Donald Junkins Red Point Journal: Swan’s Island, Summer 2001

This spring, the passing of our former poetry editor Donald Junkins saddened the NDQ community. Junkins was a poet, educator, and editor both for the Quarterly and the Massachusetts Review. In recognition of his contributions to NDQ and his work, we thought we’d republish a collection of his poems from NDQ 70.2 (Spring 2003).

“Red Point Journal: Swan’s Island, Summer 2001” is a series of sixteen poems that interlace the landscape of Swan’s Island in Maine with personal reflections. The glare of the sun, the smell of summer rain, and the coastal fogs frame the interplay of the past and present in Junkins’s seaside reveries. We will publish the poems on the dates included in their titles inviting readers to back to Junkins’s vision of Swan’s Island 20 years later. 

June 30 | July 2 | July 3 | July 4 | July 5 | July 7 | July 8 | July 10 | July 11

THESE ROSES IN MID-JULY

overflowing on the deck
make more poignant the spruce
railings aging under the seasonal suns.
They belie their own brown
underside, their southeast bruise flecked
with twigs, and lounge in loose
array seven boards deep,
barely murmuring in the summer wind
as the summer bees flaunt
their carefree summer binge. I want
some distant day, because we cannot keep
the dearest things, to find
at least in some forgotten drawer
this barest hint of what we knew was more.

~

To read more about Donald Junkins see his obituaries in the Boston Globe and at UMass-Amherst.

As you likely know, these days are particularly challenging for many cultural institutions, publishers, and little magazines. So even if NDQ doesn’t float your boat, If you can, consider buying a book from a small presssubscribing to a literary journal (like our UNP stablemate, Hotel Amerika), or otherwise supporting the arts.

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