ISSN 1556-4975

OffCourse Literary Journal

 Published by Ricardo and Isabel Nirenberg since 1998


Poems by Rose Mary Boehm

I never saw horizons until now

Between lightning and thunderclap
I counted time. You never know
how far away are the things
that burn, sudden flashes of insight,
blackened hopes for more.

While rain cleaned away the dusty
summer air, the mountains returned
to blue, the river swelled, I grew
ready for harvesting. And still
I hadn’t seen more than the valley.

Via circuitous routes I learned
to say no which was not accepted,
and yes which was treated lightly.
Between lightning and thunderclap
I stopped counting.

I left the storms behind. The weather
is gentle and without surprises.
I watch the Pacific rise and fall,
breathing slow and measured,
and the horizon holds no epiphany.


Living Between

I once scattered seeds in many places,
and new roots sprang from old earth.
Those me-trees are here, and there,
my outstretched branches heard
lovers’ sweet nothings, poets read
in my shade—verses of wild beauty, of wisdom
retrieved from alien waters.

Brooks gurgled past, bringing laughter and teases
from up-river, and the wind stroked my limbs
with soothing airs, or almost broke me with their fury.

Every one of those me-trees knows
the other, remembers the kinship, draws
nourishment from each. And yet, their images
have dimmed, their vibrancy diminished. 
But my heart remembers the sweetness
of the waters where my roots once drank.



The mothers will bring you down,
their claws fashioned from unconditional
love, and their revenge from unconditional pain.
There will be cracks under the deserts sands
filled with your blood and stained with your shame
swallowing you with revulsion.

The mothers will defeat you,
fill your emptiness with acid tears,
you who hide your disfigured faces. Mothers
will dry up the last oasis, undo your obscene rites
of passage, your souls scarred from negligence.

Like vampires, a simple bullet is not enough.
It has to be steeped in mother’s milk
to keep you truly dead, you who infiltrate
our world from a self-made parallel universe.
Everything you touch stinks of death.


Rose Mary Boehm is a German-born British national living and writing in Lima, Peru. Her poetry has been published widely in mostly US poetry reviews (online and print). She was twice nominated for a Pushcart. Her fourth poetry collection, THE RAIN GIRL, was published by Chaffinch Press in 2020.
See more of her work at:

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