Seven Poems and Six Images by Constance Bacchus

the air above

skin suddenly breaking
lets go of description
of shape previous

less dense
more expanding

teases dry sand ground
coulee walls

for a time, she says
then leaves, departs,
flies back to

running near the Stilly

blackberries feel invasive,
they feel green
they feel bitter again,
growing along

bear scat & sullen
cougar tracks

they feel as if this time
                                         they could
spy on salmon catching

volunteer Indian plums
in open mouths, oh they catch
wild cherries

The water is clear.

stones placed just so
red cedars are there

going places
that have
all along

fond rivers, forms, washington state

I.             Near Lewiston

the snake, cold waters
               palouse, hilled

crosses the clearwater
crossing cactus, covering
sand banks
II.             Near Concrete & Arlington

flooded in Shangri-La

clearing skagit bald
glacier glass verde

waves, stillaguamish

a snohomish woman
in a state
flowing clean
crashing up a storm
III.             Near Grand Coulee

dammed columbia
orange buoyed
IV.             Near Spokane

the falls, spokane
families running in
new formations, bloom

take a picture of this
I said but couldn’t


& took it myself

the feathers of grey
sage weed on the top
with flagrant misbehaving sunshine
leaking from the trestle

mythological women are minding the atmosphere

valkyries ask
to what do we owe the air

deer say it belongs to them

to trees of elm, river rain,
belongs to striped beetles

squirrels fighting chipper
in the yard across the dam

grass it belongs to grass &
sand full of screeching cats

moaning on Saturday nights
teasing the dog on his chain

air comes from eagles
& 5 hawks flying above

say it belongs to
gorges guarding persephone

eyes on the road; the siren

you are staring at the lake again you
reluctant owe the blue

can’t stop
about & the way

it changes to marble
grey when clouds appear

helen needs a nap

she’s purple, red,
ready for Valentine’s


semi famous
she lost her head

everyone knew she went crazy
get them downtown

mashed to dust
don’t matter
they disappeared

she cried at the sunset, nothing
would soothe her, she was
done with placating sentiment

done with trees, pines

finished with grey
she was done, ready to move

changing states
    carry with her for free

when she’s done you know it

so that sweet brown green snow
capped cascadian
divorced people quick
became every strong & changing
woman of myth & legend

let me design this sanctuary for you, cried the ocean

                  with trees        the rain
a tamped path

sparse salmonberries ripe on sides

sparse low growing blackberries

to stop the hunger you can’t get fat on wild onions
thin cherries planted by birds & bears

wild cat scat steams alabaster bones on old logging roads
you shouldn’t walk there

that model t has been since the turn of the clock

hangs with ferns on ancient cedars
he said the sweet aroma is poison
who wants to eat too much he wants
to get lost in this forested coast

Constance Bacchus @ConnieBacchus lives in the Pacific Northwest with her daughter. They often run across the trestle and explore the various climates in eastern Washington. Her writing is published in numerous literary magazines and journals and she is currently at work on a chapbook and other poetry.

All images, including banner by Constance Bacchus.

Page layout and design by Robert Frede Kenter.

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