"One Day at The Beach," "Tanked and Triggers," and "Under The Scalpel"

One Day at The Beach

Standing at the tide line, she waded into the foxed pages of her mind.  She examined each wave as if an atlas of her days: paths and trails for which there was no memory of why she had followed them.  One more page, dog-eared, blank.  A wavelet splashed.

Sea spray conjured mirages dark and deeply mesmerizing.  Shiny backs of waves rose and fell, and her breathing followed in harmonious union.  Buoyant and without recrimination, she stepped into the swell singing.  She sang the sea shanty her grandmother had taught her; the sea shanty sung on the boat coming over for a new life.


horizon bounces a ship
sea shanties wash ashore
singing flotsam rocks



Tanked and Triggers

lightly the street   light that  skinniest slice  of  shadow
sensors above  pop  startle  illumination  blind grope and the slice of it cuts  no idea  the gouge palmed  a slow bleed   another sensor betrays  swaying body-trigger  darts for dark
ticky-tacky  like   gum under shoe
sticky    after whiskey beds down to lawn  to  ooze
between snore and sirens   a drip of rain  then more rain
threads    a grass mat     of tiny shots   vessels  of elixir 
deluge the rough dreams     of a dreamer stuck in cups  
goblets  bend   so sway    yellow pompoms  other inebriated  revelers lawned
wobble up and dump



Under The Scalpel

a new sun
for each eye
            fileted      //
            in a saucy sunset of iodine
    or is that a moon 
                        a blood moon between
 rubber gloved-thumbs
 o sun-moon you stinky friend
come back to me across the ice
the gauze the clamp
counting backwards who should rise and who should set
there is no float off
no dream land -
tiny trucks haul the highways
of parasitic furrows   those airbrakes suction
“you won’t feel a thing” 
no I feel
every slow stitch and pull
on the landscape of sliced cheek
 tug tug knot cut
cancer’s future cicatrice



Laura Winter

Laura Winter lives in Portland, Oregon. Winter is author of poetry collections, broadsides and performance projects.  A number of her poems have been translated into other languages.  Winter’s forthcoming book, noble scratch, roughly spoken, features visual artist Brad Winter. 

She performs with musicians, nationally and internationally, using language as an instrument.  When performing poetry, the music of words is brought to the forefront for a captivating rendition of meaning.  Winter encourages everyone to read a poem out loud. She encourages you to support your local food bank.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Tuesday, April 2, 2024 - 21:34