Poem Up at Blue Heron Review

LYNNE BURNETT

Back in Puerto Vallarta

We arrive at the hotel like royalty—
remembered, waved through
the sea breeze of halls and floors
to our room, a welcome platter
of fruit, chilled bottle of wine,
a card—that’s all it takes to
pull off our clothes, shower,
sit on the balcony white-robed,
watch the waves rolling toward us
until they roll all the way in and
we let go the body that struggles,
let anything and everything swim
out of us, follow a dark fin far
and away from the old shore,
the sea surging, filling my mouth
with its need to be tasted—salt lick,
tongue slick with the eloquence
of stars.

I’m so happy to have this poem appear in Blue Heron Review’s Issue 16, whose theme was Sanctuaries & Places of Peace, along with almost 50 others! Big thanks to editor Cristina Norcross! I’ve pasted my poem here for ease of reading (since my poem is nine from the end) but here is the link to the whole issue, so many nourishing poems to enjoy: https://blueheronreview.com/bhr-issue-16-spring-2023/

Good News

For anyone who wanted to attend my virtual poetry reading last Saturday – and couldn’t – there is now a link to the video, hooray: Fluid Vessels Poetry Reading. Many thanks to the Montreal PP staff and all the work they do behind the scenes! It’s one hour and first you see the poster, then an inset of the director of the Montreal PP and then it automatically goes fullscreen. I’m first up. There’s 10 minutes at the end where we all answer questions and I’m asked a question after that at the very end by a viewer, about “Date Night”. Thanks so much for your interest and support!  

My First Online Poetry Reading

After a few months away in Mexico (fabulous!) I am back home, ready to catch up and post updates on my writing life etc. First up is this Fluid Vessels event in one week! It’s one hour with the three of us reading for about 12 minutes each and a Q & A after. We were all finalists for the 2022 Montreal PP. Interestingly I have on my bookshelf one of Miranda Pearson’s earlier books (“Harbour”) so it’s a thrill to be reading alongside her – and I’ve come across (and liked) Khaty Xiong’s poems in various journals along the way.  I hope you can join us! Here’s a link to event registration – and a thousand thank yous if you’re able to listen in!

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/fluid-vessels-7-montreal-international-poetry-prize-reading-series-2023-tickets-568184363727

As I Think Of Kelp, How It Lies In The Shallows

Image by Alan Robb from Pixabay

the birds begin their evening declensions,
note by note, the grammar of praise.

The air cools. I close the window to a crack,
the pale sky falling out of sight, yoked

now to darkness. I write at my desk by the light
of a lamp: a small moon turning the tide.

How fathom the mysterious waters
in which my soul swims, finning stars?

The clock ticks but time sleeps
until I return to the bone-white shore,

a wave from far away, heartbeat of the ocean,
tugging at the wagging brown tongues of words.

This poem appeared in the Crosswinds 2019 Poetry Contest Anthology.

Poem Up at Thimble Literary Magazine

Photo by Aswin Raj on Unsplash

I’m thrilled one of my oldest poems has finally found the perfect home in Thimble Literary Magazine! My deep thanks to editor Nadia Arioli and her staff, who promote their contributors in as many ways as they can – they are a poet’s dream team! There will be a print version of the issue but my poem can be read now in their online one here 

Great News!

I’m thrilled to report that my poem “Ladies’ Night Out” was one of 57 finalist poems for the Montreal International Poetry Prize 2022 and will be published along with the winner and other finalist poems in a contest anthology! My poem can be read here 

I did share this news in a Facebook post a couple of weeks ago when I briefly had wifi. I am still away on our boat but at last have some consistent wifi coverage! The winner was announced yesterday and you can read her poem and the judge’s commentary here 

It’s a win-win in my book when a contest (and this was a big one with a huge purse) offers publication to the finalists as well as the winner. My poem is one dear to me, I’ve tweaked it a few times over the years and I’m so pleased it finally gets to go out into the world in such an honorable way.

Two Poems Up At Crowstep Journal!

Photo by G-R Mottez on Unsplash

I’m thrilled to report that my two poems – “The Fog Lifts” and “Seagull”  can now be read/viewed at  Crowstep Journal Collection 2. My deep thanks to editors Sujatha Menon and John Herbert – such a beautifully crafted issue! Plus they have a Library section with links to authors’ books (like mine) and under Articles you can find a two-part Q & A that poet extraordinaire Robert Okaji did with me a few years ago!

I’m heading off on our boat again soon. Hope everyone is having a great summer!

Window

Photo by Amin Alizadeh: https://www.pexels.com/photo/girl-behind-window-12064720/

Through the window, quiet rain.
Through the window, a woman’s
hands arced in morning prayer.

If not rain, I would be a Thumbelina
sliding into the silky bell-bottoms
of flowers. If not hands, I would be
the day cupped between,
still secret-sweet.

If a flower, I would proceed brazenly
blossom by ecstatic blossom
down the winding April streets.
If the day, I would warble amazed
through all my encounters.

And if from a dark cave of longing
came the strength to thrust aside logs
of bark mulch, I would say love
itself sprouted green and slender
in the sun-slanted garden.

From across the room, you come
toward me. What would it take
to meet the horizon most feared
and sails flapping, drop anchor
in the storied harbour of your arms?

Through the window, the steam of rain
falling now into light, the backyard
cedars leaning toward us, generous
limbs outstretched, as if to say—
all it takes is yes.

Another older poem, first published in North Shore Magazine in 2008.