Going with the Flow by Llewellyn McKernan

   The sky holds water wherever
it goes. So does the pencil, its moon
   and stars. As for me, I need

   the rock of the ripple, the pencil
for its dark side, the way it turns the
   tide. When it reaches for my thumb

   and fingers and they arrive,
housing their history of dumb desire,
   its metal pulses like a juicy

   quiver creek in the vein of words
that wash the bones and marrow clean.
   When cool drops of sweat pop

   out of my temple and baptize
the sun-baked page, and my thoughts
   and feelings whirl in the pool

   where they sink or swim at last,
the pencil is hap-happy, toe-tapping,
   punch-pulling the white spaces

   until they are mine. Dew-drawn
image or straight shot from heaven, it’s
   always my storm and its eye.

Llewellyn McKernan is a poet and teacher who has lived and worked in West Virginia for so long she considers it home. She has a Masters in Creative Writing from Brown University and has been an adjunct English professor at Marshall University, St. Mary’s College, and the University of Arkansas. Published works include six poetry books for adults: Short and Simple Annals, Many Waters, Llewellyn McKernan’s Greatest Hits, Pencil Memory, The Sound of One Tree Falling, and Getting Ready To Travel. Poetry books for children include More Songs of Gladness, Bird Alphabet, This is the Day, and This is the Night.

return to poetry                 home