Halcyon / Kari A. Flickinger


The underworld wolf
rises to raze this flock.
He leaves thin
shades—trailing to the grove.

Red sky when mourning.

O—the nereids rise—tuned
high—sounding powers of their seas
will be gratified.


This woman will charm you
though you broil in the repose
of that hastened churning shade.

Her face in high dudgeon pleads
into a pointed end.

She will ask you not to go.
She will ask you not to go.
She will ask you not to go.

And you will pat her on the head
with your hand for the last time.


A woman knows how winds wend
upon winnowing masts before they are set
off. Has seen how familiar lines fold—flow

wicked with yellow fire—with murky stout
resonance—with creaking heights which
furrow in the mind. Fallow in a mountain

wave water hand. Up this tunnel ticks and tatters
and steals—strips—sizzles such mounds
and folds. Swollen and heaving. His winding

force slashes the heavens she has watched
since flying from nascence—the foam
whence she viewed her skies.

They meet the skies—feathered
by a last whim of a final sun. For seven days

this storm repeats. Altitudes and peaks
plunge deep.


Kari A. Flickinger spent her childhood wandering aimlessly through the mountains of Northern California. She was a 2019 nominee for the Rhysling Award, and a finalist in the IHLR 2018 Photo Finish. Her poetry has been published in, or is forthcoming from Written Here, Riddled with Arrows, Burning House Press, Door-Is-A-Jar, Ghost City Review, and Mojave Heart Review among others. She is an alumna of UC Berkeley. When she is not writing, she can be found playing guitar and singing to her unreasonably large Highlander cat.

See more: kariflickinger.com / @kariflickinger