​​H E R M E N E U T I C   C H A O S   J O U R N A L

michael albright



Orchis Mascula


I was six      we stayed      in       rough hewn
house      at      Small Point close      to      shore
          not the first time I wandered away  
salt marsh      clam flats      wade      in
mud       to       knees       bucket       spade
Mom said           look           for bubbling holes 
in      wet sand      they breathe        through 
before      you dig      before       it isn’t free
anymore       I was six      in      the picture
          not the first time I wandered away  
Mom & Joan      shin high      in      shivering
undertow      sand      receding      beneath
feet       sliding      backward       to       sea
beach ball held      in      front of my face
          not the first time I wandered away  
pines      rocks the pines      like nothing ever
seen  I walk      in      I was six      they couldn’t 
find me      hour      two so      cool so      dark so 
          not the first time I wandered away  
my earth          carpet of fallen         needles
solitary  early purple      by      granite shines
in        tumescent rock           to          me curl 
fingers       along        purple shaft       puff
spores      stain      my hands      I was six 
could pull it down      to      root I stayed held
          not the first time I wandered away 
Mom said stay      off      those slippery rocks
brackish low         tide pools where       starfish
live       urchins       hermits        carry homes
on backs      I was six      it was not the first 
time I wandered away             not the last






Michael Albright has published poems in various journals, including Tar River Poetry, A Narrow Fellow, Pembroke Magazine, Cider Press Review, Revolver, Moon City Review, Blast Furnace, Uppagus, and others. He lives on a windy hilltop near Greensburg, PA. with his wife Lori and an ever-changing array of children and other animals.