On This Side of the Horizon

The sky’s crack of light turns water into fire.
Clouds billow, like elephants crossing the Alps.

Thunder echoes on this side of the horizon
where waves swell & surge head-long—

crashing against the shore.

This is the storm that they called for
yesterday, and here it is— rain dimpling

sand, leaves, blades of grass—and where
you’re standing, inside the frame of

a window, nothing touches you, except for
the firm hand that makes you step away.

Crossing Borders

Outside— the world has gone soft.
Mud, so thick and rich and full of

minerals, is ready to cast foot-
prints of hoof and paw and boot

crossing our yard’s squishy ground.

There will be no doubt that some-
thing paused beneath the window.

The evidence will be born as it
always is— a map of migration.

Unlike birds, we cannot fly
away from this. We are here

to hear slivers of song sent
through an open window.

We cock our heads when
the swell of a new generation

of tree frogs emerges, like
an ocean wave, shimmering,

before their voices wash over
us, with their irreversible

command to be alive
and free.


M.J. Iuppa  mjiuppa.blogspot.com is the Director of the Visual and Performing Arts Minor Program and Lecturer in Creative Writing at St. John Fisher College; and since 2000 to present, is a part time lecturer in Creative Writing at The College at Brockport. Since 1986, she has been a teaching artist, working with students, K-12, in Rochester, NY, and surrounding area. Most recently, she was awarded the New York State Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching, 2017. She has four full length poetry collections, This Thirst (Kelsay Books, 2017), Small Worlds Floating (2016) as well as Within Reach(2010) both from Cherry Grove Collections; Night Traveler (Foothills Publishing, 2003); and 5 chapbooks. She lives on a small farm in Hamlin NY.

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