Andrew Rahal| No New Wilderness

No New Wilderness. Poems by Andrew Rahal, selected by Dan Vera & Ron Mohring as Number 14 in our Rane Arroyo Series.

Publication:  May 1, 2021 [100 copies]
35 pages
ISBN 978-1-949333-76-3
$ 9.00

cover image by Paul Bilger

Andrew Rahal was born in Columbia, MD. He received an MA in English from Vanderbilt University where he co-founded the Nashville Review.His poems appear in Bath Magg, Great River Review, Gertrude Press, Poetry Ireland Review, and elsewhere. In 2019, he was selected by Martina Evans for the Poetry Ireland Introductions Series and has received support for his work from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the Center for Book Arts, the Irish Association for American Studies, and Poetry Ireland. He is a PhD candidate at the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s University, Belfast. He lives in Belfast with his family.

Sign: Entering Sappho 

It even feels like a fragment,
a hot drop of water across papyrus,

an old patch of life remembered
in blurs of green grey rain

where the 101 runs past
a cedar shake house

with a red tin roof, her gutters wilting
in a stubborn blockish clearing

adorned in sword fern, dead cars,
an alder stand, clear cuts of Douglas Fir

and a spire of wood smoke
that fragments across the air.

It looks like a remnant, like there
is no new wilderness left,

like all the animal burials fail
and their bones resurface in the rain

where, by accident, another car 
tapers off the road, and soon headlights

bless the wreck, the oil, the steep bank
of the Sol Duc, her gravel beds slick

with scales, sand flies busy
with spawned-out kings and busier

in the red continuous light of hazards
blinking through plastic, flooding tracks

of animals circling back, distracted, 
rankled, hiding, just muscling through.