“thick crusts of midnight in the late Ordovician, a wilderness of morning elsewhere” by Kate Shannon

i.
other things live easy, you know
I suppose I, too, live easy in some ways.
a domination of oceans gathering
a braying of old bones, dust and then nothing
a quietude of less wrathful nights,
formations of strange wilds left to drift into and out of each other
mountains making melt of the steaming skies
and dreaming out over the calcite seas
oh, the things that will boil over here
dribbling onto the far shores,
walking slowly in trembling or shambling lurches
new to these weak and crooked legs
once, I may have walked
or else shambled or trembled or even collapsed
in on myself, a triumvirate of birds circled
and I was whole beneath the stark moon.

ii.
all I survey is mine: a horrible forlorn of morning, mistlocked and peering out over thick fog,
the early ease of an unhurried sun
yawning over the breadth of a nice day;
barns cascade up and down mountains
and dapple the distance between us a faded red,
a dulcet template of birdsong trilling for those who hear it
for those who see it, the trees turn an autumnal amber
and begin to leave, or else stay
the sun leaves too, or else does not
the farmers in their fields bury themselves alive with their tools,
or they do not— they likely do not
bless the creatures that do breathe deep the early loam
who sting and scurry and inch across
the troubling roots of my troubled bones,
sunk long and goodly in this strange earth, how I peak and curve in her arms


Kate Shannon is a farmer, editor, and poet from Upstate NY where she lives with her partner and too many dark secrets. She writes speculative poetry and fiction and hopes to not be eaten by one of her hideous creations. Her publication history includes The Mithila Review, Anti-Heroin Chic, and High Shelf Press.

Photo by Jarrod Pimental on Unsplash

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