by Pauline Uchmanowicz


What if poets had to pick? The ocean or the stars.

A reputation in truth telling or a prize in diplomacy?


Seabed or zodiac. Water or fire. Density or infinity.

There’s travel by Chinese junk with shipwreck


Or space capsule disaster. Commerce or exploration.

Marine biologist, aeronautic engineer.


Dictating rhyme, form and meter it’s either

Waves as repetition or constellations as pattern,


Tide and undertow or equinox and quasar.

Cardinal points and horizon stay in joint custody


And every bard gets clarinets, trees and the rigadoon.

Also Spanish butterflies, mountains and Dutch windmills.


Previously published in Starfish (Twelve Winters Press 2016)


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Shawangunk Review Volume XXXII Copyright © 2021 by SUNY New Paltz English Department is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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