A Crust of Ice on the Pond

I might have been returning when
you put the word pebble in your mouth
a thought that I lost

yesterday forgets me and
something hungry fills your mouth
your hands impatient foreigners

you’ve been me now and I’ve been again
faintly knowing

this god is a thimbleful
it’s a thing you say about
a warehouse where pleasure
enters you welcome

thin but all the way to the edges


A Delay in the Acceptance of the Delay

These weeks too sunny to record her sigh
released it, sighed softer, clouded over,

a jabby finger to the verbal forehead
that brought a little birdy pip

shaped like a valentine, and its tooth
said Pay attention, so I paid. One thing

the little birds always say is more, and
another is never enough, and then never comes,

and it’s not a cry that issues forth
but an acknowledgment of the need for arriving,

and then the need for arriving arrives,
and the sun is here, and it’s softer.

You can’t take yourself with you.
It’s someone new in the attention.

There are some things my body
won’t do with me because

he was a horse, and he was a man
riding a horse, and only this confused him.


Rich Ives lives on Camano Island in Puget Sound. He has received grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Artist Trust, Seattle Arts Commission and the Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines for his work in poetry, fiction, editing, publishing, translation and photography. His writing has appeared in Verse, North American Review, Dublin Quarterly, Massachusetts Review, Northwest Review, Quarterly West, Iowa Review, Poetry Northwest, Virginia Quarterly Review, Fiction Daily and many more. He is the 2009 winner of the Francis Locke Memorial Poetry Award from Bitter Oleander. In 2013 Ives received nominations for The Pushcart Prize (2), The Best of the Net and Story South. He is the 2012 winner of the Creative Nonfiction Prize from Thin Air magazine. Both Tunneling to the Moon, which was serialized with a new story each day on the Silenced Press website for 2014, and Light from a Small Brown Bird (poetry––Bitter Oleander Press) were released in paperback in 2014.

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