top of page

[Poetry] Two Poems by DH Jenkins



COVID Holiday


Infected w/COVID I toss fresh food

to the monitor lizards below;

they run in jagged circles below the

balcony, positioning themselves

against each other for the takeaway.


At night I hear the clacking of crabs

gathering what the lizards have left.

In the morning, I see black bush hens

pecking up the remains.


Having no appetite, the constant taste

of mold in my mouth,

I drink hot coffee w/ sugar and salt,

spit venom at the bathroom mirror,

read novels, get lost in five paintings:

three tropic landscapes;

one of a hawks bill turtle swimming

on the bathroom wall; and one of three

tan-white clown fish going round and round

their wild anemone. But the best friend

I have is the wooden sculpture

of the Solomon Shaman above the door.


After four days of seclusion, I snorkel

on a nearby reef for an hour

while the other guests are out scuba diving.

I see a giant clam, four feet long

under a dock, maybe 90, surviving, thriving!

Two bronze sharks gaze up at me

from the depths; myriads of little neon fish

flash in the shallows like little stars.

Against a current I fin out to the island's wall

and thru deep clear water glimpse the end:

            after 7 days of seclusion

I would return to civilization a changed man.




Autumn in Oirase Gorge


Leopard skin trees bend over rocks

and drink from the stream.

Leaves, bright orange, bright red—

like sunset over Japan's Sea—

like pumpkins, like lanterns or

persimmons hanging on trees.


Sound of water like the wind

coming down like rain,

like ice, like sleet or even snow.


We walk among the yellow leaves

as if wandering in gold,

the smell of ferment tantalizing

the nose; somewhere on the other

shore of Lake Towado a fire,

smoked fish, sake.


A ferry has just departed the dock

and all of the people on board

get ready for the cruise to a spot

where smoke meets water:


a vortex, a time drop, a spout just

outside of one's sense of the known

where the summer gorge ends,

and the autumn stream flows.




D.H. Jenkins' plays have been staged in California, Arizona, Australia, and Japan. His poems have appeared in Jerry Jazz Musician, The Tiger Moth Review, and The Global South. He now lives in New Zealand and enjoys hiking in the Southern Alps as well as scuba diving and snorkeling in the Pacific Islands.


bottom of page