Hundreds of dowitchers

poke the mud

with bills like fat pens. 


What are they writing

with their desire

all through the long


afternoon? A hawk

strops his beak

on a sturdy branch,


displacing murderous

energy. The dunes seem

dusted with cinnamon.


The dark slips upward.

I want to lie down

in the waves, my arms


sweeping out wings.

In the nightfall, ink

overwrites black ink.





A rushing sound strikes your ears

like a conductor audibly sniffing,


cueing a downbeat. Yellow birds

bend bare branches, squandering beauty.


Please research the evening grosbeak,

that fat-beaked charmer. Look up


in all books: ictus, imminence

True, a woman in an old bathrobe


curses her dog, a humbled mat

of penitence. But you’re splashing


forward, afloat on a blazing

confluence. The dog moans,


and you can comfort him. Then

call a bird to his owner’s gate.


Barbara Daniels's Rose Fever: Poems was published by WordTech Press and her chapbooks Moon Kitchen, Black Sails, and Quinn & Marie by Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press. She received three Individual Artist Fellowships for her poetry from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and earned an MFA in poetry at Vermont College. Her poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Mid-American Review, WomenArts Quarterly Journal, The Literary Review, and many other journals.