Two Poems by Joan Canby


Geordie and I live in Apache land
once home to Geronimo where

raven babies fledge. Light drifts
in, fades, ending when we let the

secret out, in its frozen amber light.
His shuffling brown shoes caress my

cherry-stained hallway –his crocking
answers to a question, would he grasp

the ledge of the stonewall, while
showering bird seed down on mourning

doves, falling, letting go of seed and soul?

No beach ahead for him to carve a
figure eight infinity mark into sands,

while seagulls shriek in the cloudless
sky and sea lions poke whiskered muzzles

out from kelp gardens watching not like
solace ignoring us in hospice corridors

when we embrace between flowering cacti.



Ninety-two words in Arabic mean lion.

Your body stretches out in the VA’s MRI.
You sleep to awake to taped sounds of bullets
igniting your brain into colors on the screen.

What dream lions crouch ready to attack you?
How long will the Taliban’s screams roar?



Joan Canby has degrees from Stephens College, University of Wisconsin, Madison, San Francisco State University and Vermont College of Fine Arts. She was born and raised in Santa Barbara, California and presently lives in Garland, Texas.  Her poems have been published in California Quarterly, The Hawaiian Advertiser, Illya’s Honey, Texas Observer, Forces, Beginnings, New Voices, Cape Rock, Voices Project, Brevitas, Broken Plate, Main Street Rag and Thema.