Jeff Hardin: “A Word That Means Standing Between Each Moment”




I dreamed I was speaking every language,
no one a stranger, and then I woke to find
the same few words I assemble my life around.

Overnight a dusting of snow has settled into leaves,
into crooks of oaks in the side yard. It takes years 
sometimes to know what sifts down into my thoughts.

Having lived this long has granted me few answers.
I’ve been given only new questions and less
confidence in anything but my own inadequacy.

If only it were possible to pause between each
moment and weigh the implications of what 
came before against what is now coming to be.

I laugh to think of how I once labored to memorize
a poem, to embody its words and carry them forth
into the world. Now I remember only one word: float.


About the Author: Jeff Hardin is the author of six collections of poetry: Fall Sanctuary (Nicholas Roerich Prize); Notes for a Praise Book (Jacar Press Book Award); Restoring the Narrative (Donald Justice Prize); Small RevolutionNo Other Kind of World (X. J. Kennedy Prize), and A Clearing Space in the Middle of BeingThe New Republic, The Hudson Review, The Southern Review, Southwest Review, North American Review, The Gettysburg Review, Poetry Northwest, Hotel Amerika, and Southern Poetry Review have published his poems. He teaches at Columbia State Community College in Columbia, TN.


More By Jeff Hardin:

A Namelessness of Starlings


Image Credit: Unknown Maker “Niagara” 1860s – 1880s Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.

“Plus Ten” By Jeremy Nathan Marks


Plus Ten

Tonight fish
perch, whitefish, bass
even smelts
occupy spacious shore houses
while children bed down below ground
in clay beds said to hatch prodigious numbers
of tadpoles.

It is February
and the coyotes take the old swimming hole
and pretend it is Christmas Day in Australia.

Our hemispheres are flipped.

The river fills with ice.
Then it thaws.
It goes and floods in ways farmers say
it never used to.
Rain. Snow. Rain again.
The coyotes now go hunting in packs with dogs
and give the bum’s rush to gun enthusiasts at a Valentine’s Day sale.

Here in town we all sing
‘The Good Old Hockey Game’
as though pucks survive the winter wet
and jive with industrial sized climate controllers.

They do. Digitally.

Out in the muck I haven’t met a single bear that didn’t share
my exasperation at the tartness of mushed berries
or the way some satellite ref keeps moving the goal line.

Robins dine on February worms.
Crocuses laugh at snowdrops come out to see what’s up
and go down broke backed.

Ice again. Wait a day. It will be plus 10.


About the Author: Jeremy Nathan Marks is a London, Ontario-based writer. Recent poetry appears/is appearing in Unlikely Stories, Writers Resist, Poets Reading The News, KYSO Flash, Poetry Pacific, Rat’s As Review, The Wire’s Dream, NRM Magazine, Cajun Mutt Press, Eunoia Review, The Conclusion Magazine, Bravearts, and Runcible Spoon. His short story, “Detroit 2099,” will appear in The Nature of Cities Anthology later this year.


Image Credit: “Chûte du Niagara” Unknown Photographer (1860s-1880s) Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program