25 June 2009

Tongues of the Ocean

Found a fabulous online poetry journal today, courtesy of Very Like a Whale. Tongues of the Ocean -- that's the cover image to the left -- specializes in "words and writing from the islands" -- Bahamian, Caribbean and related poetry. I'll save the poetry -- briefly -- for the end of this post, because I want to highlight another thing that makes TotO great: the editor's embrace of the Internet to do new things with a poetry journal. This embrace comes in two main forms. First, TotO uses blogging software to publish, so instead of plopping the entire issue out in one go, two poems are released every week until the entire issue is revealed. I really like this. Second is her encouragement of the use of sound and image. "I’d love to run an issue," the editor writes, "where we get ... a poem written for the page facing a poem performed for the ear."

I browsed the current issue and for me, the following were were absolute stand-outs.

Well. When I see Sister Sheila step out
Face paint up like Jezebel
Royal blue satellite dish of a Sunday hat
Kick off to one side
Breasts mountain ranging
Strapless, under skirt suit the color of Caribbean Sea...
from Sunday Times,
...maybe she wore
Red Door and he

from Orange Skies


A flower named for a bird.
A bird swooping like rain.
Rain the size of an island.
An island creased like my hand....

from Clues.

Wholeheartedly recommended.

Cover Art: "Before someone sees" by , from the collection of Eddie Minnis.


  1. Wow, Jeannette, what a recommendation! Thanks so much for the plug -- and I hope we can continue to live up to the standard!

  2. Well, Nicole, I just really like it. Maybe you'll get a couple more hits from my 10 readers : )