Featured Poet: Maura MacNeil, Washington, NH
Maura MacNeil's recent collection of poems, A History of Water, was a top ten finalist in the Finishing Line Press Open Chapbook Competition and published in August 2007 by Finishing Line Press. Over the past two decades her poetry has appeared numerous publications and has been anthologized in The Breath of Parted Lips: Voices from the Frost Place, Volume II from CavanKerry Press. She is co-founder and editor of Entelechy International: A Journal of Contemporary Ideas and a co-founder of the Stone Bridge Poetry Project in Henniker, NH. As an educator, she currently teaches at New England College in Henniker, NH where she is an Associate Professor of Writing. Maura lives in Washington, New Hampshire with her husband.
Of her poem, “This Last Place,” Maura writes:
The physical landscape that surrounds me, a landscape that has contributed greatly to the creation of my internal landscape as a writer, has undergone rapid change in the last few years. The line “These days everything keeps its place only for a moment and then like magic it's gone” kept going through my head as I drove through familiar space that became unrecognizable to me, overnight it seemed, as new construction populated those landscapes. The poem began as an attempt to reconcile this transformation and its connection to the unsettled shift I felt within myself as my sense of place, a place where my personal mythology is so deeply rooted, is erased and replaced by the unrecognizable. As the poem began to take form it moved into a broader context about how one chooses to recognize their own self through the confusion and doubt that often accompanies great change.
This Last Place
This change of light and how it wakes you with uneasiness
and the shift of wind from the north that rains down ice
might keep you covered for months. You swear this will
be your last season in a place you believe is disappearing.
These days everything keeps its place only for a moment
and then like magic it's gone. You don't trust the seasons
anymore. Your husband has moved the car to the other
side of the street to avoid a ticket without telling you
and you stand on the sidewalk looking at where it was parked
last night and doubt everything. You don't know how
you will remember anything anymore. You believe this change
happened quickly but you blink and remember that it did not.
In your dreams last night there were ships in the harbor run aground.
You think of changing your direction to find out if this is true.
Published in Entelechy International: A Journal of Contemporary Ideas, Number 5, (2007). Reprinted by permission of the author.
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