The Last One

In Memory of W.S. Merwin by Trina Gaynon

You opened a door to a nightmare. I don't
Remember where the walk took me. I cannot tell.
Shadows on shadows clouded my vision
Of broken lands. Long blue shadows would reign,
Made colder by rare blue skies of a belated Spring.
Mostly, our sun hides its intentions.

While we, who dispossessed birds despise,
Gather in shadows and bend to collect
Broken pieces to carry away the last one who fell
Into the water, casting ripples into shadow.
We dig out roots and grind them to dust.
Ever hazy, even awake, I slip into that hole.

You wrote of them, of those with minds
To be everywhere. You spoke of the past.
But I see only us from my concrete tower.
Yellow steel cranes rise taller than incense cedars.
A stellar jay picks at frost-deadened rosemary
On the balcony. Time is a continuum yet to be halted.

You wrote of one shadow that keeps growing.
Imagine a black hole at the center of each galaxy,
Which science calls powehi, a word extracted
From the dying language of a dying people.
It swallows light that blinds us and makes
Each of us one more of the vanquished.

Yes, you knew the shadow once swallowed sound.
But our noises have become veritable leviathans
With no beginning and no end to their constancy.

We, the ones the birds despise, have nowhere left
To run. You knew that. In spite of the forest you grew,
In spite of the spells you created to keep us at bay, you knew.
An abstract painting with a dark navy blue background and a white shape like a bird skull in the foreground.

Untitled, 8

by Shelbey Leco

Trina Gaynon‘s poems appear in Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California, other anthologies, numerous journals, and a chapbook An Alphabet of Romance from Finishing Line Press. Her book Quince, Rose, Grace of God is forthcoming from Fernwood Press. She currently leads a group of poetry readers at the Senior Studies Institute in Portland and participates in the Ars Poetica community.

Growing up in Southeast Louisiana, outside of New Orleans, Shelbey was always inspired by nature. As a young adult, she studied at the University of New Orleans where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in Urban Society with disciplines: education, english, and anthropology. She enjoys traveling, art, and exploring new places.

IG @Rainbowswampraven

Etsy: ShelbeyShells

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