37 | Poetry by Dagne Forrest, Winner of the Hammond House Publishing International Literary Prize
Still Life with UFO
Six white chickens dot the hillside,
daubs of creamy paint on a green canvas,
tracking slowly left as they forage.
If I look up from the field below
where the dog and I walk each day
their progress reads like stop-motion film.
A v-formation of geese appears, pulled across
the sky as though by an invisible string.
The dog slips in and out of the long grasses.
The skies noticeably dim then lighten
as the sun sleeves through ashen clouds
until the glare from above grows blinding.
A strange rumble and unflinching light
are all I can sense until the landscape
resolves once more, the dog still nearby.
I cast my glance like a net up the hill
once more to check on our little flock:
no white chickens dot the hillside.
A Perhaps Inhabited World
Things look good for Venus
to host life in the swirling
detritus above its pressured
surface, microbes in the ether.
I’m no extremophile, yet
my mind is set awhirl
by the mere idea of living
in a comfortable haze,
at a remove from fevered ground
countless fathoms below.
Creating a little distance
from a toxic reality,
my constant reinvention
just like phosphine molecules
in and out of existence,
telegraphing a message
to anyone watching the skies:
I don’t know how, but I’m here.
“This discovery is now putting Venus into the realm of a perhaps inhabited world,” says Martha Gilmore, a planetary geologist. – “Something Weird is Happening on Venus,” The Atlantic, Sept 14, 2020