Walking into August in East-End Toronto 2020
Is it how spruce don’t think, just do—arrange
their boughs for things withwings to dip andglide
on through? Or how the yellowcrane looms—strange
arabesque-sur-bleu, distraction-dance, wide
arcs boom-swung and slow—dwarfing all thatgrows
nearby? Stow yourthrone in a box on high
look down waydown to read what’s spelled below
soonfading from the sidewalk-page two words
consonance flown from the get-go.
Robins sequestering in spruce afford
a sortof feathered life and often thrive.
Is it city-clamour, or birdsong heard
(returning to my solitary hive)
calls me to sift the fallen notes, and write?
J Tate Barlow lives uphill from a Great Lake, moves to the music, and loves the heft of a good pen. 2020 Vallum Award for Poetry – First Place. Poems in Vallum Contemporary Poetry, Grain Magazine, The Quarantine Review, The New Quarterly, The Dalhousie Review, Eastern Iowa Review, The Fieldstone Review.
This poem was published in Vallum issue 18:1, Invisibility. Available to purchase through our website.
The Vallum Award for Poetry 2021 is now open for submissions! Check out the entry requirements on our website and submit your work to be one of our next winners!