Cloudbank 17

This poem by Susanna Lee was the winner of the Cloudbank 17 Poetry Prize. 

Water Elegy / Susannah Lee
	After Ryuichi Sakamoto

North was the signature we inherited, 
	not a blessing but a kinship with lamps

illuminating the hollow wick of nightfall. The febrile
	night rising like steam from a croup kettle

seeking to heal. We sanctioned the dark 
	with fever & visions of light, the wheat fields 

and bobolinks nesting late into the harvest, 
	a peony dropping its great globe of flower all at once. 

Heat became us. We understood this and chose 
	to hoard it with prayers of mercy,

as if earth could hold a very warm mantle of snow,
	as if the prayer wheel spun without touch or wind.

Compass point that defines all others. North, 
	when the river flood carries the yew and its roots

downstream whole and expectant, and the rain soaked
	willow releases from the weight of abundance,

keels and rises with the dark earth of its own loss,
	when the seas come to meet us, what sacred text 

will we safeguard? What echo in what clear vein 
	will ping our pulsing song back to life?

Poets and writers in Cloudbank 17

Laura Isabela Amsel
David Axelrod
Laurie Blauner
John-Michael Bloomquist
Bruce Bond
Jacob Boyd
John Bradley
John Brehm
Ronda Piszk Broatch
Cory Brown
Christopher Buckley
Camille Carter
Margaret Chula
Walter Cochran-Bond
EG Cunningham
Alice Derry
Jim Daniels
Deborah H. Doolittle
Tom Dvorske
Ken Fifer
Robert Fillman
Albert Garcia
Julie Gard
Justin Hunt
Elizabeth Kerlikowske

John Kooistra
Susanna Lang
Kerry Langan
Susannah Lee
Rebecca Lilly
Ralph J. Long Jr.
Paul Martin
Matthew Moniz
Robin Michel
Robert Morgan
Peter O’Donovan
Beth Paulson
David Petruzelli
Doug Ramspeck
Tim Raphal
John Schneider
Phillip Sterling
Robert Stewart
Colette Tennant
Julia Thacker
Marcia Trahan
Marc Vincenz
Paul Willis
Gary Young