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  • Writer's pictureRyan Nowlin

Notes from an Open Channel, Section 5

Updated: Dec 31, 2018


“poetry is a holiday of the mind...The poet’s brain is a sea bottom on which many hulls repose....”


The naive conceit, a deer and her fawn

in early morning, watchful, “on alert”

a dream? Thinking they are unobserved,

they bed down in the mulch, leaves

flickering between light and shadow.

To wander from room to room, so quiet,

a hair descends, steps creak, finger tips

heat or sitting errant, a little inscrutable

world in pinprick and collision.

This shelter of neglect and decades long

delay, whiskered white repairs fall from

the sky and exit or enter. The poor light

up the island, whispering the “truth”

about “lonesome” Jim, the tortoise who ignored

his companion for ten years before

attempting to mate with her again.

Then he died. A black bird catches a worm

it can not eat all at once. Feigned affection

bounces right off me shining the x-ray

beam on the paint chips in Van Gogh’s beard

( which may have staved off his madness)

and the fidget tips of sea goggles and snorkel

gear then with a whoosh and a splash

I was in the water. Slowly I began to adjust

the gear to my head settings and then it

clicked like when the right word comes along.

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