From Etna Flows

from Etna flows
a crimson stream
stones of paler carmine
afloat on its face

in Ajo, silence
two hours passed
since the furious storm
the fountain in the square
quieted this while
leaps into life anew
its waters rage
in bloody hues

in Mascalucia
a mother weeps
her child and her man
covered not in lava streams
or pyroclastic blasts
for stony preservation
but submerged
in a watery tomb

the snowmelt
from Etna flows

Shelly Bryant divides her year between Shanghai and Singapore, working as a teacher, writer, researcher, and student of Chinese language and culture. She is the author of two volumes of poetry, Cyborg Chimera and Under the Ash, and a travel guide to the city of Suzhou entitled Suzhou Basics. Her third volume of poetry, Voices of the Elders, is due out in early 2012, and her travel memoir The End of the Line is slated for release in late 2011. Her current projects include writing an updated guide to the city of Shanghai for Urbanatomy and translating Sheng Keyi’s novel 《北妹》 (Northern Girls) for Penguin Books.

Shelly’s poetry has appeared in journals, magazines, and websites around the world, as well as in several art exhibitions, including dark ’til dawn, Things That Disappear, and Studio White • Exhibition 2011. You can visit her website at

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