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