Poem-A-Day 2021, Day 17: Elina Petrova

Today I’m featuring Elina Petrova’s “Things of the Sky.” This poem reminds me a bit of Wallace Stevens’ “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” with its loosely related vignette structure — although I think Petrova does a better job of building cohesion across the length of the poem. Her work here is accessible and lovely, deftly balancing the lyrical and familiar.

I love also that it resolves into a quiet epiphany at the end: not the sweeping and epic sort that movie franchises are built on, but the furtively powerful kind that make you stop in the middle of the day, in the middle of a task, and take note that your life has moved, is moving, forward.

Things of the Sky

i

At dawn, I heard a cargo train whistling,
lifted a curtain and saw through fog
a white egret limping toward my lawn.
I broke rye bread and went outside
to approach him with crumbs.

ii

A sparrow hops from one empty branch
to another. While peering at the sky,
my retina conjures smoky amoebas,
tiny transparent chains. It’s drizzly
and calm. The sudden red miracle
lands on a Chinese maple and whistles.
I miss your letters, Lao. A bird
never forgets his song. Why did I?

iii

The gore-stained talon.
Eyes clear of apathy. A hawk
alights on my fence again
when the only clear patch
in the sky is lit against
a distant thunderstorm.

iv

It’s nearly four PM, and the sun pierces
feathery clouds at such an angle that
a fragment of the horizontal arc glows
in them for almost twenty minutes –
copper-violet haze at the height
where ice crystals meeting sunlight blaze
like love in its unbearably pure form.  
Passersby glance at the fire rainbow
and return to iPhones.

v

Yesterday, while gardening, I touched
the trembling blue dust on the wings
of a black swallowtail, overheard a song
that reached me to younger rings
of my tree trunk.
I translated its lyrics from Spanish:
What am I doing in this field? – I’m not
falling in love or singing. The larva
comes out of his silken prison
and turns into mariposa – a butterfly.

vi

Cardinals are back to my tallow tree.
When I hear their trill, spot a scarlet
flutter on the lower branch,
my limp heart restores to rapture.

vii

Scarlet leaves in the brightest cold sky—
colors of ecstasy like on a Chagall painting.
Workers replace the sewage collector
in the neighbor’s yard, speak rapid Spanish.
I put in earplugs to proof-read contracts
on the porch. Silver insides of maple leaves
now clap in silence, and an egret
with his feet pressed to the white plumage
floats above the roof in slow motion.
You are never alone, even in this petty
perimeter guarded with earplugs, and if
you put papers aside, there is magic
you used to notice in childhood—
a dragonfly, a bumblebee; even the drone
video of your listed bungalow that captures
the blues & scarlets, and you in the fisherman
jacket, looking up at the egret, with a foolish
smile of a ten times five-year-old.

viii

Pearlescent riders and elephants
on the cerulean. The sword of a jet
trace dissipates. Feathery clouds
hasten above Forum of cumuli
sculpted to be soon destroyed.
Nothing has happened to you.
Nothing will.

***

Until 2007 Elina Petrova lived in Ukraine and worked in engineering management. She published two poetry books in English (Aching Miracle, 2015, and Desert Candles, 2019) and one in her native Russian language. Elina’s poems have appeared in Chicago Quarterly Review, Texas Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Southwestern American Literature, Porter House Review, California Quarterly, FreeFall (Canada), Ocotillo Review, Poetry of the American Southwest series, Wicked Wit (Runner-Up Award for Public Poetry), and numerous anthologies. Find her poetry website by clicking here.

 

Poem-A-Day 2021, Day 16: B.J. Buckley

This is another poem that I first read while judging last year’s Poetry Super Highway contest. It’s a marvelous example of a myth poem, or a poem which performs ekphrasis in response to a story or character from mythology. Diana the Hunter shows up in a few places in modern literature; possibly my favorite reference to her is Deborah Harkness’ All Souls Trilogy which begins with A Discovery of Witches.

I love the character of Diana the Hunter and the way Buckley characterizes her here: agencied, powerful, unapologetic, vivid and unafraid and embracing. She has the same verve as Beatrice in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, who howls of Claudio, “O God, that I were a man! I / would eat his heart in the marketplace.”

But Diana isn’t filled with heartbroken sorrow for her cousin’s unfair misfortune and its resulting vengeful fury.

