within the rings

By Andrea Moorhead

the heart ring of an ancient oak

holds the rain within its core

swaying under the heavy rock flames

pulsating as the leaves disintegrate

black flowing into the ring

but the startled light of a winter snow

in some remote cell

extinguishes the flames

turns over and over

the burnt raw embers

sifting the branches until

this white this gentle this remote

in the rain in the ring

in the wearied roots returns.


Andrea Moorhead was born in Buffalo, New York, in 1947. Editor of Osiris and translator of contemporary Francophone poetry, Moorhead publishes in French and in English. Poems and translations have appeared in journals such as Abraxas, Great River Review, The Bitter Oleander, Autre Sud, Estuaire, Poetry Salzburg Review, and Metamorphoses. Poetry collections include From a Grove of Aspen (University of Salzburg Press), Présence de la terre (Écrits des Forges), De loin and Géocide (Le Noroît). Translations include The Edges of Light (Hélène Dorion, Guernica Editions), Night Watch (Abderrahmane Djelfaoui, Red Dragonfly Press), and Dark Menagerie (Élise Turcotte, Guernica Editions, 2014).

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