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C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press

Approaching the Grand Canyon; The Horizon of the Interior; One More Poem About the Rising Tide

By: Will Austin Simescu

Approaching the Grand Canyon

Today, Notre-Dame burned

but I mostly just gazed heavenward.

Golden sun splits the clouds

over a plateau of pinyon-juniper.

The largest rainbow I’ve ever seen

radiates gargantuan to the east.

Arriving at camp,

mist nips at my ankles

like Jennifer’s cat, Britney.

I clench my teeth. It’s too early

to miss anyone.

Maybe we’ll meet again

on the Astral Plane

or Bedrock City.

For now, the earth is warm, the air

cool and bright.

The sky a tapestry on fire.

The Horizon of the Interior

White the breakers arriving on shore

Blue the open sea

Taller than Mt Baldy

Wide as the trunk of a plane tree

Blessed the nights you return to me

A brutish whisper in my ear

Blue flames lick the burner

Bleached white paint peels under midnight sun

There is something I’ve been meaning to tell you

About the harrow’s bite

But words turn inward now

Toward an ever-expanding gulf

All I can think of are bluebells



One More Poem About the Rising Tide

The humble Patuxent has overflown its banks.

Police tape blocks the entrance to the park

across the street from my apartment.

Wooden kiosks indicating the park’s

unique vegetation, its pertinent fowl,

are submerged under sage green water.

Another ten feet and the water will reach my building.

I wonder if my Subaru will be swept downstream

like my entrants for the rubber duck race

held each year on the Boardman River

when I was a boy in Michigan.

In those days I was taught the rainbow

was a symbol of a promise never again

to flood the earth with murderous waters.

Now it occurs to me that God set a bow in the clouds

more as a reminder to temper his worser impulses

than as a comfort to the people below.

I soften my beard with a washcloth

before work this morning, run the tap

until the water is almost unbearably hot,

press the cloth to my face

until my cheeks are rosy.

After water comes the blade,

then a paring away.


Will Austin Simescu grew up in Northern Michigan and spent six years as a language analyst in the U.S. Air Force. He currently lives in Colorado, where he studies Restoration Ecology at Colorado State University. Will was a finalist for the Ember Chasm Review 2020 Summer Poetry Contest and a semi-finalist for Nimrod International's 2020 Francine Ringold Awards for New Writers. His poems have also appeared in the Louisville Review, Poetry South, and Slippery Elm, among others.


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