Never Times Never (Shakespeare in the Pacific Northwest)

The poet, gilled

aches—

Salmon

his singular

fling upstream

arches hard—

spawns another poem

another daughter.

Having evaded this time

the law of the grizzly’s

slavering jaws—

King Salmon he is called—

Cordelia in arms—

blood drives

the fish-scaled brain

never stops— never—

five times never.

Walkers

What’s left of days–
tipped over tin watering can
empty after a season of
tomatoes, peppers and a little basil

Red-clay pot of green-sticked chives
slim-ribbed onions half bent
against the coming cold.

Sap stills
Leaves spin off trees
once uplifted branches
bow to the listening ground.

He feels the blaze on his face
Grins into the wind leaves twirl and spin
proof of the whirling world.

His back bent hands gripped to the metal walker
Me with my stop-watch tracking the minutes
the old man’s intrepid steps shame my proud pace.

I slow my steps we greet each other in the eyes
smile together in the blaze—

Walkers in late day,
on the slow path of the neighborhood,
roots reaching deep—all linked
in the roaring dark.

Allyson Lima writes and translates poetry in Spanish and English. Raised in Northern California, her writing, intuitive and irreverent, emerges from the radical beauty and indifference of nature and (gendered) inconsistencies in Western art and mythology. Lima’s poems have appeared in the North Coast literary journal, Catamaran among others. She has translated the poetry of Mario Bencastro and is currently editing his prizewinning novel, La Mansión del olvido.


Image by Frédéric Bazille – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3709636

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