The Watchers

Russian, on the trails.
In the fields, Spanish
To my right. German
To my left. Somewhere
Else, unintelligible due
To distance and the wind
Distorting vowels
And consonants into rolling
Rumbles. My ears
Receive it all, like
Symphonic speech,

A baby’s wail,

The Universal language
Of all humanity.
An immigrant carries
A backpack cooler
To a family picnic,
It is covered in
Stars and Stripes.

None of us are American.

The train carrying mysteries
To the Canadian border,
Rumbles under the pedestrian
Bridge. It blows its horn
Like a wave hello
To the watchers. They stand
Peering through the chain link
Holes, like fish coming up
For air, lips pushing through
Fence, eyes keenly zeroing.
The rush.
Then gone.
Back to beach. To rocks.
To shells buried, cracked,
Dead, still alive.
Mountains watch us,
Their peaks sentries. Guarded.
Guarding the open sea, a
Partition between our hearts
And the vastness they know
Our limited consciousness
May not be able to see.
See but not see.
None of us are what
The other believes.

We are each other.
English now. Italian.


Emily C.



In These Dreams

I dreamed of the words
I’d never speak

tucked in blankets of apathy
turning in throes
wild and free, wild and me

under stars I painted in my own sky

a black canvas
only meant for light

old night
brought new consciousness

rattled into being it spoke
from a beyond I could not reach

could not hear, would not see
will never know
but here, but now

in these dreams


~ Emily C.


As Rogue Tulips

spring fields at season’s birth
roar with the winds only heard
in ear canals
and two or three trees randomly clustered

isolated, they scream
who knew branches can be so loud?
like lions on the bluff they bellow
unable to break the valley gusts
between mountains and sea

(they settle
for chaos because calm comes


a horizon dark, backlit by light
pushed forward toward raging puddles
where tiny ships must be sinking
their SOS unheard, we leap

we watch our wandering feet,
sponge underfoot cushions


step over clay-cracked puzzles,
pieces that once removed,
may just open the gaping chasm

and draw us down
so we grow back
as rogue tulips:


in a field of white.


~ Emily C.


*Photography by me. Spent the day at the Skagit Valley tulip festival yesterday.