A selection from The Strait by Andrew Jarvis, finalist for the 2014 Homebound Publications Poetry Prize. The Strait explores sensory experiences gleamed from the natural environment, historic traditions, archaeological findings, and folklore of the Pacific Northwest. Jarvis presents a spiritual and honest landscape rich with images and metaphors that define our place in this beautiful, multicultural world and what it means to be human. The poems move from mystical shores to haunting woodlands, a multifaceted exploration of the imaginary and the real.
My grandfather painted himself,
leaving only his head unsealed.
The wind was different and swept shore
to the sea where he was waiting.
There is a time for the patient
when sunlight sets for the rising.
And this is when the red crabs crawl,
tossing each other like rock trash.
He gathered unnoticed, as he
was as stealth as a black nighthawk.
His hands scattered the broken ones
like a dealer shuffling with claws.
And they would bite at him, their arms
strangling his toes and heels entire.
But the living were delightful;
the fighters were the most meaty.
He called it “the cloaking,” a cause
to hide one’s self and lump the meat.
Poems by Andrew Jarvis
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