If poetry is the shadow

cast by our streetlight imaginations,
then I am not the silhouette made

by bluebird or song sparrow. I am not
the trace of a wing dusted with snow,
nor the spruce and the yew outlined

at the edge of a meadow.
What shadows speak through me,
shimmer with the heat of asphalt.

What shadows parse from the light
bear stench of sewers, salt-spray,
the perfume of jasmine flowers.

Dull pewter, the blades and makeshift
implements pass across the terrible
whetstone: and come out singing.

– with a line from Lawrence Ferlinghetti


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

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Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) is the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (UK), the world’s first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. She is the author of What is Left of Wings, I Ask (2018 Center for the Book Arts Letterpress Chapbook Prize, selected by Natasha Trethewey); Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass (Kudzu House Press eChapbook selection for Spring 2015), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (Utah State University Press, 2014 May Swenson Prize), Night Willow (Phoenicia Publishing, 2014), The Saints of Streets (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2013), Juan Luna’s Revolver (2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press), and nine other books. She is a member of the core faculty of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University which she directed from 2009-2015. In 2018, she was the inaugural Glasgow Distinguished Writer in Residence at Washington and Lee University. When she isn’t writing, reading, or teaching, she cooks with her family, knits, hand-binds books, and listens to tango music.

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