Priestess of the Garden by Karen Kelsay

For fifteen years this lemon tree has bloomed
And offered up her fruit; our little maiden
Who sweeps the walk, housekeeper of the soil.
Her headdress in the wintertime is laden

With branches that bear golden offerings.
She’s our enchanted one, with perfect limbs
Producing flowers in the springtime. Her
Exquisite emerald leaves evoke soft hymns

From sparrows on the trellis. Daughter, bound
Into a pebbled, earthy ground, reviving
Our senses with a holy, hidden fire.
Secluded shrine of shade €” somehow, deriving

All glory from the sky. Sweet priestess, gowned
And birthed in rites where songs of life are crowned.

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Karen Kelsay is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee and the author of five chapbooks. Her latest book, Dove on a Church Bench, will be published next year by Punkin House Press.   She is the editor of Victorian Violet Press, an online poetry magazine, and lives in Orange County, California, with her British husband and two cats.   Karen was February’s featured artist in The New Formalist. See her work here.

Karen’s poem “Waiting for Spring” won last year’s Spring Poetry Runoff’s Most Popular Vote Award.   She has published several poems on WIZ. To see more of her poetry on WIZ, search on her name using the search box lower left in the sidebar.

*non-contest submission*

Redbud by Carla Martin-Wood

WIZ Redbud

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Another of Carla Martin-Wood’s photos.   Feast your eyes.

Desert Maiden by Judith Curtis

In Spring she lays her winter buckskin by,
bathes her brown skin in gentle rains
then dons a robe of filmy green.

From a hidden place in the earth
she brings her cache of jewels;
slips circlets of golden poppies round her arms,
drapes turquoise lupine about her neck,
anoints herself with scent of evening primrose,
white silver in the moonlight.

Wind, smitten by her beauty,
rushes from the west to dance with her.
He howls ancient love chants to her.

Jealous Sun hears;
he sees them whirling.
When she casts aside her robe and jewels
he forces wind away
and pours down love heat
on her tawny body.

Overcome, she lies stricken by searing rays,
cooled only by the passionate summer tears
of Sun’s longing.

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Judith has been a Master Gardner and a volunteer at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix for twenty years. She loves the desert and often writes about it in her poetry. She has degrees from BYU, Boston University and a Creative Writing certificate from Phoenix Community College. She has had poems published in Irreantum, Dialogue, Segullah, and Exponent II.   Last March she participated in a reading tour of Mormon   women   writers organized by Dr. Holly Welker and Dr. Joanna Brooks. She also enjoys playing duets with the birds in the backyard on her Native American flute.   Judith is also the poetry editor for Exponent II.   You can reach the online forum for Exponent II here.

To read another poem by Judith published on WIZ, go here.

*contest entry*

Poppies by Carla Martin-Wood

POPPY FIELD2

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Another of Carla Martin-Wood’s pictures that are worth a thousand words.