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Richard Widerkehr

When A Hawk Flushes An Undulating Flock Of Dunlins

You have, by your tenderness and worth,
twisted yourself more artfully round my heart, than I supposed possible.

Letter from English writer and philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft
to her American lover Gilbert Imlay,
February 1794

Meditation by the Sea by Unknown American Artist

Against a gray cloud bank, lines of dunlins
veer across the Sound, vanish, then appear—
in silhouette they twist over upturned
stumps by this slough on Fir Island.

When I woke in the dark this morning—
where was I? The chair, the desk,
our bed—you were not here;
Now the cloud of dunlins,

dark above, gray-white below.
We’ve seen them through binoculars
flash in the sun—white, black, white—
a sleeve pulled inside out, unraveling.

In Hebrew ruach means breath, spirit…
This wind moving over the water.


About the writer:
Richard Widerkehr’s fourth book is Night Journey (Shanti Arts Press). His previous book was At The Grace Cafe (Main Street Rag Publications. His work has appeared in O:JA&L, Writer’s Almanac, Atlanta Review, and many others.  He won two Hopwood first prizes for poetry at the University of Michigan and first prize for short story at the Pacific Northwest Writers Conference. He has poems in Take A Stand: Art Against Hate (Raven Chronicles Press), which won the 2021 Washington State Book Award for poetry.  He reads poems for Shark Reef Review.

Image: Meditation by the Sea by Unknown American Artist. Oil on canvas. 13.6 x 19.6 inches. Early 1860s. Public domain.

OJAL Art Incorporated, publishing since 2017 as OPEN: Journal of Arts & Letters (O:JA&L) and its imprint Buttonhook Press, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation supporting writers and artists worldwide.

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