I spent many years walking the deserts and climbing the mountains of Southern California. Now I spend time in the Eastern Forests from Maryland to Vermont and practice woodworking near the Anacostia River. I hold a PhD in Writing from the University of Houston. My poetry collections are The Structure of Desire (Little Red Tree 2012) winner of a 2013 Nautilus Award in Poetry, a chapbook, The Language of Birds (Finishing Line 2011) and a forthcoming collection, The Book of Maps. Recent honors include the National Hackney Literary Award in Poetry, Lindberg Foundation International Poetry for Peace Prize (in Israel), and Potomac Review Prize. My work has appeared in Atlanta Review, Asian Cha and Aesthetica. Currently I work in Washington, DC. and am an associate fiction editor at JMWW. More at: wflantry.com.
A Broken Song
"But it was more than that,
More even than her voice..."
Miraculous, her song this evening
and even more that she can, standing, sing
in spite of shattered bones: just two, in one
small toe, but pain goes ringing through her leg
along her spine, confusing messages
yet who could know, when listening brings peace?
I could not do it: I need quietude
to hear the subtle whisperings that rouse
a few sounds deep within me, questioning
all I had known before: that all we see
around us summons everything that is
and we, mere whirling mirrors in the sun
shine indirectly light into this shade.
Yet, through the charismatics of her song
while all that seemed remains, yet something else
inbreathed with subtle harmonies becomes,
and I can feel what I cannot see
around us, swirling like midsummer leaves
in long cascades of wind, as waterfalls
throw off prismatic shimmerings, distinct
but insubstantial when we reach our hands
out to the cliffside emptiness while wings
find graceful sustenance, insouciant
across that space where voices linger still.
©2015 W.F. Lantry