Buckley’s Diana knows from an early age the full scope of life and death and her place in that cycle, and she operates within it with extraordinary clarity and confidence.

Diana in Autumn

I am not afraid to say I live by blood.
Before that red flow gushed
from my own belly
I was a swimmer elbow-deep
in the carcasses of deer,
I ripped breath’s tunnel
from a slit throat,
used all my strength
against the weight
of a stomach full of grass
and alder shoots.
I held a heart, still beating,
in my hand,
took with soft lips
from the blade of my father’s knife
that slice of liver, hot and raw,
my first communion.
Before my breasts bloomed
I had burned bodies,
torn flesh from bones,
howled the mad wild joy of it.
Eden is closed,
and I in every ruddy leaf
am Fallen.
I love the incense of decay,
the deer,
this dust we are
and were and will be,
the arrow singing slaughter
in my hand.

***

B.J. Buckley is a Montana poet and writer who has worked in Arts-in-Schools/Communities programs throughout the West and Midwest for over 45 years in schools, libraries, hospitals, senior centers and homeless shelters. Her work has appeared in Whitefish Review, ellipsis, Sugar House Review, December, Sequestrum, About Place Journal, The Comstock Poetry Review, and many others. Her most recent book is Corvidae, Poems of Ravens, Crows, and Magpies, with woodcut illustrations by Dawn Senior-Trask, Lummox Press 2014.

Poem-A-Day 2021, Day 15: Pat Anthony

There have been times in my life when I have pulled my car hastily into a parking lot and yanked napkins and a pencil from the glovebox to scribble a poem down before it evaporated from my head. The ten weeks between my taita’s diagnosis and her passing come to mind: a whole series of lamentations was conceived on the well-traveled streets between my aunt’s house and my apartment.

My elder child turns sixteen this weekend. My younger is a teenager now, too. I try not to get nostalgic about the days when they were small enough to fall asleep in my lap. I was exhausted then and could just as easily fall asleep with them, weighted down by their milky warmth. I’m exhausted now, too, and only a little bit from missing the time when it was easy to solve their problems for them just by meeting their basic needs.

I love the adolescents they’ve become as much as I loved the babies they were. But parenting is like one long series of fleeting moments dragging you through their timeline, alternately endless and the length of a blink, a chronology of fatigue punctuated by bliss and terror.

I can’t imagine I would ever trade it.

Tonight’s poem, “For Little Hawk” by Pat Anthony, reminds me of the holiness of ephemeral moments and of how much we miss when something larger than ourselves interrupts them. I hope, fervently, that we will reach some comfortable medium of immunity and stability by later this year. My ambitions are not grand, but sometimes, honestly, when I look at the world around me, they feel immense.

For Little Hawk

I stop the car to write
            how it’s been six months now
arms aching from the weight
            your sleeping little boy body
                        this cradle of absence

my shoulder bowed yet
            from the curve of your head
my lap waiting for the spill
            of your blanketed legs

Then we breathed each other
            my quick inhales fragrant
            with your milky exhales
                        your gentle settling into sleep

Now I press my fingers against glass
                        this air between us laden
                                    green walnuts
                                    chattering squirrels

                                    the lot of us at risk
                        of losing so much

we mask
            squares of cloth
                        straining  
                        cataracts
            threatening to breach

larval we twist inside
                        colorful chrysalises
suspended
            by a single strand from
                        which we thought to anchor
            before the dizzying spinning
                        thinned the sheath
                                                translucent
                        the struggle within
you
            trying out first words today
me
            holding back my own
love
            across an unsocial distance

But here along this road
            where I’ve stopped
                        beside melons split open
                        their bloody hearts raw and dying

I just wanted you
            to know how much I miss.

***

Pat Anthony writes the backroads, often using land as lens to heal, survive, and thrive while living with bi-polar disorder as she mines characters, relationships, and herself. A recently retired educator, she holds an MA in Humanities, poems daily, edits furiously and scrabbles for honesty no matter the cost. She has work published or forthcoming in multiple journals, including The Avocet, The Awakenings, The Blue Nib, Haunted Waters, Orchard Street, and more. Her latest chapbook, Between Two Cities on a Greyhound Bus, was recently published by Cholla Needles Press, CA. She blogs at middlecreekcurrents.com.

