Instrumental Children
by Julie Shavin

At the concert, I saw the tiniest girl
on violin and thought,
do we create children
so our instruments
will have something to play?

I had a piano before a child.

Did its little felt hammers
need something to tickle to giggles?
Did the guitar need something to strum
and demand the son?

Did the harp need some ringlet angel
to pluck?

Did the children come
because the instruments were lonely
when we were busy with fights

and pets
and gardens made of words?

If children are our immortality
then do we have them
so our songs of joy, our dirges
will have bodies to bow them
breathe them
tune them to wind, water and sky?

All those boys and girls
and all in black
as if it were a funeral for us old
all in somber rhythm
like an accidental section
wired by design.

Sweet High Bath of Unknowing
by Julie Shavin

Bright sun, oblique sun of late afternoon 
in a small alpine town, 
white and tan horses grazing snow melt 
and snow in lazing fields –

Could I remember more of childhood 
or its sibling, youth, 
I might know what it is about capturing 
such as horses in a winter’s field, 
paradox of fierce wan sun, 
frail askew houses on tilting hills.

Will I give to darkness, 
not a trace of warm breath muzzling 
some sweet high bath of land 
gently withering away sweet morsels 
that rise, 
valiant, to meet the longing tongue?

Leaving, I saw again how day

is sniped by night in abandon, 
fields become blind eyes, faces tipped to 
cold moon cratered 
with sequestered keepsakes of day.

Might one conjure what beckoned us 
this time – 
not the illness, as in those urgent, more 
sober days – 
but what continues to lure to alien terrain, 
to genteel murderous horses, 
clapboard houses blinking, 
grand shadows of marginless mountains

and with such need to sing, to paint, to 
the certain vex of nostalgia, 
for what, exactly – can I, can one ever 

Julie Shavin is an editor, writer and visual artist living in Colorado Springs. In 2011 and 2012, respectively, she was named Performance Poet of the Year and Page Poet, honors bestowed by the Pikes Peak Arts Council and a jury of her peers.

Send poetry submissions of 250 words or fewer to poetry@boulderweekly.com.