Gail Holst-Warhaft reads

Riddles

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Sea Fed, Shore Sheltered

Sea fed, shore sheltered,
I rocked with sea wrack.
Footless yet fixed I often opened
my mouth wide to the tide’s wax.
Now some man will slide a knife
down my sides, strip skin
from bone, a quick snack he slurps
raw, delighting as he sucks me in.


For the Hearing Ear She Shapes Her Sound

For the hearing ear she shapes her sound,
singing through her sides. Her slender nick
is round and round her shoulders lie
lovely jewels. Uncanny, her song.


A Part of Earth Is Made Fairer

A part of earth is made fairer
by man’s hardest treasure.
Fierce at first, it’s softened,
shaped, soaked scrubbed,
bound, burnished, bedecked
and brought, strong to the step.
Joy quivers in it for the living
in the halls. It lingers, clinging,
lengthening the revelers’ mirth.
Don’t censure them—in death
it speaks to one and all;
the wise know what it’s called.


I Am the Hard, Headstrong Push and Pull

I am the hard, headstrong push and pull
of power forcing forward, coming keen in
as I serve my lord. I burrow
a tight tunnel under the belly
while my lord heaves hasty from behind.
Cloth catching, he drags me hot from the hole 
or thrusts me through a tight passage
urging me on, the southern thruster. 
Say who I am. 

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