by

October 12, 2010

First prize winner of the 1st Jackpine Sonnet Contest.

Dear Snappy: I have tried to play for a large stake, and if I succeed all will be well. If I don’t, I shall be happy to pop off in the midst of such an adventure.

—from Amelia Earhart’s will, 
excerpted in the New York Times, June 4, 1928

Night, and the air smells of salt. The men asleep upstairs, 
their bellies full of unending mutton. Oh, the mutton. 
I fear I shall begin to sprout hooves. You could lose
the houses amongst the potatoes and inevitable cabbages,
Pole fences straining against the slanting wind and its 
calamities. In the quiet kitchen, yesterday’s bread and
a crock of butter. Violent purple berries. Three hen’s eggs. 
Who could turn stone into such plenty?

Twenty-nine years have conspired to bring me here
to these chill before-dawn gettings up.
My breath materializing in the fog as if I were 
Shackleton marching slowly to his grave. 
A sliver of June rises beyond the horizon.
I stand at the window, singing to the horseman.

by

October 12, 2010

Comments (7)

Comment Feed

i already wrote it and am

i already wrote it and am trying to submit... thanks... amy

amy ainbinder more than 3 years ago

really enjoyed your poem as

really enjoyed your poem as it invites the reader in and with their own memories to bubble up while resonates with the feel of your writing. you capture the illusive and in such a down to earth manner, while elevating it to the essentials that make life a wonder, including humor. this is like a narrative painting and touches the mind and heart. looking forward to reading more of your work and if you come to victoria, bc, would you please consider reading at the Pen-In-Hand Poetry/Prose Reading Series that is held the Third Monday of every month? you can ask this column for our email address that is hidden in the comment section as it is not public. thank you and congratulations! regards, amy ainbinder

amy ainbinder more than 3 years ago

"Shackleton march­ing slowly

"Shackleton march­ing slowly to his grave" : love it!

Tony Beck more than 3 years ago

Lovely poem. Great theme, and

Lovely poem. Great theme, and great choice for Jackpine sonnet-of-the-year.

Ann Diamond more than 3 years ago

my fav parts:

"their bellies

my fav parts:

"their bellies full of unend ing mutton. Oh, the mutton.
I fear I shall begin to sprout hooves. You could lose
the houses amongst the pota toes and inevitable cab bages,"

"Who could turn stone into such plenty?"

like the humour and darknesss mingled.

Anonymous more than 3 years ago

This is my favourite: it

This is my favourite: it tells a story, the words paint vivid pictures, there is humour, and the narrator is actually a character, all in 14 lines. There are a lot of crisp fun words to speak, which makes the poem enjoyable to read out loud.

Wahkuna more than 3 years ago

I love how you've captured

I love how you've captured Amelia's voice with simple lines like "the slanting wind and its/ calamities"; "calamities" is a great word there. Also, you capture her sense of humour with "I fear I shall begin to sprout hooves." There's a lot of dynamic emotion in the poem and the simple descriptions objects in the kitchen absorb a lot of meaning. Beautiful. Really enjoyed the poem.

Chris Traynor more than 3 years ago