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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 12: March 2022
Poem: 151 words
By Roy J. Beckemeyer

Opening Shutters

...the shutter winks, letting her in on a secret
—David Thoreen, from “Single Lens Reflex”
That might be what it is like, 
those secreted moments 
when we let each other in 
on those confidences 
we would never give everyday 
voice to, the small sounds, 
the breath coming unexpectedly 
to the fore, the ever so slight 
shift of position, eyes slitting 
to let in just the right amount 
of one other, giving and getting 
and offering, the times we got it 
right and when we didn’t quite, 
those times only we will ever 
know and recall with a brush 
in passing, a meeting of eyes, 
a spark (only dry winter air’s 
electric nature?), an infinitesimal 
shudder: the tremble of the single 
lens reflex camera of memory, 
a shutter’s winking, an eye 
blink, images of the mortal beings, 
the angels we have been and 
will always be in each other’s minds. 



Note: Epigraph is from “Single Lens Reflex,” which appeared in New Letters (Vol. 86, No. 4, Summer, 2020).

Roy J. Beckemeyer’s
Issue 12, March 2022

latest poetry collection is Mouth Brimming Over (Blue Cedar Press, 2019). Stage Whispers (Meadowlark Books, 2018) won the 2019 Nelson Poetry Book Award. Amanuensis Angel (Spartan Press, 2018) comprises ekphrastic poems inspired by modern artists’ depictions of angels. His first book, Music I Once Could Dance To (Coal City Press, 2014), was a 2015 Kansas Notable Book. He recently co-edited (with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg) Kansas Time+Place: An Anthology of Heartland Poetry (Little Balkans Press, 2017). His poetry has been nominated for Pushcart (2015 and 2020) and Best of the Net (2018) awards, and was selected for The Best Small Fictions 2019.

Beckemeyer serves on the editorial boards of Konza Journal and River City Poetry. A retired engineer and scientific journal editor, he is also a nature photographer who, in his spare time, researches the mechanics of insect flight and the Paleozoic insect fauna of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Alabama. He lives in Wichita, Kansas, where he and his wife recently celebrated their 60th anniversary.

Please visit author’s website for more information about his books, as well as links to interviews and readings (scroll down his About page for the link-list).

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

The Color of Blessings in MacQ (Issue 5, October 2020)

Featured Artist in KYSO Flash (Issue 12, Summer 2019); showcasing Beckemeyer’s poetry, prose poetry, and insect photography

Words for Snow, a prose poem in KYSO Flash (Issue 9, Spring 2018), which was selected for reprinting in The Best Small Fictions 2019

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