The Morning News and Other Poems by Margaret Koger

Still Shining

Venture into the strange world as it is now and also be taken to the worlds of others in these poems by Margaret Koger! She has a delightful flow in her storytelling and brings excitement by the visuals she creates.

The Morning News

We want the world and we want it now.
—The Doors

I’m staying safe working from home
where I may have time to clean my mind
organize fear into manageable categories

home school the children, order groceries
find old friends online, chat while I disinfect
everything in sight, hoping for a vaccine—

Mornings I’m revived by coffee from Kauai
shipped across an ocean to my inland home
where I read of a traumatized world.

My laptop query speeds into cloudy algorithms
fed by satellites serving up fear and circuses.
I heed the news of seven billion people

most surviving the weathers of death
hurricanes, a scourge of locust eating crops
cease fires breaking hot in faraway lands.

And Betty’s foot surgery’s postponed
Joseph heart transplant’s unavailable
Alison is suddenly running a fever.

I’m just one of the seven-billion people hoping
to be safe from the novel virus and swelling tides
to keep a roof, food, neighbors—the door ajar.

First Light at Dagger Falls

Follow me into the wilderness
watch the Chinook leaping whitewater
as dawn spreads color on canyon walls
sun silvering the backs of salmon below

there! a female whips above the rapids
her pulse drumming to the coax
of her blush-red roe seeking the stream-
bed where she hatched a smolt maturing
such as her eggs will become

now! the male bursts from the froth, leaping
fighting to follow miles to go into shallows
where they’ll spawn milt, eggs, gametes
as earth’s magnetic pulse imprints

inspiring me my heart in flight
soaring to perch in a ponderosa where
I’m avian soon kited on cliff winds
peering down into pine prospects soughed

in desire my pulse beating as I wait
for an updraft to carry me a lover
a sturdy male ready to find a redd.

The Enticement

A rogue lover saunters into the garden
chanting my name, my name, my name.
He limbs his shoulders against my wall

offers pitfalls of spring blossoms
mockeries of leaf-mold
wavering bees

I spell the ivy to cover him with green
I spell his name in the water and quicken the river
I call the hawk to watch over his captivity

He curses me with a blizzard of rhyme
He curses me with the names of my father and mother
He beckons a snake to anaconda my heart

I tell him NO

Many have armed me against his claxon call
(She’s a stumble finger, fumble foot;
she’s got a nose just like a book.)

He stretches my name around me

stands astride my garden
offering peaches in a basket
pits ready for planting

I tell him no

He jangles the air I breathe with ripe scents
He immerses my mind in satin dreams
He waits for me to flow to him

If I step forward, will he erase me?

If I am his if he is mine whose name will survive?

River Therapy

webs of swooning capillaries
(any of the fine branching streams
penetrating the flanks of mountains)

water wraps swiftly, surrounding the drop of a hat
March shivers its banks as the river’s hunger mounts
gush of refusing confinement
flush as if her water broke

say this morning is the beginning of the world
who is to know it’s not?

the earth is another story
all solid, whirling through space
turning its rumtum body round
facing the sun

the sun never fails
mornings the gnatcatchers’ peeping
from the river mouth could drive an anemone mad
a cracked plate sailing on ocean seams

I certify the crack in the plate
we’ll have it notarized by noon

how does nothing compare with nothing?
or is absence the fulfillment of no thing?
notice the corner where I kept the brash container
floating on the river of mis understanding

days pour through me like complaints
traveling upstream, searching a mellow meadow
near 8th and sunflower
but the morning saunters

water has no color
water is always hungry
step into the river
be swept away
listen, skinned logs

The Reservoir: The Return

Our craft bucks across waves
furrowed by boats before us
their wakes rising and falling
as we slowly round the curve
nearing the Robie Creek dock.

One by one shore birds take wing
avocets and a gray heron startled
stick-feet tucked, wings spread
instinct calling them to move on.

The inlet stream’s sparkling eye
temps children arriving by car
to race (barefoot) across concrete
their tangled voices echoing
days we remember as our own.

To wade in and splash—garlands
of joy—sparkled into rainbows.


Margaret Koger is a school media specialist with a writing habit. She lives near the river in Boise, Idaho. Her poetry adds new connections to the wayward web of life.  See a few more poems on: Collective Unrest, Inez, Voice of Eve, Headway, and Tiny Seeds Literary Journal.

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