Poetry from Julie Shavin

The Holding

A  door like a sun is in front of you
and the screams have begun. It seems
all things ruminate themselves to ruin.

Remember how even your own fire poisoned you
the oxygen thin and cluttered,
your voice sputtered to a consonant.

In the glorious beginning, snow sang
in the darling anatomies of trees,
knowing them in the deep of day.

Birds swooped in and around
the bare-branch mazes,
needle and threading with their trills.

This interior door swaddles you –
what you always wanted, they accused:
you who loped up grassy slopes

and careened on cardboard flats,
who avoided the witch in the woods
with freaked out glee:

who sat on dappled rocks dolloped
in ice cream and sweat –
you did everything right.

Why then the glass-paneled door?
Again, this night, unfurl the velvet dark:
Blind the eyes of the door.

Yes, the dreams will come back,
blue, and black. The door too dreams
of being wall.

Yet it holds.


Deep Night Wings

By night and day I write you,
partner of thirty turns about the sun.
You’ve demanded the rest in silence.

I type yes.

Writing is quiet pursuit,
a lone cow corralled,
grazing on alluvial grain.

I’ll be a hush like deep night wings
humble as the moon
with her referred light.

Already, I was in flight
already a stone divined,
its music near-dismissed.

The sky and spheres
seem quite complete
in their apparent arrest

but fold me into their vast black nest.


Why Assume 

there is nothing to be learned
from the one shivering bird
in the anorexic tree as dawn
lends its coral collar to the
coming paste-faced day?
The violated instinct
is a most worthy instructor,
yet we fold frigidly away
to protect our many mansions,
crying ourselves to sleep like
hollow-bellied babies
bursting our battings
with excess of goodness.


The Android Speaks: Winter Trilogy


There is only so much time
to start what is already started
and forgotten
unseeing the start from the end
that, ending, began it –

be certain never
to answer the door to a dream –
it is a trick, that knock.
Sleep like oasis among oases
desert among mirages of gold.

Ponder the time between times
spent thinking about places
on rims of places,
how minor tragedies
are major in mode

life to the spirit, which,
dreaming or awake
are no molten things
when the light of dark
drifts…..drifts in.


I need pencil or pen
and there are none
and it is – did I say it?
it is cold.  Again.

The worm sits thick
in its bricklayer belowness
the bird follows
its other eye
leaves dream their bones
to dust
skeleton trees sing
their raspy airs.

What does not succumb
to ice, fire or flood
and how to go without writing
with a madness in the blood?


This tall wide piece of plywood
in front of me as I sit
with a small lamp,
reading –

is ugly, old, discolored,
one tiny dead leaf stuck to it.
I study this throwaway from
some throwaway project.

Many shades of brown
white moldy circles at the top
striations, rutted black lines
pits, blots, pocks.

And now … ? I see beauty, as though
seized in a near-death experience
as though they’re not all that
and should not be.


[Note: “The Holding” was previously printed in the anthology Finding Our Voices, and “Why Assume” was previously printed in Julie’s collection Of Mortality A Music.]


Julianza (Julie) Shavin is a composer, poet, and visual artist. Most recently, she was awarded second prize and two honorable mentions in Telluride Arts Organization’s Mark Fischer contest, and in November had three poems published in “Messages From the Hidden Lake,” Alamosa, CO.  A recipient of three Pikes Peak Arts Council grants, she was named 2011 Performance Poet of the Year; in September, Pikes Peak Page Poet.  Shavin has two chapbooks and a collection, Of Mortality a Music.  Her poems are published regularly in literary journals, which sometimes feature her artwork inside or as cover. She currently has four recent compositions/improvs on YouTube and is in process of recording her earlier works. Shavin is past-President of Poetry West (www.poetrywest.org), currently serving as Vice-President.  She is an animal welfare advocate/activist, working with Pikes Peak Animal Rights Team, National Mill Dog Rescue, Denver Animal Protection League, and many others. 

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