A collaboration from Stephanie L. Harper and Robert Okaji (O at the Edges on WordPress. And the best part: they promise more. Enjoy!

O at the Edges


by Stephanie L. Harper and Robert Okaji

I remember what I cannot say
in the moment before
I somehow say something else,

but like a river reversing course
seeps its brackish warmth
into crisp mountain runoff channels,

my backdraft, too,
to stifle the resident cutthroats
along with their prey.

Nothing will remain safe for long
from the toxic sediments I bear
upstream, resisting

the current’s translucent
promise to rush me past the crest
of undulant reeds between
the salt marsh and open sea;

for no twist in the shoreline,
nor cloudburst’s surge could un-speak
the daylight

from its collapse
into the ocean’s black throat.

“Flux” first appeared onUnderfoot Poetry, and is one of several pieces (with more to come) written during the past year in collaboration with Stephanie L. Harper, whose wisdom, patience and good humor enrich my life daily. Thank you, Daniel Paul Marshall…

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6 thoughts on “Flux

      • My actual name is J the kind without an initial. Got me in loads of fun when I was a USMC combat correspondent in Vietnam: seems the Army which then was running things public-relations wise though it was code for a marijuana cigarette, thus they semi-made me use quote marks around my name “J” which to my way of thinking emphasized the disturbance. At one time Florida licensed me to drive as J(only), which I though was hard to pronounce without spurting milk out both nostrils. My full name is J Kirk Richards. When I was less arrogant than after boot camp I used to tell people: “Say J Kirk real fast three times and you will get a hit of how I am.” Most of my respondents asked if I had transposed letters. Ms. Harper, my fingers do many thinks(shudda typed “Things”) on a keyboard but that works, too) but intentional traspositioning is not one of my many and varied alphabetical sins. You might be regretful – I will have to go back and look since I respond to ‘most any thing anyone calls (or types) me – but I suspect you can not nor should not carry sorry in a bucket. J

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