November 20-26, 2006: Cynthia Atkins and Stephen Morse

week of November 20-26, 2006

Cynthia Atkins and Stephen Morse



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Cynthia Atkins
atkins@roanoke.edu

Bio (auto)

CYNTHIA ATKINS’ first collection of poems “Psyche’s Weathers” will be forthcoming from WordTech in Nov 2007 You can visit her on the web at www.spiralbridge.org Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Bloomsbury Review, BOMB, Chelsea, Caketrain, The Florida Review, Luna, New York Quarterly, Pearl, Seattle Review, Seneca Review, Sou’wester, and Verse, among others. She currently teaches Creative Writing at Roanoke College and is artistic director of Writers@Jordan House She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Rockbridge County, VA with her husband and son and hopes for more peaceful times in the forseeable future

The following work is Copyright © 2006, and owned by Cynthia Atkins and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Train Song

In the approach to all that is oncoming–
At the crossroads to longing, a pre-echo

plinth of steam, just before the longest man-made
noise Each time, making it up as it goes along
Almost a psalm, almost a heavenly invention
like the ancient dawn Steel black bull, unstoppable
Remember Louie Armstrong blowing,
as in the things that will never be the same?

A sailor left on a train of good intentions I watched him run to catch the red-eye
Her red eyes were a host of possibility in good-bye Hands wave to the clothes-lines of our lost descendents
At every depot, it pushes a doorbell
to the heart’s yearning We’re overcome

by its sheer force of will, both urgent
and tranquil as the prism of a steady rain
The stretch of impediments our blinking eyes
railing past window boxes, boarded windows,

past all that stays in one place Boxcars fanning out
to the fabricated land We’ve lost the art

of junkyards in history’s random chain,
derailed memories to non-sequential freight
Weightless, I’ll wait for its unhurried dirge
tracking the intangible ache, ghost-like

as wind-chimes catching a clack of wind

(First appeared in The Seattle Review)


Stephen Morse
smorse@juice-press.com

Bio (auto)

Stephen Morse; poet, editor and publisher of the web based hyperzine, Juice online Small Press Activist since the mid 60’s in the San Francisco Bay Area Currently lives and teaches writing in Minneapolis, MN.

The following work is Copyright © 2006, and owned by Stephen Morse and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Crow’s Day

They know we’re here

I hoot
imitating the owl heard in the dark
to chase the crows
in the backyard

They hunch in their black winged splendor
carrion eaters
calling to each other like some
dark game of marco polo

Earlier
two hawks pass in the trees
perching for a moment outside my window
I ponder their identity as predators

large as bowling pins
silent as a dream

I do not know their names
but they are warriors

Later
a solitary hawk
flutters through the sky
attacking and fleeing
a clatter of crows

social eaters of the dead.

Now
for the third evening in a row
two large crows sit on a tall tree
overlooking the garden
cawing
reedy
loud
clear as a nightmare

the crows see me cup my hands to my mouth
calling the night-stalker owls
to kill them as they sleep
and rob their nests in the dark

Their sharp high calls return my call
like a bully’s taunt
a call and response
of threat and defiance

The two crows watch
unmoving,
until I carry the sound
of the owl under their tree
where they cannot see me

Then
there is the wet black flap
of silent flight