Airy Humus by Lynn Tudor Deming


“Airy Humus” by Lynn Tudor Deming

So it goes on a good afternoon, screening
this top soil by the drive, jostling it
over the mesh so the clean loam drops
through, sifting out delicate cobwebs of roots,
tendrils of weeds limp in slime, my sweat salting
the collards of this stew until everything unwanted—
little green bowls of splintered pignut, broken
twigs, earth-caked stone, is left behind;
better still to sift the head’s glut—
its sticky detritus—reaching at last the airy
humus, so the tune of the wind blows fresh
into the dull mind, its chaff scattering,
the way a breeze moves over marsh grass,
and winnows it, in the haze of far-flung deltas.



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Lynn Tudor Deming’s Artist Statement: Lynn’s chapbook, “Heady Rubbish,” was selected by Robert Pinsky for the Philbrick Poetry Prize in 2005. In 2014 she was a semi-finalist in the Crab Orchard First Book Contest. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, including Atlanta Review, Bellingham Review, and New South. In 2015 she was awarded an International Publication Prize by Atlanta Review, and was a 2014 finalist in the 49th Parallel Award for Poetry. She was also national runner-up in the 2011 Cape Cod National Poetry Competition (judge Gerald Stern). Other honors include a residency at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and two commendations in the Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Competition. She holds a doctorate in clinical psychology and currently lives in Connecticut with her cat Billy.


Author: A Room of Her Own

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