Two Poems

by Calvin Wharton

Artwork: Surfacing by Jenn Ashton

Artwork: Surfacing by Jenn Ashton


In Wales the Water

spills from the lip of some heavenly jar
trails away in rivulets down streets
splashes over rock, cuts through fields
or finds a holy place to assert itself
part sacrament, part vehicle
crosses paths, tells no lies
grants wishes, telegraphs home
to let the loved ones know you are
on your way too,

in Wales, the water tries
not to forget its duty, its obligation
to, say, the half-shell coracle boat fishers
or the ones who keep watch
from the banks of the River Tywi
valleys that once housed
coal miners, slate quarriers,
their families,

water sings
a hymn of devotion to the green
and in the air, a red kite or team of swallows
dodges the many syllables of water’s manifestation
falling, that spill from the lip
soft shush across the roof, a rush
of rain that opens out to paint
the rhythm of its own story.


What she needs

Can’t be calculated here,
but an open door
offering room
to move freely
with music, with
sunlight through window glass

all around her
a world, the world
that shapes itself
with origami paper folds
and song

lifts warm current,
days that float
above the voices,
little puffs of cloud,
calling all the many names of her,

she hears them, knows
which to touch
or turn to, and those
to let drift past
like cottonwood floss sailing
across a spring day,

and somehow despite all
her uncertainty, accepts
that what she needs
she will certainly find
somewhere in that room,
through an open door,
waiting like a gift
to herself.

Calvin Wharton is a former department Chair for Creative Writing at Douglas College in New Westminster, BC. He was editor of Event magazine, and has published a collection of poetry (The Song Collides – Anvil) among other work. His most recent publications includes three poems in The Lampeter Review (Wales), a poem and writer’s note in The Revolving City: 51 Poems and the Stories Behind Them (Anvil), and a chapbook—The Invention of Birds—in the Alfred Gustav Press poetry series.