Arrow given

Hello there readers, this begins cycle three of Polylith.

The spring equinox is passing over this peninsula. Birdsong rises cryptic and desirous at each end of the day, the full moon mirrors noon to midnight and light floods back to push at the margins. An ocean-and-a-half away a Golden-class container ship is wedged diagonally across a narrow waterway, pressed alternately north and south by the changing tide. The moon with each pass nestles the ship deeper in the sand, Artemis unstrings her bow beneath a nearby palm and an ibis settles on a channel marker in the morning fog. Take heart!

I bring you another poem this month, or part of one at least. It is a piece of a longer poem in the works, but to celebrate this generous second-annual interruption of global commerce I’ve decided to share it here. A showering of arrows carries with it not only bronze and wood and feather, but a rushing mass of air as well.

A woodblock print of a calm sea at sunset. There's a fishing boat in the foreground with its nets suspended from an intricate arrangement of bent bamboo poles, and a hooded figure stoops looking away from us. The orange disc of the sun stands out stark against the lavender sky.

Boats and setting sun (detail), Ohara Koson, 1900-1936

Wind flows over
land  blooms over
moraine  eddies in
valley

Wind mirrors and distorts
both
moraine and
valley overhead  a projection
both
familiar and unfamiliar

Grasp land and pull
it to resemble bloom or
eddy  and see
projection grow
only
ever more unfamiliar ahead
of our grasp

Bloom of wind over
stone inverts to eddy
in hollow of sand  hands
both
convex and concave depending
on gesture

We grasp at
something grasping
drives away

A woodblock print of a white heron, or its neck and head at least, turning to gaze up at the waxing crescent moon. Behind the bird, stems aquatic grass bow in the breeze.

Herons in shallow water (detail), Ohara Koson, 1934

Yes. As it happens, I have an announcement of my own to add to these promising signs: the zine I’ve been talking about — the paper companion to these backlit letters — is now open for subscriptions! I’m calling the zine Drift Body (as a synonym to polylith), and the first volume will arrive at the beginning of May. There are three subscription tiers, which all get you the same thing, but support my work in different ways. I’m particularly excited to see who chooses the pen pal tier. I invite you to have a look.

And with that I wish you a happy full moon. Until next month, may you dream of a span of steel flexing in the changing tide, nestled at either end in sand.