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C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press

Danger; The distance between pink; Others within

By: Karin Spitfire

Danger    (after Layli Long Soldier and the UCC resolution process)


               I live sixteen years from infancy to sweet

               With a man’s whose rage ran high 

               Every 5 p.m., every week end, 

               Every turn of the season

               Ran loud, voice above decibels

               An ear could retract from

               Fist raised once, in a good week

               Belt off at least monthly

               And the psychotic breaks 

               Random, yearly, Pearl Harbor,

               V.J. Day, hunting season, Spring


               I know how to live in danger, 

               watch, wait, placate, run, hide, 

               know danger better than I know myself


               That is what I learned, 

               and because Mommy, busy with the boys,

               was finally able to follow Dr. Spock’s

               advice “to leave em cry.”

               It was him, intolerant 

               and triggered by my desperate crying 

               Who swept me up out of the crib


               I learned this was love


               I learned this 

               I brought home danger 

               I treated who I brought home as danger


               I could watch it


               I learned not to do this 


               I live alone with my art


               The danger is now in the Whitehouse

               And I cannot have the hope to just wait

               ‘til I grow up 

               to escape


               Last week I thought I would sell my house and 

               Just go to Texas

               Go straight to the danger

               To save those babies


               He is amassing 7,000 troops

Therefore be it resolved 

               700,000 of us should 


               straight to the danger

               I do not want to go alone

The distance between pink 

A whole night, blue black indigo 

whatever moon

icebergs lit by starlight 

something shining in the ebony sea

A whole day, sky blue, blue grey 

green fauna, red rock

sun stunning sparks of Caribbean blue, aquamarine , turquoise, teal

some kind of ice white and polar bears floating in the 

navy black deep jaybird blue water

The whole sky

some kind of blue, the whole sea too, 

blues to black greys 

white caps, greenish hues

Despite the predominance of blue 

the worship of all things yang

We rise and fall

we open and close

to the oooh ah of pink

Forgetting the dark dreams, or sweet slumber

putting down the day, the work day over

The morning quacking pink, 

the pink dusk of peace

The distance between the pink, 

forgettable daily

The pink itself, the mauves, fuchsias, cherry, adobe dust, claret, burgundy, peach, salmon,

coral, rose, flamingo, 

Maroon our precious girls, our women 

the carriers of the beginnings and the ends.

Others within

there is a wounded animal inside, drowning 

chased from her home by creatures who build strangleholds stopping the river 

others, down stream, flip flop in the mud

can no longer reach their breeding grounds. 

where there were dry oak, low bush blueberry, rhododendron, voles, coons, 

where there was mountain, 

now the decapitated underside of the earths’ flayed skin 

weeping arsenic. 

inside there is a slow shy turtle 

with a plastic six pack holder around her neck. 

a pod of whales herding fish 

scoop up mouthfuls of ziplock baggies. 

where there were prairies, 

bison, vegetation to eat

now great square ponds of poison water, putrid air, 

gargantuan drills piercing the earth. 

another wild one just comes down from the mountain 

lives in the reedy swampy place behind the big y, k mart and the middle class houses 

crosses the main street with three cubs, forages in trash cans. 

she and her babies are a problem.

inside, the fierce memory of old Titans 

who can climb down the bean stalk

crush the swollen spewing moguls 

rescue the throngs of harrowed beings born in tent cities.  

inside a wild animal birthed into a GI bill house 

survived that cage, launched into the white free world to fend for herself

found others with weeping sores built enclaves carved out space avoided authority spat/

healed  clawed/healed sang/healed breathed/healed gathered with others fought shook

spoke stood. 

turned around to see the pollution and destruction of her family, 

wounded hordes from microbe to mountaintop from gene pool to tide pool 

and the fracking fires


there is an animal inside so nearly inconsolable 

grateful, for now, to live where wild is enough to lick anguish, recalibrate breath

but the automatons come again or maybe it is just man and a tranq gun 

who with all good intentions wants to mark her, count her numbers to see if she lives.


Karin Spitfire is the author of Standing with Trees and a chapbook “Wild Caught.” Her poem “Liquidation” won the national first place in the 2019 Joe Gouveia Outermost Poetry Contest, sponsored by WOMR, Provincetown. Her poems have appeared in 3 Nations Anthology, You Say. Say, on-line journals, Canary: A Literary Journal of the Environmental Crisis, The Catch: Writings from Downeast, Trivia: Voices of Feminism, and print journals, Off the Coast, The Aurorean, Rootdrinker, Currents, the Journal of Body Mind Centering. “What is to be Offered published in The Kerf, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She was the Poet Laureate of Belfast, Me in 2007 & 2008.


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