Iowa Writes


A slow rising red moon used to mean—something:
violent storms or turbulent times,
omens and portents of war,
or something so simple
as the fall.

What meanings are lost when the blood-tinted moon
rises over a Popeye's Fried Chicken?
At least he was a sailor.
He would have known what a
red moon means.

I imagine him turning a canny eye
and battening down his hatches,
or sailing for the horizon
serene in his knowledge
of the sea.

Earth falls away, the moon slides softly south
to hang placidly over Starbucks—
Another steady seaman
competent, stern and true,
unlike me.

Cowed by long forgotten natural visions,
I ache for those hardy souls of old
who lived, and were, in the world,
confident they knew
the stars' paths.

I could learn to sail frost tipped seas, navigate
My way by silent shining starlight.
Or wander the world wide
with the ache of my soul,
my only guide.

About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

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Joseph Donka is a high school English teacher, former newspaper columnist, aspiring young-adult novelist, and shameless libertine.  He has attended the 2012 and 2013 Iowa Summer Writing Festivals.  He currently lives in Palos Heights, Illinois with his wife, Jenn.  If you enjoy his work, please show your appreciation with scotch and bacon.

This is the third and final day of our celebration of Joseph Donka's poetry.  Shy and Metropolis were published earlier this week.

This page was first displayed
on March 12, 2014

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