Poem-A-Day 2021, Day 14: Christa Forster

Tonight’s poem, “Letter” by my dear friend and colleague Christa Forster, is the perfect encapsulation of what living with anxiety feels like — at least, to me. There’s a cascade of inevitable circumstances pooling into surreality: the inevitability of inconvenience, the disjointedness of misplaced boons, the intellectually sanguine yet emotionally miserable understanding of just how precarious every detail is.

Tonight I celebrate Christa and her poem and acknowledge that I’m not sure how I’d make it through a school year without her.

LETTER 

It’s winter. I’m sick, naturally.
A kind salesman tried to sell me a kumquat,
but I don’t think he arrived in time because
there’s a war on, eking out another champion.
The mothers shouldn’t be disturbed, so I walk
quietly. Perhaps their dreams will occur
to me: I hear them in their famished forms.
I know the world won’t end this time,
but I’m super scared, and I’m never clean.
In a week, the streets will clear. 
Change is uncomplicated. I can put
your stuff in storage and walk around. 

***

Christa Forster earned an MFA in poetry from the University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program, where she studied with Edward Hirsch and Adam Zagajewski and served as poetry editor of Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts. She has won multiple Individual Artist Grants in Literature, attended the Tin House and Naropa Summer Writing workshops, and written for and performed in live bands and theater productions, including several original one-woman shows. Her literary work has been published in print anthologies and in online literary journals. Additionally, her feature work appears in Bluestem, The Broken Plate, Cite Magazine, ellipsis… literature & art, The Houston Chronicle, The New York Times, The Round, Sanskrit, and Sculpture Magazine

Poem-A-Day 2021: Rebecca Spears

I’m teaching A Tale of Two Cities right now to my AP seniors. Don’t laugh — it’s one of my favorite books. Almost everything you could need to teach to a high school class about the study and form of literature, about writing, about vocabulary, about character arc and archetype, about narrative structure is in that book in one way or another. I also teach a lot of non-dead, non-white, non-men in my classes, too, but this is my favorite book by Dickens.

I annotate my texts and teach from them. I’ve spent the last hour transcribing notes on the four chapters I want to cover in tomorrow’s class from my old copy of the book, that is literally held together with a binder clip, into a new edition that won’t fall to individual leaves every time I open it.

This is a busy week for me. It feels like I have enough meetings and appointments and grading or critique deadlines to keep me occupied until the heat death of the universe, and more of all of these keep piling on every day. I don’t even have lunch breaks these days.

Tonight’s poem, “With Vincent, at Saintes-Marie” from Brook the Divide by Rebecca Spears resonates with me in perhaps unexpected, perhaps predictable ways.

The feeling of being in one attitude, one state, one circumstance for so long it’s beginning to transform me.

Considering jumping away into a completely different landscape, suddenly.

I hear there’s still snow up north. Here, the mugginess swelters as we flirt with just enough rain to get us out of the latest incipient drought but maybe not enough to cancel Saturday afternoon at the park.

The poem is the escape. The poem, and then back to work.

With Vincent, at Saintes-Marie

We have come to the southern sea by way of diligence.
Five hours across the Camargue. 

I was a child here. I have seen this view so often
my hair has turned the night-blue of memory, woven
in white strands of Milky Way. I have begun
         to smell
of salted air
                    and barnacles. My bones are
                                                                pink coral.
My insides sponge.

For the first time I see the green and yellow-russet
flecking the blue iris. Now you stare back, half-wild.
On your skin I can feel the damp, orange soil
that nourishes the wheat canvases. You smell 
of sardines and tuna, silver and tin. You’ve become
geometric, elemental.

The sun can cure many ills, you say.

Yes, I agree. I like to think of this sea
                                                      that falls over
the French shore here, Africa there—
from here we could go by boat
                                                   to Istanbul or Odessa
Barcelona or Algiers
                                  leave behind this world.

I wouldn’t mind dying there, lying with you
on a cold seabed.

                            Imagine going down under the dazzle
of green and yellow-white stars.
                                                    Or under
lightning flashes of sun.

I must sketch the boats, you say. Accurate
drawing, accurate color.

Please, I say.

But things here have so much line.
You see things with an eye more Japanese. I feel color
differently.

Show me then, show me
how you see. 

