Editor’s Note: Robin Boyd’s poetry has appeared in Whole Terrain volumes 18: Boundaries, and 21: Metamorphosis. Read more about her in this author profile we conducted in 2015. The following poems will appear in her forthcoming book with Dog Iron Press, Without Fences.
Body of Earth
I didn’t reply when you said you may
not see another winter. Your words
just shimmered in the air as we
listened to the rain beat down.
I imagined your neurons, veins and arteries
as splayed networks of water and roots
carving themselves again and again
into earthly matter — both flesh and rock.
Like rivers and monsoons, we arise from nothing,
rage in the full volume of youth, then grow thin.
In the end, we are deltas, fragile and potent
with all we take with us into the quiet bays.
On the Sheepscot
Along our tidal river work and sleep and work
ebb and flow by the charts calculated years in advance
by folks smarter than us who know how
to wring the future from a stack of history
that repeats based on the moon that moving target
a skeet thrown up and shattered piece by piece
as the nights pass until daylight holds the bulk of it
a pale coin we hardly notice but when we do
it’s a matter of wonder of how lucky we are to
have a companion as reliable as this that muscles
the water back and forth day after day for every lifetime
there ever was on this river now slack as a still pond
until the next great wash begins coming and going alongside
bluefish and rockweed – we evolve – offspring of its diurnal sway
Twelve Hours in Jemez
The rind of moonlight illuminates the west canyon.
Passing clouds soften and ripple lit stone.
Pale light pulls one cottonwood from the shadows.
In darkness, cooling rocks draw slow, shallow breaths.
The desert is tidal, in thrall to what repeats.
Water finds root, fire licks seed, frost stings leaf.
Drought frees the untwined dust.
Sudden water heaves stone.
Asters shock the monochrome ditches.
Morning travels down canyon walls as if sunrise were a falling action.
Cottonwoods crown the riverbanks then follow the drift of light.
Dawn turns to heat and shoves wind through the valley.
Just passing through, this is what I know.
Bio: Robin Boyd lives in New Hampshire. She holds a BA in creative writing from Roger Williams University in Rhode Island and a master’s degree in environmental education from the Audubon Expedition Institute at Lesley University. She works as a freelance writer and as a grants administrator for a small New Hampshire-based foundation. Her book of poems, Among the Slow Roots, was published in 2007 by Gap Mountain Press. Her work has also appeared in various journals and anthologies.