Charles Hensler: a poem



Those Here, Imagined Or Extinct


Somewhere around the shoulders

there's a weight – the weight of a small bird

or the hand of a child


or the idea of a wingspan,

flight, feather – the idea of an airplane, an engine

or leaves striving


outward from a branch just to the edge

of what's possible, then meeting only empty air –

for each an undoing, each a failure turning

in a wind, or in the machine works


of you: like you, an unexpected end.


Coyotes wild in the neighborhood, sparrows

in the last of the huckleberries – the idea of the lake

glittering thoughtlessly under the sun:


a man in a row boat, oars

and a broad brimmed hat – the water bearing

the boat: the man, the boat a silhouette.



Charles Hensler lives and writes in the Pacific Northwest. He attended Western Washington University, where he won the Leslie Hunt Memorial Prize for Poetry. His work has appeared in Jeopardy Magazine, Crab Creek Review and The Shore.