Super Deluxe Poetry Showcase re-post on Peach Delphine including a Quick-9 Interview (2021)

wave is a circular motion

Out of the wound
we come singing
a chorus of wings
swallowed by daylight.

Hand that balances wind
waiting on the surface,
out from the creek, free diving,
descending from surface warmth,
gathering shells,
ascending in one long exhalation,
leaving the squeeze of depth
and coldness behind.

There is a voice in lightless sea,
entering through eye,
answering voice of shadow
buried beneath sternum
coiled about spine, always
we feel the vibrations
in our feet and hands
always we feel the wire
of edge, the burnished arc
of time.

This form has become shadow
of cloud, darkening shallows
for a moment, turtle grass,
blue crabs, bonnethead sharks,
ponderous and seeking tongue
of horse conch, the sea is indifferent
to this body, the multiplicity of forms
has buoyed me out past the Key of memory
into the open Gulf of sapphire
reflected in your eyes.

Surfacing breathless, unfolded

from palms the optic remains unspoken,
fronds shimmering with morning,
a spent shell lifted from shallows,
empty of body,
my own emptiness filled with sea
restlessly seeking reunification
with the greater body
an ebb and flow of so many small voices
in the roots of mangrove,
a clinging of barnacles
to our mothering wood,
leaves of voices lifting
to azure, a different blue
than your eyes reflecting
sea and horizon.

from palms the optic remains unspoken,
fronds shimmering with morning,
a spent shell lifted from shallows,
empty of body,
my own emptiness filled with sea
restlessly seeking reunification
with the greater body
an ebb and flow of so many small voices
in the roots of mangrove,
a clinging of barnacles
to our mothering wood,
leaves of voices lifting
to azure, a different blue
than your eyes reflecting
sea and horizon.

Coyote Song

Not yet dead already ash,
Already invisible, unknowable,
Smell the sea just beyond the pines,
Hear the wind combing out salt Marsh,
Osprey call, mullet get eaten,
Gather up what you can
We will flee with falling light, with coyote song,
Emptiness of waves welcome us, mangrove
Conceal our passing,
Not yet dead, already gone,
Sleep with one foot against the door,
It’s your neighbors that will come for you,
After coffee, eggs and bacon,
What my father never knew,
The sharpest blade
Is for cutting sorrow.

84 (any scar)

Cutting was the secret language
of moon and moss
textured layers of shadow
without day or spark
oaks hold themselves penultimate
ancient in a landscape of erosion
cabbage palms shaggy
with my supplications
sheaves of paperwork
endless recitations of symptoms
a midden of discarded words
what we cast off
wave tumbled round
sea is my only certainty
liquid incandescence
saltier than blood
smoother than any scar

Weight and Shadow

 After Granny passed
 they divided her possessions,
 an aunt took her best cast iron
 painted them with country themes
 for kitchen decorations.
 The three legged camp oven
 I dug out of the trash,
 her favorite gumbo spoon,
 the iron pot,
 potato masher,
 her old knives,
 black handled from fat,
 and the old chipped serving bowl
 she taught me to hone them with,
 on its unglazed foot.
 Pawpaw would say, "if you need a blade sharpened, take it to Mama"
 then I came along,
 flesh made whetstone,
 and taught the knives to sing,
 so many tongues sprouting verdure,
 so much cutting in those pots,
 so much emptiness filled,
 ciphers of transformation incised.
 An unnatural relationship
 is what she called it
 before dragging me in front of Pawpaw,
 "look at the child's arm,
 look at the child's leg"
 and they both wept,
 "Why?"
 left unanswered on the linoleum.
 Echoing hollowness,
 how to say broken,
 how to say, "this cut is smoke, this cut is flame, these cuts are sea, this the language of
 laceration"
 wind of emptiness swimming in the grove,
 staring out the screen door
 oranges in bloom, bee heavy,
 sink dripping, mockingbird
 rendering some other bird's song.
 Time does not dissipate
 the weight of their fear
 still heavy in my hands,
 their grief still a shadow
 in every reflection.
 The iron pot still on my stove,
 the spoon in its rest
 and every blade in its place,
 honed effortless,
 glittering book of psalms

Patience of egrets

This shore of conch and mangrove,
Rain, our mother tongue,
Cast down as glyphs beaten into sand,
It requires the patience of egrets
The long glide of pelicans
To endure the loss of your hands
Weight of your body in the warm night
As clock light breathes against the ceiling

This weather of absence, so much moonlight
Contained by scars, delicate
Tracery of struggle, cartography of dreams, your words still summon to this shore,
Congregation of spoonbills gathered for tide

The shyness of alligators,
The call and response of owls,
A world not yet fallen into shadow
The plumage of night folds into palms,
It requires the roots of mangrove
To weather these waves, long fetch
Of sleepless absence,
Each day a shell curving upon itself
The sound of emptiness 
Coiled within my ear, the sand of loss
Pouring from my hands

Entanglement

Ground grows up through us
voice fills the wrist, fingers
feather wind as it turns leaves
reading a text that inches out
to branch tip, leaping into flight.