***

Rebecca A. Spears, author of Brook the Divide: Poems (Unsolicited Press, 2020) and The Bright Obvious: Poems (Finishing Line Press, 2009), has her poems, essays, and reviews included in TriQuarterly, Calyx, Crazyhorse, Barrow Street, Verse Daily, Ars Medica, Field Notes, and other journals and anthologies. She has received awards from the Taos Writers Workshop, Vermont Studio Center, and Dairy Hollow House. Brook the Divide was shortlisted for Best First Book of Poetry (Texas Institute of Letters). Spears is also a Pushcart nominee.

https://www.unsolicitedpress.com/store/p243/brookthedivide.html

http://www.versedaily.org/2015/aboutrebeccaaspears.shtml

Poem-A-Day 2021, Day 12: Robin Reagler

I always love featuring the poetry of my friends, and Robin Reagler is someone whom I appreciate very much. She’s a kind person, smart and reasonable and even-keeled in my experience, and sometimes I find that reading her poetry feels comfortable, inviting. Just like she always was when I was working at Writers in the Schools back in the day, when she was their director.

And sometimes that comfort comes in gently askew, as in today’s poem. Either way, I feel a sense of calm.

Enjoy “Hangnail,” which is from her new collection Into The The, just recently released from Backlash Press.

Hangnail

12:17 A.M. I subject my toenails to a little
stopgap analysis. Conclusions reached?
On earth you matter. Sure
the circumstances change
but you’re with us or you’re against us.
I have my own little aphorism:
On earth the circumstances alter.
One day it will go like this:
A penniless boy will arrive very late.
If you have the question, you have the question.
Go ahead, take my place.
Step into the garden.

***

Robin Reagler just published INTO THE THE, winner of the Best Book Prize from Backlash Press. For over 20 years, she led Writers in the Schools (WITS). You can order her books or find out where she’s performing next on her website www.robinreagler.com

Poem-A-Day 2021, Day 11: Hafiz

Here is another lovely fragment from Mala of the Heart, this time by Hafiz of Persia (Iran). It reminds me of the need and mutual benefit of kindness in the world.

God
blooms
from the shoulder
of the
elephant
who becomes
courteous
to the
ant.

***

Hafiz (ca. 1320-1389) was born in the garden city of Shiraz. It is said that after the early death of his father, Hafiz worked for a bakery, where he caught sight of Shakh-e Nabat, whose incredible beauty moved him to write and sing of his love for her. During a forty-night vigil to win this girl’s love, Hafiz had a vision of an angel, whose beauty led Hafiz to realize that God was infinitely more beautiful than any human form. The angel revealed where Hafiz could find a spiritual master. Hafiz then met and became a disciple of Attar of Shiraz, who led Hafiz to union with God. Like other great Sufi poets, Hafiz employed imagery to express his longing and love for the divine.

This biographical information is quoted from Mala of the Heart.

 

Poem-A-Day 2021, Day 10: Angele Ellis

Last year I was one of the judges for the Poetry Super Highway Annual Poetry Contest, and this was one of the poems that the judges all deemed excellent. (It won 3rd place from among nearly a thousand poems.) After the contest was over, I asked Rick Lupert, who runs PSH, if I could learn the names of the poets who’d written a handful of the poems I read while judging. He obliged, and I contacted them, and some have agreed to let me post their work on my blog this year. Angele Ellis is one of those gracious and talented poets. She is also, like me, of Lebanese descent, and has written about her roots. I highly recommend this wonderful poem of hers.

Today’s offering, “Scenes from Frozen River,” speaks to me for several reasons, even beyond the vivid imagery and poignant depth of feeling. I love the consistency of the form, the evenness on the page despite the emotional maelstrom of the content. I love that the speaker seems to have a multi-ethnic ancestry: I myself am both Arab and Native American (each from a different parent) and don’t often encounter anything that or any person who embodies or acknowledges both.

There’s not much else I can say about this poem that it can’t do on its own, and far better than I, so I’ll just leave it here for you to enjoy.

Scenes from Frozen River

(1) Often Rebuked, Yet Always Back Returning

to this burdened snowscape, this land pressed
flat by a lake effect sky. The deep blue bays
of Ontario ripple and swell, an ocean
drawing in. Tides, shrieking gulls, shells.

Twenty years ago, pulling up to a cousin’s
winterized cottage in Chaumont—Shah-moan,
for the French nobleman who claimed it—
her mother warned: Don’t be shocked if she’s strange.

O God of our childhood. She was bloated and strung out
on pain pills—shaking and keening over her best friend,
killed in that so-called one-car accident two years before.
Broken—broken through a frosted wall of glass

the fabled good looks of Yasmina,
my father’s far relation. On that other side—
unknown beauty whose tear-stained mouth embraced
her steering wheel at the terminus of white tracks.

