Totems I

by Lee Kottner


The last time I rode these highways North,
the aurora filled the windshield, drew curtains
across the Northeast quadrant above shoreline pines,
rustling over the mercuric lake softly as a dancer in a grand jete,
never touching down.
I had not seen the stars in months,
only Venus, Mars and streetlamp moons
flooding my apartment like broken pipes:
Unwelcome, unreflective.

As much as I would deny it --

wintergreen forests of pine,
oak and birch, fresh maple
saplings;
gypsum tinted groundwater alabaster pools;
growls of Huron whitecaps ferried
in mist a half mile inland;
pollened corn stretching
like glacier fields
across this left-handed peninsula
mittened against furious cold;
lone luminous farms
on back roads just wider
than the smear of suns on a clear night;
whitewashed, green enamel awninged
corner grocers, grandparent owned;
the matte darkness outside the bus window

-- I am tethered to these visions in starlight
overlaid with the ghost of my face in glass.

And last night, I watched through the storm door
as Ursa Major loped out of the cedar swamp
and over the grass
towards the lake across the road,
his great claws spearing wintergreen leaves,
his eyes its red berries,
to drink from the Big Dipper, the center of himself.


Copyright © 2003, Lee Kottner
Ursa Major, the Greater Bear

Ursa Major, the Greater Bear
by Andreas Cellarius


Lee Kottner is a writer and editor living in Brooklyn, NY. Her poetry has appeared in several paper and online journals and anthologies, and in a chapbook from Blue Stone Press. Stories from the Ruins, a limited edition, hand-bound, hardcover chapbook of 16 poems about the events of 9/11, is her latest book from Another Grid Kid Production, and she has just completed her first novel, Prospero’s Daughter. Visit her web site for more information about her books and publications.

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