Iowa Writes

Heading Home (from Port Townsend, Washington)

From clouds assembling, from cinders flying, from the whistle of skeleton bones,
from the smell of fennel blown inland near the dock,
from a line of gull song screaming
above the Bay, from that which is less than a ripple below
or a wisp on high,
we know to return, each autumn, to Iowa,
again to pick up the leaves where we left them.

About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

Find out more about submitting by contacting


This poem was selected for the 2010 Poetry in Public project, sponsored by the Iowa City Public Art Program. Now in its eighth year, Poetry in Public displays poems by local writers of all ages in Iowa City buses, downtown kiosks, and select public buildings from April (National Poetry Month) through the fall.

Poetry in Public

This page was first displayed
on June 21, 2010

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