Come in Under the Shadow of this Red Rock by Chanel Earl

Calf Creek 2-1

As we walk €”side by side €”down the long sloping trail, we pass gray trees and black igneous boulders peppering the otherwise white, sedimentary landscape. The earth is a mirror reflecting the hot yellow sun that has so recently removed winter’s snow. I point out traces of vanished streams; you find lizard footprints delicately decorating their sandy banks. We continue on.

I thirst and walk and imagine living forty days in this forsaken place. The nights are cold, the days are sweltering. My mouth dries and I see only sand, sun. The blue skies taunt and laugh with derision.

If there were water and no rock.

I imagine this land as sea, sediment settling onto the ocean floor as the waves rise and fall. I swim and fall to the bottom of the deep.

If there were rock and also water, and water €”a spring €”a pool among the rock.

I imagine Elijah, sliding into his cave among the rocks to find a saving pool. He drinks and prays.   And sleeps.

If there were the sound of water only €”the sound of water over the rock.

As I continue to dream I hear the water. It falls through the canyon. It seeps through the rocks and splashes onto the sand.

I take your hand.   We hear snowmelt careening down the canyon. The rocks echo the sounds of thunderous falls as we arrive at our destination. Too cold to swim, I sit and drink and feel the cool mist on my hot face. You lie, relaxed, in the warm sun.

If I were living in this rock’s shadow, I would live with you. The ravens would bring us grapes and melon. Every morning we would wake to the life of the desert.

On our return you find green buds sprouting from the tips of each gray tree, trees that grow out of living rock. A black bird soars above us.

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Chanel Earl grew up in Utah and currently lives in Bloomington, Indiana. In addition to reading and writing, her hobbies include teaching, gardening, knitting, quilting, watching way too much television, parenting and housework. Her work has appeared in Smokelong Quarterly, The Wasatch Journal and Revolution House Magazine. Her short story collection, What to Say to Someone Who’s Dying, is available online. Chanel is a Mormon. You can find out more about Chanel and her writing at www.chanelstory.blogspot.com.

Meadow Talk by Sarah Dunster

Wade BrightPurpleFlower via Wikimedia Commons

There is no better talk

than

thoughts shared in violet hollows

where not so much praise as scent

not so much words as velvet €”

soft petals on our faces €”

speak our language.

So, love, make plain

what

you might wish in digging out

green hills for four-leaved omens

we might taste in stems of waiting clover

and I might see in hollows of your

throat, your lips, your eyes.

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Sarah Dunster contributes regularly to WIZ as a writer and a reader. Her wide-eyed wonder at the world and at words embodies the spirit of LONNOL month. She has published in Dialogue and Fire in the Pasture. For more, go here.

By the Wayside by Ashley Suzanne Musick

de/ex macchina British Columbia 2007--Jonathon Penny

A baby blue bowl, overturned,

Sums it up somehow:

Trees march up the hills,

Casting a green cape across the soil.

A gray ribbon winds between the mounds of earth

As cars €”bright, boldsome gems €”speed along the path,

Glinting brilliantly in the sunbeams,

Rushing from one place to another,

Thoughtless of the beauty surrounding them.

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Ashley Suzanne Musick was born in Fountain Valley, California, on February 26th, 1989, and raised and homeschooled in Anaheim. In 2010, she moved to southwest Kern County, where she lives and works on a farm and writes in her spare time.

Definition of Now by Sandra Skouson

I
The breeze has caught
the cherry tree ready to shed
her petals and the air
is filled with flakes.
They settle in grass
and the lee of the garden steps.
The rosebush that clasps
the creaking trellis
is speckled with white.

II
What is the time?
It is now.   And the place?
The place is here.
How does now look?
It looks like here.

III
Time will take away the thrill
of dazzled air, but hope
continues along my spine
to meet the weight of earth
rising from my feet.

IV
There is no language for now;
silence will have to do.
There is no movement for now;
stillness will have to do.

V
All now is enclosed in this:
at the edge of one breath,
a petal trembles
against my wrist
and the thrush call holds
the center of one note.

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To see Sandra’s bio and read more of her work published on WIZ go here, here, here, and here.

*contest entry*