This week’s poem makes its own odd and lovely case for why this speaker writes. “Iikaah” refers to the sand paintings of the Navajo of New Mexico, which are made on the ground and which, like mandalas, are destroyed at the end of the ritual.

Audrey Gidman received her BFA from the University of Maine in Farmington and has been living in Maine for six years. Her work can be found in Smeuse, The 2River View, The Rush and the Sandy River Review, among others.

Ars Poetica

By Audrey Gidman

Think catharsis. Think

unrest. Think

“iikaah,” that place

where gods come and go.

A god a red moon

saying Yes, I am here: some nights

I can’t tell if the earth

is shaking

or I’m suddenly

aware of my heartbeat.

My body moving –

we are no different from trees.

Gibson Fay-LeBlanc is poet who lives in Portland. Deep Water: Maine Poems is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2017 Audrey Gidman. It appears here by permission of the author. For an archive of all the poems that have appeared in this column, go to

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