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Two poems by Alan Perry

Traveling Water

Near Newfoundland’s coast

humpbacks explode from water,

skybound missiles in pirouettes 

off the bow of a fishing boat, 

then splats of belly flops

in front of a girl spying them

mouth agape, eyes like huge buttons

at a sea show, curious as the whales 

in wonderment of each other.

But here I sit, no water in sight

as trees bend to the wishes

of wind that directs their boughs

branches outstretched, and trunks

lean in late summer green.

Nothing will burst from this ground

no giant voles to spin arabesques

in my yard, or shred grass

as they dance toward autumn.

I watch my daughter laugh as she

soars on her swingset,

and I imagine cumulus clouds

as they drift east northeast

will carry my awe, linger

over a boat in Conception Bay

as a father tells his daughter 

(stanza continued)

to turn his way

look for signs of water

parting, the next miracle

to emerge.


From a drone’s view, a watercolor print--

shades of blue lean toward shore

as if nudged by undercurrents.

White foam borders urgent water 

folding from the sea to the land 

it wants to own--thicker 

then thinner where sand recedes.

Beaches tan themselves, giving up 

water to evaporation and sun.

And above it all, dots of pinkish hue

soar in loose formation, appearing

translucent to land and shore below--

flamingos drift en masse, wings 

expand as legs rudder their course.

A picture forms with pin-like precision

groups birds in ever-changing borders 

touches each avian point with the care 

of a mother moving her children

closer together, even as they fly

into sunsets of vanishing coral.

Alan Perry’s debut poetry chapbook, Clerk of the Dead , was published by Main Street Rag Publishing in 2020. His poems have appeared in Tahoma Literary Review, Heron Tree, Open: Journal of Arts & Letters , Gyroscope Review, and elsewhere, and in several anthologies. He is a Senior Poetry Editor for Typehouse Literary Magazine and was nominated for Best of the Net. Alan holds a BA in English from the University of Minnesota, and he and his wife divide their time between Minneapolis, Minnesota and Tucson, Arizona. More at:


Two poems  by Alan Perry
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