Poetry / Poets / Writers / Writing

Poems by Catherine Simpson


You smell clean and raw:
             cut flowers in a vase
             or rainwater swelling
             a creek in winter.

You have a way of looking
             up from under your
             lashes, with something
             just shy of a flutter—

your way of saying

And the softness of you
             is a just-cracked
             robin’s egg

Two blue halves, soft
             as the line
             of your wrist.


Canada, and the cedar needles
Smell like summer oranges.

July, and it’s still light outside
At eight o’clock.

I take off my shoes and spring up
A red soft trail: fallen needles and bark.

Then, there are boulders, and startles
Of red and gray grouse, big as turkeys.

They stare long, and break the air
With their wings. It sounds like

Gunshot among the rocks.
The needles rattle in the wind.

The sound wakens the hair on my
Arms and back.

Soon, the bears come out.

Down Pardall Street

A young man veers left on his
Tilted chin, jutted hip, those shoulders
that bend the sun—
O Skateboarder, soon you’ll be
A cell phone salesman, too poor
for a mortgage, or an
Apple store Genius, shorn like
And you might on some days
have a cloudy notion
That you were never lovelier
than down on Pardall one day,
On your skateboard, your brown
hair threaded with pink light.


Catherine Simpson is a cellist from Santa Barbara. She has been featured in over thirty journals and included in This Great Society’s “Best Of” Edition. She was also chosen for Big River Poetry Review’s Poem of the Month.


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