Poems by Katharine Coles

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Fixing Antarctica

by Katharine Coles

From Canary Fall 2013

Katharine lives atop a foothill abutting City Creek Canyon, one of Salt Lake City's six protected watershed canyons. She and her husband share space (and their garden) with mule deer, coyotes, raccoons, squirrels, various hawks and other birds, weasels, wild turkeys, foxes, and the occasional moose or bobcat.

I keep taking the same photo over and over
As if to say Look, and Look. The light

Shifts minute by minute and everything
Holds: cormorant’s flight, clouds
In motion, the glacier losing itself

Perpetually to sea, sea to sky—
And so we have returned, to consider what

Cannot be recovered. What is permanent
Is this moment, then this one, and always
Slipstreaming between them, the change.




Landscape Without Bicycle

by Katharine Coles

From Canary Summer 2013

A two-wheeler wouldn’t get you anywhere
Here, though one afternoon

An oceanographer ran the eighth-mile
Mud road from Bio to Terra Lab

And back one hundred times. Mired
Right up to its pedals, it wouldn’t even

Cheer the place up. For that,
We have huge containers lined

Like lively teeth outside my window—
Yellow, red, blue, storing all

We throw away. A view of the dump
In primary colors. When the ship comes

Logistics will load them, flying
Them by crane dock to deck

While I follow over
The gangplank. Together, we’ll cross

Rough waters to a country where
I put my cast-offs out of sight

And mind. What happened to my childhood
Schwinn hand-me-down

Decked with streamers and a thumb-bell? Don’t
Consider what

I’ve put behind me. Beyond us, mountains
Keep themselves, and sky.




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