Field of goldenrod

Four Poems by Katrinka Moore

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even the things that are most “thinglike”
are nothing more than long events
– Carlo Rovelli

These few acres     once
a homestead     once
ancient forest     once
scraped clear by ice-
dragged stone

Not being     but becoming     each
boulder     an adagio of dust    

A stand of second growth and waving
fields of goldenrod     cradle
the little house     nothing
between us and wild yonder
but a few sheltering gases

The darkness out there     not
the emptiness we sense     but
an entity     its own waving field

Afternoon fades     distinctions
dissolve     What’s animate    
inanimate     Most of us slide
into silence     crickets
chant     cattails tap one another

Languages overlap     an acorn sprout
launches through decaying
layers of leaves      I shuffle
words     Beneath the trees
roots interlace




A blustery headland     cluster
of boulders     remnant of henge
or burial ground     though when
we step between the stones we find
a hearth of recent use      Sunlight
spills in     the gusts cut off

Below     the unheard waves recast
the shoreline ancient people knew

We venture down the rugged
path     skirt a marsh     scale
grassy dunes     descend
into distance     ocean     sky

Thrum of breakers     burn
of wind     tide edges in




Ice  pond     watery
crown     I skip stones            

    splatter reflections
    of bankside pines    

    scoot across sprouting
    cracks in the crust                        

Come spring the stones sink
to the bottom     

Threshold and the space
on either side    

What’s weighty     what’s

Margin     feather on the edge
of a bird’s wing    

The way meaning travels
from   border   to   marker
to   not worthy of notice

Latin margo     The quarry
of a hawk is a mark




Foot path     stir and snap     splashes
of sunlight scoot across trunks

Forest-combing     we garner pine cone
scales      acorn caps      chanterelle

She comes into the cabin    little smile
on her face     notes and scraps     dusty sill    

settles on the day bed     I’d tidied a bit    
rolled up wrinkled packing paper     

She tears off a piece     sketches
clouds in the creases              

       ancestor painting a stag
       from a curve on a cave wall

Gray-blue storm swells      tint
of petrichor      brush of thunder

She adds a strip of birch bark
from our gleaning     boat

or home in the tempest




Katrinka MooreKatrinka Moore is the author of Wayfarers, Numa: An Epic Poem with Photo Collages, Thief, and the chapbook This is Not a Story, winner of the New Women’s Voices Prize. She and her mentee in the PEN American Prison Writing Program were recently awarded the L’Engel-Rahman Prize for Mentorship. Moore lives in the northern Catskill Mountains of New York.

Header photo by Dean Pennala, courtesy Shutterstock. Photo of Katrinka Moore by Michael Lawrence. is the world’s first online journal of place, publishing a rich mix of literature, art, commentary, and design since 1998.