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
to turn his way
look for signs of water
parting, the next miracle
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: AlanPerryPoetry.com