Ruth Thompson’s second book, Woman with Crows, was a finalist for the AROHO Foundation’s To the Lighthouse Poetry Prize. It was published by Word Press in August 2012. She lives in Colden, New York and Hilo, Hawai’i with her partner, writer-anthropologist Don Mitchell. She received a BA from Stanford and a PhD from Indiana University, and was an English professor, librarian, editor, college dean, and yoga teacher in Los Angeles. Her poems have won several awards, including the New Millennium Writings Poetry Award and the Harpur Palate Milton Kessler Prize. Her chapbook Here Along Cazenovia Creek was performed with the celebrated Japanese dancer Shizuno Nasu in February 2012.
Three poems from Women with Crows:
Sudden Oak Death Syndrome
Down the long body of California,
Lace lichen. It’s the color of sadness,
Behind its veil ooze black
We are in plague time now,
like kindling over the stucco-colored hills,
Here I name them, the old friends:
In the fires, even their roots will burn.
We leave our children a place with no eyelids.
beats behind us
Why Hungry Ghosts Must Keep Flying
Because they cannot rest
cannot dance strong fishbodies
cannot breathe through their feet
cannot flicker out and in through their fingertips
And in this place where throats are bells
they fly with throats clutched close
Copyright © Ruth Thompson
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