Two Poems by Betsy Mars

The improperly squeezed-out sponge*

I am, a place for harboring
bacteria, cellulose thriving
with writhing mold spores—
in my pores, an abundance
of water. Left on the ledge
too long, I dry out, shrink
to half my usual size, still
full of potential, I wait
to be of use.

*From The Secret House by David Bodanis


Thirty Birds

There’s a brightness folded into every bird
but the bird doesn’t know it. – Melissa Studdard

And you, in your darkened hood, fold
in upon yourself, forget your underpinnings,
your bright insides, huddle in the wind.
Oblivious to drafting wings or the fish below
whose flash frenzies this fervent gathering,
your eyes locked on churning surf, scolded
by the feather-fanned air, the squawks that sing,
the waves that level, unfurl softly to the shore.


Betsy Mars is a prize-winning poet, a photographer, and publishes an occasional anthology through Kingly Street Press. She is an assistant editor at Gyroscope Review. Poetry publications include Rise Up Review, Anti-Heroin Chic, New Verse News, Sky Island, and Minyan. She is a Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize nominee. Betsy’s photos have been featured in RATTLE’s Ekphrastic Challenge, Spank the Carp, Praxis, and Redheaded Stepchild. She is the author of Alinea and co-author of In the Muddle of the Night with Alan Walowitz.