Laura Manuelidis


Just say hello!

New-humored time is on the rise

Blowing shirt on line

Beneath the foxglove bells

            it chimes


            as scurf of earth

Sweeps through the grass

            the meadow dandelions.


In patches, crows irregular

Exaggerate improbable rhymes

            and muskrats channel thick wet mounds

                        to greet this spectacle




The sloe-eyed sloth suns belly up

            while fox and deer hunt equal rest;

Close spider dangles down round chords

            to peer          the ommatidia of ant


A narrative yet incomplete

            without those billowing city streets,

                        the tug of river commerce brings

While rats out garbage also pause.


So we look forward to and backwards for

            that same feeding frenzy the bluefish make

Leaping through the body of the bay

            into the slivered scales of sky

Curving their backs at dawn in ecstasy

            (almost insensate upwards)

And as they descend into the deep, reversed

            for the other sublime: tormenting bite.


How many times have I told you, my heart, to go carefully

            here in the shallows when they come so near, deliriously hungry?

Even your toes are vulnerable as bait

            or the piece of swayed driftwood you hold.

'Though the water is clear, and you quiet your beat

            it becomes dark quickly just two steps away

Where wave lips engorge with blood.


You put your hand in once, and felt the blackness spread

            from that bite.        Uncontrolled.

So it is impossible now not to return

            to the shore.    To go deep again to touch its rising joy

No matter what the consequences



Laura Manuelidis is a physician/scientist who has investigated the shape of chromosomes and the causes of dementia. She has published poetry in various journals, including The Nation, Connecticut Review, Oxford Poetry, Innisfree Poetry and Reflections (Yale journal), has been nominated twice for a Pushcart prize, and has read in European and American universities and other venues. Her book of poems, Out of Order, is available online; additional links (and readings with music by P. Jordan) are at:



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