The Hocking Hills Festival of Poetry


Lynn Powell


Lynn Powell is the author of two books of poetry, Old & New Testaments (winner of The Brittingham Prize in Poetry and The Great Lakes Colleges Associationís New Writers Award) and The Zones of Paradise (winner of The Sheila Margaret Motton Prize from The New England Poetry Club).  Her book of nonfiction, Framing Innocence, is forthcoming.  In 2007, Powell was awarded Individual Artist Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (in poetry) and the Ohio Arts Council (in prose).  Her poems have been published in Poetry, Shenandoah, The Paris Review, and in numerous anthologies, including 180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Everyday, edited by Billy Collins.  Powell has worked extensively as a Writer in the Schools in grades K-12 and as a Visiting Writer at Cornell University, University of Akron, and Oberlin College.  A native of east Tennessee, Powell lives with her family in Oberlin, Ohio. 


I'd gotten used to the goldenrod rattling
its empty cup, the bony maples, the prostrate
garden, the wind bothering the oak
for one last brown indulgence of leaves.

Now the yard's changed its hair shirt to velveteen,
and dogwoods tire quickly of their legend, tire
of blood-tipped crosses they have to bear, heavier
than the redbud's, old Judas tree redeemed in pink.

There's rejoicing among the violets
when the backslid earth comes home to the green gospel.
I want to lie down and let them lay their hands on me;
I want to take April as my personal savior.

Consider the tulips, washed in the blood,
the forget-me-nots blue-eyeing heaven,
the privet, the briar, the prodigal weed ready
to be born again, and again.