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  • Beverly M. Collins

Naked Helium; Rural Memories

By Beverly M. Collins

Naked Helium

Someday, opinions held privately in the mind

will float like balloons to be seen boldly by

all as a banner of naked helium,

Then fall like prayers dripped into the dark

of a damp drain where they will blanket themselves

in shadow. The ground under our steps knows

Its importance even as we trample. It bounces

back but remembers the feet that pressed it.

For someday, what is underneath will be all

there is in the forefront.

The open, flat or unoccupied will be searched for

and fought over. Clean will be counted as a past

notion studied at university as part of lost history.

Movement will be demanded to marry itself

to some kind of calling or be banished.

The branded push to rule as the unmarked

become listed as criminals, their voices left to

shout at locked keyholes deep within a hidden


Rural Memories

Something about ruralism. The sandy paths into

The deep wooded areas. Patient large spiders

In the wood-wide-web of tangled trees.

Discovery of a dead dog with bones exposed

and fur surrounding its dried body like nature’s

marking tape. We fought our way back to the ditch-

sided roadway,

The sound of our footsteps so forlorn on the

quiet walk back to grandfather’s house. Only

to find him still seated, cross-legged, same look

as we left him. The less traffic, the more silent

the lonely.

With his old pipe in one hand, slowly shaking one

foot, he watched the cornfields, as if waiting

for something promised, unknown to us,

but coming on daybreak, birdwings or the winds. Then

with his conclusions drawn, stiff as the old linoleum,

maybe his departure was the signal of its arrival.

About Beverly M. Collins:

Collins is the author of Quiet Observations: Diary Thought, Whimsy and Rhyme and Mud in Magic. Her works appear in California Quarterly, Poetry Speaks! A Year of Great Poems and Poets (Sourcebooks Inc.), The Hidden and the Divine Female Voices in Ireland, The Journal of Modern Poetry (Chicago), Spectrum, Peeking Cat Literary (London), Altadena Poetry Review, The Galway Review (Ireland), Verse of Silence (India), Merak Magazine (London), Scarlet Leaf Review (Canada), Wild Word Magazine (Berlin), The Readers and Writers Magazine (UK), Truth Serum Press/Bequem Publishing (Australia), Poetry for Ukraine (UK) and others.

She is one of 3 winners of the Wilda Morris June 2021 Poetry Challenge (Chicago), a 2019 Naji Naaman Literary Prize for Creativity (Lebanon). Collins is also a prize-winner for the California State Poetry Society, twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize and short-listed for the Pangolin Review Poetry Prize (Mauritius). Her photography can be found on the cover of Peeking Cat 40, displayed online by The Academy of the Heart and Mind, printed on Fine Art America products, iStock/Getty Images, Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, Spectrum, Wend Poetry, Harpy Hybrid Review and others. Website: Contact:



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