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Caudell, Robin

Caudell, Robin

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Robin Caudell is an AP award-winning journalist and videographer. She has been a staff writer at the Press-Republican since 1990. Born and raised on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, she holds a B.S. in Journalism from the University of Maryland at College Park and a MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. She is a brand-new alum of SongwritingWith:Soldiers and wrote “Sinking Sand” with Georgia Middleman, a Nashville-based singer-songwriter. She is a founding member of the North Country Underground Railroad Historical Association/North Star Museum at Ausable Chasm and the Plattsburgh Air Force Base Museum. A Cold War and United States Air Force Veteran, she served from 1986-1990 and rose to the rank of Sgt. She served as an Adirondack Center for Writing instructor for eight years. She also was a counselor/writer for the summer-writing program of the National Book Foundation at Bennington College.

Genetic Jazz

Harjo

Joy
Silvers
Soprano-sax poems
Blue-blacking
Muskogee hearts
Raven wings

Joy Raps true
Slaps hypocrite MITT
(More Indian Than Thou)
Who squint down
Not so brown or red
Nor chiseled noses
At Breeds
Lacing moccasins
Beaded with Ancestors’ eyes

Genetics: Porcupine quills
You can’t shake

Africa calls
You
Daughter
Sister Joy
Calls you
Beloved
Gifts obsidian
Horses horses horses
With Pleiad eyes

DNA don’t lie
Oya smudges you
Yoruba ritual
Quinine quest
Shine   shine   shine

Lift sax
Blow back
Blow back
Blow back
Stoke mud
Where E1B1A
Mixed jazz electric
Blue and rude

DNA don’t lie
Neither do Spirit

Genetics: Porcupine quills
You can’t shake


 Bass Line

Patrice

I know the rock
From which you were carved
The Archangel harping
‘Round your base

Fire in your obsidian eyes
Stoke a passion, a potential so
Magnificent I hold my breath
Fall through your eyes
To God, oh God, oh Lord Jesus

A dusk daughter
Knows a King’s son
Even when he thumps bass
Know by the curve of my back
The arch of my brow
My palms are as purple
I sit where clouds split
Carve my daughter from basalt
Eddy ‘round her base

Carthage Timbuktu Beale Street
Carthage Timbuktu Beale Street
Carthage Timbuktu Beale Street

I know rock
Waters


Winter’s Septentrion Sestina

Maiden with cobalt cheeks and ghost-white tongue
Winter gathers Fall’s seams between her fingers
She strings poplar leaves and rhubarb stalks, a necklace
Of silver discs – sun and moon and ice
She sleeps beneath Gray Wolf in oak shadows
A midwinter’s night dream spills

Squirrels scamper in her bone-black hair, it spills
Across the frozen land   beneath
Dawn’s rose tongue Spring burrows in her deepest shadows
She pops beechnuts with nimble purple fingers
Unhooks time like a black pearl necklace

She dreams Adirondack bears chew her necklace
In the night, the Aurora Borealis spills
Across a lake thick with snow-covered ice
The Man in the Moon’s emerald tongue
Licks her slender, hoary fingers
Cradling her mind’s lamp-black shadows

She dreams Adirondack bears chew her necklace
In the night, the Aurora Borealis spills
Across a lake thick with snow-covered ice
The Man in the Moon’s emerald tongue
Licks her slender, hoary fingers
Cradling her mind’s lamp-black shadows

She dreams Adirondack bears chew her necklace
In the night, the Aurora Borealis spills
Across a lake thick with snow-covered ice
The Man in the Moon’s emerald tongue
Licks her slender, hoary fingers
Cradling her mind’s lamp-black shadows

Across the sky   Dusk spills indigo fingers
Winter’s tongue bores beads of ice
In oak shadows   She strings a necklace

Excerpt “Black Heel Strings: A Tidewater Memoir” 1999 Honorable Mention in The Atlantic Monthly Student Writing Competition.