Issue 30 – 2019 – Jennifer Atkinson

Jennifer Atkinson


Night Sea

              The tideline
is written
              in water in salt
in sand
              what else
but over
              and over
a rhythm
              of unbegun
motion return
              and return
an authorless
the ground is un-
              boundedness gone
over in blue
              in blue
drawn over
              gold leaf
the power of
like identical
obscured in sameness
is self-
a widening
              outward as the sea’s
              motion stills



The fragrance of wind across snow
                                                                   and the consequent windless

space of mind
                            combed mohair
                            (that luster)

a cicada’s scaled wing
                                              the sphagnum light
                                              of an April woods

the dust
moonlight leaves or touching
                                                          the green
                                                          luna moth on the screen door

inform her de-nouned line
                                                       Its conviction goes without her

which is to say
                               Let   and   There is


“Mountains and Sea”

                                       The broad contours of ocean,

mountain, level shore,
                                           and the room, a flat expanse

opaque as sky on the floor,
                                                  move in balance.

Place remembered as motion
                                                         —lift, turn, rest—

a muscle memory of days
                                                  in that place seeing.

The landscapes were in my arms as I did it.

Linseed and pine air—
                                         it’s an early light—

haloes of blur
                             appear unplanned for.

Rose quartz sands
                                       shift; gust-thinned fog,

Atlantic greens and blues,
                                                    salt- and floodtide-scoured.

Some parts are visible,
                                             some parts not,

the whole 360
                             infolded, recalled to form,

a performance of color, collisions
                                                                  rehearsed across

the space until it’s natural—

Jennifer Atkinson is the author of five poetry collections. The most recent one, The Thinking Eye, was published by Parlor Press/Free Verse Editions in 2016. These poems are from a recently completed ms. titled A Gray Realm the Ocean. She teaches in the MFA and BFA programs at George Mason University.