My aunt: She wouldn’t have wanted to live after that.

(2) Often Rebuked, Yet Always Back Returning

to this burdened snowscape, this land where
a hard-bitten movie heroine craves a doublewide,
bad enough to smuggle illegals on thin ice
over the invisible border slicing the Mohawk rez.

I know her plowed-field misery. And the other,
her accomplice: black hair and pillowed cheeks. 
The young face of my Mohawk cousins, before
we started gambling, every goddamn day.

I know that plywood shelf crowned with Regal,
these dead drifts deeper than crevasses,
those thrift stores stalked by marked-down bosses.
This land slapped flat by a husband’s hand.

On film, beached hope is salvaged. The ravaged
woman goes to jail. Her Mohawk friend tends
their children in the showroom trailer, gleaming
whale tamed by its female Jonah. Swallowed

whole into darkness, I no longer care how it ends.

3) Often Rebuked, Yet Always Back Returning

to this burdened snowscape, this land, in a van
far removed from the rattling paneled station wagons
of our pasts. Upholstered plush muffles gossip
as we glide, cresting the scenic route. There’s

no place like home! cries a cousin, half-amazed.
We finger landmarks from her tinted windows.
Almost a pleasure trip, this funeral: what’s left
to the middle-aged. Another death, yet we go on

like the Donner Party, sucking marrow from dry bones.
Does it matter who remains among the living? 
This land pressed flat in our broken View-Master.
Bovine doublewides grazing the old farms. Lusting

for nothing, we laugh to break the stitches in our sides.

Copyright Angele Ellis. First published in Yew Journal.

***

Angele Ellis’s haiku appeared on a theater marquee after winning Pittsburgh’s Filmmakers’ G-20 Haiku Contest. Her poetry, fiction, essays, and reviews have been published in seventy journals and seventeen anthologies. She is author of Arab on Radar (Six Gallery), whose poems about her family heritage and political activism won a fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Spared (A Main Street Rag Editor’s Choice Chapbook), and Under the Kaufmann’s Clock (Six Gallery), a fiction/poetry hybrid inspired by her adopted city of Pittsburgh, with photographs by Rebecca Clever. For more information on Angele and her work, click here.

Poem-A-Day 2021, Day 9: Mike Alexander

How often have you wandered outside of your office or some all-day appointment with a lunch bag and sat down on a concrete ledge or park bench to sit and eat, alone perhaps, trying to imagine yourself in nature even though this iteration of it was only some boring hedges and a few trees next to a glass and steel building full of people who didn’t know each other, not really, next to a parking lot that smelled of heat and exhaust next to a street that was loud?

Mike Alexander, another mainstay of Houston’s poetry scene, reminds me of this in his poem “Holy Places of the World,” which I love.

And now I want to tell you another story, a lunch downtown story. Half my son’s life ago (literally — he was seven), I took him to the medical center for an all-day appointment. For those who have never seen the Texas Medical Center (the largest in the world, if I’m not mistaken), it is many city blocks populated by very large buildings and decently sized sidewalks. There’s a light rail that goes along the street and a lot of both car and pedestrian traffic. There aren’t really any green spaces between the buildings themselves — only parking garages and more buildings — and not even any piazzas to speak of, but a few of the buildings do have stone or cement steps leading up to their front doors.

On his lunch break, I took my son and our lunch boxes down the street to one of these cement staircases leading up to another official-looking building. We were outdoors, at least. It was a pleasant spring day, about this time of year. I knew my son had, at that time, a phobia of the wide-open sky, but since there were so many tall buildings, it didn’t seem like the sky would be much of a problem today. Plus he had a hoodie, and wearing a hood or a hat was always a good antidote to that particular phobia. As we walked along the sidewalk, and he plastered himself to my side and wanted me to walk with my arm around him and my hand covering his head, it became clear his dislike of tall buildings was not just about architecture.

Over lunch he articulated something new about his phobia to me.

“The problem, I think,” he said around a mouthful of ham sandwich, “is the word skyscraper. I don’t like that word.”

“Oh, that’s interesting,” I said. “What about the word bothers you?”

“Well, are the buildings going to poke holes in the sky? Because I know that behind the sky is space, and I really don’t want that falling on me.”

