Poetry: June First, Amoeba, and Second Half Anniversary Pantun

Lishan-copy
Amoeba

At first I
am a can-
dle, dull
as fire, or
a knot who
coldly can-
not br-
eak, un-
til squealing a-
part, hen-
pecking my-
self I t-
ear, sound-
lessly, in-
to
two
tiny s-
elves.

 

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Second Half Anniversary Pantun
Your head is just the passenger
— Rodney Yee

The bend and stretch of a sweetest year
Inhaled through toes exhaled through hips
A twist from a half-fish pose of laughter […]


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June First

The cottonwoods drift through the hot June afternoon like the first slow flakes of snow. The seed pods hang like cotton stuffing from the uppermost branches above where the tree has rooted itself on the slope above the creek. It is nestled there, a herd of purple and white dame’s rocket blooming at the base of its roughage of bark. But the cottonwoods drift above them, above the cave-like shade that the spruce, locus, and the dying ash trees create above the slope, and that the prairie dock and wild honeysuckle and wild rose create lower down. Earlier in the spring I had worked my way down, pulling up wild mustard, an intruder that squeezes out the local crowd of flora. Then the cottonwood was just a prickly band of sticks poking up into the early spring sky. But now summer is here and the cottonwood seeds drift over to the woods where the slope is not so severe, over the maples, and the shagbark hickory, and the pine. […]


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S.D. Lishan’s writing has appeared in journals including the Kenyon Review, Arts & Letters, New England Review, and Your Impossible Voice, and his book, Body Tapestries, was awarded the Orphic Prize in Poetry by Dream Horse Press. Lishan teaches creative writing at The Ohio State University.