Devon Balwit – Four Poems


Sitting on the wall,

her chest opens to waxwings, to the wind

that sounds her, unstopped.


Holding her own hand, she shuts eyes

on dusk’s peony flush,


her chignon snugging its weight of want

to her nape,


a single strand slipped to ripple alongside

the blown seeds lazing ever farther


as they sink.  She watches one till it disappears

between blades,


then stands, her hands falling to her hips,

her hips falling


into the rhythm of steps.  Somewhere, an ear

returns her echo.


creation myth

the crow constructs

the man, pebble


by pebble, ear, a wild

thistle rustling,


pupil, a solitary seed,



of forests, each plume

a lock of hair


ready to lift in wind.


how the blessed travel

the tiniest finch

is enough

to bear away

a saint

if the saint herself

is tiny

and clings close

to the beating wings


there they go

with a sound

like a piccolo

shedding light

like midsummer

blushing the skin

of a pear


on the sill



spread your calligraphy

over night,

antennae alert to the


of stars, your scaled wings


that even cocooned,


from cell

to wingtip,

one can change.

offer each ornament

as a key

to a universal geometry,

neither the filled staves

of the maestros,

nor a naked man

on a cross

weightier signs

of an unsoundable



Author’s Statement on Beauty

Beauty comes to me, first and foremost, through my eyes.  The natural world serves as my most consistent doorway to it–whether through a mackerel sky at sunset, the geometry of garden flowers, striations in stones, the hover of raptors, the myriad shapes of insects, the wind swirling grass, or light playing on water. I’m awed by fractals and iridescence. The printed page offers a different type of loveliness, one of word choice, economy of expression, alliteration and internal rhyme.  I notice the way poems sit on the page, the font they are set in, and the images that accompany them.  The effect of beauty is to let one stand outside of time, which, ironically, is exactly what the process of creating a poem does.


Devon Balwit is a poet and educator from Portland, Oregon. She has a chapbook, Forms Most Marvelous, forthcoming from dancing girl press (summer 2017). Her poems can be found in journals such as: The Cincinnati Review, Red Paint Hill, The Ekphrastic Review, and Permafrost.