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The night sky is scratch art,
a trillion glinting specks
stylus sketched
on a black plane,
carbon copied into rippling water.

I manipulate grains of sand
with my toes. The dark blusters
with sonance. A chorus
of horny frogs blare
over squeals of cicadas,
drowning the cricket’s frail rings.

A warm Florida breeze gentles my face,
Spanish moss sways as the moon jumps
in a flicker of yellow
back and forth in the lake.

Behind me the house is dark,
concealing its conked-out contents,
eluded in a Sominex sleep—
they cannot discern what they lack,
I’ve shed them like a skin
discarded at my back.

I disown mortality—
that flesh cocoon has ensnared me
ten years too long and it knows it, it’s ready
to give as I step onto the tide-slapped pier
and fishy-air taints my nostrils.

Brittle boards stretch out before me—
a plank that destiny blades my back to walk,
stupid pirate, I creak those slats willingly.

As I step forward a heron bursts
into the sky from the water,
white feathers spread
wide like an angel’s.

If only such beauty could change me.

♦This poem was published in The Poetry Worm 40.


* Daytime view of Lake Harney, Orlando, FL


The Loch Raven Review Logo (winter 2007)

Loch Raven Review Logo Image

The winter issue of the Loch Raven Review is out featuring the work of Gary Blankenship, Jim Corner, William Doreski, Michaela A. Gabriel, Clarinda Harriss, Deborah P. Kolodji, Tammy Ho Lai-ming, David W. Landrum, Danilo Lopez, Steve Meador, Corey Mesler, Mary E. Moore, Shawn Nacona Stroud, S. Thomas Summers, Thane Zander; an essay by Dave Eberhardt and Dan Cuddy; fiction by William Reese Hamilton, Fred Longworth, Randy Rohn, Deborah C. Strozier, Howard Waldman; book reviews by Dan Cuddy, Jim Doss and Christopher T. George.  A big CONGRATS to everyone!  The new site design for this issue is excellent, and the mix of talented poets makes this issue a pleasure to read (although I have enjoyed them all so far). The editors of the Loch Raven Review are always looking for fresh voices so all you poets out there on WordPress send in your polished poems to:

 Here is a link straight to their submission guidelines:

Poetry from the Darkside Vol2

©The Poetry Pages

*Artwork by Drew Rush

 I just wanted to update everyone and let them know that this will be the cover of the new book that a selection of my poetry will appear in. I am not sure of the release date yet, but I will keep everyone posted when I know more.

 -Shawn Nacona Stroud

July 2018
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