Form is not shape, not the billet
split from stave, when you bind
these wounds what emerges is not
winged lacerations, when you bind
these words this form remembers flame,
her hands fill with ash of what was not tree.

Pines long for lightning, intimate
embrace of sky, rain is memory
of sea brought back to tongue
of land, the body is ever an uncertainty
the form is frail, words hunger for mouth,
curled in wet darkness, snug beneath
tongue, breathing the light of utterance.

The eye holds horizon in abeyance,
wave is a unit of measure
for absence, those who return by moonlight
hauling the shell up the shelving, past
tideline but not quite to sea oats,
delivering a message of continuity.

We are as interlocked as mangrove
a forest of basketry, canopy of egret
and spoonbill, this not a place of deep roots,
tide pulls moon over Gulf, respiration of sea,
deep breath of azure, clear blue of flame,
breathing as cumulus flowers, lightning
flowing into wave, so many tomorrows buried
above wrack line.

Wind of ash, wind of burning,
some live within blade of day
some within wing of night,
words you leave in a bowl of sky
could be sparks, could be stars,
what sleeps in the marrow
prepares itself to fly, bone riven,
phosphorescence spilling from mouth.

Every Cloud Has a Life of Its Own

Knife dreams of stone and wire
of edge, curling upon itself,
wire, once burnished away, reveals
the sinuous and bright word of cutting,
the long tongue of scar tasting bitter orange,
laceration stained hibiscus flowering,
rain sluiced into the bay, sweltering cauldron,
broth of migrations.

We did not dwell, ephemeral precludes
habitation, residency is the privilege
of those less soluble, less phosphorescent ,
we left no trace, no photographs, not even ash,
mouthfuls of sunset and the shimmy
of gossamer night unfolding  every horizon.

Room could not contain, windows
being more than apertures, points
of egress where we vanished into the breathing
  of sea, iron bellied clouds concealed  as weather,
tide of carrying, tide of shell calling us   by name,
   those once lost, those who could not remain.

Voice at the ear, voice of the cloud,
swirling through palms as wet prairie
opens itself in a supplication of frog singing
lit by lightning, sleepless wet season,
irrigation ditches filling with water
not yet dark, not yet caramelized,
our names flow through creeks, cypress
knees, long plumes of moss licking
the surface as we make our way
out to the flashing jacks, silvered
mullet, tangle of mangrove, leaves
salt frosted and blazing verdure.

Accompanied by gifts, shelf clouds
piling on shore, white feathered egrets,
slivers of lightning, the low glide of pelicans,
we receive more than we can make in return,
we name more than we can remember, endless
recitation against erosion,   we are bound to voice
of tide, of wind, raucous calls of rookeries
where our dreams slowly feather, singing
their way into flight, drawing us from roof
and door, returning us to a world without habitation,
without the naming of place, tides of giving
washing our bones smooth as wave, moon bright,
curling in the  mouth of conch, relentlessly.

Speaking of Home, Beyond the Wind

All thaw and sweltering, not yet
season of moonflower or sphinx moth,
sleeping by day, dreaming of manatees,
buoyant in the spring, blue flow silvered
with schooling jacks, jumping mullet,
boiling white sand, living  by the light of a cold flame,
speaking to the mirrored burning,
lost as we are, on the margins, talking
 to the moon in less dangerous
than conversations with men,  which is more
dangerous  than swimming with alligators,
shadows treading water, elegant logs
with shining eyes, the weather here
 is affectionate full of heat and damp,
thunderstorms brewed up for the taste of coldness.

Lightning licking its way through cypress
and pine, the dog wedges herself
under the table as the cracking approaches,
sizzling despite the rain, gouging out
long strands of bark from the pine next door,
waiting for this, bursts of illumination
wind straining at the oak,  a song
out of darkness, an answering voices,
a defiance of what would deny us
the everyday gentleness and motion
of tide, nightgown soaked, shiver
in my voice, the dog is not amused
at any venturing out in the rain.

