When everything starts over

                         after "Bird of the Blue Sun" 

                                woodcut by Jay Seeley

 

there will be a blue sun

and you and I

will sway like the flowerings

on the floor of the sea.

 

There will be a new bird

and night will warm

our thoughts with twin

moons, will spread

 

and scent the ground. And you

and I will find mercy

painted on every stone. Rain

will sing its long song

 

and you and I. And you and I.

Woodcut by Jay Seeley

in Kalamazoo Institute of Arts

All My Flowers

Antarctica

I know ice whalebone white

         green and turquoise,


 

milky ice, ice blood-red

when the algae blooms; candle ice, pack ice,


 

pancake ice, and cat ice that glazes

water so thinly a breath would shatter it;

  lolly slush,


 

loose crystals in a salt-water slurry;

young ice and its false maturity.

I know the way fast ice locks on


 

and doesn’t let go;

the gray moire of grease ice, its sheen

of watermarked silk skimming the sea;


 

and fog ice, mists of diamond dust

that cancel skies, that conjure

multiple and dazzling suns,


bounce prisms, throw halos,

suspend a snow field, inverted, in midair.

*

The ice gives birth to ice.

The first filaments of ice mating are frazil ice.


Once it develops and grows muscular

Ice battles ice.

The ice barrage explodes in a din

Of booms, cannonades, cracks loud as rifle shots.


 

And when the ice buries ice

it is entombed with ancient atmospheres.


 

All my hours are ice hours.

All my flowers are ice flowers.

"All My Flowers," by Marion Starling Boyer,

published by The Pedestal Magazine, issue #85.

Go to The Pedestal Magazine,

to hear an audio of this poem.

AIRSHIP, JANUARY 1915

 

 

A piece of smurry night broke off,

silver and fish-shaped. It drifted closer,

 

shimmering, massive as a god.

The navigation light was a single slow-

 

moving star and the ship purred as it glided

over. Our upturned faces lit with appalled

 

fascination. Lost, windblown off course,

the zeppelin lowered, sprinkled the lands

 

with parachute flares – small fires

wafting down –

 

and found its way to Yarmouth’s

cluster of coastal lights where Baptists

 

were closing the midweek prayer meeting

with the refrain singing to welcome

 

pilgrims of the night. Martha Taylor sat

at home knitting a sock. She set the needles

 

down before turning the heel, her fingers’

misery worse for the rafty weather.

 

On the road a dog barked and barked.

Two streets over, Liza walked the floor

 

with the baby, worn out, in a frap.

An unfamiliar throbbing noise drew Sam

 

Smith, a cobbler, outside to stand

with others in the wet.

 

The men in the gondola

wore fur-lined shoes with rubber soles.

 

They warmed themselves with coffee

from a thermos. One, lying flat on his

 

stomach, peered through a trap door

and dropped the first aerial bomb

 

ever to fall on England, and then nine

more, managing to ruin a church, to blow

 

apart buildings, a fishing drifter, Martha

in her chair and Sam standing in the rain.

"Airship, January, 1915" by Marion Starling Boyer,

from The Sea Was Never Far. Main Street Rag. 2019. 

Published by The Atlanta Review as a finalist

for their International Poetry Competition 2018.

(Use requires permission of author).

Antarctica Speaks of the Pack Ice published by

Escape Into Life

Click button to visit

Antarctica Speaks of the Pack Ice

 

 

Their territory is a gauzy netherworld

of sea smoke, of black water. Their credo

is freedom. Numberless drifters, the floes

 

and growlers cruise the decaying fringes

jockeying for position. They collide,

rupture, resuture. Cold thugs, the pack

 

encircles outsiders and carries them off

or crushes them. My winds are strong

and can drive the pack away, but needles

 

of skeletal ice always skulk back and bond.

The ice hardens to grease ice and once again

ice initiates ice into the pack.

AFTER THE TELEGRAM COMES

I dream of the black hush

in farming sheds, far off

 

in Yorkshire, where rhubarb

crowns are forced without

 

a scrap of soil or light.

The air is warm there,

 

scented with coal fires

and the wool shoddy

 

tucked about the plants.

The quiet is so deep

 

farmers hear the rhubarb

grow – the buds' soft pops,

 

their rising stems creaking.

In all that darkness

 

harvest is a ritual

of shadows. Candles flicker

 

atop iron poles and throw

the pickers' hunched shapes

 

against the walls as they

bend to cut and cradle

 

the pale stalks, row after row,

standing at attention.

"After the Telegram Comes" by Marion Starling Boyer,

from The Sea Was Never Far. Main Street Rag. 2019. 

Published by The Tishman Review and  selected

by Lit Youngstown for their 2020 calendar. 

(Use requires permission of author).

Toady Tells Me, Over Tea and Tabnabs

For Brian Rudd

 

My father was Boy Toady and I was

Young Toady. Grandfather was Old Toady

and when he died we all moved up one.

Winterton people had nicknames

because there were too many in the village

 

with the same name. On a drifter,

there might be two Bob Greens asleep

below so if you're going to call the watch

you need shout up Bob-the-devil

not Bob Crow to get the right one.

 

In the George family there was Social George,

Cuddy George, Jack Starchy, Bill Starchy,

Eddie Starchy, and Punch George. Punch

George drove a big lorry into Yarmouth.

There'd be about eight hundred men and boys

 

to cart from Winterton for the fishing. Mute,

(I don't know why they named him Mute) he was

a Goffin, and he had two lorries. There was Fizzle,

Flat, and Fatty, Duff, and Dumps, Jello, Poachy,

Fourboat, and Eric Kettle who we called Teapot.

 

"Toady Tells Me Over Tea and Tabnabs,"

by Marion Starling Boyer, from

The Sea Was Never Far. Main Street Rag. 2019.

(Use requires permission of author).

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