Poems by Marybeth Holleman

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by Marybeth Holleman

From Canary Winter 2017-18

Born near the Cuyahoga River just before it caught fire, raised in the Great Smokies near the rolling waters of the Upper French Broad, Marybeth Holleman transplanted to Alaska's Chugach Mountains after falling head over heels for Prince William Sound--just two years before the devastating Exxon Valdez oil spill changed her life trajectory.

shards of ice splitting
from the glacier’s face
released from centuries
of hard labor. palpable
the relief, as sharp angles
shed to shining curves,
drips and puddles slip
into ocean, stream, lake.
purple clouds and the rain.
rounded rocks stippled
with lichens. alders and
willow wave. spruce crown
with eagle’s nest blooming
blue forget-me-nots.
cormorant dive for herring,
humpback calf rolling
with a pod of leaping porpoise.
lion’s mane jelly pulsing
over lemon-green popweed
and barnacled rock.
many hands grasping
big blue ferry’s railing,
steady across spacious
seas toward the city
where they wing to distant
homes. grassy shores
and blooming roses. fields
of wheat and rising dough.
amber glow of cut glass
windows sifting winter’s
snowsoft light. and I
upon this rocky headland
drinking glacier melt.

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