Letter of Long Grass We urge whomever responsible To address this matter very Urgently; there is danger, And if not addressed A team must be dispatched. Look--let bees tangle The leggy oregano, let spiders Spin in wild blades of rough; Let each wasp bring Its blessing of sharp attention To heal what has been mown.
Seaweed I. Kelp, I learn at the aquarium, have holdfasts to anchor them, stipes like stems, bladders to lift blades to the sun. I try to trace a line to its end, but it moves like memory, bleeds into other lines, and the whole view sways, dizzying. Fish cruise between dark and light, thoughts in salt-water. II. For these two women to harvest seaweed, they must venture into bitter surf with sharp knives, wrestle the living ropes, cut them free, twirl them into baskets that they then must keep from the sea. They load the boat heavy, steer home while the sea pulls. III. We ignore storm warnings, afraid we’ll miss our chance. Vacations are rare as reunions, and we’re taut cables stretched from ship to foundering ship. We arrive at a beach piled with seaweed, ugly and shocking. But what’s familiar about this smell?-- natural as chemical signals, as beach, storm, the salvation of a weed absorbing surge.
Assistant Editor Morgan O.H. McCune recently retired from Pittsburg State University in southeast Kansas. Now based in Topeka, she holds an M.F.A. in Poetry from Washington University in St. Louis (1991) and an M.L.S. from Emporia State University (2002). Her poems have been published in River Styx, Flint Hills Review, and other places.