Conventional publishing wisdom claims that it's a mistake to run poetry in a "consumer" magazine. Although that may often be true, we're convinced that MOTHER's readers are the kind of people who look for beauty in the practical and search out practicality in the beautiful ...and who realize that good poetry can be useful as well as inspiring. In fact, the best of poems can help us recognize the wonderful—and often well-hidden—similarities that all humans share ...and, by doing so, can make each of us feel a little bit less alone. The poetry included in this occasional feature—be it brand-new or previously published, written by a recognized poet or a first-timer—will be material that, in the eyes of MOTHER's editors, helps us see ourselves in the words of others. It's that quality, and the fact that the work presented here will reflect the range of subject areas usually presented in this magazine, that gave this feature its name.
Rowing the Boat
No matter which oar I pulled or how I churned, battering with the oar's end weed that clung, the skew-keeled boat merely lurched and turned widdershins like a top backwards slung, so backwards was the way we rowed her so we went out and away from what we pointed at till we arrived at the place the boat was bent and dropped our lines and panting sat while wild birds flipped in the air and dove for the same bugs the bass were rising for that we hoped to hook so that we could prove ourselves in the boat equal to birds, bugs or bass in the dark on the water where the air is black as a bat and the white stars stare.
Excerpted from Sludge Gulper 1, by David Lunde Copyright 1971 by David Lunde Published by Basilisk Press and reprinted by permission
Insufficient, like all apologies,
they are the arms of the starved
dead, stiff extrusions from shallow
graves. The loggers clearcut first,
then planted these excuses and left.
We watch the knob pines wave; even
the fog moving inland is enough
to make them sway: their defeated
roots gnarl around too little clay,
and they fall, unhonored, into bone
yards of themselves, making a low,
tangled sky, the last landscape
of snakes. Heavy with their resinous
cones, the knob pines hold each other
and conspire; their only wish is fire.
The cliff-house stood in ruins
a few crumbling bricks piled against time
We tried to scale the canyon wall
to reach the homes where no flesh sings.
But Vibram soles just won't work
on the polished rock
of Anasazi trail.
Excerpted from River of Lost Souls. Copyright© 1977 by Leonard Bird Publishes by Tooth of Time Press and reprinted by permission All rights reserved
Submissions to Fieldbook are welcomed. However, please take the time to look over what we've published. If you can't honestly say you can equal or better that body of work, don't send us anything.
Flo thermore, all unsolicited submissions should be sent without self-addressed, stamped envelopes and should be addressed specifically, to
Fieldbook. We won't be returning or commenting on unused poems: Only those accepted
for publication will be acknowledged.