PoetryIssue 18 | June 2013

Give and Take

by Beth McDermott

All forms of landscape are autobiographical.
                                          -Charles Wright

I’d describe myself as a white sea
    without a coastline; without a cliff-
side to interrupt me, I am water
    breeding water: I have no
southernmost point. But at the Cliffs
    of Moher, the crests and
troughs of each wave are chisel and
    stone dust: thick white
powdery outline of an obelisk that’s
    always being forged. Think
of the Atlantic gradually eroding rock
    shale and sandstone—
while the puffin lays its one egg in the
    same burrow as last year
and the sea pinks domesticate the salt.

About the author

Beth McDermott has studied abroad in England and Ireland and hopes to return some day in the future. Currently, she resides in New Lenox, IL, and has spent much of the past six years commuting by train to Chicago. Her poetry is forthcoming in DIAGRAM and Harpur Palate.

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