The foal from the Batagai crater – by Devon Balwit

 

The foal from the Batagai crater

lived two months before succumbing
to cold or hunger. Tamped into tundra

for over thirty-thousand years, it emerged
statue-perfect from its earthen skin, a marvel

of muzzle against foreleg. I see this pose
in every pasture I pass. Like the corpses raised

from peatbogs, I await some sleight of hand
to restore motion. If it could clatter away

from the cold table of the lab men, I could run
my hands over warm flanks in greeting.

Leaning in, I would breathe an earlier air.
Save yourself, I might whisper. Save us.

Yet if it had, I might never have seen
the delicate quick of its hooves, its mud-

caked lashes, its matted tail-tuft. Every cult
calls for sacrifice. Every poet requires a body.

 

 

 

Devon Balwit lives scarily close to the Cascadia Subduction Zone. She has six chapbooks and three collections out in the world. Her individual poems can be found here as well as in print and on-line journals. For more, see her website at: here

The Week You Were Gone – by Devon Balwit

 

Just me and the dog, you away, the long day
anticipating later when it might be this way longer.

The house quiet, your CDs tilt in stacks, awaiting
someone to play them. No spillway for griping,

grimness pools then trickles into forced lines.
This would have been me had we not met,

the children tucked back unseen. I enact
our routine, egging myself on, for if not,

how else to do this? I would like to boast
on your return of some brave deed,

but the only brave thing I will have done
is fill the big bed as much as one can.

 

 

 

Devon Balwit writes in Portland, OR. She is a poetry editor for Minute Magazine and has seven chapbooks and a full-length collection out or forthcoming. Her individual poems can be found in Cordite, The Cincinnati Review, The Carolina Quarterly, Fifth Wednesday, The Stillwater Review, Red Earth Review, The Fourth River, The Ekphrastic Review, The Free State Review, Posit, and more.

The Eyes We’re Looking at Are the Eyes That See – by Devon Balwit

 

We argue about peek-a-boo,
whose eyes get covered, mom’s
or baby’s. Having played with
three kids, I insist mom covers.
But then, they counter, baby can
easily see we aren’t gone. But
babies don’t understand whose
eyes look – mom, the whole world
willed into action, mom’s eyes
the ones proving them real.

Even here and now, at this table,
we’re not more advanced, still
unsure whose eyes matter most,
fearing erasure when not seen,
clapping when reflected.
Object permanence? Prove it
in deepest radio silence, or
when our posts sink unnoticed
in the queue. Cover your eyes.
Look. Peek-a-boo.

 

 

 

Devon Balwit is a poet and educator from Portland, Oregon. She has a chapbook Forms Most Marvelous forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press (summer 2017). Her recent poems can be found in: Oyez, The Cincinnati Review, Red Paint Hill, The Ekphrastic Review, Noble Gas Quarterly, Timberline Review, Trailhead Magazine, Vector, and Permafrost.

Luddite – by Devon Balwit

 

it’s checkout time at the Epic Dermis motel,
people are bored with their skins, would
rather buy them on Call of Duty, upgrade
and discard. the fact that, as you say, crime
has declined, would-be delinquents indoors,
bathed in blue light, saddens. not that I
would rather have them bashing windows
or each other, but at least directing passion
at flesh and blood, not screens. yes, you
can make a poor man’s Oculus Rift from
cardboard, download an app to turn 360
in a crowd or on an alien planet, but you
are alone there. for now, you say. we can’t
even imagine – only the early adaptors can,
the alchemists, spinning code into gold.
no doubt. but I think of my son upstairs
in his cave, of other sons, bat-like, clicking,
clicking, pulses reverberating in darkness,
and when the long ships push off
into star-studded waters, I will remain
in my stony fields, waving as they depart.

 

 

Devon Balwit is a poet and educator from Portland, Oregon. She has a chapbook Forms Most Marvelous forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press (summer 2017). Her recent poems can be found in: Oyez, The Cincinnati Review, Red Paint Hill, The Ekphrastic Review, Noble Gas Quarterly, Timberline Review, Trailhead Magazine, Vector, and Permafrost.

Inexorable – by Devon Balwit

 

We build our monuments looming, fortress walls high,
brows and hands sculpted noble. They look down
their noses at the town square, take the long view
of the surrounding valleys. We assume they will
continue to speak for us and hold their own against
forgetfulness. But our descendants see only building
materials, a place to hang laundry. Our empty sarcophagi
water cattle. The young graffiti the flanks of our war horses,
skateboard along our great walls, pulverize the past into
parking lots. And this while some of us still remember.
The geological forgetting will be utter and absolute.

 

 

 

Devon Balwit is a poet and educator from Portland, OR.  Every morning, she uses the height of her dog’s leaps as an oracle to gauge her fortunes for the day, then writes and writes and writes – hoping to produce a thing of beauty.