How a glimpse can be more circumspect
Than the long stare that dissembles
And reassembles, how shotgunned logic
Can miss less than a sharpshooter transfixed
How light and shadow glissaded
Under the pergola shawled with wisteria.
It was a moment—nothing was meant.
How a dragonfly hovered
Above the tide pool. You were a child then
Troubled with beauty and fright.
Look sideways to grasp the gist.
Close observation will put a spin
On everything when what you want
Is intimation. A whisper you can’t
Quite make out but like the tone of.
The way a hand is raised in greeting
THE FAMILY TREE
It begins with the tree.
Arguments about the fruit.
The apples of Solomon or the Mesopotamian
Pomegranates, apricots, olives or figs.
Always a new proposition like the snake’s
Audacity: horned viper or cobra. No matter,
When he spoke, Eve listened,
The way a second wife might,
Fearful of tradition. That’s how they lost
The acreage of harmony, learning that
Obedience was less a virtue
Than a proscription. They ventured out
Into the chill and treeless steppe,
Blaming each other, yet thrilled
With the prospect of adventure.
We sketch a tree that branches
With generations. The godly,
The bad apples. Seeded with DNA
As if this search could bring us
Resolution. Who we are and
What it was we lost.
Joan Colby has published widely in journals such as Poetry, Atlanta Review, South Dakota Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, New York Quarterly, the new renaissance, Grand Street, Epoch, and Prairie Schooner.. Awards include two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards, Rhino Poetry Award, the new renaissance Award for Poetry, and an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Literature. She was a finalist in the GSU Poetry Contest (2007), Nimrod International Pablo Neruda Prize (2009, 2012), and received honorable mentions in the North American Review's James Hearst Poetry Contest (2008, 2010).One of her poems is a winner of the 2014 Atlanta Review International Poetry Contest. She also was selected as an International Merit Award Winner in the 2015 Atlanta Review contest. She is the editor of Illinois Racing News,and lives on a small horse farm in Northern Illinois. She has published 16 books including Selected Poems” from FutureCycle Press which received the 2013 FutureCycle Prize. “Properties of Matter” ,Aldrich Press (Kelsay Books).; “Bittersweet” (Main Street Rag Press) and The Wingback Chair, FutureCycle Press.” She has two new chapbooks “Ah Clio” from Kattycompus Press and “Pro Forma” from Foothills Press as well as a full length collection “Ribcage” from Glass Lyre Press which has been awarded the 2015 Kithara Book Prize.Colby is also an associate editor of Kentucky Review and FutureCycle Press.