ISSN 1556-4975

OffCourse Literary Journal

Published by Ricardo and Isabel Nirenberg since 1998


Five Poems by Mary Mills.


“Young Goethe Communes with a Bottle of Auslese

Gefühl ist alles to me:
meter, rhythm, rhyme.
A poem just is, you see.

Alive, it grows free
and flows into time;
Gefühl ist alles to me.

A child on my knee
poses like a mime.
A poem just is, you see.

A poem comes to be-
magic mist with grime;
Gefühl ist alles to me.

Air sounds a melody
chasing words that climb;
A poem just is, you see.

Unfettered, poetry
grasps at the sublime;
Gefühl ist alles to me.
A poem just is, you see.



“Feeding Time”

Near the bird feeder,
he stands and surveys silence
around the cold ground.

By a small pile of
semi-digested seeds from a
dove's shredded stomach,

groups of light, white bands
undulate and wind scatters
delicate, white fluff.

His hunger is gone.
The hawk rests alone
and enjoys his meal.



“Water Whispers”

Break, break, break,
in deadly embrace,
riptides dance
with river waters
that rise and reach
high tide fast.
Do you hear
their whispers?
Riptide there.
Swimmer, beware.



“It’s Time”

A fragile reflection bounces off the mirror
as a soft, dulled image lulled by a slow,
backward pull away from pain.
Grendel's death-grip has been broken.
Each person awakes as the long fever breaks,
wipes sweat from a faded face,
and hopes conflict has ceased.
Diderot laughs as his words echo,
bouncing off silent church bells:
"Has the last politician been strangled
with the bowels of the last priest?"



"Snowfelt Gratitude"

I don’t like to walk, drive or play
in it anymore. From a warm house,
I have a ringside seat and can
watch the whitest show on my side
of worn earth, sans interruption
or commercials, my free ticket
to an engagement with swathes of
snow that recreate the landscape. 


To Mary Mills bio notes

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