Douglas Cole

Douglas Cole has published four poetry chapbook collections and has his first full-length book forthcoming this year called The Gold tooth in the Crooked Smile of God.  His work appears in anthologies such as Best New WritingBully Anthology , and Coming Off The Line  (published through Mainstreet Rag) as well as journals such as The Chicago Quarterly Review, Owen Wister Review, Slipstream, Red Rock Review, and Midwest Quarterly. More is available online in The Adirondack Review, Ithaca Lit, Talking Writing, as well as recorded stories in Bound Off and The Baltimore Review.

He has been nominated for two Pushcarts and a Best of the Web. He received the Leslie Hunt Memorial Prize in Poetry; the Best of Poetry Award from Clapboard House; and First Prize in the “Picture Worth 500 Words” from Tattoo Highway.” Interviews and publication links can be found at





Siren Song

A ferry ride from here to there
a sea current spiked with whitecaps
we slide parallel with the island
so close you’d think you could touch it
and I imagine jumping over the rail
going ice cold into water like a needle
but these dream bodies strike west
through sunlit magical pools
blazing with desire to swim on

we come upon a trail there
and hike up out of the creek bed
up and over the green bluffs
trail mucked up from heavy rains
and find ourselves in open blue
among stinging nettles and fern slopes
head higher as the trail switch-backs
climbing on legs powered by pollen
through a thistle grove in the trees

at last shed the weight of all worry
a lifetime of shadowy scenes
with evening settling on cliffs
that shudder from incoming tides
our forms under trees beaten back
by wind coming off the straight
bull kelp adrift in the ocean below
and bell buoys ringing this way this way
in the song of the wind and the waves

© 2018 Douglas Cole