R.S. Carlson
    R.S. Carlson teaches English linguistics, literature and creative writing at Azusa Pacific University. His work has appeared in The Texas Review, Northwest Review and Poetry/LA among many other publications. R.S. Carlson has written a beautiful book with a beautiful title: Waiting to Say Amen. Its title warns us that this may not be a light or easy read, and this is indeed the case. He writes about loss, he writes about illness, he writes about hope. He is not into rhyme and meter—he’s got more important things on his mind. This is poetry of the heart, for the heart.


Turn off the engine.
Wait till the
surfer van slams shut
and vibrates
down stereo road,
then open
the doors to the breeze.

Gulls cruising
onshore winds alight
on trash cans,
or waddle the sand,
for edibles dropped
by humans.

Out on the rumpled
lame’ of
the bay, the otters slide, licorice
strips bobbing between
sequins, waves that pull
the eye to
sunlight, first for joy,
then for glint
too harsh to watch as
a seascape.
Lie back, eyes shut to
blearing light.

The young waves shove and
giggle past
the rocks for the sand:
such schoolgirl
catechumens dressed
white to kneel
then turn back again,
beneath the chantry
of the shore…
the shore…the shore…the
shore…the shore….

2012 R.S. Carlson
R.S. Carlson was a Featured Poet who read his poetry at the November 2012 Second Sunday Poetry Series