Ann Arbor Review: International Journal of Poetry

Issue Number 3
Winter-Spring 2006

Ann Arbor Review

Miami Dade County, Florida                                                                                                        Ann Arbor Review


Shutta Crum
Joseph McNair
Laszlo Slomovits
Joanie Freeman
Chris Lord
Elisavietta Ritchie
Gerald Clark
Karyn M. Wolven
Duane Locke
Mervyn M. Solomon
Paul B. Roth
Sue Budin
Running Cub
Silvia Scheibli
Geoffrey Philp
Marilyn Churchill
Jerry Blanton
Steve Beaulieu
Don Hewlett

Fred Wolven

Ann Arbor Review
is an International Journal & ezine

Copyright (c) 2006 Fred Wolven
All rights revert back to each poet.


Fred Wolven, Editor

Homestead, Florida


Submissions via e-mail:


                               (and war)                                                       

What the price?
What the payment
             for Grendel's head?

And what of the one waiting in the watery lair
             named: Mother?
Who will grieve with her?
She who rocked her beastly boy--
             kept his corpse
             and mourned.

She who pledged revenge
on the hero of the honeyed veins,
             of the weak eyes
             and the impure heart;
on the hero who laughed as he dove
             into the murk
             and her tentacled embrace;
on the hero who knew nothing
             of a mother's love
             and a mother's oath.

In any battle
there are always mothers.

Who will grieve with her--
with the mother who patiently knits
her dark hours into a tangled shroud,
with the mother who thirsts for Beowulf,
for the bee-hunter--
but tastes only the blood of her child?

Always, there are mothers
and there is grief--
and the bitter, exquisite knot of righteousness.

And always, more mothers to crowd around
as hands, sanctified in holier water,
baptize golden bee-boys
--never the dark one's son.

All Beowulf's one day, these babes--
radiant heroes, naked and squalling at the font--
they are lifted up from the bloodied frontlines
and laid into the expectant arms of mothers.


I had a life as simple and full as the sea.
And out of the surf I carried...stories
wet with their unraveling.

I had a man who dove into water
and cradled my heart like a prize.
I had a child with tides to travel,
and another with kelpie eyes.

I had land on a windy cliff,
and a house that danced as it sang.
I had cats and dogs that spoke my tongue,
and a bird that proclaimed my name.

I had a strong hand clasped in mine,
and hallowed work to craft.
I had little hands that followed,
and mysteries that made us laugh.

I had a piece of floating ribbon
plucked from my mother's hair.
I had a word of wisdom my father
found pooled in a magical year.

I had a friend who died too soon,
and another who died too late.
I had brothers and sisters and strangers,
who waved as they rounded the cape.

I had a place in my own time,
and a joy for the labors I sing.
I had a son, a daughter, and a man,
and hearts to set a-cradling.

So make me a promise will you?
If you should ever speak of me,
remember what I've said:
I had a life, as simple and full as the sea.

And out of the surf  I carried...stories
wet with their unraveling.


Green 'neath leafy branches dark;
secrets told under a lichened limb
hung o'er the roll of a pitching quay.
Green in the glimmering night, my friend.

For the dreamer's loosed the tiller now
upon florescent seas.
And he's trimmed the sail to trust the dream
and bear him before the wind.

Green, a word that sailors dream;
the dim unwindings of Flemished rope,
a glint, a gleam, a grin, and then--

--the rakish tilt of verdant brim,
the sheen of velvet cape and glove,
the hand unseen that belays the barque.

Green past islands of kelp-hung dark;
up silvered slope of rung and rope,
a ladder's abeam a listing moon
snagged in the arms of a drifting dream.
And green, the moon's a waiting ark.

Shutta Crum, Ann Arbor



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