A literary magazine dedicated to the spirit of the Adirondacks

A Literary Magazine dedicated to the spirit of the Adirondacks

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Congratulations to
Mary Matthews
Winner of the Second Annual
Chapbook Competition
for her collection
The Judge of Ice

 
Table of Contents

Piece of Cake
1
Shortages
2
Dealing with Darkness
3
Climates and Conditions
4
Wild Differences
5
Sweat
6
On the Interior
7
Iceberg Bump
8
Which Way Ease
9
The Judge of Ice
10
Get Up All
11
Magnification
12
What Time Is It Where You Are?
13
Places Without Pavement
14
Without
15
Adopt a Spot
16
What Time Is It?
17
Summer Solstice
18
Harvest
19
Murphy Dome
20 
Primary Colors
21 
Begin Again
22


Mary Matthews has lived in the birch forests of Goldstream, Alaska for twenty-seven years. The Judge of Cie is her second chapbook. Her first chapbook, As Close As Possible, won the 13th annual Flume Press award. Her writing has appeared in numerous quarterlies and she has received the Rosebud Magazine award for contemporary writing and a Rasmuson Foundation Individual Artist Grant. She is known in the Fiarbanks community as the "Gutsy Artist" for her sculptures and installations involving what she finds in the woods and what she recylcles fromo co-workers' offices. She consults her giant dog, Fred, on most matters and is the guardian to Aaron, a friend who experiences developmental disabilities.

 

 

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Congratulations to
Roselyn Elliott
Winner of the First Annual
Chapbook Competition!

 

The Separation of Kin

 
Table of Contents

Our Sister Sleepwalks Nude...
1
Late Winter, New Home
3
The Separation of Kin
4
The Deer at Evening
5
Long Night
6
Elegy for Three Old Men of the Land
7
In the Tree's Dream
9
Finally, Our Neighbor Has Cut His Hay
10
Listen
11
Sacket's Harbor
12
Autumn
14
The Painting
15
Jagged Circle of Light
16
In A Candle's Glow
17
Kathy's Elegy
18
5 AM, After Rain
19
River Watch, Quebec
20
Ghost
21
Meditation on the Eve of Winter Solstice
22
Vanishing
23

The Separation of Kin is Roselyn Elliott’s first collection of poetry. Born in Watertown, New York in 1945, the eldest of nine children, Roselyn grew up on her parents’ dairy farm in the Tug Hill region of New York State where she continues to visit and write. She received her BA from Mary Baldwin College, and her MFA in Creative Writing from Virginia Commonwealth University, following a career as a registered nurse. Her poems and essays have been finalists in numerous contests and are published in many journals. Roselyn lives in Charlottesville, VA with her husband and three cats where she teaches writing and tutors private students.


The Separation of Kin


Bovine distress bristles the countryside.

The calling is unbearable:
their constant blatting across our yard.
What could our neighbor be thinking,
selling the babies to the other neighbor
where they cry for their mothers
in the field beside our house?
Young throats open, offspring
question parents, and the cows’ reply
with a low keening, answered ten seconds later.
All night
their pleadings echo over pastures,
reverberate through our rooms,
spread through the dark woods, tree trunk to tree leaf,
rise above the canopy into morning.
Tomorrow
hoarse from exhaustion and despair,
a deep acquiescence unknown to humans
will have overtaken these sentient beasts,
but this day our only choice
is to endure this loss surrounding us,
rivet our gaze in the amber light,
and imagine silence.


Elegy for Three Old Men of the Land


We're burying the old farmers this year.
Uncle Wally, short, bald, and
kind, my father, Alfred, tough
and willful, old Paul,
quiet and half smiling.
We've dressed their cold bodies
in the deep brown and gray pinstripe suits
they kept on hangers
in the back of their bedroom closets
and wore only when they showed up
clean, their hair slicked back with water,
at church for weddings and funerals.

These old men,
who stood and jawed each other
in their spare time
outside their tall barn doors,
arranged years ago
to meet when it was over
for a tractor race
where Raystone Creek
runs under the bridge
to the Pitkin place.
Today's the day.
Wearing suits, white handkerchiefs
pointing out of breast pockets,
Paul on his Allis Chalmers,
Alfred revving a John Deere,
and Wally, his Farmall idle,
wait three abreast
behind a scrawn of crabapple,
in the meadow where barley
wouldn't grow.

Engines growling, they knotch
up the gas, roar
into a cold spring wind,
bump up off their homemade cushions
on the steel seats, teeth
knocking together
when they come down.

A flock of swallows
three feet into the air,
catches a wind, and blows
like so many seeds. They stretch
their shining six-inch spans
and float sideways, one body
over green grass. Seeing them,
the men shift to high gear,
cursing with the glee of men
free of dreams,
free of wives and children, banks,
horses and cows, crops, seasons.
Men free of desire,
and arguments, free of thunderstorms
and ice storms, free of the sun.

Birds disappear and the tractors
become a grove of maple trees
in whose high branches
their hum thins to a rustle, a tapping
of one branch against another.

 

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