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Elisavietta Ritchie

About Poet
Elisavietta Ritchie's fifteen books and chapbooks include the poetry titles Real Toads (published in 2008), as well as Awaiting Permission to Land, Spirit of the Walrus, Arc of the Storm, Elegy for the Other Woman, Raking The Snow, and  Tightening The Circle Over Eel Country (which won the Great Lakes Colleges Association's "New Writer's Award").   Her books of short fiction are In Haste I Write You This Note, and Flying Time.  She edited the anthology The Dolphin's Arc: Endangered Creatures of the Sea. Elisavietta has been president for both the poetry and the fiction divisions of Washington Writers' Publishing House. She edits, translates, and teaches creative writing to adults and students in Calvert County, MD, and in Washington, DC.

In Flight

after a day of talking too much
one moment of solitude
not quite silence

parked for the night behind Rip's Hotel
en route to the bay on Route 301
mountainous trucks a warring of noise

but nobody talking here no TVs
lawn spring-green to harlequin woods
in the warm end-of-October sun

I perch on the Subaru tailgate
open a $1.25 carton of soup
sweet-and-sour to ease the throat

and consider every spoonful
(the fortune cookie message reads
Lions on a Hunt Don't Roar)

then a vee of Canada geese
flies querulous overhead until
all at once they still their wings

lose altitude over an unseen marsh
and twenty-four dark-gray angels
in silence vanish into the dusk


On Cows And Gods And Trees

The gods did it first, changed
the most desirable, recalcitrant,
women into cows or trees, left them

on their own, stuck in mud, or free
to wander, wail to indifferent ears
their untranslatable sounds,

though when you hear the rustle or moo
you'll recognize discontent that even
adorned with flowers, ribbons, bells,
no mulching or milking will satisfy.

You don't ask, when you bellow politics,
why I murmur Mmmmm, mmmmmm...

You don't notice how the wisteria vine
you regret we planted has stretched
and crept throughout the willow oak
to strangle branches with lavender fire.


Fog More Blank Than Sky

no sky only gray
fog horns surround
sounds bounce in fog

fog too unstable
to write upon
four large letters

we cannot see
or navigate

beyond fog banks
the scheming moon
brings tidal floods

fractious currents will
drag our raft far out
onto restless rocks

what bells or buoys
red or green lights
could change the tide

like death fog hides
what churns beyond
what ploughs our sea

scrimmed in fog
tanker ferry ocean liner
blindly speed

run our craft
of willow oak
under down

or fog unveils
uncharted shoals
what foreign ports


Elisavietta Ritchie
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