He was afraid the skyscrapers would scrape tears across the sky, and then the enormous infinity of space (another thing that terrified him — and OMG why wouldn’t it??) would come hurtling at his head.

Fortunately, this was a really helpful and logical explanation, and I’m pleased to say that with a fair amount of loving support from his family and school, he has overcome his phobia.

He still wears hoodies, though. (Just like nearly every other teenager we know.)

A city park, the sky and space beyond it, even a cement staircase in front of a nondescript building downtown in a huge city — these can all be holy places in the world.

 

HOLY PLACES OF THE WORLD

You take lunch outside the bank.
It’s not the hanging gardens of Babylon,
but at least it’s out of the sun.
A chlorine sting washes the sculpture
garden, emerges from pre-fab waterfall.

You get used to the smell, the no smell,
the no taste to the egg-salad sandwich
you make yourself chew. You swallow
artificial air. Watch the long shadows crawl
from one end of the hour to the other.

Do you wish yourself elsewhere?
An architect worked late into the night
to give this corner an anchoring holiness.
In a poster outside the travel agency, a woman
walks a suntanned Mecca, nearly naked.

Wading into a postcard of the Aegean, snorkeling
the great coral reef? Ruins of unnatural blue
shimmer in your vision. Okay,
so it’s not the wailing wall.
Can’t you at least pretend to pray?

***

Mike Alexander came to Houston in 1996.
Everything here is so extraordinary, it’s hard to define the ordinary. Nevertheless, he contemplates the quotidian every day.

Poem-A-Day 2021, Day 8: Kimberly Hall

I encountered Kimberly Hall and her poem “Autumn Maples with Poem Slips” at a reading of ekphrastic poetry hosted by the Friendswood Public Library. Her poem had earned some recognition and with good reason!

I’m such a fan of ekphrastic poetry, or poetry written in response to other artwork. It’s one of my favorite styles to write in, like being in artistic conversation with someone else who might otherwise be inaccessible to me. For example, Kimberly Hall’s poem here responds to a beautiful screen by Tosa Mitsuoki, c. 1675. You can view the inspiring artwork, and learn more about its history, here.

Autumn Maples with Poem Slips

Times like these,
time seems to pass       slowly
and then
            all at once

Is it time travel
if I watch this moment
                        suspended
while the rest of the world keeps turning?

A screen
separates us, a sliding screen
            or a door, or a window
and the hands of the clock
.                                          outside
cannot meet
the hands of the people
           within

Times like these,
moments pass
differently – they pass
                        sometimes like running water,
and other times like
            treacle syrup –
but most times
like they
do not
pass
at
all

How do you measure a moment –
in seconds? the span of a feeling? a poem?
the time it takes one maple leaf
.                                                        to fall
.             to the ground?

We watch the seasons change,
the cherries      blossom and the maple leaves
                                                                                  fall,
and we know that the world has turned
but we do not feel it –
and all things bright and beautiful are fleeting,
we know this,
but still the world seems
            still

Times like these,
the world moves and does not –
and we move and do not –

but the poems –

the poems flutter in the wind,
whispering, like leaves,
like the sound of a brush
on paper, or the
secret scratch of pencil lead
.               inside a borrowed book, or the
slide     of a pen
as it      settles
            behind your ear –

whispering, like the slide of fingers through your hair –

whispering, like the voices of the world beyond the screen,
beyond the door, beyond the window,
and the rasp of pen on paper sounds like
.                                                         your own voice,
                         whispering back

Times like these, it can seem like
the world has come to a stop –
like we, too, are            suspended        here,
a moment within a moment,
a maple leaf, always
.             falling, never
.                                           touching
                         the
             ground

and yet –
here we are,
trying to leave our own
.               poems
tied to our own
.             maple branches –
trying to leave beauty in the world
.                             even as that beauty fades –
trying to catch a moment
in our hands as proof that we have
reached beyond the screen
and
       touched
                   the
                        world

Here we are –

             – fluttering from our own branches –

.                                                      – and here we will remain.

***

Kimberly Hall is a writer and graduate student at the University of Houston- Clear Lake. Her work has been featured in two ekphrastic poetry anthologies, Do You See the Way the Light (2019) and Still the Waves Beat (2020). When not writing or studying for exams, Kimberly can be found stress-baking, playing the violin, and trying to pet every cat she meets. She can be contacted at kdotcdothdot@gmail.com.