Issue Nine – May 2005

One writing group

By Iris Graville

All of the pieces in this issue of SHARK REEF are from the members of one long-standing writing group on Lopez Island. We are honored to have been invited to share our work in this publication. We admit to having “connections.” Two of our members, Lorna Reese and Leta Currie Marshall, have been among the steadfast leaders of the Lopez Writers’ Guild as well as the founding editors of SHARK REEF. But over the past seven years, we’ve proven ourselves to be worthy of this recognition. All of us have been published, and several of us have rejection letters from some very fine publications.

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Collages

By Writing Group

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Fashion Renegades

By Lorna Reese

My husband and I moved to Lopez full time in July, 1994. Two months later, we stood under a warm, September sun, staining endless boards of pale cedar a rusty red-brown.

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How to Buy a Bathing Suit

By Iris Graville

Plans for a March vacation in Mexico, and the recognition that my 10-year-old bathing suit is well past its prime, compelled me to go shopping for a new swimsuit. In the middle of January. This is a shopping trip I’ve never enjoyed, even when I was thirty years younger and weighed twenty-five pounds less.

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A Shadow in the Valley

By Rita Larom

Jessie had had a slight sore throat, that was all.

Elsie adjusted her petticoat, smoothed her black dress and put on a crisply ironed white apron. She heard her daughter singing to herself as the child lay in her cot recovering from diphtheria. Though relieved that Jessie was well enough she could leave her alone, queasiness rocked Elsie as she rehearsed the words she must use today.

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Down the Road

By Leta Currie Marshall

Nolene saw the dust cloud rising in the distance long before she could make out who it was. She knew most of the pickups around, and if it wasn’t a vehicle she recognized, her lips stiffened into a frowning arc as the dust rolled toward her.

She kept the garage sale going every day. There was nothing else to do, and the stuff sold so slowly there was no danger of it running out any time soon.

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Four Poems

By Brooks

Southwest red rocks-
golden in sunlight,
in moonlight, black

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The Shepherd’s Choice

By Brooks

Halfway between sea
and sheep, in a place
of solace, he considers
the cost of choice. How
choosing might leave

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Otter Skeleton

By Brooks

From pelvis to
lifted neck,
a graceful curve.
No limbs or skull.

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Partial Return

By Brooks

When Dylan first asked “When
will we ever learn,” I thought
we would. I believed Kennedy
when he told me I could make
a difference. And I saw
Martin Luther King’s dream.

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Baroque Concert

By Brooks

Lips on reed
fingers on keys and
stringed wood
cradled close.

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Acceleration

By Heather June

I hear water music in my sleep: foghorns, and the scratchy voice of a Great Blue Heron, frogs in the marsh. There is the tide as it slides out, then rushes back-the ocean breathing in and out. I dream all the voices in a room filled with people but I can make out only snatches of dialogue, a little blond girl saying, “Change is a fast-moving current,” and a tall, thin professor who explains, “the explicate lies enfolded in the implicate.”

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Thoughts from a Seat in the Waiting Room

By Amalia Driscoll

I watched from my waiting room chair. A snow-headed ancient, bundled into a thick car coat, came in through the automatic double doors of the hospital specialty center. He leaned heavily on a cane with his right hand as he lurched forward, steadying himself with his left hand on the shoulder of a slight and equally snow-headed woman with glasses and handbag and long coat.

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