Janet Belding

man wearing gray shoe standing on brown soil

Janet Belding grew up in Vermont and went to the University of Vermont. After graduation, she moved to Cape Cod and has lived here ever since. Her young adult son lives with her as well as 3 rambunctious dogs. She is a nature lover, and also loves to garden. These poems are her first poetry publication.



A roomful of fog
the contents of self
having vacated my body
Lungs now a bellows
circulating obscurity
Heart a fingered shape,
indefinite in
The inner dermis like the open
rind of a
Sea creature

Dried to its basic orange
Shall I go to the beach then?
Bring myself there before
They put the fences up
for the plovers.
Shall I walk through the fog
Sidestepping twine strung
like tripwire
wooden stakes?

The beach is swept clean by recent wind,
unbroken white, without rocks,
with only a few stray pebbles.
although it’s hard to see.
The fog off the water
dissects itself
into misplaced clouds
that shred and merge
in the spirit
of indistinctness.
Even the tiny needled calls of the plovers are muffled.

In the moisture dampening my
hair I recognize presence, not necessarily mine
The harrier hawk then, the school of breaking striped bass encrypted
in mist
The rumor of a mermaid
In the process of erasure.


Waiting to become a
but that takes a billion
A locust out of the soil
would be more apt
But I’ll take
anything transformative
the earth can offer,
created by forces I don’t understand.
Nothing as definitive
as a phoenix rising
It is too dry for a fire,
so therefore no ashes.
I’ll just let the layers of earth in their millennia-long reaction to pressure move toward shift and
rattling along the fossils,
the ancient bones wearing ancient jewelry,
the first stone spoon.
I am not here
Yet I am.