Iowa Writes


The ocean comprehends sea turtles,
its gnawing waves accept them.
I would turn out my velvet pockets,
but turtles only bawl for water.

Climbing gray grass mountains
spider ears reflect a streetlight glare,
scrambling in eight directions as my fingers ladle one,
I clasp it in my hands, and push air in whisper—

Window men click sharply into line,
hidden in stained suspenders and masked by squeegees.
Black tires splash in mud-tinted potholes;
birds mutter mob-like ploys behind an empty park.

A ripple leaps from dented trash lids onto drainpipes,
my head rotates and heels angle pivots the same.
The trees are forging a path, moonless and fortified.
There is a smell of water: a long walk home.

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


Elias Simpson grew up in Ames, Iowa, and recently finished his first year at the University of Iowa: "I hope to continue writing, although there is a great possibility of distraction." His majors are English and French.

This page was first displayed
on October 29, 2006

Find us on Facebook