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Rachel Dacus



An hour after our spat, you call and remark,
The curtain of rain has parted. The dark

mountain's summit is now crowned with cloud.
The apex, framed in my window looks like a proud,

battered head wreathed in dew.
Walking out, not many miles north of you,

I find a peak floating above crossing freeways.
Its bony mass levitates, the white flag raised.

The same mountain holds us, soaring in hearts
only a half-hour and a compass angle apart.

To this ancient, hooded sibyl, what can one or two
degrees mean? She shows us the long view.



Puako Beached

The Big Island, August

White blossoms, gold-irised,
plumeria princesses blinking
at the touch of salt spray.
Lanai time is a gecko
that sidles up the lampshade.
Wasps weave through holes
in the lava rock wall at Puako Beach.
Afternoons, the ballet
of sea turtles goes on till dusk
creeps onto land and thought
trips, falls splat! and porous
as pumice, to float in an amniotic sea.
Bamboo clack, the rhythmic clock
of surf to Hilo's diva
on the radio as we night-cruise
earth's red seam, zigzag lava fields.
Song smokes out
the car's moon-rimmed window:
Who cares, Who cares?
Warbles cheap as tomorrow,
when another planeload stumbles
onto steaming asphalt. We pass them
on our way to the mainland, in time
to see their muscles sag, bags drop,
as they trot entranced to sea.


Rachel Dacus's writing has recently appeared or is forthcoming in The Atlanta Review, Flyway, Many Mountains Moving, Prairie Schooner and Rattapallax. Her poetry collection, Earth Lessons, was published by Bellowing Ark Press in 1998. Here poetry CD, A God You Can Dance, was recently released. She has had work included in three anthologies: Ravishing DisUnities: Real Ghazals in English (Wesleyan University Press, 2000), The Poetry of Roses (Abrams, 1995) and The Best of Melic (Melic Review, 2001). Ms. Dacus serves as a staff member of the online Alsop Review, and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where she works as a fundraising consultant.
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