Breath by Breath
Earth exhales and mist rises--
spidery hands etch pines, piers.
Moored boats become palpable
while islanders disappear:
diluted blood, assimilated names.
Chesapeake, you, your tributaries
and islands are perishable
though I wish you were eternal.
I’ve seen seashells atop southwestern mesas.
read of Pangaea, and this island,
my island, haloed by reeds,
seaweed crowning the high tide line,
is neither country nor continent.
Seas nibble it thinner,
its sands travel marauding tides.
The horizon glows gold, peach, rose,
and palest orchid, but even now,
a new hurricane brews in the gulf.
Ann Howells’s poetry appears in such journals as Borderlands, Concho River Review, Iconoclast, Iodine, Little Patuxent Review, Magma, Spillway, and a variety of anthologies including: Goodbye, Mexico and The Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume VIII: Texas (both Texas Review Press) as well as Pushing the Envelope, Texas Weather Anthology, and Wise-Ass Poetry Anthology (Lamar University Press). She has served on the board of Dallas Poets Community, 501-c-3 non-profit, since 2001, and has edited Illya’s Honey since 1999, recently going digital (www.IllyasHoney.com) and taking on a co-editor.
In 2001, she was named “Distinguished Poet of Dallas.” Her chapbook, Black Crow in Flight, is from Main Street Rag Publishing, 2007. Her first book, Under a Lone Star, is from Village Books Press, 2016. Cowboys & Cadillacs, an anthology of Dallas/Fort Worth poems she edited, will be released in late spring (Dallas Poets Community Press). Ann has been read on NPR, interviewed on Writers Around Annapolis television, and nominated four times for a Pushcart, twice for a Best of the Net.