Poetry - Issue 04 | April 2009

Two Poems by Priscilla Atkins


Belle-Ilse-en-Mer

Brittany isle frequented by Proust,
          and other French artists

How many times
have I tongued the blue-violet
berries of French syllables,

repeated them as if
they were injunction,
mantra, beads strung and handed

to me personally
by a brown-eyed writer,
whose cowled, close-set irises

had borne witness
through the dark hours,
each pupil pierced with knowledge.

How many summer evenings
have I pulled my life up
to a sky-lit wicker table

and set my sights
on real, or magical places—
Illiers or Combray

and further, fourteen miles
by train, then by boat,
chased by froth-flecked waves

white as apple blossoms. 
How many times
have I made the trip,

signed my name
on the salt-ripe sea.

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About the author

Priscilla Atkins’s poetry has traveled to Poetry London and to The Dalhousie Review. Among other pretty homes for her work include Bayou, The Bellingham Review, Salmagundi, and Shenandoah.
She has been to Europe several times and to practically every state in the United States. Her most memorable trip was to Hawaii, where she stayed for ten years. Her current layover is in Holland, Michigan.

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