PoetryIssue 16 | October 2012

Two poems by M.R. Smith

The Night the Cuprum Barn Buckled and Fell

On the night the Cuprum barn buckled,
all day there had been nothing but mare’s tail clouds
and dead quiet across the Seven Devils.

There was the long stretch of hot until that dry
cold front came in the night and lit up Lick Creek
and the Sheep Rock.

There was the usual wind come through Hell’s Canyon
that pushed the big carp down off the river top.
At suppertime there was nothing and the forest felt

like the silence on death row, waiting for sounds
in the corridor. There was a dance that night at the old hall
and not a soul in town missed it.

No one left early and there was still dust in the air
in the morning. That old Johnson brought his fiddle
and the band got him up on stage to play.

Those young Council twins wore dirndl skirts. We all listened
to the dry wind come late and the lightning lent the hall
a kind of strobe light. We didn’t go outside in all that.

We took to stomping our boots on the wood floors
at the thunder. Oh, it was great fun. Somewhere in the night
we all heard the Cuprum barn buckle.

There are some who know it was the wind and lightning
that done it. Some say the Cuprum barn was long overdue
for that kind of fall.

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About the author

Mark’s work is published in Camas, Cascadia Review, Red River Review, and elsewhere. He travels extensively in the Pacific Northwest and leaves soon for a multi-week wander through Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. He never manages to catch any fish but would release them if he did.

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