Articles by Marly Youmans

Marly Youmans

Marly Youmans is the author of fourteen books of poetry and fiction. Her latest poetry collection is The Book of the Red King, following the narrative of a transforming Fool, a mysterious Red King, and the ethereal Precious Wentletrap (Montreal: Phoenicia Publishing, 2019.) Her latest novel is Charis in the World of Wonders.


The Little Place

That little place—it burned in May this year, Touched, torched by riot flames in the city… What city? Could be any city now; It doesn’t matter which or where. They’re all Debris and fatwood meant to kindle fire. That little place—familiar, homely, worn. You sent a video of girls at play In spars and ashes…

Me And Pablo Neruda

I am with my love in La Colombina, a room with forty narrow windows and a stained glass spine to the ceiling and calligraphic iron scribbles for roof support. The sea stands still beyond hillsides of innumerable houses, folded and tucked shapes of plaster and painted tin. A seagull waits at the open window beside…

Anders, Young and Old

I knew him long ago—even at first, I sensed that he was the center of his world, and that he expected all good things to come to him. You see, he made stories out of words, and he knew what was supposed to happen. You were to happen to him. You were to come to…

Godric of Finchale as a Thorn Tree

Homage to Frederick Buechner The thorn was bronze and wonderful to see,Though no one’s safe around such scimitars That escalade against the very sky. Yet scimitar by scimitar it rose,And being made so barbed and barbarous, Perhaps it meant no harm but harmed by chance. Woodcutters could have axed and hacked the treeTo toss a greenwood crackle…

TREE OF GOLD

This morning she woke at 4:00 a.m. with an image in her mind; she had been dreaming of walking up the aisle of Christ Church toward the white Gothic altar. As she had done many times before, she was bearing something tall and weighty. In dream, it was not the processional cross but a lovely…

IOLANTHE

She was my strangest friend. She saw the dead on the day they died. They stopped by her house on the way to the Jordan. Sometimes she saw a globe of light emerge from her body—bright like a miniature globe lightning. God talked to her, joshing in a voice like her own. I always wondered…

The Ebbing

She was beginning to mislay our names And also where she came from, who she was— Her childhood inside house and orchard walls, The fruit as warm as sunshine on her palm: The words that should have held the world fell back. Yet in her gestures, there was mystery And something luminous that tried to…

Hydrangeas

The blade, the cuts, the sighs. Inner pith grown hotter. A vase of injured limbs. Do this to resurrect: Rinse and gash, repeat. Hammer till fibers split. Blossoms’ bee-swarm (hurt-flecked By memories of heat) All loveliness and grit… Life rises from mangle, From stems slashed at angle.

The Secret from the Ground

In childhood’s realm, I found a prize in earth: It was a tiny king and tiny queen Arranged upon a palanquin of gold, My memory insists they’re beautiful, The metal robes, enameled faces, crowns As sparkling-bright as cleft and burnished gems. The soil had changed the iris of an eye, And so the king had…

(c) 2019 North American Anglican