I don’t know the names—
No very names.
Oh, chapparal. Oh, sage.
Oh, cactus, tumbleweed.
Oh, coiled up shaker of a shaman’s bones.
Oh, crook-limbed walker on the knuckled sands.
Oh, day-lived blossom, thirsting in its death.
Oh, winged portent of the flight of breath.
In a sun
That beats its laundry past the need of clean.
I am the rag-post.
Croak the long story of my ignorance.
Mark Penny has poetry on WIZ and Everyday Mormon Writer and in Sunstone and Dialogue, and fiction on Everyday Mormon Writer and Lowly Seraphim. He was winner of the Wilderness Interface Zone 2012 Spring Poetry Runoff Admin Award, a finalist in the Everyday Mormon Writer Four Centuries of Mormon Stories Contest, and a semi-finalist in the 2014 Mormon Lit Blitz. He hopes the trend will bounce.
Current projects include a poetry collection, a Mormon spec fic collection, a dozen or so novels, a collaboration that will blow your spirit right out of your brain, and a unified theory of narrative.
Friend on Facebook. Follow on Twitter.
Photo: Desert Sandwort via Wikimedia Commons courtesy of BLM Nevada, 2013.
The garden sogs under persistent downpour. Green
grows with a sickly gray clinging like shadows,
cloud contamination. In a quiet corner, lone
hibiscus stretches petals toward sky, embraces
drops battering against brilliance. Resilient
as the solar power color emulates, it remains open,
a burst of warming reassurance that the sky cannot fall
Photo by the poet. Follow the links for Huffman’s bio and more at WIZ.
hang in clusters on delicate vines. The plants
are caged, potted in the driveway. All summer
they have drowned in rain and hose water until flowers
became hard green cysts that grew, ripened and split
wide open. I salvage what I can into folded shirt-basket
though I know no one will eat them. Most have fallen
onto rocks below, dots of bloody pulp punctuate stone.
Photo by Nate Dworsky.
Salzano’s bio can be found here. For more of her poetry at WIZ, go here.
In addition to writing poetry, directing memoir groups, and writing stories for her grandchildren, Judith Curtis is a Master Gardner in Phoenix and a volunteer at the Desert Botanical Garden. She has published poems in WIZ, Irreantum, Dialogue, Segullah, Exponent II, Sunstone, and Fire in the Pasture. She is currently poetry editor for Exponent II and participated in the Mormon Women’s Writers tour in 2010 organized by Dr. Joanna Brooks and Dr. Holly Welker
Beside the garden wall where grapevines run,
a peach tree stands, diseased and bent with age.
Her blackened branches reach up to the sun
in daily supplication for her wage.
Each year, I think, must surely be her last,
but faithfulness is undeterred by whims.
So, not content to rest on harvests past,
she bears young fruit on geriatric limbs.
With every spring, new buds and blooms emerge
and swell with promise fed by summer rains.
Though twisted and decrepit, still the surge
of liquid light flows through her ancient veins.
I’ll gather and preserve her living gold
to line my pantry shelves against the cold.
Merrijane is a resident of Kaysville, Utah, where the mountains loom large, the sky is beautiful even when it’s gray, and the geese are always just passing through. She loves nature in a literary sense, often drawing from it to write poetry. But do not even think about trying to take her camping unless there is a structure nearby with functional plumbing.
Image: Vincent van Gogh, De roze perzikboom (The pink peach tree), 1888.
Milkweed has risen up, alive and green
And shines in glow of red ball sunset’s rays.
Plump peaches hang from slender branches, seen
Against a patterned, darkened lily bed,
Maroon against bright emerald on the edge.
Wedging, straw flowers, purple, push on through
Amid a cloud of lemon primrose hedge.
A floating border spreads and picks up red
To add some spice to this small sandwiched space.
Here everything pays homage to the fact
Of foliage—plump roses interface
With fruits, where Monarchs flourish and are fed.
For more from Sally Cook, and a bio, go here.
Painting by the poet: “As New England Used To Be.”
He was the stream and she the underbrush,
The rain that fell upon his upturned face.
She was the shadowed glade in evening’s hush
That, blotting out the sun, absorbed its grace.
She was the sea, and he the wavering shore—
The harvest moon that hung above her door.
A thousand stars crowded to hold one thought
When similes, comparisons were all
That she was left with after she was taught
That streams dry up, butt up against a wall
Where tangled roots are tripped upon in haste.
Sweet woodruff, poison ivy, interlaced.
For more from Sally Cook, and a bio, go here.
The painting, “White Garden, Emily Dickinson,” was created by the poet while a Wilbur Fellow in 1986.