I, Colony
Connie Vaughn

In the days when I dressed for dinner
and long Edwardian evenings
we made a fine potage of hyena
and sipped daiquiris from conch shells
on the veranda. Houseboys brought plates and
news of visiting dignitaries,
and we swept the bugs out
lest we forget how to be civilized.

Our gardens overgrew us:
how thoroughly we snipped
away at their lush aggression!
We scripted a more orderly diurn
for our wild mahogany home—
the hearty breakfast, tea at 5
and ways to keep the termites out.
The health of the world was at stake.

We brought reading, writing and ciphering,
tailored shirts, jackets and knee pants,
Parliament and well-constructed shoes. We
brought houses at right angles, glass
chandeliers, raised beds, paved roads
and trained men. We brought the Scientific Method,
thick typeset encyclopaedias with coloured plates, coins
and banks and factories and clocks and ordained clergy.
We brought engraved silverware and we brought guns.

                        In spite of it all, the sea nipped
and snapped at our rocky ankles, and the whitecaps
thundered as high as they wanted to. My lace hemline
soiled and ruined, I lost my diamonds
on the beach somewhere. The garden, of course,
took itself back. When the termites finally digested
all four of my bedposts, I lay down against
the weave of my acacia mat, and, at last, slept.


Connie Vaughn won the 2010 Burning Bush Poetry Prize!

About the author:
Connie Vaughn's poems and essays
have appeared most recently in Fickle Muses, Wild Things, and North Shore magazine. Her literary awards include Pen and Brush (2007 poetry competition, 2nd prize), Grain Magazine (2008 Short Grain winner), The Journal at Ohio State (2007 William Allen Nonfiction contest winner), and the Annual Gwendolyn Brooks open mic contest. She holds degrees in math and psychology, works in marketing, and has taught college statistics—but prefers writing.

How You Can Be Published
There are several ways. You can also send in poetry or short prose of your own to be considered for IN OUR OWN WORDS. We also recommend looking at the Classifieds in Poets and Writers Magazine, visiting our Calls for Submission Page, or entering a contest, similar to our annual "Burning Bush Poetry Prize". Only entries that include a SASE (self addressed stamped envelope) will be returned, so be sure to include this with your work. See our editorial philosphy.

IN OUR OWN WORDS ©2010 Burning Bush Publications.
All rights reserved.
Published in the United States of America.
No part of this literary journal may be reproduced or transmitted in form or by any means, elecrical or mechanical, photographically, photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrival system, without written permission from the Publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in articles and reviews. All rights revert to authors and artists upon publication. For more infomation, contact

Back to F'10 Table of Contents

|| About BBP || How You Can Be Published || Our Books || Classes || Writers || Poetry || Calls for Writing & Events ||
Contact Us ||

Back to Burning Bush Publications Home