(An International Journal of Poetry)
ISSN 2249 –2178
Volume-3 June -2013 Number-1
by Caroline Hedin
A storm comes in
Buzzing like a cloud of irate hummingbirds
The air thickens and
Gains a new kind of feeling.
You can hear it coming, oh yes.
I am surrounded by cattail beds, and as
The storm gets closer
It runs through their dried, dead, stalks.
It rustles, and one has to look about in wonder
Of what creature stamps
Through the thickets.
The cattails are funny
You can always hear something near
But the layers of cattail hairs
Conceals any movement maker under its oil and dander.
There is always a bumping, a stirring, a trampling,
Strange utterances of birds get
Tangled in there, oh yes.
You can hear then taunting their stalker,
Or is it the sound of the snare snapping
Its jaws at the clouds?
And then, the storm is gone,
After a flutter of licks --
Spooked from its nest by a passing shadow.
We hardly noticed it leaving.
All of a sudden, we were just as we were,
With a few cattail seeds marking the air
Where the tempest lured them from
The rest of the litter.
The lost house
by Caroline Hedin
A man sweeps the floor
Of a replica house belonging to a
Kwakiutl chief of Vancouver Island.
It was built by his sons, and now,
it is shuffled through by a stream of visitors.
The replica fire crackles
In the room’s centre, surrounded by
Painted masks looking
For the lost warmth of human eyes
Poking out from the inside.
In the distance, you can
Make out the wails of a
Woman’s voice singing in an
Adjacent room. The song pours from
Speakers hidden from sight, deep within the wall.
Besides the masks, the fire, and
The voice, no one seems to linger here.
The doors are always open, billowing life
Right on by, on an air-conditioned wind.
I am unsure what to do
In this place in between a cathedral,
A graveyard, and an opening into the rainforest.
I do know, I have to stay long enough
To meet the host of this house, who lives in the
Dust chewed by termites and cameras.
Outside, there is a sign that reads
“always follow the road that makes your heart
Feel good,” but I want to do so many
Impossible things in this room.
I want to learn the old dances, pray in a language
I will never be privileged to know, to
Fall down there, alongside the other masks.
I breathe in the dust that has leapt
Into the air in the wake of the sweeper.
Now new planks are being hewn, adzed,
lifted into place. New masks carved,
and painted supernatural beings welcomed
To poke their eyes from between my ribs.