Issue 22




Two Weeks in a Dristan Land


Bill Yarrow





when I washed up

alone on the wounded shore

of the blistered isle


I smelled the bleach of burst anemones

the sweet arousal of the Dungeness crabs

the seaweed of sour twigs and feces


I saw debutante goddesses

abashing their swains

for what hadn’t come to pass


I felt the uncanny glee of the solitary palm

the dilatory curiosity of the air

the aloofness of the chimerical trees


I heard dolphins and swans,

aligned against integrity, conspire

to humble the thunder and co-opt the sunshine


I tasted hostility in the meanest weed

a cynical longevity in the beach fleas and swamp bees

a flash of happiness in the bold symmetry of the island flag


and resolved in my lately vacant heart

to replace Othello’s handkerchief

to repent spurning Cleopatra the queen

and to restore the itching eyes of Gloucester









Bill Yarrow is the author of Blasphemer, Pointed Sentences, and four chapbooks.  His poems have appeared in many print and online magazines including Poetry International, RHINO, FRiGG, Contrary, THRUSH, Altered Scale, Gargoyle and PANK.  He is a Professor of English at Joliet Junior College where he teaches creative writing, Shakespeare, and film.  He is an editor at Blue Fifth Review