On a good morning

I am the shaman

on a great morning

I am all thirteen of them


a conclave of fire and feathers

atop the Sayan Mountains.


I practice divinations

while sipping coffee

and braiding my syllabic chants

into crows’ shouts

I call the words gather

they descend the World Tree

I lead ancestral heroes

to the island of my page.


This morning

I am a correspondent

fumbling with my camera

to document this Siberian ritual

or worse an ill-fated Yakutian bull

bellowing centuries

as I surrender to the blade

palpable and mute.


On a good morning

I am both the knife

and the warm bowl of cow’s blood –

on a great morning

I am a poet.



Candice Kelsey

Candice Kelsey’s poems have appeared in such journals as Poet Lore, The Cortland Review, North Dakota Quarterly, and Burningword — recently her nonfiction was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. An educator of 20 years’ standing with her master’s degree in literature from LMU, she lives in Los Angeles with her husband and three children.

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