Saturday Sep 26

Alsop Poetry Maureen Alsop, Ph.D. is the author of four full collections of poetry including Mantic, Apparition Wren, Mirror Inside Coffin and Later, Knives & Trees. Her poems have appeared in numerous magazines including Kenyon Review, Tampa Review, New Delta Review, Typo, and Barrow Street. Her awards include: Tony Quagliano International Poetry Prize, Harpur Palate's Milton Kessler Memorial Prize for Poetry and The Bitter Oleander’s Frances Locke Memorial Poetry Award. She edits poetry for Poemeleon, and teaches online with the Rooster Moans.

            divination by the observation of the phases and appearances of the moon

I’ve stolen the sea. Come hell of the tide. O Guardian’s shadow, O milkwood highway
through the kingdom, I swam the valley salt flats as you left the frame—the night space,
air’s brushstroke in cyclone—

Snow touched the travellers’ shoulders when David stood between the troops. The
authorities drew sides. I lowered. I lay as I lay in the world—sword touching the throat,
an angel inside the tip. See what you like he said so I saw and he met me under the storm
tree. This was always the law of my discipline: a shooting of orders, Banksia’s
bronze branches, a chandelier of cheated leaves.

The grass hums as revenants whiten my father’s grave and ether rings in the cedar; this is
not the noise of a coward—above me—but my mother, my air by my side. Home drawn
into me. A few times breath omits breath. Now moths circulate my lips— heavy stars
sleep in celebration.

I forget their words, that field, my battle.
This is another way to stay the line—

            divination by the observation of the phases and appearances of the moon

                                                            and when the hour       and my body
are taken from you--

Passover bells will measure the green within sparrow’s polished note; you’ll hear
ammunition through an open door. I will ask in all my gathering
how would you have me leave—

It will take a city of unfurnished rooms until you enter the one where

blue headlights break the windows into trees. Follow the sun’s physicality which lies
upstairs in dream figures. I am the aftertell. I am sleeping. Over the last world.

            divination by the observation of the phases and appearances of the moon

Dear Forgiveness

Yesterday from the valley of lagoons I heard them. They were shot
in the adjoining room where silt sprayed the glass wall—not so far beneath the earth.
Summer's sizzled grasses bent upward through floorboards & a strange witchery hung
like pollen's afterbite.

A green portico broke open above the bottle trees and now I could see water's ruins
beneath the blackwood, weed & thistle.

Our hereafter lives— the very last day—
My briefcase papers askew, our contracts splayed across the field.

Someone lost us at the exit—you held a jackknife softly against my forearm—something
left my skin— I knew the blade was a lake I once swam in— black elms bowing under
currents, fray of pine needles netting the shore.

I did not know, I could not dream. What part of you remained.

There was one sentence left on the page.