August 26, 2020

Donna Henderson



Our friends here live in a made oasis at the ocean 
edge of a 200-year-old lava flow. The lava’s crunchy 
& bunched in swells. Some tough Kiawe trees (their 
feathery leaves, their long, hard thorns) poke up from 
some undersoil—that’s all. We ate in a beachside bar 
near sea turtles napping on stones, while a pink, 
rabbit-shaped cloud swallowed the setting sun. 
Earlier, that massage! It ended with a “pule,” and I 
tell you God was in prayer, here where God is still 
completely absorbed in creation, busy staying 
ahead of us. 

Photo by Paulius Dragunas
via (CC–0)

from Rattle #68, Summer 2020
Tribute to Postcard Poems


Donna Henderson: “I love the formal constraint that the space of a postcard provides, for the pressure it puts on language to vividly evoke an experience or impression with the barest of details. In this poem, the insight of the last line arrived in the moment of writing it, as though the pressure of the form itself had squeezed it out from underground.” (web)

Rattle Logo

July 13, 2012

Donna Henderson


He hadn’t done it. But in the seconds she’d thought he had, she
recalled all the times he’d done it, or something like it, and this
refreshed her resentment as blooms in a vase are refreshed by
recutting the stems and replacing the water. And the resentment
thought faster than the realization she’d done it herself
this time, and so had the effect of him having just done it,
again. Inadvertent she said to herself of her own mistake; careless
she thought, of him.


Shenpa is a Tibetan Buddhist term meaning (approximately)
“the ego’s habits of reaction to familiar events and words.”

from Rattle #36, Winter 2011
Tribute to Buddhist Poets

Rattle Logo