We huddle next to the shearing high cliff
while I use a small flat shelf on its rocky face
and push my knife flat against the clove of garlic
listening for that slight popping sound despite the wind
before I chop off the two ends.
The skin comes off smooth and semi-transparent
revealing the white fruit underneath.
After we eat our canned salmon
on rice cakes (peppered with sand)
you tell me that trick of eating all that garlic won’t work,
your hands, busy, loosen my shirt, smooth my back,
electrify the tiny hairs on my skin
our bodies entangling on the white sand
while out on the horizon the ocean turns turquoise
reflecting the cerulean sky
banked by a strip of gray at its edge.
of love, of loving:
touching me everywhere
subtly, as I kiss and caress you,
while we submerge ourselves
swimming in the moment
curling in and through
like two sea lions or big cats
about the business
of licking each other and purring
snuggling in a mutual
ocean of bliss.
Baking the Fish
The best part of baking the fish
and cooking the vegetables
was calling you up, having thought somehow
that the phone ringing in the other room
had been you and you saying it wasn’t
—but you had been thinking
about me all day. While we talked
I checked the fish and turned down the flame
under the millet and red chard
and let the cats in
as I suddenly noticed
the garden shining gold from the receding sun
with the moon’s smile above
like a round fish
I think of you and ask
and you tell me
“Yes, uh huh, no,
or “Why do you ask?”
And I am back there
sitting on your couch
watching you whirl the ice cubes
in your glass of whiskey
giving me one of those slow
deep looks in your gentle
rough way, the smoke curling
from your cigarette
stubbed on the coffee table.
It doesn’t end.
You are the mentor
I never had.
It is nearly 2:00 A.M.
I hear the shrill yip of coyotes outside,
I finish my tea
after working on a sculpture
depicting my fallen angel
as I ready myself
for the hike back home up the hill.
I open the door
and drink in the cool night air,
the woods still echoing
the coyotes inspired,
crying their hearts out
like me, an old woman
her heart crying
the future unknown
on this late November night.
Bea Garth’s honest approach to sensuality mixes a sublime earthiness with a love of nature through her visual art and poetry. She has decades of experience organizing and hosting poetry and art events both in Oregon and California. She has been editing the online e-zine Eos: The Creative Context since 2008. Bea recently moved to Vancouver, WA where she is now found painting and writing in her studio or editing in the office while her husband blogs for clean energy, or tinkers with a new musical composition. Currently she is president of The Oregon Women’s Caucus for Art. She has previously had poems and artwork published in a variety of small press magazines including Napalm and Novocaine, Synchronized Chaos, The Song Is…, Sparring With Beatnik Ghosts, Lake City Poets, Alchemy, Poetic Space, Denali, Coyote’s Dance, The Other Paper, Writing For Our Lives, Caesura, Fresh Hot Bread, DMQ Review (featured artist) and the poetry anthologies Elegant Stew, Women’s Dreams/Women’s Visions and Song of Los Gatos. She has a manuscript (EATING THE PEACH) that will be published by Blue Bone Books. For more info, see: https://bgarthart.com/