Wendy Merry Debuts New Poem with Augury Books

Photo by Dave Bledsoe of FreeVerse Photography

Some minor confusion over the Boy Scout reincarnation badge

Loki was an imp god and a shape-shifter. He could be reborn but never die. This suits me at my easel, as what shifts is not lost; connects in a ring. It’s easy reason I wish for when I see a bird tip like kindling. As small things do I repeat myself, like our beagle Shannon, who, like a sleeve or a raisin lives the same day over, knows no difference between voices and meals. Chanting is like mouth marching so the shoes in my room are doubling by night. At this stream I am fickle; am told I have rounded the bend of this day by the hundreds. I am mostly little bones by now.

Old Man Elli, who almost died, is grateful; he says he will be ready next time. He is off to buy more hammers. We are linked together, teacher says, think of your bodies as river hulls. Think of yourself as a paper well. I am a good bird: space abled. With my beak I build sand temples. I sit alone with angled knees, hum just like a spinning wheel.

Loki was father to a world serpent. He turned last, they say, to a salmon upstream. The water here is dark and clever (I want my mother;) Was this the canary for which we must prepare? I must carve deep into my third eye to speak of it: teacher,who can prepare to become a salmon?

Wendy Merry is poet and essayist from California. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Nano FictionVesperJoe and GigsTransmissionDossier Journal and others. She lives and writes in downtown Manhattan where she freelances as an Art Director for a street collective. You can find more of her work here.

2 poems by Ivana Kilibarda

Franz Kline, New York, New York, 1953

Sunday afternoon

An insect gentle accepts
a verbal repellant, to which
I turn a cheek. No red.
Oh yes, confidence!
A stroll in December. A skip to July.
Rosehip tea for guests in wool socks.
A rest by fire, as the city mocks me
with voices and sirens.
I see-saw for hours
by myself
unable to unplug the sounds.


All it takes
is a little
smoke on
the Staten Island Ferry.

The seagull stops
circling. The wind
doesn’t know where
to add force but up, up, up!

Fifteen minutes from Manhattan
a noiseless stir of water:
a wake. The clouds
compose above

the bridges. Steam irons the night.
How I wish
we had a light
and that bottle we almost brought

with us. Instead we drink
his cozy lies–
A harbor of warm
baths and masts.


Born in the former Yugoslavia, Ivana Kilibarda currently lives and works in New York City.

On Divination by Birds by Kimberly Johnson

We have long esteemed the work of Kimberly Johnson and so we are thrilled that she agreed to let us post this incredibly appropriate (and lovely) poem.

On Divination by Birds

I don’t need that black

wind of crows kicking up from flax to tell
heavy weather coming, white days to drop
barricades across the interstate,

against two hundred miles of trackless white.
(The crows so obvious then against the miles
of trackless white!) More tricky the magpies

flicker and croak at the sunken carcass
of a roadkill deer, raveling with beaks
the rubbery guts, picking gravel

from scant meat: there must be in their turn-taking
some pattern, some elegant design
beyond need, something in the raw trouble

of jays, the ragged braying geese flown south.
I gaze at their weightless wingbeats daylong
working to discern whether V might stand

for valediction, or vigilance, or
the blank indifference of velocity.

This poem first appeared in the Harvard Review and later was in her book A Metaphorical God
(Persea Books, Inc. New York, NY 2008).

Kimberly Johnson is a poet, translator, and Renaissance scholar. She is the author of a previous collection, Leviathan with a Hook, and a translation of Virgil’s Georgics. Her poems appear widely in such publications as The New Yorker, Slate, and The Iowa Review. Johnson has received prizes from the Merton Foundation and the Utah Arts Council, and a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She lives in Salt Lake City.

Augury, Defined

The Sacred Wood (Arnold Bocklin, 1882)

An augur, in the classical world of Rome and Etruria, was a priest who interpreted the will of the gods by studying the patterns made by flights of birds and other animals. After observing the animals’ actions (whether silent or making sounds, solitary or in groups, in which direction and if they stopped to rest), the augur would then divine what message the gods intended to convey so that the proper sacrifices could be made.

In modern parlance, the term has shifted from meaning a person who uses the natural world to interpret the super-natural or supra-natural to mean an event that indicates important things to come, similar to an omen.

We at Augury Press like the word, as well as divination and birds.