Three Poems by Devon Miller-Duggan

By Devon Miller-Duggan


The Birth of Snow

Forget mountains and that mountains
converse with everything above and below them,
all the way from perfect cold to perfect heat.

Forget clouds and all the other unreliabilities of air.

0720140637Forget that one extreme preserves
and one renders.

Forget water as it rolls and shatters, forget
water dispersing itself, forget
water gathering itself into mountains.

Forget angles of the sun.

Forget frost, crystallization, and freezing.

Forget the air arranging and acknowledging
the presence of your breath.

Forget the constant shushing arrival of each
distinct iota of white.

Forget the words for white, for falling, for cold.

Remember, this is the water that makes its way
past the greed of trees and growing things.
This is the water that solaces the earth.


At the Writers’ Convention

More than one poet
employs the cartoon image—
a character suspended in the air
beyond the rim of a cliff—
it’s always a sharp rim, undercut and branchless—
the character hangs there, feet peddling the air,
hope hanging over physics—
you call it physics even though
you think you know
even physics can’t explain
inevitability—no matter how the character
keeps peddling air.
And you, you ride the escalators
wondering when this became
core metaphor for
those with faith
and those without.



Atheists, failures, dentists, holy rollers,
Southern gentility, Northern farmers, suicides
And the inventor of invisible suspenders:
My address is treehouse.
Forward nothing.

Devon Miller-Duggan has published poems in Rattle, Margie, The Indiana Review, Harpur Palate, The Hollins Critic, and a blessedly long time ago, one entirely embarrassing mimeographed little magazine with a pencil drawing of a kitten on the cover. She’s won a couple of prizes. She teaches, mostly for the Department of English at the University of Delaware, and tries to get to someplace with mountains in it at least once a year. She loves driving across the panhandle of Texas. Her first book, Pinning the Bird to the Wall, appeared from Tres Chicas Books in 2008. Her chapbook, Neither Prayer, Nor Bird, appeared from Finishing Line Press in 2013.

Cover photo and illustration photo by David Nilsen.


  1. Dear Devon-Miller Duggan,

    Hello, my name is Lynn Lu and I am a visual artist from Singapore and based in London.

    I recently came across the stunning Furies whilst researching a new project,
    and wanted to seek your permission to possibly include Lilith in the audio part of a performance I’m developing:

    My project is entitled Haumapuhia Rising, a new commission for Performance Arcade (NZ) this February.

    When I was contacted last October for this, the Harvey Weinstein scandal was just unfolding and women all over the world were breaking their silence on male violence and predation. Where women have often been historically and systematically disbelieved – dismissed as hysterical, manipulative and dishonest – the #metoo movement signaled the rise of an epic counter-narrative: Women’s stories.

    Amid the tsunami of #metoo revelations, I learned of the Maori myth of Haumapuhia who was betrayed and drowned in a spring by her own father. Face-down with her long black hair undulating in the foaming waters, the force of her thrashing formed the arms and inlets of a great lake.

    In my piece Haumapuhia Rising I will recreate this archetypal image of a wrathful Asian female spirit – wild-haired and white-gowned. I shall float face-down in Wellington Harbour for two hours each day over the period of two weeks. And in the spirit of The Furies who hound the wicked to madness, voices of women will roar from beneath the water’s surface.

    The audio will comprise of about 30 poems by raging women all over the world, recited and layered in triplicate to invoke the Erinyes and an incantation. Please find attached a short clip (What You Are by Singapore poet Tania De Rozario) of how the audio will sound.

    Poets will be credited in all publicity and subsequent documentation on my website;
    if you’re happy for Lilith to be included, please advise re: fee, etc.
    The production budget is small, but I shall do my best!

    Thank you very much for your time and kind consideration, and I hope to hear from you.
    Best wishes, Lynn


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.