ISSN 1556-4975

OffCourse Literary Journal

 Published by Ricardo and Isabel Nirenberg since 1998


Poems by Joan Colby


The light cringes in the east
As darkness kidnaps the moon.
Takes it in its arms
And carries it off. Somewhere bells ring
In praise or warning. Mosquitoes rise
Like saboteurs out of the dense trees.
Of all creatures these
Are the deadliest. Number the crimes
Committed by the winds.
How the owl's shadow investigates
The secrets that you keep.

Go back to sleep, I tell you.
When you wake, all will be arranged
For your appetite. A pitcher of milk,
A bowl of berries, biscuits dripping
Honey. The bees are at the purple phlox.
The hummingbird sips nectar.


Uno Más

Mid-summer and the heat breaks records across the midlands.
Every day the skies flood like a bereaved woman.

Impatiens wilt in their hanging pots.
Field corn head-high in a green glory.

What we want as age claims us:
To wake with a benison of light limning the horizon.

Bird cries that stitch the morning.
Black coffee, yogurt, berries.

The dog standing at the door.
How life resolves into these elementals.

Dew burns off the lawn. The neighbor's truck
With its legend: Uno Más

A hand reaching for another beer.
For one more day, one more week, one more year.

Uno Más. One more.

Joan Colby has published widely in journals such as Poetry, Atlanta Review, South Dakota Review, Gargoyle, Pinyon, Little Patuxent Review, Spillway, Midwestern Gothic and others. Awards include two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards and an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Literature. She has published 21 books including Selected Poems" from FutureCycle Press which received the 2013 FutureCycle Prize and "Ribcage" from Glass Lyre Press which has been awarded the 2015 Kithara Book Prize. Three of her poems have been featured on Verse Daily and another is among the winners of the 2016 Atlanta Review International Poetry Contest. Her newest books are "Carnival" from FutureCycle Press, "The Seven Heavenly Virtues" from Kelsay Books and "Her Heartsongs' from Presa Press. Colby is a senior editor of FutureCycle Press and an associate editor of Good Works Review. Website: Facebook: Joan Colby. Twitter: poetjm.

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