Oriana Ivy 

              for the people of the village of Ponikła 


Tassels flow through my hand,
beads of grain roll against
the husk of my palm.
I lean to the lost


fire of the weeds:
the blue flame
of cornflowers,
papery mouths of poppies.


A rooster’s few
drawn-out notes
journey in the echo.
I stand shoulder-deep


in blond light.
Wind holds me,
then lets me go.


A farmer halts his horse,
points at me with his whip:
Black hair, strong head.
You will never go crazy.




I am the harvest now.
Sheaf by sheaf,
sky holds me,
then lets me go.



Oriana Ivy was born in Poland and came to the United States when she was 17. Her poems, essays, book reviews, and translations from modern Polish poetry have been published in Poetry, Ploughshares, Best American Poetry 1992, Nimrod, New Letters, The Iowa Review, American Poetry Review, Black Warrior, Wisconsin Review, Prairie Schooner, Spoon River Review, Southern Poetry Review, and many other journals and anthologies. A former journalist and community college instructor, she teaches poetry workshops. She lives in San Diego.