Poetry Well for November features poet and bookseller

  • Tuesday, November 8, 2016 11:23am
  • Arts

The Poetry Well is a monthly column that showcases island poetry. This month includes a poem by Randy Barnes.


How those many tensions

break against the shore—

torque of rock

and shell—

rock and wood—

that tide’s force shatters

at the borders,

the foaming movements—

crash of gulls

among waves

plying the intervals,

the crow clipped edges,

dark crystal mounds,

half submerged,

bent inward,

the salted


all motion

in transmission,





the glutted determinants




Randy Barnes studied English literature and poetry at the University of Kansas, Lawrence and the University of Missouri, Rolla in the early 1970s. He began publishing his poetry in small literary magazines in the 70s and through the early 90s, while also publishing three books of poetry: “A Certain Music,” “2” and “The Amplitudes.”

Since then, he has authored several small chapbook collections including “In The Service Of Silence,” “Lines In Air,” “Smoke Crystals,” “Dispatches From Underground,” “Midnight’s Thunder,” “December Log” and “The Image Of A World Carried Earthward On A Poplar Leaf.”

Barnes has lived on Vashon Island since 2006. He is the owner of Outrider Book Gallery, an online bookstore specializing in American poetry and literature.

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