poem in new online lit mag

the premier issue of magpie literary journal has gone live, and the editor saw fit to include one of my poems. this one is a conceit on having a daughter and is set on the shores of a wave-battered lake michigan. it also uses dripping pathos more than is my usual, but having children will do such things to a writer. 🙂

i know a few of the other folks who have poems appearing, and highly recommend reading thru the whole issue.

pax inter spinas

sna poems, series supplementum #29: donges bay gorge again

donges bay gorge is a steep ravine that cuts thru an undulating bluff on its way down to lake michigan. this was part of a wealthy landowner’s swath of property but was purchased by the ozaukee washington land trust and, very thankfully, opened up to the public.

lots of spring ephemerals here during the early spring, but mostly going to sleep for the winter now. tho’ we met some delightful fungus, moss, and bark still doing their things. the lake could be heard whispering below and the low-angle sun cut faintly thru the trunks of white pine, maple, red oak, aspen, birch, and linden.

we were trying to get to a different preserve north of here, but it was closed for deer hunting. then we remembered donges bay gorge and how great it was, so we visited again. i think it deserves two slots in the supplementum series. why not?

a.

light snug on the gorge

drowsing forbs

invite us along

b.

water clutching rock

and resting:

a small frozen fall

c.

the mushrooms know well

it’s their time

below the white pines

look at that bark.

anyhow, if you made it this far, i’m thinking this is what it looks like when moss smiles:

sna poems, supplementum #20: amsterdam dunes preservation area

amsterdam dunes preservation area is a 328-acre preserve made up of lake michigan shoreline, rare sand dunes, forest, and wetland areas. somehow it avoided development. there’s also a little playground. direct access to dunes on lake michigan this far south in wisconsin is uncommon, so thanks to sheboygan county for tending this piece of land and opening it to the public!

(note: photo quality won’t be as high as normal here and in the next few posts, as i used the old flip-phone for this excursion. though in ways i like the lower res for this project sometimes; it seems to fit the immediacy and spontaneity i’m aiming for here. and i like to use old technology anyway—i still listen to audio cassettes and things like that…)

a.

spine against dune

cormorants over waves

the sun shining now

b.

thinnest ray of silver water—

field shifting slow downhill—

finds a linear tidal pool

state natural area poems, supplementum anthropocenum #3: mckinley park, milwaukee

winter fingers the rip-rap

sprawling wave-spray in the air

ice will find a way

mckinley park is a lakefront park in milwaukee with a marina, beach, and other things going on. part of the shore has a long pile of rip-rap (tumbled rock and concrete) that my kids love to climb on. it’s a bit more treacherous these days, with lake michigan’s spray slicking the rocks in ways unexpected, beautiful, and (at times) dangerous. i was particularly taken by the ice display on driftwood last night.

New Short Poem in _The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls_

Delighted to have a short poem of mine from a couple years back featured in The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls!

Based on an afternoon spent on the shores of Lake Michigan up in Door County, the scene is shaped into a basic imitation of the Old English alliterative long line. (Four stresses, a caesura dividing the stresses in two, alliteration bridging the caesura.)

While you’re there, check out the other poems going on!