Poetry Issue #30

Find the Foci

By Rebecca Durham

An unclasped lapse

as ascent slips into our axis, to wonder what if

the fourth breath was the fifth?

A sharp breach of shadow…
Read more

*Image: “Dead Autumn Leaves In A Rain Gauge” by William C. Crawford, photo

Rebecca Durham

Featured Poet



Find the Foci


An unclasped lapse
an ascent slips into                   our axis, to wonder      what if
                                                                   the fourth breath was the fifth?

A sharp breach of shadow                                                       our arrow
red-tipped                                                                                         such fissures.


skin = bark                                                                       and
                                                                                                                  each edge is chert
                                                                                                                       drought fraught
epithelia = pith

                 would cells instill
                                                                 this ellipse?


Surrounding the Senses

after Spell of the Sensuous by David Abram


As long as the rain
as long as the reverberation
isn’t verbal a very bare
sound goes down by the
river and washes its vowels off.
Is an offering.

Climb down the overall pattern
where vision snags on something
other than other.
Summon it.

The sum of assertions says something
blue or black or born whirling and entering is
a mirror that goes by many names
none of them
begin with a or end in zenith.

the myriad things, their own tones and textures.
The sensible world wants words, but the wind
within it isn’t uttering. The bulk of
jagged snags dissipates into uncivilized

Primordial awareness incarnate carves
colors from us. Sooner or later the
contours count, sooner or later
pivotal magic.


"Downtown Tree Trunk With Fungus" by William C. Crawford, photo
“Downtown Tree Trunk With Fungus” by William C. Crawford, photo


Imagine Being Present And Finding Yourself Gone


So present I become dissolute.
No more body
than a leaf is sky.

The only duality, a parting of sound. Ears make my I.

                                        From one side, specificity of motion, a staccato of water finding rock
                                        immovable. Over and over it pulses and crests. A loop of dips, iterations
                                        of soaring and sinking.
                                        To my left.
                                        To my right
                                        an indiscernible roaring, atoms swifting, a sensing. I hear it, am it, heart
                                        cupped. How far seems the chaos of incisions, those injections of
                                        destruction. Here only sings this rushing.

No desire, dreams, words, thoughts, but not without. Not a lacking, or emptying, or longing.
Filling like glacial till, ice pressed. Scoured out, smoothing.

With the rest of my entirety, I enter.
Echo matter.

Now words fall like budscales. What follows?

Body is inaudible, a wild compilation of spruce, cottonwood, argillite, soil, ants, horsetails,
kinglets, currants, dogwood, sedges, lichen, pollen, detritus. No semblance of expectation.
Inspiration and exhalation, itself already done with itself. Between depths nothing is parsed
or sorted into anything but suggestion. No proof of hues. Body spills, flows, fills.

Of earth, a fluidity.
Yet speak nothing, think nothing. Body edgeless, silent, still.

Atoms with overlapping edges, writhing, a haze of matter, whirring. writhing & edgeless.
overlapping & lapping & lapping with motion

recur & recur & recurring
returning to saturation

encircled &


By Rebecca Durham

Rebecca Durham is a poet, botanist, and artist. Originally from New England, she now lives in Montana with her daughter and their two cats. She holds a BA in Biology from Colby College and a MS in Botany from Oregon State University. For the last six years she has been researching vascular plants and lichens at the MPG Ranch, a conservation property in western Montana. Rebecca’s writing has appeared in Orion MagazineSuperstition ReviewPilgrimage Magazine, and is forthcoming in the Riverfeet Press Anthology, Meniscus, and Bright Bones: Contemporary Montana Poetry. Her botanical art has been featured at the Montana Natural History Center. She is a MFA candidate in Creative Writing with an emphasis in poetry at the University of Montana. You may find more of her work at