Poetry — March 11, 2015 12:41 — 0 Comments

350 – Owen Lucas

Les Baigneuses, vers 1900-1905 

We will not know you, particolour
Figures, while you hesitate so—

You must force yourselves into
Action, slip entirely into the grey

Water, feeling it yield to you,
Weed and stones blowing about

Your solid calves, moved as if by
A sudden, capricious breeze.

There is a kind of fire in the water,
Bellowing softly of its power—

An old fire, dwindling inside an
Ashen frame of brittle wood—

Liable at any second to collapse
And bear your fair bodies with it

Down the tide. O do not remain
So chastely at the water’s edge!

Be taken, in this first way, if you
Would not fall to lesser powers.

Abandon yourselves, Mädchen, to
The cool flame, the desolate wind.


Owen Lucas is a British writer living in Norwalk, Connecticut. His poetry, fiction and translations have been published in more than fifty journals in the U.S., Britain, and Canada. Look for new work in upcoming issues of Plume, Sakura Review, Big Lucks, Really System and Tribe. For more: owenlucaspoems.com

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What am I?

Bioluminescent eye
That sees by the shine
Of its own light. Lies

Blind me. I am the seventh human sense
And my stepchild,

Scientists can't find me.

Januswise I make us men;
Was my image then—

Remind me:

The awful fall up off all fours
From the forest
To the hours…

Tick, Tock: Divine me.

-- Richard Kenney