ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE

★ ★ ★ ★

DEVON BALWIT

Image by Dirk Bakker, 2017

Borne Along: Parabolic Poem (2x^ 2 + 4)

The chevrons form and undo themselves, late arrivals winging over, the leader tiring,
alerting us below to a deeper pull than want,
the planet hungering
as it spins, tilts,
carrying us along
following the high honking, the shifting patterns,
sometimes in front, sometimes behind, never quite sure where we are going, trusting the yearning.

(Ofi  12/2016)

Photo by Suzanne Simmons

Eco Echo:  An Oldster’s Tale

old man remembers
before we were here

old man says green breathed
bulged into food

old man says green lived
that got under nails

old man says green was noisy
mouth blowing tiny

old man jumps off furniture
trying to be light

old man says green
cold made it brown

old man says it spoke
he rubs his palms

old man says green held him
hid in its belly

old man says green held him
hid in its belly

what it was like there
he says listen before he forgets

took sun and made air
reached unfurled hung down

in dirt stuff
hid things that crawled

happy or warning
he shows me

like green’s singers
but he can’t lift up

changed color
heat yellow

went hush hush in fast air
and makes them whisper

that he climbed on its shoulders
gathered its scraps

that he climbed on its shoulders
gathered its scraps

410 ppm

We exhale, wring out
the last exudate, frack

whatever can be split
and leave, slagpits gaping,

billions of mouths
release a vortex of bags

and O-rings, toothbrushes
and bottles clotting

the ocean in a vivid
phlegm, coral bleaching,

glaciers gassed to scree.
The walk to the well

stretches longer,
children setting out

before dawn, no
telling whether

they will grow up
before the blue planet

browns into a spinning
ruin, mute testimony

to a species hell-bent
on convenience.

(Poets Reading the News, Earth Day 2017)

Devon Balwit teaches in Portland, OR. She has six chapbooks and two collections out or forthcoming: How the Blessed Travel (Maverick Duck Press); Forms Most Marvelous (dancing girl press); In Front of the Elements (Grey Borders Books), Where You Were Going Never Was (Grey Borders Books); The Bow Must Bear the Brunt (Red Flag Poetry); We are Procession, Seismograph (Nixes Mate Books), Risk Being/ Complicated (with the Canadian artist Lorette C. Luzajic), and Motes at Play in the Halls of Light (Kelsay Books). Her individual poems can be found in Cordite, The Cincinnati Review, The Carolina Quarterly, Fifth Wednesday, The Ekphrastic Review, Red Earth Review, The Fourth River, The Free State Review, Rattle, Posit, and more.

Suzanne Simmons’s poems, essays and photographs have appeared or are forthcoming in Miramar, Rattle, The New York Times, The Baltimore Review, Fifth Wednesday and numerous other journals. She volunteers for hospice and Monarch Watch and lives on the rocky Maine coast.

DEAR READER

At The Wild Word we are proud to present some of the best online writing around, as well as being a platform for new and emerging writers and artists.

As a non-profit, the entire site is a labour of love.

If you have read the work in The Wild Word and like what we do, please put something in our tip jar to keep this amazing platform alive.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

For more on the work of Devon Balwit

ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE