An international online magazine that publishes Surrealist poetry in English.
Where We Stood
They gathered and sang one song
then left it in the corners
and beside the chairs,
on the tables and under eiderdowns,
on the window ledges,
and in each other.
How could they have known
the secrets that live
in that space behind the knees?
That arms as they rise make bones fly,
and scars are made of someone
else's stories and are seldom
the ones you see?
That you can kiss the cleft of a baby,
just to be the first.
the skin they touched.
Bathed skin, brown skin, bruised skin,
palms and fingers and painted toes.
They heard the questions and asked their own.
Listened to the whispered fears
of a blue boy with stones for lungs.
A girl in yellow boots clutched
the hand of a seven year old boy
learning the music of thin fires
and his own future.
They tasted the exotic in Zanzibar,
travelled home to Ithaca to find out who they were.
Walked with hooded priests
through forests lighting the sky on fire,
over ice flows, over oceans,
over high deserts and fragrant prairies.
To back allies, to sacred places,
to their forgotten lives
and to the ones they held onto.
There were seven part poems,
twelve line poems, ones that had never reached so far.
Story poems, first poems,
stuck poems and some that teased
them and stole their sleep.
They looked closely from great distances
at cowboys and those who sleep in dumpsters,
piano players with upside down music,
and a woman with arms strong
enough to stir the pot that held them all.
They chased black dogs
and blonde ones, followed grasshoppers,
whales, humming birds.
Stood in quiet communion
with that four point Buck...
grace on a Sunday morning.
They left meaning behind and searched
only for the sound. Sang their words,
found their rhythm, opened to the spirit
that lives in all poems.
A scarlet butterfly rose and lulled them
to their rest with the notes
of the one great song.
And they all abandoned themselves
to that one last sweet surprise.
Judith Neale is a Canadian poet, mentor, educator, opera singer and spoken word performer. She has published eight collections of her poetry, including A Quiet Coming of Light (Leaf Press, 2014), Splendid in its Silence, which won the SPM Publications (London) Poetry Book Competition and was published in April 2017, Cantata in Two Voices (Ekstasis Editions, 2018; with Bonnie Nish), A Blooming (Ekstasis Editions, 2019), and Impromptu (Ekstasis Editions, 2020). She has also published her short stories and has been a finalist for The Pat Lowther award. Her poems were shortlisted for the Gregory O'Donoghue Poetry Prize in Ireland.