Desert Names by Mark Penny

479px-Desert_Sandwort

I don’t know the names—
No very names.
Oh, chapparal. Oh, sage.
Vague names.
Oh, cactus, tumbleweed.
Oh, scorpion.
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.
Half-names,
Bright shadows
In a sun
That beats its laundry past the need of clean.
I am the rag-post.
Mummied graves
Croak the long story of my ignorance.

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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.

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Photo: Desert Sandwort via Wikimedia Commons courtesy of BLM Nevada, 2013.

Hibiscus Blooming in Rain by A.J. Huffman

hibiscus

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
forever.

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Photo by the poet. Follow the links for Huffman’s bio and more at WIZ.

Cherry Tomatoes by April Salzano

Cherry Tomatoes

Cherry Tomatoes

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.
Wasted.

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Photo by Nate Dworsky.

Salzano’s bio can be found here. For more of her poetry at WIZ, go here.

from The Sensuous Garden by Judith Curtis

Seraglio2 by Judith Curtis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Datura1

 

 

 

 

 

sphinxmoth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holly and the Girls5

hollyhocks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eggplant2

eggplant

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Judith Curtis photoIn 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