The storm’s appetite appeased,
fractures navigate the clouds.
Slim rivers traverse clotted gray,
indent of mild wind.
How change breaches sky. This is
weather, ever fluid with its ham-fist
or fey-fingered flick, we may think –
arbitrary – the speed of suffused light
marked and measured
now emerging blue, streak to pool
to full on brilliance, backdrop
for wings and bare trees.
Well, who would not want to visit
if the muse needed prodding?
If the shadows had begun to fuzz at the edges?
Oh, skeletal trees against a big sky
and the endless metaphors you provoke.
Oh, clouds in clumps or strung out like a rosary.
Oh, the absence of water and its promise.
Exasperate the visual, the painterly demons
rebuke with gusto as secrets stay secret.
The weight of place pulls at your bones.
In a huddle of rock, a sour hum,
scant shade, skitter of insect.
A blood sun stares unblinking
as the fever takes hold.
Gestures of War
are impossible. Pierce
and slice, flesh stretched
in a blood ballet.
Pain spikes in needle glint
and glut. These are bodies
now measured as partial.
Hands up, to protect.
Hands in lament.
The children may be running
into the dust and the dust
is swallowed, just as the walls
fly. This is a surprise
and a horror and a cliché
and the end of things.
The walls have flown
with an alphabet of limbs,
and when they fall, they make
words in no language,
only brave nonsense.
Lawry has published poetry in such journals as Poetry, Rhino, Nimrod, Poetry East, Seattle Review, and others. She’s
also published fiction and humor as well as stories and poems for children. Among the honors she’s received are awards
from the Seattle Arts Commission, Hugo House, and Artist Trust. She’s been a Jack Straw Writer, held a residency at
Hedgebrook and is a Pushcart Prize nominee. Her chapbook, “There are Crows in My Blood,” was published by Pudding
House Press in 2007 and another chapbook, “Happy Darkness,” was released by Finishing Line Press in 2011. Mercedes
lives in Seattle.
Little Ben on the bow was practically born there.
He waves his bony boy hands in kitchen gloves
because the Atlas brand doesn’t come small
He’s got a good
and the line
he throws comes right to me.
lace it through the chock, around the cleat at my feet.
When the crew starts to sort, Ben stands
on a slat wood box to see into the bin,
informs us he made caviar last summer,
but didn’t like the salt-brined eggs.
Before anyone else, he grabs the first money fish:
one slim sockeye mixed into the wave
of fifty dirty pink salmon zooming down the chute
like cadavers on a water slide.
He nabs the second and third too,
cold fish slime on his face, the occasional jelly
the bite of sleep in
his eyes when we deliver at midnight.
He isn’t even paid for this.
All night his
red head bobs left and right,
the whiskey-sipping fishermen to the punch,
reminding me it’s really simple fun to study a thing.
To recognize a fish just by the width of its tail
as it swings from my hand. To see scales
blue-green and green-blue, the black mouths of kings.
To imagine I can name each one in the dark:
Silver. Chum. Pink. Pink. Pink.
on Sitkoh Creek
Kelp pops under my boots
as I wander upstream
watching slow salmon spawn,
remembering the deckhands’
joke about salmon living to fuck
then die. After they have dodged
lice and sea lions, hooks and nets,
claws and snouts, drought, eagles,
and each other, they die anyway,
flagging, bones softening.
fish corpses punctuate
the bank with exclamations of stench,
but I bend to touch the bodies anyway,
as if I’d hear ghost whispers
telling me how to come back
again and again, how to glimmer,
flash like ember-red roe in the eddies.
Golden received her MFA in poetry from North Carolina State University. Winner of the program's 2012 Academy of American Poets
Prize, Golden's work appears widely in literary journals such as Fourth River, Cirque, and Mobius: The Journal of Social Change,
as well as place-based anthologies about the Pacific Northwest. Though she calls Washington state home, Golden has spent time
in Spain, Mexico, and Argentina and spends summers in Alaska, working as a commercial fisherman.
oh jon my umbra here's the problem. the problem you want to solve. the me you want to enter through
mouth ear soul. the me you want to fill to my edges. the edges you want to blur forehead touching forehead not one lumen escaping. jon here's the thing i’m picking him. he who’s untethered doesn’t
need phone calls every hour sits a little farther away on the couch. oh jon you magnet me you’re a planet you’re
gravity you're married you talk about books like you mean it you press me hard against your office wall. oh jon i’ve reached disambiguation you’re a speck i’m a rocket i illume i illume i illume.
Erica Bodwell is a poet and attorney living in Concord, NH. She
has poems appearing or forthcoming in Red River Review, Crack the Spine, Emerge Literary Journal, The Orange Room Review and
David D. Horowitz
Page A1: MALL SHOOTING LEAVES 2 DEAD:
Served in Army; Lost Job, Had Debt
Page C17: Bombings Kill Ninety-Eight in Baghdad:
Day in Seven Months, Truce in Doubt
David D. Horowitz founded and manages Rose Alley Press. His most recent poetry collections, published
by Rose Alley, are Sky Above the Temple and Stars Beyond the Battlesmoke. His poems and essays have appeared
in numerous journals, including The Lyric, Candelabrum, The New Formalist, and Exterminating Angel.
David has edited and published two Northwest poetry anthologies: Limbs of the Pine, Peaks of the Range and Many
Trails to the Summit. He frequently organizes poetry readings in the Puget Sound region and in 2005 received the PoetsWest
Award for his contributions to Northwest literature.