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Waterwheel

A wet man loves the sea he’s knelt in,
how the salt enlists his skin
and lingers till he bathes and dresses
rinses his mouth out with water.
……………………..*
It’s 1999 again
and nature-clouds, the Sound, the slough—
submitting liminal signals.
I know not what they say exactly,
only that I am parched.
……………………..*
Rain colliding
leaves against the window: autumn blotto.
The pummelling of trees so freely
leaves me tipsy too.
……………………..*
An image comes to mind—a yard and rails,
an empty bench. A cantilever bridge
and rainy river—the voice I hear announce
its name revives me.
……………………..*
I have a new life, it’s the same life,
the same name, it’s a cognate—
as in firmament:
……………………..heavens
from which the seas were taken.

Elana Wolff‘s poems have appeared in Canada and internationally. She has published four collections of poetry with Guernica Editions, including You Speak to Me in Trees, awarded the F. G. Bressani Prize for Poetry, and Startled Night, nominated for the ReLit Poetry Award. She is also the author of Implicate Me, a collection of short essays on poems by contemporary Toronto-area poets, and co-editor, with Julie Roorda, of Poet to Poet: Poems written to poets and the stories that inspired them. A bilingual edition of Elana’s selected poems, Helleborus & Alchémille (Éditions du Noroît, 2013; translated by Stéphanie Roesler), was awarded the 2014 John Glassco Translation Prize. Elana has taught English for Academic Purposes at York University in Toronto and at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She currently divides her professional time between writing, editing, and designing and facilitating therapeutic community art courses. The collaborative first-ever translation from the Hebrew of Poems and Songs of Love by Georg Mordechai Langer—part of a G.M. Langer/Franz Kafka flipside book, A Hunger Artist and Other Stories (translated by Thor Polson)—is her latest release. Published by Guernica Editions in 2014, it is now in its second printing.

To view other poems published in this issue please visit Vallum’s website.