New Publications: Lunar Eclipse off Exit 88 & What Gould’s Magpie Has Stolen

Two poems up now in the latest issue of Minding Naturea publication from the Center for Humans & Nature.

Spring_Cover_MindingNature_May19_v7-cover3
Cover Art by Courtney Mattison

LUNAR ECLIPSE OFF EXIT 88

Somewhere in Oklahoma,
speeding through scrubby darkness,
we pulled off the highway on Exit 88…

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WHAT GOULD’S MAGPIE HAS STOLEN

For its feathers, the prism of light
that broke its blacks into iridescence…

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New Publication: Tidal Desert

Published this week in the lovely Winter issue of Hawk & Whippoorwill

TIDAL DESERT

…Because I could descend
in the chasm of dissolution
between the layers of sandstone
to where life is pressed like petals,

I began to sense the land’ s lungs
beneath the soil, see the hardness of the desert
and understand that here,
life is not to be presumed…

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New Publication: Ode to a Rock Dove

Published this month in Entropy‘s “The Birds” series

ODE TO A ROCK DOVE
—For JPD

You’re right.
A blackbird taken apart
by a raptor is not the same

as the nestling pigeon,
wet from rain,
run into the

clogged freeway
by slavish,
hulking cars.

And of course it was a pigeon—
rat-of-the-sky,
pest,
dirty dirty bird—

call it
what they will,
you wish the authorities

would restore its name to dove,
dove, with all the potential
of cliches.

For isn’t that part of it?
We are a nation
in love with the idea

of pulling oneself up
by the bootstraps,
even as we call them pigeons,

even as we crush their bodies
as we inch forward dumbly
in our commute of tedium.

This ode is to the bird
that hadn’t yet grown feathers
with which to rescue itself

(and was given
no second chances)
so join me, reader,

with the same empathy
extended to the underdog,
and imagine its life if lived:

Imagine the search
for cold fries under a table
in pursuit of sustenance and survival

Imagine the spin and flash
of emerald and royal purple
in the drive to mate and remake

Imagine the power
of full-fledged wings
in the rush of rising up

up above traffic
up above streets
up above city

to look down on all of us.

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New Publication: Grafting

Published in the Spring/Summer issue of the Aurorean

 

GRAFTING

Among high ponderosas in Arizona,

I remember Maine’s white pines—

how after climbing them,

their clear sap drew pieces of that homeland

straight into my hands….

 

Read the full poem by subscribing/ordering from the Aurorean.