In the Mountains by Laurel Benjamin

In the Mountains               Rocky Mountains, after Pablo Neruda’s “Walking Around” by Laurel Benjamin It so happens that I live in the mountains with goats’ many-directional hair and white cliffs until June when I leave forever the expansive hoary spectacles which magnify each moraine. The scent of my friendContinue reading “In the Mountains by Laurel Benjamin”

The Blue Slug by James Sutherland-Smith

The Blue Slug by James Sutherland-Smith A blue slug, the colour of biro ink, makes its way down the side of a rotting log and slides past the fire I’ve cultivated. Is this the month that slugs and snails change sex, this blue a final blue of indecision? I don’t inhabit the kingdom of theContinue reading “The Blue Slug by James Sutherland-Smith”

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 Turkish Bee by Laurel Trivelpiece

The Turkish Bee by Laurel Trivelpiece Like a furry screw a Turkish bee hovers Above our café table. Is he here: to plug up holes made by blind gods waving sieves? to celebrate this basket of fresh bread, balanced on a pinpoint of time rushing by? —to unwind his reality, one quick capsule, riding hisContinue reading “The Turkish Bee by Laurel Trivelpiece”

Irish Cow Circle by Maureen Grady

Irish Cow Circleby Maureen Grady I sat in a field of damp grass,in the very centerof a Neolithic stone circle,imagining a piece of theatreI’d love to direct there when eight cows approachedfrom the far edges of the field,came right up to me,until their big brown headsencircled me,crowded above me. And one by one,each lay downContinue reading “Irish Cow Circle by Maureen Grady”

Elegy for the Quagga by Sarah Lindsay

Elegy for the Quagga by Sarah Lindsay Krakatau split with a blinding noise and raised from gutted, steaming rock a pulverized black sky, over water walls that swiftly fell on Java and Sumatra. Fifteen days before, in its cage in Amsterdam, the last known member of Equus quagga, the southernmost subspecies of zebra, died. Most ofContinue reading “Elegy for the Quagga by Sarah Lindsay”

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”

Great Barrier by Barbara Kingsolver

Great Barrierby Barbara Kingsolver The cathedral is burning. Absent flame or smoke,stained glass explodes in silence, fractal scalesof angel damsel rainbow parrot. Charred beamsof blackened coral lie in heaps on the sacred floor,white stones fallen from high places, spires collapsedcrushing sainted turtle and gargoyle octopus. Something there is in my kind that cannot lovea reef,Continue reading “Great Barrier by Barbara Kingsolver”

Koi Pond, Oakland Museum by Susan Kolodny

Koi Pond, Oakland Museumby Susan Kolodny Our shadows bring them from the shadows:a yolk-yellow one with a navy patternlike a Japanese woodblock print of fish scales.A fat 18-karat one splashed with gaudy purpleand a patch of gray. One with a gold head,a body skim-milk-white, trailing ventral finslike half-folded fans of lace.A poppy-red, faintly disheveled one,andContinue reading “Koi Pond, Oakland Museum by Susan Kolodny”

Roadside Poppies in Andalusia by Joan Leotta

Roadside Poppies in Andalusia by Joan Leotta Poppies cluster near the road after cutting wide red swaths through olive groves and pastures. Blood- red, the poppies drape fields and barrows like matador capes, marking, covering, scarred places on the land where blood once flowed. Their beauty makes a bright balm for those lost- in-battle soulsContinue reading “Roadside Poppies in Andalusia by Joan Leotta”