Carolyn Howard-Johnson on Poets Cafe

The following interview of Carolyn Howard-Johnson by Lois P. Jones originally aired on KPFK Los Angeles (reproduced with permission). (Download MP3)

Biographical Information—Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Accepted for Poets & Writers prestigious list of published poets, award-winning novelist and poet Carolyn Howard-Johnson is the recipient of the California Legislature’s Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment Award, and her community’s Character and Ethics award for her work promoting tolerance with her writing. She was also named to Pasadena Weekly’s list “14 San Gabriel Valley women who make life happen” and was given her community’s Diamond Award for Achievement in the Arts. One of her poems won the Franklin Christoph poetry prize and she has chosen it to include in this post. She was an instructor for UCLA Extension’s world-renown Writers’ Program for nearly a decade. Learn more about all her books at bit.ly/CarolynsAmznProfile.

 

__________

Endangered Species

A dragon, hiding as dragons
do, to pounce upon prey, shock

them into submission with forked
tongue, spiked tail, blue-green

scales, brimstone breath. But not
a sea dragon, this—nearly misnamed

a seahorse—dainty—
disguises herself in briney

fronds, sways with the current.
her delicate horn-shaped

snout trumpets silence.
Long like a dragon,

long as a water-lily stem,
soft, and—presumably,

slick. She flourishes
her leaf-like fins, the translucent

shade of her underwater forest
of amber seaweed pads, exactly,

matches her dance to that of the kelp
—ballet in slow motion

so the visitor to her underocean
home will not see her. She will take

them by surprise
with tenderness.

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