Fishbowl Press (and Fishbowl Press Poetry) are thrilled to offer up our “Editor’s Picks”, selected by Poetry Editor David Estringel, for October 2019. Come back every month to check out some of the amazing work that we get submitted to us from poets across the globe.
Ronald Tobey was raised in northern New Hampshire and attended the University of New Hampshire at Durham. He has lived in Ithaca NY, Pittsburgh PA, Riverside CA, Berkeley CA, and London UK. After professional careers in Southern California, his wife and he moved to West Virginia, where they raised cattle and keep horses.
Ronald’s publication credits include poems “Worn Porches” (Constellate Literary Journal, August 2018); “Real Deal” (Prometheus Dreaming [first four sections], May 3, 2019); and “Elegy”, the fifth section of “Real Deal” (Prometheus Dreaming, October 11, 2019). Forthcoming, “Children’s Hospital Boston Arrival” and “Children’s Hospital Boston Departure” in Bonnie’s Crew, December. Works in progress include two chapbook-length collections, “Skidway – Life is Slippery” and “Hill Farm Romance, An Adult Love Story Told in Poems by Her Hired Man”.
On Their Burthen
Of their burthen, the powder snow,
Soft pine branches on cattle fences bow
12 ½ gauge high tensile wire
Grounded, lacks solar fire.
Tug, pull, shake,
Into muffled air crystals flung,
A breath released.
Frigid wood springs up
Off the wire out of reach.
Cloven hooves through sleeves of snowfall You left a ball cap
Thrust 12 inches deep, scented of perfumed shampoo,
Storm whiteout at fifty feet, a coral orange towel with plush pile
Angus calf gracile as a fawn plumped from your bath
A trail of plodding tracks left, tossed across the tub,
Its way lost to twilight. a rumpled murmur last.
I scanned the cloud locked sky, My hooded sweatshirt
No turkey vultures tightly wheeled lined with polyester fleece
Three hundred feet high, torn and patched
And under weightless white cover of with flecks of hay thatched
forest and field into its weave,
No mounds did stir or reveal, red and black check
Deer and calf imprints blurred, (rugged for Quebec loggers
Trailing into stands of trees in New England north woods),
At pasture edge where snowdrifts piled, you wore in early morning
The calf must have passed by. before the Buck wood stove heated the cabin,
infusing it with your scent.
The long tail draped your derrière,
a view you arranged to tease.
You left for a week,
colorful in the loggers’ overshirt.
I watched you through the sun’s snow glimmer.