Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The river

The river smelled like the sea.
Yet there were no clapboard houses
painted brightly, clinging like limpets,
strung across the rocky hillside.
There were no pinstriped garden snails,
no flock of gulls to snatch them up
and drop them down from high above,
to strip the bruised snail-flesh free
from shells with gleeful squawks.

The river smelled like the sea.
Terns gathered up the scattered figments
of an overactive imagination
and twisted their coiled, aethereal strands
into clever nests, impregnable fortresses
to house their squalling young.

Rachel Westfall
July 16, 2014

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Outage

Ten thousand homes were without power
after Raven’s suicide, an impulsive death
by electrocution, followed by the slow, acrid burn
of shining feathers that lit the grass on fire;
a minor human emergency, an inconvenience
which hampered countless sales transactions.

Raven’s family, arrayed in the lodgepole pines
in ragged rows, watched the scurrying humans
and cackled their bird-brained delight
at Raven’s bold success. After all,
she had often been heard to say
how she’d like go out with a bang.

Rachel Westfall
July 2, 2014