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Breath & Shadow

Spring 2015 - Vol. 12, Issue 2

"Dark Arrow Down" and "Dome"

written by

Julie Kim Shavin

"Dark Arrow Down"


The poet sleeps as he must,

 as he cannot sleep -

I am a lone boat in darkness, he conjures,

 inhale: the wind

exhale: whistle of sails


sometimes rocks himself

 as though orphan, foundling

or just mishap of love

 needy mouth of night, prone,

one foot atop the other

 rock, rock on water


dark arrow of heart moored

 to dark marrow of oar

simpers, prays

 to a god of man-like ears


now wind now sails

 in the blue-blood lair -

blue before the incredible


catastrophe of air.




Every day,

five or six times a day.

I go hunting.

Any woman half my age

is no stranger to blood.

Seven, eight, nine times a day

and through the night, too.

What I'm hunting is you,

whom I've never seen or felt

but whose heart,

for all I know,

beats, beats now.


I, a reflex, lost another.

"Tissue," said the doctor,

adjusting his watch.

"Platitude," said my brother,

matching up socks.

"Is it such a big deal,"

said my mother,

rattling her pots.


Oh my brother, my mother,

did you not know that

that warm ooze for


     five nights and days

was part of you as well,

the swell that settled hourly,

the carrion knell,

the consummate cleansing

that only death can do?


I'm on the warpath now

stalking every moment,

certain I see red.

Just one spot

and again my heart

will enlarge, stretch,

curve like a dome,

to bury, to carry you,

           eternally, home.

Raised in Georgia, Julianza (Julie) Shavin, is a composer, writer, and visual artist who adopted the Rocky Mountains as home in 1993, on doctor's orders. Recipient of three Pikes Peak Arts Council grants, she was named 2011 PPAC Performance Poet of the Year; in 2012, Page Poet. She is reworking her fourth book of poetry. She collaborates with New York-based spoken word artist Hank Beukema, and is an animal-welfare advocate, working with many rescues online. She was a journalist before disability ended her career in 1987.

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