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Emily Strauss

Emily Strauss

Going on Vacation

by Emily Strauss


Not even a camera this time—
it broke the first day, no paints
or charcoals, anyway I can’t
draw, only a plain notebook
will I carry, the words
clarified enough to tell a truth.

Collecting photos is too heavy,
better these pages of memories,
dreams— ephemeral stuff
but sufficient to record visions
of terraced hills in mirror ponds
each blade of grass etched

under a gray sky like a Chinese scroll
with light patches of color
signifying whole mountains, a hint
of river in the foreground—
I try the same effect
with quick strokes of a pen.



The Sky Leaps to Light


The sky leaps to light
in fifteen minutes
at the Tropic of Capricorn

dawn slumbers but little as
housewives wake to tea,
fried noodles, tai chi

their face-washing towels
immersed and rubbed
gamely over puffy eyes.

Suddenly they discover
the day rising fast, the sky
already white, no idle ruby

build-up, no lingering
anticipation, it is there
in a moment, flaming

disk engulfing the narrow
streets through fog creeping
past the fishermen at sea.

Street lamps wink out like
hooded snakes, uniformed
children begin their parade

another morning devours
its young.




Emily StraussEmily Strauss has an M.A. in English, but is self-taught in poetry, which she has written since college. Over 250 of her poems appear in a wide variety of online venues and in anthologies in the U.S. and abroad. The natural world is generally her framework; she also considers the stories of people and places around her and personal histories. She is a semi-retired teacher living in California.






The Writing Disorder is a quarterly literary journal. We publish exceptional new works of fiction, poetry, nonfiction and art. We also feature interviews with writers and artists, as well as reviews.



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