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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 13, Number 1, March 2019
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Peter Newton
Winchendon, Massachusetts, USA


The Dawn of Man

It’s 6 a.m. and dark out. Just the torn edge of a peach-colored horizon now becoming grapefruit soon to be mango. Alone in the living room I wait for the coffee to brew. A little dragon sputtering on the counter top. I always wanted a pet dragon. I wanted what doesn’t exist. And I want it still.

beach book
sand in the spine
from some other sea

My father’s tank is filled with impossibly bright fish. Neon yellow, Day-Glow green and a blue I have only seen in jellyfish tendrils. The killer ones. Man o' War. There was a program about them on the nature channel not too long ago. Those kind of things always seem to stop me in my tracks. The things that can kill you casually as a glance. Their wayward path intersecting with someone's chance breast-stroke.

kids I grew up with
here and gone
winter stars

The house my parents live in is on the flight path of a crowd of passing crows. These past few mornings they have dropped by offering their collective counsel. A hundred or more land on the telephone wire filling the entire span between two poles. A weak smile. Their constant talk indecipherable. The noise becomes one voice that lulls me into my dinosaur mind. I am a reptile on its back hypnotized by the hum of the fish tank’s filter purifying what it can.

spring vows a wordless act

The baby monitor to my parents' bedroom sings its low-static picking up no disturbance in the sound flow. They are asleep. And dreaming -- my one wish for them. Done brewing, the coffee dragon gurgles and sputters, chuckling itself awake. The crows morph into a smooth-talking narrator so much like a caring parent reading a bedtime story. I listen and I watch and I wait. I have no idea what is going to happen next and I have every idea.

bus stop ginkgo tree
I offer the driver
my ticket home

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