"Hood Canal, Sub Rosa"
It must have been May--
the wild roses mounded over rickety fences
in dirt track Dewatto
and we pulled over for the smell of it
the road tapered to a lane,
wild rhododendrons pink-lighted
the forest with candelabra arms
so it must have been May
in western Washington,
under blue sky seal,
ruck sack lunch
for us and Watson,
two hundred pound St. Bernard,
lazy beast, but good for a few miles
of woods and water,
cliffs and beaches
perfect Hood Canal hiking day
on the long Puget Sound inlet,
the white brushed mountains
of the Olympic Peninsula
on the western side,
so quiet we heard the
and the falcon wing rush
of avid eyes and talon thrust
it must have been May, summer’s promise
the Bernie alerted, stiff and intent,
deer? Roosevelt elk?
seal on the beach below?
We searched, spotting nothing,
Watson an immobile guard
out of the cobalt sea
a conning tower, dead black,
a movie flash of run silent, run deep--
nuclear death cruising, Pacific bound
Victoria is a poet living in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Most of this artist's published poetry is about ecology and narrative in nature -- some journals that have included their work are Califragile, the Hawaii Pacific Review, Wildflowers Muse, Eastlit, and the Ekphrastic Review.
This isn’t like fixing a Monet after someone has punched it. Horrible things are happening. My foremost thought is, “I want macaroni and cheese next time. I haven’t had it in years.” All of a sudden EMTs rush past with a man on a stretcher, his face covered in blood and bite marks. I scream something – in terror, I suppose. The last time I was so unsteady was probably when my mother died. I feel like any minute now I might look up and see her in the window of a plane
waving. A policewoman orders me to move along. And I was just about to ask, “What advice do you have for young people?” It was only a couple of days ago that some kids grabbed a classmate and persuaded him with fists and sticks and colorful arguments that one eye is enough.
"Are You Fucking Kidding Me?"
Groups of friends arrive on the hour every hour. A guard with the enflamed eyes of a drunk demands identification from them, but in a voice too faint to hear. You need to be patient at this stage. People don’t remember and sometimes I think they don’t even understand where they are. Cows roam around with butcher knives in their backs to make slaughtering easier. There are countless dead rabbits. A fly can't land on a fruit tree without first begging permission. So I just
sit here with my mouth open, I do, because I’m getting older now, and it’s hard work.
Howie Good is the author of The Loser's Guide to Street Fighting, winner of the 2017 Lorien Prize and forthcoming from Thoughtcrime Press, and Dangerous Acts Starring Unstable Elements, winner of the 2015 Press Americana Prize for Poetry.