PoetryIssue 04 | April 2009

Two poems by Lily Iona MacKenzie

I Try To Seize the Past

few days on these dunes
in language.  The meadows’
golden grass borders

the sea, ocean spinning
itself and reflecting.  Everything

filled with rectitude, birds
hovering over prey, knowing
exactly when to dive, disappearing

into tall grass.  So much

out of sight, the deer
avatars, heads bobbing
in and out of view.

A brown rabbit streaks
past.  Seals frolic in white
surf, heads wreathed

in seaweed.  Stars
stare out of black and form
familiar patterns, milky way

a haze of subdued
light, big and little
dipper dipping into ink

black night.  Mars
pulses and flexes
its muscles, carrying a torch

for the moon and challenging
her glow. If only all life
could be caught in words,

turned over and over until
they gleam, giving the illusion
of permanence.

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About the author

A Canadian by birth, Lily Iona MacKenzie lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where she teaches writing at the University of San Francisco. Her work has been published in numerous venues, including The Malahat Review, Other Voices, and The Denver Post.  Her interviews with Brenda Hillman appear in Indiana Review and Berkeley Poetry Review.

Read our current issue:


Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok