Marly Youmans


Marly Youmans is the author of twelve books of poetry and fiction. Her most recent novel is Glimmerglass (Mercer, 2014), which follows A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage (Mercer, 2012 / The Ferrol Sams Award / The ForeWord Silver Award for Fiction). Her most recent poetry books are Thaliad, a long adventure in blank verse from Montreal’s Phoenicia Publishing (2012) and The Foliate Head, a collection from Stanza Press in the UK (2012.) She is a South Carolina native and mother of three, now living in upstate New York.




Bird the color of rose,

. Sanguinary dove,

.. . Res miranda.


Bowl of the moon and stars,

. San graal, sang réal,

.. . Res miranda.


Niche quarried from darkness,

. Grave that glows with light,

.. . Res miranda.


A sprig of white says land

. Beyond the blowing waves.

.. . Res miranda.


…………………… . After Graham Ward, “Bird with Grail,” 2011



The Rain Doves at Birkenau


The little white house in a field,

The little red house in a field,

Are full of shadow, stained with rust.


After rain, the yellow leaves stick

To the sidewalk and to the grass,

So brilliant it is hard to think


Of winter, colors absent, gone

To ground, the world all tucked in snow,

Edges gray with ash from chimneys.


One figure’s risking all the dark.

We see the kerchief swaddling bread,

Light vanishing inside the woods.


The cars go rushing by at dawn,

Pressing down on the fallen leaves

In hurrying from where to there.


A flock of rain doves comes to hands

That strew the seeds, the table crumbs

Fallen from a rustic table.


The pigeons walk around our feet,

These passengers from realms of air,

Helpless to ward a blow. Selah.


Something Like a Memory


You’re there, white tinged with blue like watered milk.
The ink seed planted in your brain in life
Has flowered, stem looping above your head
And the blossom, like a peony, arched
Open, soon to shatter into pieces.
Father’s ranting against the feral world
That took you from us, world where he will not
Kneel for authority, where he will not
Bow to anything until the body
Is bent and soul flings off like an arrow.
You have blossomed. You understand the thing
We cannot. Safe in arms, I dream just this:
To nestle in the flower on the stem
That snakes in arabesques above your mind.



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One Comment:

  1. Lovely Marly! How ironic that you find yourself in a publication with headquarters so close to me.

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