Some can't abide tangle and clutter
of thicket, slash of straight line wind
and deadfall, shaggy cabbage palms
or the wicker woven arms and knees
of mangrove, some can't abide
that their god has not yet struck us down,
or caust us from the precipice,
or that we are not afraid, having known
the song of the blade for so long
we have become the flowering
no edge will part from the earth,
the vine that will not fail, the fox
sleeping in the shade of oak and cedar,
a wave rolling out of the Gulf no fence
will restrain, no hand will push down,
no prayer will deny that we are such as we are,
wind in our hair, sea in our eyes,
fragmented and worn, we too will add our shells
to this shore, to the constant arrival of tide and star
of moon and sun, to the constant repetition
of the litany of belonging.

Flat

Water, not anguish, lifts oaks
the first steps of flight, yet leaves
cannot overcome the heaviness
of memory, so much despair soaked
into the aquifier drawn forth, hydraulics
of root, trunk and limb, beyond the trees
blanket flower, railroad vine, gulls
facing windward, waves stacked
on sandbar

Brittle is how the tooth cracks,
blade chips on bone, the self shatters,
shards pooling on the floor, resolve
to endure vanishing as cold sets in,
warmth flowing out, body anticipating
  the glide into quietude.

Arc flows through a line
in the sand, it is a far shore, sea
flowing from here to there, a woman
inscribes glyphs in the sand,
what is mending, the cup once broken
becomes new, the shell remade speaks
of a ghost, without hymn or prayer
we are without, unattached against sun and rain.

When you're small
and want to vanish but don't know how,
 there's no way to see how you'll learn
 to turn the pain inside out and eat it
 like an orange or how fifty years will pass,
the hard cold breath of morning cracking
 sternum, memory will come, as stealthy
 as wind as the taste of the sea ever on the tongue
 salt and the swell of wave, tide washing
   through lacerations, scars forming a text,
a chart of what horizon long ago swallowed,
submerged lands.

A drowning that returned you, moon pale,
a form  that cannot leave the sea, facing
oaks and pine, palms open in supplication,
beyond the treeline an orange burning,
a brighter flame filling the sky, a wind darker
than crow, the only tongue between us
being glyphs inscribed in sand, lifted
from the body, unlaced from skin, visible
only to sea and moon, tide erasing
each word before barnacled memory
solidifies the text of departure,
form dissolving into wave. 


Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Peach: Sophomore year of high school, Marvell, Milton, Keats.

Q2: Who is your biggest influence today? Peach: Paul Celan, Brigit Pegeen Kelly

Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing/art? Peach: Florida, a subtle and secretive landscape heavily exploited with a harsh history.

Q4: Have any travels away from home influenced work/describe? Peach: Wherever you go the world is beautiful, sometimes that tells you where you belong.

Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer/poet? Peach: When I was fourteen the local paper started a weekly poetry column, I submitted and was published.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax? Peach: Cooking, gardening, walking, canoeing

Q7: Any recent or upcoming work you’d like to promote? Links to some of Peach’s poetry & more

Poetry Showcase November 2021 from Peach Delphine

https://www.blackboughpoetry.com/peach-delphine

https://icefloepress.net/2020/01/28/five-poems-by-peach-delphine/

https://www.sledgehammerlit.com/post/hands-worn-to-smoke-by-peach-delphine?_sm_nck=1

https://lumierereview.com/delphine-zhang

https://cabinetofheed.com/2020/12/19/coastal-pine-peach-delphine/

https://eatthestorms.com/2020/10/24/eat-the-storms-the-pride-poetry-podcast-episode-8/

Q8: One of your favorite lines from a poem of yours? Peach: – a forest of summoning a sea of renunciation – “How easily I set aflame to this misbegotten body, accelerant ever on my tongue, chine of wind, cutting edge of utterance, ”

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing? Peach: I cooked for many years, you have to learn from everyone, even if it’s not what you would do.

Thanks for having me amongst so many brilliant writers, it’s been a joy and privilege. Stay well and best wishes.

Bio: Peach Delphine is a queer poet from Tampa, Florida. Infatuated with what remains of the undeveloped Gulf coast.

By davidlonan1

David writes poetry, short stories, and writings that'll make you think or laugh, provoking you to examine images in your mind. To submit poetry, photography, art, please send to feversofthemind@gmail.com. Twitter: @davidLOnan1 + @feversof Facebook: DavidLONan1

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