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David Hunter Sutherland


Gaussian Space

Nothing estranges a river more
Than its split out to sea.

The undercurrent roars
Past steelhead and salmon,

Past shorelines of kelp and
Seabrush, through city and

Town to a time, still
As a constellation's rim through

Space. And air tangible to touch
Moves forest into ocean as

All movement becomes mass. The
Gaussian space of assumed bodies,

The rhizome between layers
Of spirit and mind, present and past.

And we are pied by a moon to its
Shiny lure at bottom. Take flight

In the migration of form to symbol,
Life to state. Hold nature

Distributed like stars
In the palm of our face.


Laughter of the Loon

To be certain that our dual nature
of experience is

no less mutable than a fern's
reflection off a lake, or

a sunfish purporting magnitude
with glimmer in shoal.

One can easily believe a snowfall
or rolling mist is muted

under thunderous sky and
that nature aided with spells

hides half its ecstasy, half its pain.
A subject of lucid reality

personifies wisdom for an owl's
brass cooing, hypnotized

by its ritual marriage to
field mouse and engaged

in as sweet a horror as this
dimunitive sense of self

left staring at midnight,
amoral, untamed.


The Colored Earth

First sprout of white asparagus
And Falls's teakwood is a sublime

Miracle formed from the voweled opulence
Of a contessa's strut, or blown to a regatta's

Silver train of thunderous masts, thunder
Under the youthful juniper of brush and

Foliage as Winter is next to wrap its ivory knife,
Darken the grain in blood and swear

All paths will meet at the heart. But for an
Instant, let the colored earth

Of plush lilies and throats hang from
Intractable tongues, beat the ground

For a last meal, a last wheel at the machine
Working its greenery. To what chaste does

Silence make pure? Damn the setting void
Who knows, tomorrow may be as sweet.


David Hunter Sutherland is the managing editor of the online journal Recursive Angel.  His recent work has appeared in The American Literary Review, The Hollins Critic, The Northern Michigan Journal, The Reader (Oxford University), The Cortland Review, and The Midwest Quarterly.
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