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Joanne the Poet - The Poetry of Joanne M. Clarkson

Poem in Chautauqua

My poem “Crossing Midnight” about hearing the orcas passing in the night, is now live in the ‘Chance Encounters’ issue of Chautauqua literary journal. You can read the entire inspiring issue by going to

https://chautauquajournal.wixsite.com/website. I wrote the first version of this poem last August for the annual poetry postcard fest. This is a beautiful journal geared toward opening minds and hearts and I am so thrilled to have my poem included.

Crossing Midnight

The Orcas are passing in more than a dream.

Their great night-and-moon bodies

rising from darkened seas to breach

and breathe. At this late hour

through open windows, we hear, not see,

them. So like ourselves, gasping

after the headlong dive, born from water

into another oxygen. Lungs

synchronized with tides.

Travelers, always a pod, elders surrounding

the precious young, their wake

etches fortunes on the shore

something my mother might have said,

is saying. The sound of a fountain. A horse

after a long gallop. A rough, rogue

surf, generated on an island

where the earth shook, waking lovers

from a nap, even as it grants us sleep,

this peaceful tribe crossing midnight beside us.

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