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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 9: August 2021
Poem: 335 words
By Jonathan Yungkans
[Featured Artist]



1. Amano Kunihiro

—After Two Crows (woodblock art, 1956)1
Maybe the raven’s anxious 
dance atop a power pole 
was holy supplication 
ensconced in ebony down 

in its broken-glass cawing, 
the sharpness of its ears and 
mine as we listened and heard 
nothing but frustration clear 

as sunlight, penetrating 
and anchored as pin feathers, 
outlined in a beak and pair 
of hopping feet on weathered 

determination or pine—
haunting the ghost of a tree—
pining, if you want a pun. 
The two had been together 

yesterday at twilight, perched 
on the same pole, heads angled 
and almost touching, gentle 
in a black cathedral arch—

a form that changes stonework 
into a divine petition—
a softening of intent 
and something akin to flight. 


2. A.W. Wijkniet

—After Untitled (woodblock art, circa 1930)2

A raven stands on and eyes 
a thin shaft of wood. Head down 
whether to inspect its grain 

or the bird pecking at its 
reservations is unclear. 
Everything flows into black—

dawn and dusk between feathers, 
a leaf’s stretch and yellowing, 
air’s warmth or chill beneath wings—

everything a pair of black 
marbles rolls around, in bulk 
and circumference, the whole 

accumulation. A perch 
becomes perhaps the one place 
solid and determinate. 


3. Andrew Waddington

—After Raven (woodblock print)3

Untitled woodblock print of raven: Visual art by Andrew Waddington
Copyrighted © by Andrew Waddington. All rights reserved.

Is the bird looking upward? 
Back toward itself? Or something 
distant—a dust mote, a seed 
or stone? Or maybe it is 

the sky after all—a drop 
of revelation or rain? 
Corrugated pine bark, dark 
and furrowed in heavy lines 

is also a question, flat 
and overwhelming—log 
somersaulting airborne for 
what raven or anyone 

perched, wings folded tight against 
impact in a darkish sheen, 
might know or guess—a log thick 
as an act of God. And who 

for the sake of green needles 
and pine scent could tell, looking 
into clear air or cloud, how hard 
or firmly in place, rooted, 

a bird or tree could remain 
standing in place. The raven 
looks somewhere. Which direction 
remains indeterminate. 


Publisher’s Notes:

Links below were retrieved on 28 July 2021.

1. Amano Kunihiro (aka Kunihiro Amano), contemporary sōsaku-hanga (creative prints) artist, was born in 1929 in Hirosaki, Japan. Additional bio details may be found at:

See also Winter (Fuyu) (color woodblock, 1957), and ten other Amano prints at The Art Institute of Chicago:

2. Untitled image of a woodcut by Dutch artist A.W. (Albertus Willem) Wijkniet (1894–1973) may be viewed at Affordable Artwork (Facebook, 15 October 2020).

Additional details about this woodcut are available at: Antiques Boutique

3. Image of woodblock print by Andrew Waddington was found at Ainscough Contemporary Art and appears here with his permission.

A few of Waddington’s artworks are featured at his website, https://www.andrewwaddington.co.uk/, and hundreds more may be found on Instagram.

Andrew Waddington
Issue 9, August 2021

established his print studio on a farm near Rose, Cornwall [England, UK] in 1988, then known as The Hendra Press, and the editions of woodcuts were printed on a hundred-year-old Harrild and Sons book press. In 1992, The Hendra Press became St. Indract Press, to reflect its new home above the Tamar valley on the Devon/Cornwall border.

The Harrild book press has been replaced by a Norup Relief Press and the editioning of prints has improved since the early days of the studio, but the spirit of the early woodcuts continues in the free-flowing cutting of the woodblocks which capture the liveliness of the animals and birds depicted. The woodcuts are printed on fine handmade Japanese papers with a border large enough to mount or “float” the print. [Source: Ainscough Contemporary Art, https://www.acag.co.uk/andrew-waddington-biography/ ]

Artist’s website: https://www.andrewwaddington.co.uk/

Jonathan Yungkans
Issue 9, August 2021

is a Los Angeles-based writer and photographer with an MFA from California State University, Long Beach. His work has appeared in San Pedro Poetry Review, Synkroniciti, West Texas Literary Review, Gleam: Journal of the Cadralor, MacQueen’s Quinterly, and other publications. His second poetry chapbook, Beneath a Glazed Shimmer, won the 2019 Clockwise Chapbook Prize and was published in February 2021 by Tebor Bach.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Lawful and Proper, poem by Jonathan Yungkans in Rise Up Review (Fall 2020)

Cadralor in the Key of F-Sharp as It Cuts into My Spine in the inaugural issue of Gleam (Fall 2020)

I’d Love to Cook Like Hannibal Lecter [video], read by the poet at an event sponsored by Moon Tide Press (10 October 2019) celebrating the anthology Dark Ink: A Poetry Anthology Inspired by Horror

Saving the Patient, poem in The Voices Project (18 January 2018)

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