Issue > Poetry
John Sibley Williams

John Sibley Williams

John Sibley Williams is the author of Controlled Hallucinations (FutureCycle Press, 2013) and six poetry chapbooks. He is the winner of the HEART Poetry Award and finalist for the Pushcart, Rumi, and The Pinch Poetry Prizes. He's published in Third Coast, Nimrod International Journal, Inkwell, Cider Press Review, Bryant Literary Review, Cream City Review, The Chaffin Journal, The Evansville Review, RHINO and various anthologies. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

In Nautical Terms

Without lineage or progeny, the sea neither appears
nor empties in a boat's wake.
Without true form, it bends around what passes
and retranslates each time
into something the world has never known.

I drag my right hand through the water
behind this infinitesimal body,
thrust the left hopefully toward the bow.
Somewhere in between I am
suddenly becoming me,
again and again—
as in where I'm going has never been,
where I come from is the foreign land in the distance.

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