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a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society

Lyn Coffin

Rabia O’Loren




wake from

a dream and

the dream is still hanging

you’re an iceberg adrift in the

sea of yourself and the dream is

a drama but not in the ballpark of

meaning and message and changing and chance

it’s reaching and stretching and pushing against the thick glassy limit

of the little you know and just when you think you can see through the limit

thought seizes like an engine it balks like a horse and it throws you

it throws you it throws you you fall and keep falling

you fall until all goes settle or smash and then

you miraculous find you can move and your

legs lift your arms lift they’re wings and

you’re a seabird high over water

not falling you’re flying you’re

calling and crying

Gaaaa Kaaaa






without memory

or anything remotely like

an expectation,

with the true sight,

the ungiven gift of blindness,

we thrust ourselves back and back

back and up and back,

bending and straightening in an arc

like the bow, like the eye of the archer

who sees without sight–

fighting dumbly,

plunging bullet-headed

we move somehow through holes

in provisional nets


exploding upward into silence,

beyond finding, beyond losing,

beyond name,

we break unbroken

to an ecstasy of air,

motionless at every height,

at every depth of moving


finally turning

in the new, the old, the wreck and span of all the births,

the spawn of every death,


we will find the source

we will find the source and be then nothing more

and nothing less,

nothing other

than the undone thing we do


the closer that the center is,

the more the more is better—

that center,

always surfacing

is held and holding

at the breaking point

and the answer that we

find and lose

beyond all knowing


the paradox:

our silver skin,

our keen and rosy flesh.





Swimming a strange lake… The unerring stroke of

Arms is wrested from the unreflective cold

Palpable, dark… Tastes cleaner, deeper than love


Ring my mouth as I wade to shore. The choke of

Water loosens. Untested senses take hold:

Swimming the strange lake, the unerring stroke of


Arms, gets forgotten. Shedding the frayed cloak of

Dawn, trees rise before me invested with mold

Palpable, dark; tastes cleaner, deeper than love.


But glimpsed apparitions, the grinning folk of

Folklore, herd me back to the watery fold.

Swimming the strange lake, the unerring stroke of


Arms fails me: my breathing is the last joke of

Creatures in league beneath me, older than old,

Palpable, dark… Tastes cleaner, deeper than love


Tempt me and I drown, shedding the wide yoke of

Air… I surface among surfaces untold,

Swimming a strange lake… The unerring stroke of

Palpable dark tastes cleaner, deeper than love.



Author Biography:

Lyn Coffin’s 9th book, White Picture, was published in 2011 by Night Publishing (UK). White Picture contains translations of Jiri Orten, a Czech killed in the holocaust who was one of the 20th century’s greatest poets. In 2012, her translations of Dato Barbakadze (amazing!) will be published by Night, and her anthology of Georgian poetry in translation will hopefully be published by Slavica (Indiana University). She’s been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn and a king. (cf. Wikipedia) Well-liked in Poughkeepsie, Lyn is a Buddhist and regularly enjoys her breathing.


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