Judith Borenin

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.



Heron Fall



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.



A Catechism



The sun believes   

in itself

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

in itself

as it spins the silk of its skin

weaving intricacies across a breach –

the way the wind believes  

in itself

as it shreds the web with the breath of its reach. 

A seagull believes

in itself

as it flies into its own shriek –

splitting light waves that pierce the ground –

the way the body that believes

in abandonment

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.