Lois P. Jones
Lois P. Jones’ awards include the Lascaux Poetry Prize in 2018, the Bristol Poetry Prize in 2017 and the Tiferet Poetry Prize in 2012, with work shortlisted for The London Magazine (2018) and the Bridport Prize in poetry in 2016 and 2017. Jones has work published or forthcoming in anthologies including New Voices: Contemporary Writers Confronting the Holocaust (Vallentine Mitchell of London – 2019); The Poet’s Quest for God (Eyewear Publishing), and Wide Awake: Poetry of Los Angeles and Beyond (The Pacific Coast Poetry Series). Other publications include Narrative, American Poetry Journal, One, Tupelo Quarterly, The Warwick Review, Cider Press Review and Tinderbox Poetry Journal.  Jones’ first collection of poems, Night Ladder, one Glass Lyre Press’s Editor’s Choice Award and listed for the Julie Suk Award.  She hosts KPFK’s Poets Café in Los Angeles, is the poetry editor of Kyoto Journal and co-hosts the long running Moonday Poetry Series at the Flintridge Bookstore.

Four Nights in the Misty Fjords

She was inside the whalebone
counting the looped ritual
that followed her below deck.
She was the smell of crayfish
and crab, cracking them open,
tearing out their sweet meat.
This is what she did when the shells
split. She kept them until they dried
inside like a gull’s white dung.
She layered the hours with it –
when everyone lay in their bunks
and the stars were hammers on the sea.
She could feel their weight – hear
the surrender of the old halibut
before the hook found passage.
Blackwater pulling on a line,
pulling like the night, creaking
like a lie. And when she closed her eyes
and her body sank down
that’s when he would appear, cinch
in his hand, twisting the anchor
until it snapped, watching her drop
in the dark. The rope unravelling
from the rust so swiftly, it burned
to touch. Nothing but nightfall
at the river’s mouth and the slow
motion of salmon waiting to be caught. 

© 2018 Lois P. Jones
Lois P. Jones was a Featured Poet at the December 2018 Second Sunday Poetry Series