Arts featured

Cash–for–Gold, a poem by Tammy Armstrong

Cash-for- Gold

                 Beat the recession . . . send us your forgotten gold

Send envelopes filled with moonlight mellowing the sun’s brassy day-work
and rufous hummingbirds dog-fighting above the forsythia.
Send four o’clock pinking the seagull’s sternum
that autumn you imagined the oak leaves gold
                                but came home to green’s rough-crusted rattle
                more mineral and doubt than colour.

Send the light settling in the dog’s eyes that last morning
                koi in the murky pool at the Russian Tea House
prosecco at the edge of Positano
and hang-headed daffodils and field daisies like little noons.

Send those lost in snow, in the frost moon’s zinc-light
found fallen across their own hard-tramped circles.
                Send those found missing clothes
overheated in those hard-tramped circles
                                always closer than they knew to the horizon
gathering thinness
troweling its smear across the sky.

Just last night, I heard the foxes barking
and thought of their cider-lit bodies
                                         leaping again and again
                toward the unripening grapes.

Where do we send such little failures
and conceits to shine?
                                How long should we jump?
How high must we reach?


Cash-for-Gold, a poem by Tammy Armstrong, is the second of eight poems we will publish during the remainder of the year, selected as a result of the call for poems we issued a while ago.

Armstrong’s work includes two novels–Translations=Aistreann and Pye-Dogs–and four books of poetry: Bogman’s Music, Take Us Quietly, Unravel, and The Scare in the Crow, as well as the chapbook, The Varying Hare (Frog Hollow Press 2018).

Her work has recently won the iYeats International Poetry Prize, Geist’s Postcard Story Contest, Prairie Fire‘s Bliss Carman Poetry Prize, the Cafe Writers Poetry Competition, and is currently a finalist for the National Magazine Awards.

In autumn 2018, she will be a Fellow at the International Writers’ and Translators’ House in Latvia. She lives in a lobster fishing village on the south shore of Nova Scotia.