j tate barlow | WALKING INTO AUGUST IN EAST-END TORONTO 2020, 1st Place Winner of the 2020 Vallum Award for Poetry


Is it how spruce don’t think, just do—arrange
their boughs for things withwings to dip andglide
on through? Or how the yellowcrane looms—strange

arabesque-sur-bleu, distraction-dance, wide
arcs boom-swung and slow—dwarfing all thatgrows
nearby? Stow yourthrone in a box on high

look down waydown to read what’s spelled below
soonfading from the sidewalk-page two words
spare chage—consonance flown from the get-go.

Robins sequestering in spruce afford
a sortof feathered life and often thrive.
Is it city-clamour, or birdsong heard

(returning to my solitary hive)
calls me to sift the fallen notes, and write?


Author’s Bio

j tate barlow lives uphill from a Great Lake, moves to the music, and loves the heft of a good pen. 2020 Vallum Award for Poetry, First Place. Poems in Vallum Contemporary Poetry, Grain Magazine, The Quarantine Review, The New Quarterly, The Dalhousie Review, Eastern Iowa Review, The Fieldstone Review.