is the inside of a green soursop.
Here is the face of the entire universe
falling open in my hand.
What will you do next, Jeff,
now that you’ve seen it?
The green world spinning, without you.
What do any of us tiny deities do
when we’re no longer afraid to die?

Originally published in When the Moon Had Antlers, Pine Row Press, 2023

My New God Plays the Ukulele

Knows how to mend
the strings.
Is stuck on this island with me,
gets hungry at regular intervals.
Does not check their clock.

My new God is deaf to praise. Lives
in a world of silent sinners.
Loves the Brazilian red cardinal. Lusts
after the color green.

My new God worships honeybees. Keeps
track of their numbers.
Is replanting milk thistle and clover.
Is protecting scorpions and snakes.
Whistles silence like a seahawk
waiting overhead in the trees. 

My God wastes mangoes. Wastes
hours they invented sleeping
in hammocks
with a cat curled in their lap. 
Lets so many things rot and die
and come back as sapling
or dream. 

My God likes
to swim in the river. Race
the boats like a doll’s porpoise. Appears
to us in the body of a stranded whale.
Wears the fins of a shark.
Cuts you like coral. 

My God fattens
our hands with honeyberry. 
Plumps up the skin with bee-sting. 
Talks to us in blister.
Is trying to get our attention.

My God breaks 
the tree with lighting, the sidewalk 
with seedling,
heals the sunburn
and every scar. 

Calls to us in the lonely voice 
of a grey-eyed loon. 
My God is everywhere.
Reflects itself in the shimmer of pond water,  
enters the body 
through a wound.

Originally published in When the Moon Had Antlers, Pine Row Press, 2023


Bio of the Bird on the Birdfeeder

The Western Bluebird perched on the fence outside Tresha’s window wishes to be known simply as “bird.” Bird has no name that can be pronounced in human language, or spelled using any alphabet. Bird was born in North Carolina earlier this year and shortly thereafter began its illustrious career as a morning singer. It can be found on fences between the forest and the condo complex on the southeast side of Winston-Salem, where Tresha lives. It hopes that its song inspires other birds to sing, even the poor, wingless birds like Tresha who must form music with black and white marks on paper as a rudimentary form of song.


Tresha Faye Haefner’s poetry appears or is forthcoming in several journals and magazines, most notably Blood Lotus, Blue Mesa Review, The Cincinnati Review, Five South, Hunger Mountain, Mid-America Review, Pirene’s Fountain, Poet Lore, Prairie Schooner, Radar, Rattle, TinderBox and Up the Staircase Quarterly. Her work has garnered several accolades, including the 2011 Robert and Adele Schiff Poetry Prize, and a 2012, 2020, and 2021 nomination for a Pushcart. Her first manuscript, Pleasures of the Bear was a finalist for prizes from both Moon City Press and Glass Lyre Press. It was published by Pine Row Press in 2023 under the title When the Moon Had Antlers.


(X) twitter.com/f_tresha



Don’t forget to read the Spring 2024 Issue of Gyroscope Review.

NPM 2024 Poets

April 1 – Cal Freeman

April 2 – Susanna Lang

April 3 – Marion Brown

April 4 – Melissa Huff

April 5 – Elaine Sorrentino

April 6 – Alison Stone

April 7 – Alexandra Fössinger

April 8 – Laurie Kuntz

April 9 – Dick Westheimer

April 10 – Wendy McVicker

April 11 – J.I. Kleinberg

April 12 – Ellen Austin-Li

April 13 – D. Dina Friedman

April 14 – Connie Post

April 15 – Georgina Key

April 16 – Judith McKenzie

April 17 – Jacqueline Jules

April 18 – Amanda Hayden

April 19 – Lisa Zimmerman

April 20 – Richard Jordan

April 21 – Beth Kanell

April 22 – Kari Gunter-Seymour

April 23 – Jane Edna Mohler

April 24 – Susan Cummins Miller

April 25 – Kathleen Wedl

April 26 – Judy Kronenfeld

April 27 – Claudia M. Reder

April 28 – Tresha Faye Haefner