Poets laureate of Toronto have described Eva H.D. as “the real deal” and “a punk“. She has sailed aboard the Europa, Mist of Avalon, and STV Pathfinder & TS Playfair. Here are two poems not included in her recent, excellent, Rotten Perfect Mouth published by Mansfield Press.
Filling up books with saltbound notions,
the continent due south, while pointless thoughts
shimmy on, past grasping; deckhands tie knots,
yeast and beef waft from the galley, ocean
water froths the prow, bunkmates put lotion
on their hands, and the ship judders on, stots
like a deer at the engine’s revving shocks.
All around, the solid world’s in motion:
a cup of tea, the deck, a pair of whales
to port. All of it moves. I’m lost, of course
in vindictive reveries, luffing sails,
the seesaw of my imaginings. Force
plays upon the rig, snaps air from my throat,
drives us dawnward. My thoughts fly with the boat.
The Southern Cross was blazing like a shield.
We drew imaginary lines straight down
to the horizon, heading south. A field
of fire, that sky. A kingdom and a crown.
We fell asleep at sunrise, and awoke
to stand watch in the briefest autumn squall.
We peeled off rainsoaked coats. A rainbow broke
the mat of cloud to puzzle pieces. All
of us went Ah. Greater shearwaters flew
white-masked in our wake. It touched the water
at both ends, that rainbow. Banks of clouds blew
West, screened sunset leaking shades of slaughter.
The night sky belched out sheets of fluorescent
light, and the new moon, a milky crescent.