Coyote Mercury

words, birds and whatever else by James Brush


and she said the waves would come
the way she said the stars were gone
beyond/beneath were synonyms
and for once I listened and believed

how was it that we found our way
in imaginary boats
across this sun-flecked sea
where she said sharks once lived
beyond horizons and beneath the waves

ocean curls waves foam
sand toes sunk deeper down
lifeguard flags snap warnings of sharks
and wind and high concentrations
of bacteria washed down from floods
two days drive north of here

how was it that we found our way
how was it that we found this sea
how was it that we knew the stars
how was it that they led us home


Not a Journal: List Poem about a Body of Water


  1. i wonder why you’re not sure of this one? it’s a different approach/voice for you, i think. is that why? i like how playful it is. i think you should experiment with this voice more!

    • Thanks so much, Carolee, for the encouragement and the prompt. I think I felt like I didn’t work hard enough on it, but maybe that’s a lesson in not overcooking. I plan to continue in this vein… looking for new things to try. I’ve been feeling stale. Thanks again.

  2. This is such beautiful writing.

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