Poems by Caroline Goodwin

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by Caroline Goodwin

From Canary Winter 2016-17

Caroline lives and writes in Montara, California, in the San Francisco South Coastal Watershed, with her heart and imagination firmly planted in the Baranof-Chichagof Islands Watershed of Southeast Alaska.

pinpoints and dust motes
              emerald pincushion
on the windowsill, fabric
              over the sky-light, pale
moss blowing in a high tree,
              in a shadow in a hand, of
your child lifting the stone
              for the tide pool and hermit crab,
giant green anemone, shore-light
              and mantlepiece, photo
box made of birch-bark, photo
              of the garment and the seam,
of the fireside and
              the frenzied moth, silver
wing, silver needle through a blue
              bead, after the last fish is cleaned --

Mission Blue

(for San Bruno Mountain)

by Caroline Goodwin

From Canary Spring 2016

I go up before sunrise, before the light
             finds the promenade and salt flats
and marina, the baylands and lagoon
             alive with willows and goldeneye

and before the door opens in the east
             and the night shift clocks out
and the parents and older brothers and sisters
             come home to the younger ones

to wake them and prepare the first
             meal of the day, my own heart
opening into the familiar, into the old
             grief blue as a glacier

I go up. And when the light reaches
             the water at the center
of every lupine, when the blue wings come
             like a blessing to cover my eyes,

there is my grandfather
             leaving the garden, offering
bright lettuce and the formula
             for a good crop -- one starfish under every

potato and a layer of herring eggs in March --
             hand over his heart, hand

placing the last rose, the sun opening
             over the bay, into the stonecrop,

into the blue wings we all hold onto there.

The River Eyot

by Caroline Goodwin

From Canary Winter 2016-17

child at the circle
drawn in mud, willow
branch and shining fur --

humming under the surface
earwig and pillbug
cranefly and pearl --

heron at the tideline
stock-still, clam shell, thin
white lines, milk-thistle, quill --

hold out your hands
open your throat
here’s where the world slides in

When The Rain

by Caroline Goodwin

From Canary Winter 2016-17

when we watch over the beach
              over the snowy plover
seeking shelter in the couch grass
              when we hold our hands open
to the west and forget ourselves
              in the narrow corridor in
filaments of sunlight that remain

when we detect the first
              dry leaves along the pavement
scratching at our arms
              and remember the blood
in ferguson in jasper in iguala
              in our streets
              when we pause when the trees
light up our living rooms with silver

tinsel and ornaments when we drink
              the clear water the clean water
when the sky returns to its feathered
              clouds and stillness and we come out
let us come out with our eyes open
              and with our hearts prepared for both
the battle and the feast

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