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[Poetry] Three Poems by L. Ward Abel


Look how the joining

of land with sea

or its attempt

displays in loops.

Slight edges

gray to off-gray

and the point where

who can tell

whether the sea reaches up

to become

or the sky reaches down

for the other,

both bound by approaching

the immensity of planets

and blessed by

such thinness

of air.


Thicker than water the rivers

speak beneath sound, groan

even lower tones. There a view

sweeps wide in three-sixty to

where curvature leaves behind

horizon. The blue sings unified

with all green below, and while

some of us may lose our way

the miles-deep film of air

never does.

Low Tones

Low tones the ocean

speaks it groans too,

its green belies liquidity

as if trees were just below.

Oh wind slightly west of south

with Cuba down beyond

the long curve that turns blue

to black burning cool


L. Ward Abel’s work has appeared in hundreds of journals (Rattle, Versal, The Reader, Worcester Review, Riverbed Review, Honest Ulsterman, others), including nominations for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, and he is the author of three full collections and ten chapbooks of poetry, including American Bruise (Parallel Press, 2012), Little Town gods (Folded Word Press, 2016), A Jerusalem of Ponds (Erbacce-Press, 2016), and his latest collection, The Width of Here (Silver Bow, 2021). He is a reformed lawyer, he writes and plays music, and he teaches literature. Abel resides in rural Georgia.

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