feather on down the line

feather on down the line

Alan Bern

feather on down the line


Derek Furr

She floated along the aisle to pass the peace,

     angling off to a window during the hymn.

     Talk of debt seemed to wake her, and threat

     of the soup kitchen’s closure sharpened her

     focus. She declared that someone should

     step up to prevent all this loss.

“Had the first trip bored me, or scared me,” she

     would explain at meetings, “I might have

     been a pediatrician or a pastor.”  But

     recovery eluded her like a toddler, giggling.

     Her next days were photocopies until the

     paper bin emptied.

“How to proceed?” she wondered, finding herself in

     a woods, the voices having silenced. Leaves

     covered the trails, snow would soon follow,

     and who among the passersby could be

     trusted? Meanwhile, a barred owl stirred in

     the beeches above, preparing for night.


Derek Furr is the author of two mixed-genre collections, Suite For Three Voices and Semitones, both with Fomite Press. He has new work in RaritanJacket2, and Sierra Nevada Review. He teaches literature and directs the Master of Arts in Teaching Program at Bard College in New York.

Retired librarian Alan Bern’s poetry books: No No the Saddest (Fithian Press), Waterwalking in Berkeley (Fithian), and greater distance (Lines & Faces, his press with Robert Woods, more at linesandfaces.com). Alan has photos, poems, and stories published in many online and print publications from which he has won awards. Recent publications of photos: unearthedesf.com and pleaseseeme.com. Alan performs with dancer Lucinda Weaver as PACES and with musicians from Composing Together.