Two Poems

by Niki Neems

  • Poetry
decorative header image from Volume V Issue 2 · Spring 2019


Blooms of freezing breath semi-precious hay-bale days roll ahead and chase from behind. Anything foot printing nowdays, I want. A countryside of mercy.

Talking softer than I did back then, like a low res tree line leaning into Sunday sky. First snow. Deep and muffled. Pressed and resting. Burrowed. Being

can be an effort, can be a response to distance, can be I’m not ashamed of lost luster, and confess nostalgia for this piece of place, this monocrop of stubbled pheasant cry. First glance, it’s opposite

of chaos. Second glance, its ways of letting go, widening in every direction. Cartography of endless, this: names are a walk through holes, a gaze looking to land the secret no one tells at the start. A circle story. Here

in the nook I keep, prairie holds down seeds buried for someone else. A new, stranger heart to wear out.

What By Now Is Pretty Much Ritual

Or put it this way: to keep falling down, love the ocean, the potential of rhythm, the sway. I don’t need you, I don’t need you, I need only

the notion of you. Fill silence, I suppose, because it’s what we do,

adore what isn’t there.

Same name, same vessel, dilapidated and moored, yet variously lost. Reeds and grass reach for warmth, instead get wind. Gone isn’t we never existed, gone is both exist as we were before. And so

treasure moves from land to hand. Generosity ends, it always does, and thunder

roves. Inkling becomes want, becomes what we have, unnoticed,

like a sea story set on a prairie that used to be sea. Green furrow, widening to sky. Rootstalk leaf-bug icon marking the end of the article's text.

About Author Niki Neems
Portrait image of author Niki Neems.
Photo courtesy of Niki Neems
Niki Neems received an M.F.A. in poetry from Vermont College. She lives in Iowa City, Iowa, where she owns the stationery shop, r.s.v.p. and instigates The Response Handwriting Project: the convergence of poetry, handwriting and epistolary correspondence. Her poems have appeared in The Iowa Review and jubilat.