Poetry Collection by Amanda Hiland


No one is alone

in a graveyard. The dead shiver through its sod.

They make up all of dark matter-

without them, galaxies would fly apart, their stars 

too weak to fuse hydrogen into helium.

Dark matter cannot be seen.

It can only be sensed indirectly, 

like the weight of your mother’s words

following you through life.

That’s how we know it’s there:

its impact makes it matter. 

Through the sieve of generations,

the dead remind us life will never be

the same thing twice. They are a constant 

singularity whose name is 




The vacancy of absent things

is the most abundant form 

of matter.

Harvest Moon Eclipse  

Copper rose, it bathes in the sky

like a rounded persimmon

hanging ripe upon the starlit branches

of the Milky Way.

Sun at perfect opposition;

the far side of earth braces in its light

while we look up 

to see light’s negation

spread across the surface of our satellite

like a tide of rust.

In time, our planet shifts its stance

and the moon glides past our shadow;

a corner of pale gold peels at its edges, 

revealing the brightening creature beneath.

Breathless, we watch as light unravels

into our eyes and fills us with desire-

we want to hold the moon, to touch

that lost terrain, torn from earth long before

her waters ever dreamed of life. 

Across such distance

we press our hands to our chests, grasp

the base of our throats,

as if the moon were a brilliant pendant 

that could rest perfectly 

in the space between our clavicles.

what calls from below

in the

deep              cold of winter, everything

submerged under snowdrift

my bones       icicles 

encased in swaying strands of flesh 

I stand 

over the doorway                the darkest

maw of earth   


not this-

I want

to hear voices of holy legends

ringing out from below

call my name, you dead         laugh

or scream

tell me 

you are there            below

tell me

you can move your lips           you are more

than pieces          branches and twigs

stuffed into sightless

lockers below          where dull sounds echo 

like slow chaos

from stone to stone  

from behind, sudden press

of a body

my oldest friend            her black

-ringed head leans

past my shoulder          tilts

over the doorway          bare 

forehead pressed to wintery shadow  

she trickles forward            down                 

I hold out

my curling hand          pulse beats

tangled in carpal bones

she looks

at me          her mouth full of spirits

grey-skinned coat of her face

more delicate

than the lightest of bones 

eyes          centered on my

pulsing artery            where life comes in

why are you afraid of the dark?

she doesn’t wait               for me

to find her voice      

her body makes a rushing sound

burrows into blackened loam           

drops                                     below          

the grayness

in my shaded eyes              

it sounds like                                

                        the beginning of flight

or a fallen pine                          

                         crushing against the ground

About the Author

Amanda Hiland grew up hiking through the forests of the Pacific Northwest. Raised in Oregon, she is very fond of colored pens, chai tea, and rain. She teaches Special Education by day and is a major astronomy enthusiast at night. Her poetry has appeared in outlets such as Topology Magazine, Timberline Review, Avocet, Camas, and New Plains Review. Much of her writing stems from the complexity of understanding the surrounding universe through the dual lenses of scientific observation and emotional connection.