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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

Section 2: Water/Blood/Being

Eve Hanninen

Eve Hanninen
Yáahl Bernadette Hart Warns Her Daughter
While Brushing Her Hair

Tsunami Coming
Drowned Night
Yáahl Bernadette Hart Warns Her Daughter
While Brushing Her Hair

    ~Prince Rupert, B.C.
Even to those on Haida Gwaii, our Kaien Island
is “mainland,” just because it’s attached
by bridge to the Highway of Tears. That’s why
Rupert’s so wet — some girls understand
too late why the sky won’t stop crying.
It cries down Mount Hays into town, great sheets
of liquid glass, cries until the harbor vomits
seals and backwashes them into the estuary,
cries until the Skeena River inlets bloat
like leaking intravenous feeds.
All along the bleak miles of Yellowhead Highway,
flooded ravines, gravel pits, and logging roads
spit up the nude and battered bodies of the missing.
No amount of Tsimshian nor Xaad kil prayer
seems to prevent this unending rain.
Yáahl means “Raven” in Haida.
Xaad kil is the name for the Haida language in the Masset dialect.
Tsunami Coming
You learn it from the signs
posted along Cow Bay and McBride.
One forecasted waterline is measured
along a fence adorned in rainbow-painted fish.
You wait for it, know it’s maybe just another year
until half the coast lies underwater, bears
and wolves washed ashore from neighboring islands,
like so many bloated and furry fishermen’s floats,
to the new tideline up the mountainside.
Your father’s, your brother’s — your — trawlers
will be splinters in the high pines, salt-soaked
branches. Halibut speared on sheared limbs.
Eagles’ nests amidst jetsam. What remains
may be only the memorial mariner at the helm
of his bronze vessel, still pointing towards what was
once the harbor. Perhaps the skiff
from Owase, Japan, found adrift the Pacific,
— and that you later restored for the park —
will be lifted from its bolts by the tormented sea
and finally make its way home.
Drowned Night
All the sounds were rain: the drummer
thumping nine Beethoven symphonies
on an upturned rubber barrel;
the neighbor’s Gatling spitting popcorn kernels
across at our tin roof; the sophisticated ruckus
of waterlily taffeta
spilling entire bolts of yardage
through a gaping grin of gutter;
the morbid creaks in both my knees.
Rain was everywhere, blotting: the rustle
of sour apple offshoots against the batten boards;
the night-foraging buck ajump and clattering
the boundary fence; the thready scream of a girl
on the washed-out side of the dim streetlamp.
Eve Anthony Hanninen is not only editor-in-chief and publisher of The Centrifugal Eye poetry journal, but also she’s an American poet and illustrator currently ranging the Saskatchewan prairies. Her poems have appeared in Eye Socket Journal, Karla Linn Merrifield & Friends (mgversion2>datura), Switched-on Gutenberg, Sea Stories, Magnolia: A Florida Journal of Literary and Fine Arts, and many other literary journals, both in print and online. Her work may also be found in The Centrifugal Eye’s 5th-Anniversary Anthology (staff selections), Lynn Strongin’s Crazed by the Sun, and Trim: A Mannequin Envy Anthology. Other news of note: Eve recently judged The Janus Award 2014 for Just Poets of Rochester, NY. And she is additionally producing 2 other publishing imprints: Centrifugal Works, and Sylvanshine Editions.


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