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/ Two Poems

Two Poems

by Ginnie Gavrin

The End of Nothing: Shelter-In-Place

Do nothing: advice
from the Buddha

which shadows
the phase

marked in the I Ching

It is not that the meek
shall inherit the earth

Because no one will
Not exclusively

It’s more like the way
we used to answer 

the phone. Who may I ask
is calling?

Spoken to the mystery
at the other end 

of the line
Empty possibility 

before the first word
of any conversation

Where every caller 
exists nameless 

Space left open
to the kindness

of no expectations
an intimacy 

where there is                         
nothing to do

but listen.

Virus Heading Toward Winter, Reading the Auspices

…Auspices: Observation of birds for the purpose of taking omens

Three crows, points on a moving triangle
the air over the snow awash
in caws. Riffs of syncopation.

I took that to mean
our luck would soon change
the way I needed

to stop alarm, its bristle
and chill running 
across my scalp.

I hoped, the way a child
at the window is sure
her mother can stop 

the rain –– even as slippery 
streaks cover the glass 
in a spotted blur.

My mother taught me to wish
on stars, to light a candle,
drop a coin in the box

beside any patron saint.
It works better if you have 
faith though the ending

begged for is never
the answer to the equation.
Squinting at the sky 

I never saw the barred owl land
Presence without an arrival.
Brown omen in dead

oak branches. He offered
camouflage, his only clue.
Above him, silence.

Ginnie Gavrin

About Ginnie Gavrin

Ginnie Goulet Gavrin is a retired massage therapist. Currently she teaches meditation and writing workshops at the Monadnock Mindfulness Practice Center in Keene, New Hampshire. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing. Her poetry has appeared in The Literary ReviewThe Worcester ReviewTHEMAPrimaveraSlipstreamThe Greensboro Review, and will appear in an anthology on Rewilding by Split Rock Review. She is on the board of Project Home, Keene, NH, a grassroots initiative bringing five asylum seeking families out of detention to live in the local community while they await their hearings.

Cold Mountain Review is published once a year in the Department of English at Appalachian State University. Support from Appalachian’s Office of Academic Affairs and College of Arts and Sciences enables CMR’s learning and publications program. The views and opinions expressed in CMR do not necessarily reflect those of university trustees, administration, faculty, students, or staff.