From the Water

Pasifae by Oscar Estruga

Spin me into the story resting in your bones,
Whirl the stormy past into sea foam until
The moon appears inside your home.
Spin me into life where memories are made.

Put your pen to paper and your paper
To my heart. Sign the oath of salt water
Arising from my birth. Tempt the maker
Of the times that lie within your grasp. Continue reading “From the Water”



She used to hate laundry days, the acrid
smell of boiled water poured in rough tin pans,
the cheap soap peeling away her red skin,
and the clothes less than spic and half of span.

The washing machine, a wedding present
From a rich aunt, transformed the shade of brown
In the diapers and left them a clean scent
But couldn’t take sweat rings on John’s shirts out. Continue reading “Wash”


Beginning with Death

I wrote an earlier musing on poems ending with the word “life,” so I thought I would also consider poems beginning with the word “death.” The most famous of these is probably John Donne’s “Death Be Not Proud,” which John Gunther took for the title of the biography of his son’s illness and death—a book from my childhood that I remember quite clearly (along with Robby Benson, my teenage crush, in the TV movie role). Continue reading “Beginning with Death”



Under the bridge, the white morning glories
rest from the work that has circled them in,
that has pinched energy into rest, life
into death, bloom into shell of that bloom.
I run over that bridge, desire like wood
splintering from me and landing in vines.
I hear them whisper about me. I hear
everything whisper about me—the trees,
the grass, the wind. I am known like I never
was inside those walls. I am known unlike
a girl before people, in the hunting
moon, in the time of the wolf’s breath, my life
hidden in reeds titled by the current.
I appear when thorns etch my lines in dust.

–Shaun Perkins


Poetry Where We Are

When I see blank signs along the roadway, I usually think of a poem that would fit on them. That one would be just perfect for a Yeats’ line or that one could fit an entire Dickinson. I like signs that were once something and the writing has all faded out so that they are signs about nothing now. Continue reading “Poetry Where We Are”