Poems by Carol Alexander

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by Carol Alexander

From Canary Summer 2012

Carol lives in the urban reaches of the Croton Watershed.

They told the child of the sea--
liquid poem of it, pocket stone
pawn for rail and racketing train--
journeys of the fingerling spawned
and enshelled hermit crab
pincering mussels pried from rock.
Noisome leavings of the wrack
shimmered in farflung disarray,
gull and tern and pitchy wave
attuned to the tension of the sky
bearing down to midwife night.

Then the sea, the sea itself
undulating to its own low fugue
stole away the panting breath
of the child inducted into loss.
Taut-line hitch of shore held fast,
against the undertow of sea.
In the booming trains of swell
dying cries hung in the wind
wild inhuman wail of wind,
driven roil of mounting waves
biting the pimpled matchstick legs.

What of lost fish of the deep
rainbow lights, schools of spawn
latitudes of cold degree
grinning monsters ocean slain
in the child's fey poem of sea?
See the trope of icy moon
you child leaping in the spume
pitiless as cityscape and gray
as dead things of the ocean wrack
the graves of small ships cresting
and then roughly torn away.

Lie Still

by Carol Alexander

From Canary Fall 2013

Lie still: those old consanguine wrongs
soon are washed away, cell reprising cell
and silty souls each cleansed by sleep.

Black stars mutter over sleepers, cold
like effigies in pitted limestone, worn
by arid winds and leaching rains.

By the shore lie our red remains,
small boats trailing skeins of blood
and nets of creatures finned and cold.

Up and down the worn beach
the gulls go railing where skates lie,
still dying with the patience of their kind.

While there is still a body beating on,
beat on, imprisoned yet uncontained
like warm inlets flooding the cold sea.

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