The Works of Meredith Devney 

Meredith Devney received her MFA from Emerson College where she taught English and was also a poetry staff member of Ploughshares. She is currently an English teacher as well as an adjunct at Marshall University. Her poetry has been published in The Coe Review, Cherry Blossom Review, Sawbuck, The New Verse News, and most recently in an anthology titled Double Lives, Reinvention, and Those We Leave Behind published by Wising Up Press. She has just recommitted herself to the submission process after a too-long haitus and currently lives in Kentucky with her husband and child-like cat. 

All Poems © Meredith Devney

Block Island

Because of the heat, we hiked trails

in our bathing suits, twenty foot vegetation

on all sides, tee-shirts tucked into back pockets,

the ocean our orator, guiding us when green

was all to be seen. When the sun shone

too strong, we walked towards shore

and found it secluded. You balanced

on mossy rock in the shallows

searching for barnacles, I noted how

the backs of your knees sparkled with sweat.

Later, we let

water beat against our bodies

until, too tired to stand, we drip-dried

in the sand, our backs to the burnt orange

cliffs of the Bluffs. You explained erosion

and implosion as baby gulls pecked

their mother’s beaks. You said,

Did you know a crow is the only bird

that doesn’t bring water to its young?

At night, with salt-cracked hands

and seaweed hair, we slept in the bow

of a two-masted schooner that hadn’t sailed

in sixteen years, while waves, like hands,

massaged its rotting hull.


The blackbird sings
like a glum criminal
outside my window.

A pot roast falls
in 2B. The newlyweds
who live next to me

realize they have not
made love since yesterday.
The raciness multiplies. 

The manager in the hallway
is teaching his dollar to fly.
Outside, the flags are disgusted

and beat their hearts blue
against a cold arch.
I, too, lose convention

and consider the threshold
to our engagement, and the
consternation dwarfs create in me.   

Were you here, we would not tolerate
monkeys in aisles.  We would drive
all night, your head tilted on my shroud.

At daybreak, I would nudge you
with my anxious fist and say,
“Already, we are in Idaho.”


I am shattered sick, standing in bloom,
staring up at the ugly sun.

Husbands of houses roost for the day.
Talons dig into roofs. 

You once told me,
Bad men have but a morgue to claim.

You believed
blunt was better than earnest. 

But now I am convinced –
the vile and purest do die. 

Never mind meeting me at your will.
The Waltz around us is breaking. 

You are vocalizing your way to hell.
Our saga will never be fine.