Karla Linn Merrifield has 14 books to her credit, and is currently completing a new full-length poetry collection to be published in December 2021; it’s titled My Body the Guitar, from Before Your Quiet Eyes Holograph Series, which includes a long tribute section of poems about the “mighty guitar gods.”
my becoming moseyed
beyond the monumental
of original widowhood
as if only beginning,
easing forward fresh
from night’s good sleep;
my becoming meandered
off trail and boardwalk
into virgin territories,
partaking of innocence—
late-blossoming lady’s slipper,
budding dancinglady orchid,
silence deeply breathing green.
Do You Recall the Exact Coordinates
where You Can See All the Colors
of the Most Demanding Question Marks?
Have you followed blue trails
into long-tailed unknowns?
Have you met the violet
question mark of redrock canyons?
Or the shamanic question mark
believed to dwell in indigo caves?
Why question the mark
of Orion’s star, his fist of orange?
Betelgeuse? Maybe a
yellow question mark, maybe green
of aurora borealis on the solstice?
When is a question mark a rainbow?
Out on Some Green Limbs
Long, long ago in a place far, far away,
I was a woman of a certain age
who threw herself brazenly under the spell
of Everglades red mangrove trees.
Because I am a human being,
I am a body that is two-thirds water.
The Everglades red mangrove trees knew that;
theirs is a world that is two-thirds water.
By inviting me to trace their roots,
they made me recognize our kinship,
see all our similarities.
I crossed the threshold between land and sea
into their green mazes.
In this peculiar tale,
in the heart of the Ten Thousand Islands,
a locus of true wildness,
the Everglades Rhizophora mangle,
bewitched me and then demanded
that I penetrate their mystery,
learn a vital lesson,
stumble over a moral.
They left it up to me to choose.
So when the currents stirred them,
they said in unison,
We are the perfect metaphor
When egrets and mosquitoes
settled in for the day,
they said in unison,
We are your children.
When first the light of Venus
and then a waning moon shone,
they said in unison,
We are like a tribe lost,
a people forgotten;
we may not survive the new millennium;
we fear we are not immortal.
But for the Falling Rain
If you are to deconstruct
your tent (a Eureka!) when morning
comes, be attentive to the task
for it has been a hermitage.
Act as if you awoke not alone –
but with Basho –
opened your eyes and saw
the moon is a field of clover.
Meditate on each metal stake
that marked the quadrant
of your imperial dreams – of the old pond,
a frog jumping as you pull them up.
The sand – you hear it – releases
its hold on your patch
in the pines.
You lift the fly
and it floats in a dragonfly breeze.
Wind stirs: You will need
the wings of a crane today.
step comes to collapse the graphite
framework of your benevolent abode,
you will think to yourself,
I’ve worn out my body on journeys.
But how easily the thin green sheath
folds and rolls.
Slip it into
its soft nylon case and you believe
you hear me whispering: Traveler
you can call me – first rain of winter.
What the Zen poet said is true,
We can get lost on a muddy road
in rainy season.
Because I have
pitched many tents, and struck them, too;
I know you can also be found, my little cuckoo.
Where you sleep, the grass is always green.
From the Editor:
We hope that readers receive In Parentheses as a medium through which the evolution of human thought can be appreciated, nurtured and precipitated. It will present a dynamo of artistic expression, journalism, informal analysis of our daily world, entertainment of ideas considered lofty and criticism of today’s popular culture. The featured content does not follow any specific ideology except for that of intellectual expansion of the masses.
Founded in late 2011, In Parentheses prides itself upon analysis of the current condition of intelligence in the minds of these young people, and building a hypothesis for one looming question: what comes after Post-Modernism?
The idea for this magazine stems from a simple conversation regarding the aforementioned question, which drew out the need to identify our generation’s place in literary history.
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