Tell Me a Story by Robert Penn Warren

Tell Me a Story (Part A)by Robert Penn Warren Long ago, in Kentucky, I, a boy, stoodBy a dirt road, in first dark, and heardThe great geese hoot northward.I could not see them, there being no moonAnd the stars sparse. I heard them.I did not know what was happening in my heart.It was the seasonContinue reading “Tell Me a Story by Robert Penn Warren”

The Cranes, Texas January by Mark Sanders

The Cranes, Texas Januaryby Mark Sanders I call my wife outdoors to have her listen,to turn her ears upward, beyond the cloud-veiledsky where the moon dances thin light,to tell her, “Don’t hear the cars on the freeway— it’s not the truck-rumble. It is and is notthe sirens.” She stands there, on decka rocking boat, wantingContinue reading “The Cranes, Texas January by Mark Sanders”

On the Osa by Anne Whitehouse

On the Osa by Anne Whitehouse I Into the forest, we follow a river up to a waterfall. Slowly twirling, green and yellow, leaves fall in the heavy air, and from on high a toucan trills thrillingly. Perched on a dead branch, backlit by the sky, we glimpse the bird in profile. Spider monkeys noisilyContinue reading “On the Osa by Anne Whitehouse”

One Vote by Aimee Nezhukumatathil

One Voteby Aimee Nezhukumatathil After reading a letter from his mother, Harry T. Burn cast the deciding vote to ratify the 19th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution My parents are from countrieswhere mangoes grow wild and boldand eagles cry the sky in arcs and dips.America loved this bird too and made it clutch olives andContinue reading “One Vote by Aimee Nezhukumatathil”

Lucille Lang Day, What the Tortoises Know

What the Tortoises Know            Galápagos Islandsby Lucille Lang Day On Genovesa, as my husband layon the beach of Darwin Bay,a sea lion came to sniff his toesand a red-footed booby, sittingwith her chick in a mangrovenearby, let me get kissing-close. On North Seymour, the frigate birdsweren’t fazed by me, andContinue reading “Lucille Lang Day, What the Tortoises Know”

The Blue Booby by James Tate

The Blue Boobyby James Tate The blue booby liveson the bare rocksof Galápagosand fears nothing.It is a simple life:they live on fish,and there are few predators.Also, the males do notmake fools of themselveschasing after the youngladies. Rather,they gather the blueobjects of the worldand construct from them a nest—an occasionalGaulois package,a string of beads,a piece ofContinue reading “The Blue Booby by James Tate”

The Starlings by Jesper Svenbro

The Starlings by Jesper Svenbro Translated from the Swedish by John Matthias and Lars-Håkan Svensson Late one afternoon in October I hear them for the first time: loud-voiced palavering, whistles, murmurs, quarrels, bickering and warbling, croaking and chatter in the high plane trees of the street. The leaves are all turning yellow this time ofContinue reading “The Starlings by Jesper Svenbro”

Japanese Poems by Cynthia Zarin

Japanese Poemsby Cynthia Zarin Between the bent boughsof the splayed sumac the silverowl rests his head. The perimeterleft by your absence is longto walk in one day. The angel in hercredenza of extreme beautydogs swim the river I look for my heartby the lamp where the light isskitter in the wet black leaves PHOTO: UralContinue reading “Japanese Poems by Cynthia Zarin”

North of Santa Monica by Carter Revard

North of Santa Monica by Carter Revard It’s midnight in a drizzling fog on Sunset Avenue and we are walking through the scent of orange blossoms and past a white camellia blown down or flung by someone onto rainblack asphalt waiting for the gray Mercedes sedan to run over and smash its petals and leaveContinue reading “North of Santa Monica by Carter Revard”

Snowy Owl Near Ocean Shores by Duane Niatum

Snowy Owl Near Ocean Shoresby Duane Niatum A castaway blown south from the arctic tundrasits on a stump in an abandoned farmer’s field.Beyond the dunes cattails toss and bend as snappyas the surf, rushing and crashing down the jetty. His head a swivel of round glances,his eyes a deeper yellow than the winter sun,he wondersContinue reading “Snowy Owl Near Ocean Shores by Duane Niatum”