PoetryIssue 19 | December 2013

A Funeral in Zarra

by Joe Evans

Seven hard-faced sisters wearing petticoats
of scree. Their arms are linked around the valley.
The village perches on a bony elbow, cliffs
rising into masonry, windows peering down
onto the sunlit backs of eagles. The ridge-tiles

are weighted down by stones. As I descend, I hear
the echo of a woman’s cry that turns the scene
sharply askew: something is happening. The square
is wedged with cars propped all angles on cobbles
and curbs built high for winter stormwater. A crowd

in mourning clothes is half inside a faded
umber house; I hurry through, an intruder
with a luminous rucksack, moving in my secret bubble
of Patrick Leigh Fermor fantasia. A man in formal
grey lets smoke-rings drift across a polished

bonnet and catches my eye with half a smile.
Later, up towards the green horizon, I see
a ragged crow, guarding seven roses that lie bunched
before the wayside chapel of some dusty village saint.
The blackbirds seem to be celebrating something.

About the author

Joe Evans has been a stained glass artist, a company director, a gardener and a musician. His poetry has been published in Lighthouse and Sarasvati as well as various online collections. He is currently absorbed in a sequence of narrative poems set on a small island in 1278, a project which he now understands to be wildly over-ambitious. He has two children.

Read our current issue:


Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok