Untitled Country Review (ISSN 2152-7903), published quarterly during 2010-2013, features poetry, book reviews, photography, and short works of non-fiction. Thank you for visiting.

Issue 5: Debra Shirley

Found Word Poem No. 1

                                    words from To a God Unknown by John Steinbeck

Beating rain
whips the tortured air,
hot, sweet afternoon.

Sidewise and down,
she confessed weakness
and pleasure,

pity and love,
a weak thing,
a good strong thing.

Head high, restrained from flying,
(she) looked secretly
to read his temper.

A wife before spring,
silver bell, little bell

Flattered, uncovered,
hanging beside.

Little to be done.
Dry grass yellow(s) the foothills.
Thick winter.

Hauling Water

the concrete pad and gutter 
beneath the neighbor’s spigot
a slab of tricky ice,

every tendered step
a contest.  Empty,
plastic jugs whiff and flail,
no remedy.

One gallon of water weighs
better than eight pounds.

A single full jug hangs like a sinker.
Slight for seven and ten,
we carry two apiece
for equal ballast.

Frigid water sloshes
the jugs’ mouths and necks,
soaking the make-do socks
bagging our stiff fists.

Skirting the dirt road,
spindled ice grins
in the low cutbanks, gleaming
baleen strung in red clay.

Debra Shirley’s work has been included or is forthcoming in The Adirondack Review, The Cortland Review, Nimrod International Journal of Prose and Poetry, The Main Street Rag, Margie Review: The American Journal of Poetry, Tar River Poetry, The Playwright's Showcase of the Western Region and elsewhere. 

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1 comment:

  1. I love both of these poems, the first for its contradictions, its unexpected leaps, the power of the silence between stanzas; the second for its earthy detail.


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