California Hills in August by Dana Gioia

California Hills in August by Dana Gioia I can imagine someone who found these fields unbearable, who climbed the hillside in the heat, cursing the dust, cracking the brittle weeds underfoot, wishing a few more trees for shade. An Easterner especially, who would scorn the meagerness of summer, the dry twisted shapes of black elm,Continue reading “California Hills in August by Dana Gioia”

Venice, Unaccompanied by Monica Youn

Venice, Unaccompaniedby Monica Youn Wakingon the train, I thoughtwe were attacked              by light:chrome-winged birdshatching from the lagoon.              That first daythe buoys were allthat made the harbor              bearable:pennies sewn into a hemline.Later I learned to live in it,              to walkthrough the alien city—a beekeeper’s habit—              with fierce lightclinging to my head and hands.Treated as gently asContinue reading “Venice, Unaccompanied by Monica Youn”

In the Happo-En Garden, Toyko by Linda Pasdan

In the Happo-En Garden, Toyko by Linda Pasdan The way a birthmark on a woman’s face defines rather than mars her beauty, so the skyscrapers— those flowers of technology— reveal the perfection of the garden they surround. Perhaps Eden is buried here in Japan, where an incandescent koi slithers snakelike to the edge of theContinue reading “In the Happo-En Garden, Toyko by Linda Pasdan”

Sunrise, Grand Canyon by John Barton (Arizona)

Sunrise, Grand Canyonby John Barton We stand on the edge, the fallinto depth, the ascent of light revelatory, the canyon walls movingup out of shadow, litcolours of the layers cutting down through darkness, sunrise as itpasses a precipitate of the river, its burnt tangerineflare brief, jagged bleeding above the far rim for a splitsecond IContinue reading “Sunrise, Grand Canyon by John Barton (Arizona)”

The Everglades by Campbell McGrath (Florida)

The Evergladesby Campbell McGrath Green and blue and white, it is a flagfor Florida stitched by hungry ibises. It is a paradise of flocks, a cornucopiaof wind and grass and dark, slow waters. Turtles bask in the last tatters of afternoon,frogs perfect their symphony at dusk— in its solitude we remember ourselves,dimly, as creatures ofContinue reading “The Everglades by Campbell McGrath (Florida)”

Love Poem to Los Angeles by Luis J. Rodriguez (L.A. Poet Laureate, 2014-2016)

Love Poem to Los Angeles by Luis J. Rodriguez       with a respectful nod to Jack Hirschman 1. To say I love Los Angeles is to say I love its shadows and nightlights, its meandering streets, the stretch of sunset-colored beaches. It’s to say I love the squawking wild parrots, the palm trees that fail toContinue reading “Love Poem to Los Angeles by Luis J. Rodriguez (L.A. Poet Laureate, 2014-2016)”

[Traveler, your footprints] by Antonio Machado

[Traveler, your footprints] by Antonio Machado Traveler, your footprints are the only road, nothing else. Traveler, there is no road; you make your own path as you walk. As you walk, you make your own road, and when you look back you see the path you will never travel again. Traveler, there is no road;Continue reading “[Traveler, your footprints] by Antonio Machado”