Sitting in a Rocking Chair in My Courtyard on a Sunday Afternoon

by Dylan Macdonald

There is a snail next to
the banana trees, who sees
only toes

like moons of dried apricot.
He climbs the shadow of the palm
of my hand

leaving behind a trail
of buckwheat honey.
He carries in his emerald shell

a gust of wind
that tries to pull him up
into the dimming sky

where he would see the young earth
spinning, slowly,
as if it were in no hurry at all.

Dylan Macdonald is a recent graduate of the University of San Diego. His work has been published or is forthcoming in Columbia Journal Online, Red Paint Hill Poetry Journal, Rust + Moth – A Journal of Poetry and the Arts, Scarlett Leaf Review, and Star 82 Review.

What surprising, fascinating stuff can you tell us about the origin, drafting, and/or final version of “Sitting in a Rocking Chair in My Courtyard on a Sunday Afternoon”?

I am not sure how fascinating or surprising the origin of this poem will be to anyone, but I think its success grew out of the repetition of my writing routine. I write every day, and I prefer writing outside. On the day I wrote “Sitting in a Rocking Chair in My Courtyard on a Sunday Afternoon” I was sitting in a park near the apartment I was renting in San Diego. There was a lot of traffic in the street next to the park, and people seemed to be in a hurry. I remember noticing a snail sliding, slowly, across the sidewalk toward the grass. The image stuck with me, and I wrote and rewrote the poem several times, trying to expand outward from that image.


Check out the write-up of the journal in The Writer.

Matter Press recently released titles from Meg Boscov, Abby Frucht, Robert McBrearty, Tori Bond, Kathy Fish, and Christopher Allen. Click here.

Matter Press is now offering private flash fiction workshops and critiques of flash fiction collections here.


Poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction/prose poetry submissions are now OPEN. The submission period closes June 15, 2020; submit here.


07/06 • Vanessa Gebbie
07/08 • Paul Hostovsky
07/09 • Serge Lecomte (5 of 8)
07/13 • Clio Velentza
07/15 • Jolene McIlwain
07/16 • Serge Lecomte (6 of 8)
07/20 • Julie Benesh
07/22 • Beverly Jackson
07/23 • Serge Lecomte (7 of 8)
07/27 • Lynn Wagner
07/29 • Delaney Burk
07/30 • Serge Lecomte (8 of 8)
08/03 • Darlene Scott
08/05 • Jocelyn Ulevicus
08/06 • Amy Bobeda (1 of 6)
08/10 • Cynthia Belmont
08/12 • J. C. Todd
08/13 • Amy Bobeda (2 of 6)
08/17 • Jo Gatford
08/19 • Amanda Vineyardx
08/20 • Amy Bobeda (3 of 6)
08/24 • Eva Jordan
08/26 • Gary Fincke
08/27 • Amy Bobeda (4 of 6)
08/31 • Renee Agatep
09/01 • Başak Yirmibeşoğlu
09/03 • Amy Bobeda (5 of 6)
09/07 • Paige Welsh
09/09 • Avital Gad-Cykman
09/10 • Amy Bobeda (6 of 6)
09/14 • Julianne Di Nenna
09/16 • Joey Kim
09/17 • Erika Kanda
09/21 • Brittany Oppenheimer