Featured Writer: Meg Smith

for José Alonso, Ph.D., Arecibo Observatory, Puerto Rico

(The Arecibo Observatory  is the home of the world's largest  single-dish
radio telescope.)

A galaxy splits open, bursting into a million islands.
When it happens, you will know.
You will not be there, but here,
where thunder prowls in the grip of low clouds.

Visitors come here to listen
for small tears in the universe.
To do it
they must travel the way of the campo,
through the dark hills and tall grass.
What you hear and what they hear
is your gift to your mother and father,
who raised you in a place truly of Earth:
Of coffee and sugar cane,
and nights filled with the whistle of coquí frogs,
while you dreamt of decimals, and
infinite numbers.

In your life now you listen, but speak as well, from this deep place
so near the molten core,
whispering to the rust and cobalt.
The chorus in response is
the flowing of
the Venutian lava river twice the length of the Nile,
and Elder Eddas of a people we cannot
yet know.
In a place of deep grass you have found deep space,
listening with an ear to the ground.

Meg Smith lives in Lowell, Mass. Her poetry has appeared in Pudding,The Café Review, The Catbird Seat,Vyü, Pulse, poetry bay.com, Gothic.net, Dreams of Decadence, The Bridge Review, Pegasus, Blue Violin, and others. Her poem, ³Huracan,² has received an honorable mention from St. Martin's Press Year's Best Fantasy And Horror. She has published one book of poetry, The First Fire and is working on a second, The Perfect Cat. She is editor and publisher of Red Eft, an occasional journal of fantasy, horror and speculative literature. She works as a journalist and won a 2000 first-place award of the New England Press Association for coverage of racial and ethnic issues and for lifestyle writing. She is a board member and events producer for the Lowell Celebrates Kerouac! festival devoted to Lowell native Jack Kerouac and to Beat literature. As an Oriental dancer with the stage name, Morgana, she has performed in shows throughout New England, and is a staff writer for Jareeda, a trade magazine of Middle Eastern dance, and associate editor of Middle Eastern Dance in New England.

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