If I Could Spill My Ink
by Joanie HF Zosike

If I could spill the ink of my delta waves into the ocean,
Where would they lead me?

If they left me with no trace, with no means of communication
What would I be missing?

Picabia swallowing a sunset, Beethoven storming a citadel
The laughter of children warming my toasted melancholy
The swell I feel at the top of my head when standing in
Gothic cathedrals or verdant, shadowed mountains
The crush of leaves beneath my footsteps, autumn-kissed
The vestiges and ravages of love…and its blessings
The arroyos left by poets and writers who have swayed me
The gratitudes, the platitudes, the now-annoying squeals of
Happy children, starving children, murdered children
All of them, my children, claims the mother earth persona

This poor ocean trying to absorb my inky cesspool!
The MamaWada persona is compelled to rave and roil:
If I attempted to clean up my own mess
Would I use a shovel and wheelbarrow?
To cart away the detritus and manure?
Would I drag the waters with nets and come up empty?
Would I resort to a broom and mop, and possibly wax?
Would I carefully polish with non-abrasive cloth?
Go suburban and use scouring powder and steel wool?
Or would I use “just plain soap” and elbow grease?

If I determine that the ink of my delta waves are harmful to the ocean
Land mass, or collective consciousness, would I stand frozen in awe?

If I look at that ink one last time and read past the Rohrzak and screed
Will I find that my delta waves are singing a song about graceful scales akilter?

IMAGE: “Abstract blue waves” wallpaper pattern.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Every time I take the Metro North south from Poughkeepsie to Grand Central Station, New York City, I’m inspired by the Hudson River that runs alongside the train, or vice versa. The hour-and-a-half journey is a gift of sheer beauty. Ripples turn to waves turn to delta waves turn to ink, and there’s the poem. If I could write a peaceful, hunger-free, environmentally safe world with delta ink, I’d do so yesterday.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joanie HF Zosike is published in At the Edge, Bastille, Dissident Voice, Heresies, Jewish Daily Forward online, Levure Literraire, Maintenant, Public Illumination Magazine (PIM), Rabbit and Rose, Silver Birch Press online blog, and Womannews. Her writing is anthologized in Between Ourselves: Letters Between Mothers and Daughters (Houghton-Mifflin, Ed. Karen Payne), Women in American Theatre (TCG, Eds. Helen Crich Chinoy and Linda Walsh Jenkins), Have a NYC Vol. 3 (Three Rooms Press, Ed. Peter Carlaftes) and Silver Birch Press anthologies: Summer, Noir Erasure, The Great Gatsby, Alice in Wonderland, and Ides. Her chapbook, The Character Poems, is published by Chez Chez, and she completed five full-length plays (two produced) and four solo theatre works (all produced). A volume of poetry, An Alphabet of Love, is forthcoming from Barncott Press (London). An actor with The Living Theatre for over 25 years, Joanie is director of DADAnewyork and Co-founder/Co-director of Action Racket Theatre.