Elegy for Portland, Oregon

Our grey skies are darker now with smoke borne
From Chinese factories out across the
Sea, blown by ocean breezes and the strong
Pacific winds we once extolled as a
Plus to living up here, where skies and seas
Tend to blur (by this I mean, of course, rains
And the deep wet damp that falls on to these
Portland streets we love). But, now we can't praise,
With old watery pride, our distinct lack
Of sun. We've lost the raw beauty of our
Dark rains to heavy metals; the smoke stacks
That belch blacker clouds than ours each hour
Have reached our damp hung sky. We are left
With dim haze …both polluted and bereft.

Primarily a formalist poet, Juleigh Howard-Hobson (born 1963 in England) has simultaneously written literary fiction, genre work, non-fiction essays and articles, purposely blunting the modern 'brandable' concept of artistic obligation to any single form or movement. Recognition for her poetry spans decades, from the 1980 ANZAC Day Award (under her maiden name Juleigh Howard-Hunt) to nominations for both Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize. Individual poems have appeared in scores of venues, across the globe, including The Lyric, Candelabrum, Able Muse, The Flea, Flipside Magazine, Qarrtsiluni, Autonom, Mezzo Cammin, The Chimaera, Fourteen Magazine, New Witch, The Raintown Review, Hip Mama Magazine, Mobius, Hex Magazine, 14 by 14,  The Hyper Texts, The Barefoot Muse, Umbrella, Poemeleon, Soundzine, Caduceus: The Poets at Art Place Vol 8 (Yale University), 2008 Poets' Guide To New Hampshire (NH State Poetry Society), The Best of the Barefoot Muse (Barefoot Pub), Poem, Revised: 54 Poems, Revisions, Discussions (Marion Street Press), The Journal of Contemporary Heathen Thought (Heithin Publishing), Sweet Lemons 2: International Writings With A Sicilian Accent; Legas Sicilian Series Vol XIX (Legas) and many other places. Her first chapbook, Sommer and Other Poems (RavensHalla Arts Pub. March 2007), sold out its first edition and is to be reissued in the spring of 2012. Her second chapbook, The Cycle of Nine, is forthcoming with the same publisher. She is the Assistant Poetry Editor at Able Muse. An interview with her may be found here: http://www.poemeleon.org/poemeleon-the-blog/2011/4/23/the-habitual-poet-juleigh-howard-hobson.html