Sue Cowing (2012 Poem In Your Pocket)

When the beat drops

by Tamara Woods

Instant connection
His hands banging drums and
Her hips catching beats.

Fingertips raised skyward
Asking for directions to some pagan god.
He wonders if she smells like the rain
Gently kissing her upturned face.

Music links them
Fluid ocean and steadfast beach,
He wanted her to wash up against his shore
Taking pieces of him with her.
Ebbing and flow.

She moves like the steel drums
Birthed her years ago
In a swept away village
Where sun-kissed brows were
Stained with wolf berries
For life and fertility.

Molten golden fire strands catching the breeze
Her feet loses their slipper shackles
Leaving life prints in the sand
Leading him to her.

It would be so easy
To commune with spirits
At her side.
Giving praise to Pele
For surely her ancestors were born
From lava and tears
Leaving legacy on her crown.

And then the music stopped.

Tamara Woods was raised (fairly happily) in West Virginia, where she began writing poetry at the age of 12. She has previous experience as a newspaper journalist, an event organizer, volunteer with AmeriCorps and VISTA, in addition to work with people with disabilities. She has used her writing background to capture emotions and moments in time for anthologies such as Empirical Magazine, her blog PenPaperPad and writing articles as a full-time freelance writer. She is a hillbilly hermit in Honolulu living with her Mathemagician.



by Sue Cowing

A poem is a baby slowly forming
in the fluid inner world:
toes out of nowhere,
eyelashes out of heartbeat.
Like a dolphin, born tail-first
so it won’t drown
in a world of water.
Then someone, is it the mother?
nudges it to the surface, crooning
breathe now, breathe.


by Sue Cowing

At Kaʻena, fire and waterline up their stones


dull black lavaround white coral


for the island’s oldest kōnane gamemoves so slow


the stones are all we see.


Sue Cowing is a local author active in the Hawaiʻi literary community. Her latest work is a middle-grade novel You Will Call Me Drog. Birthday was originally published in Bamboo Ridge.

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