Douglas Cole

Revisiting Erskine Way

This was just a dirt road, and in the golden hour
you can still see the dust and the outline of an old
flatbed truck hauling nets down to Lowman Beach.
And where you now see this L-shaped luxury home,
there used to be a station, and again at night mostly
if you squint hard, you can see the shades of service men
in overalls as you go from living room to kitchen
passing through the shadow of their breath.


An absurd storm, everything coming down,
rooftop littered with cedar limbs.
I dream a road and road appears.
The country store with pelts and shotguns,
camp supplies, rattlesnake floating in a jar,
door slamming at my back as I slip away,
emerge on your porch as you say, there you are.

Four Way

The past is a foggy boat ride to Riverside.
The present is a black cloud of birds in flight.
The future is a song coming out of a Chinese restaurant.
And I am the theater operator and lighthouse keeper
in that movie full of unknowns you still remember

Douglas Cole has published six collections of poetry, a novella, and The White Field, a novel. His work has appeared in several anthologies as well as The Chicago Quarterly Review, The Galway Review, Bitter Oleander, Louisiana Literature, and Slipstream. He has been nominated twice for a Pushcart and Best of the Net and received the Leslie Hunt Memorial Prize in Poetry. He lives and teaches in Seattle. His website is

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Spring 2021