Kathleen Hellen

Is it eagle is it
fish we wish    stumped as logs    fair
dog    fowl    from pieces/hunks    bear
or pig in fifteen minutes    eye from knot    claw
from ring    whiff of smoke and pine to yellow brr/grr    
shaved/whittled    something swift    something chipped/   
chiseled in his image    holy    his   

Author's Commentary: The event was magical. It was late August at the county fair, and drawn by the growl of a chainsaw, I found myself outside the netting with a small group of spectators, as a man in orange, chin-strapped visor/earmuffs, bored and whittled back a tree stump. “Oh’s” and “Ah’s” punctuated my surprise, my absolute delight, guessing what shape—the likeness of a dog, a bear—the wood night take. As the form emerged, it was as if something wondrous had been born. 

Kathleen Hellen Pic_preview.jpeg

Kathleen Hellen is the author of the award-winning collection Umberto’s Night and two chapbooks, The Girl Who Loved Mothra and Pentimento. Her poems have appeared in Barrow Street, The Massachusetts Review, North American Review, Poetry East, and elsewhere. Hellen is a recipient of the James Still poetry prize, the Thomas Merton prize, and prizes from the H.O.W. Journal and Washington Square Review. Her poems have been nominated for the Pushcart and Best of the Net and featured on Poetry Daily.