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Columbia River Gorge
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celebrate@exultroad.com

Exult Road is here to uplift and celebrate life, and you. 

Publishing, Writing, Consulting

Jill L. Cooper

Jill L. Cooper is a poet and writer. Her writing has appeared in print literary journals, The Raven ChroniclesThe Floating Bridge ReviewShark Reef Literary Magazine, as well as online magazines, Rewire MeThe Rebelle Society, HIV Here & Now, and others. Cooper’s poetry has been anthologized in Silent Applause of Butterflies (Columbia Center for the Arts, 2014), Pontoon (Floating Bridge, 2015), Delirious—A Tribute to Prince (Night Ballet Press, 2016), and in I Only Wanted to See You Laughing (Yellow Chair Review, 2016), and others. She was the creator and editor of The Yes Book (Exult Road, 2014). Cooper has served as the Executive Director of a Buddhist publishing house, and as a consultant to publishers, and as an author coach. She is currently working on a book-length collection of prose poetry, and on a collection of lyrical essays. Cooper lives in the beautiful Palouse region of Washington state. In all her work, she intends to affirm and celebrate existence. To contact her, write to jillcooper11 at gmail dot com. 

Butterflies.

Jill Cooper

Butterflies

By Jill Cooper, inspired by the wind at Mosier Tunnels

 

 

Butterflies gather together along river edges to sun their wings and lick the salty rocks.

                                                                                                ~ Todd Murray, entomologist

 

 

I have never strapped myself to cords and cables and neon kites.

I have never leaned my neoprene-wrapped body

backward on a board, tilting, swaying against the pressure,

bringing resistance into wind to loft into sky

 

like a boosting bird, like a curling wisp of smoke.

But I have dug my toes into hot sand and inhaled the evening air.

And I have observed the summer river - dancing with its hundreds

of kiters - a silent, distant applause of butterflies.

 

I have etched out stories with symbols onto paper.

I have played with the resistance and elements

and swells of language. And I have shown up for dawn patrol,

with quiet words, to unzip impermanence and try

to make her fly.

 

I have been there to catch the sky cracking open its translucency

onto yesterday’s hot memories. I have handle-passed

a honey gold sun, an apricot sun, even a fried egg sun

onto the flickering light of the screen.

 

No I have never surfed on water, but I have schlogged

through a paragraph luff, wondering, What am I doing here? 

 

But I licked the salty rock, and I came back again the next day,

for those moments when I am riveted downwind, with a whitecap phrase -

a butterfly in the power-zone, a moment, a blue eternity,

an ephemera, worth all the words.

 

Yes I have dug my toes into the hot sand and inhaled the sweet night air.

But most of all, I have found that back on shore, like the butterflies,

all I need depends on no more than a deep breath, and another sunrise.