Judith has been published in The Raven Chronicles:Last Call, The Floating Bridge Press Review IV, Ethel Zine 3 & 4, Synchcronized Chaos, The Poetica Review and other anthologies. Her Chapbook, The Evidence & The Evermore, was published July, 2019 by Sarah Lefsky/Ethel Zine. She lives simply and writes in Port Townsend, Washington.
From the bed skirt of beveled clouds
that fell beneath a blue black – sky as
a shadow she shifted inside her hoarse
cry flying into the deafening darkness.
I’ve discovered the place where she
nestles – a wooden cradle of cracked
planks on the desolate wharf. When
scattered light forms an ivory white
gauze around the sun – she stands on
one foot for hours picking at tattered
feathers – elongated neck twisting in
contortions of liquid jets. Or she stands
mutely aloof amidst the hunch backed
plump gulls and scavenging crows.
Fading at the edges she disappears into
a place so removed that she casts her
own existence in doubt. Birds of various
feathers rise above her swirling in flocks
and murders weaving a tapestry of wings
across a quieter blue and thinning sky.
Rusts relent to ochres and dark duns
that gather in guttered desiccated nests
of black veins. Grey ripples whisper by –
she watches while they peak and rise
to waves the further out they go. Arthritic –
she lowers her long limbs – layer by layer –
folding down inside her wooden cradle
where she settles at last – a remnant torn
loose from the distant seamless sky.
The sun believes
as it bores a hole
through a cloudy sky –
the way a bird believes
in its wings
after it has learned to fly.
A spider believes
as it spins the silk of its skin
weaving intricacies across a breach –
the way the wind believes
as it shreds the web with the breath of its reach.
A seagull believes
as it flies into its own shriek –
splitting light waves that pierce the ground –
the way the body that believes
leans right into that shattered sound –
feeling the ragged breath
that scrapes through a high
mountain pass – hearing a talon’s
slow screech as it breaks apart a pane of glass.
Lamentations in Falling Leaves
Leaves drift to the pavement
in fist falls of melancholy –
dry as grief. Beneath my feet –
the path of brittle patchwork
spreads in scarlet desiccated
shrieks. Across the street a
busker tinkles a tin pan alley
tune – each note a drifting leaf –
a cry of leaving and goodbye.
Greens dissolve to dull ochre
and dry gold – the air preserves
its chill – distilled in lonely
echoes still audible in lingering
winds. To the ground the world
spills in dying breaths I trample
underfoot – and still your image
rises – slender brown shoulders
and those eyes forever closed.