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.

_________________________________________________
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.

Most Days, the Morning Sun’s a Blazing Smudge by Mark Penny

Mark image

Most days, the morning sun’s a blazing smudge
Athwart the city’s searing opal dome,
An egg dropped on an egg, the crack of dawn
Sprawling against a shield that will not budge.
But sometimes, when I stay up all the night
To will my love of nature on the world,
No screen of silken, dusty gray or white
Conceals the chick of heaven where it’s curled.
Those days, the line of jungled, jumbled crags
That spine this island juts along the east
Like a cold lizard basking and the rags
Of last night’s laundry tremble at the beast.
Then the frail yellow phoenix lifts its head
To light the sky and burn awake the dead.

_______________________________________
Mark headshotA middle-aged man in Taiwan
Declared it was time to get on
With his stories and verse
Before loading the Hearse.
It’s of him the above is the spawn.

Mark is, if not ubiquitous, variously present, as follows: Mars Denar, ici, Lowly Seraphim, Dawning of a Brighter Day, Sunstone, and Dialogue.

Photo by the poet.

The Sky’s an Ocean, As All Eagles Know by Mark Penny

Birds_in_flight

The sky’s an ocean, as all eagles know
Who plumb the splendour nest to keel,
A craze of very ships in fleets that flow
On voyages forbidden whale and seal.
Its currents race, chained to the planet’s turn,
Churned by the jilted passion of the sun,
Exacting fervor from the veil-eyed fern
Mured in a pillared abbey like a nun.
Fleet immigrants, protesting falling leaves
And roofless perches, clog the trackless ways,
Pursuing passion while the bosom heaves
Of all creation in its fit of days.
The sky’s an ocean, leaping shore to shore.
So says the urchin on the ocean floor.

________________________________________________
For recent work by Mark and additional links, go here.

Photo “Birds in Flight” via Wikimedia Commons.

What the Winter Means by Mark Penny

Winter_landscape_3

You will be asking what the winter means.

A crack,
A crackle,
A lament.

The flat, sad surface of the earth
Stuck in the ice
That traps a pond.

The green gone gray and white
Alone
Or clothed
As if the crystals of the sky
Had slipped their tassels,
Slid the flimsy loom
And flapped like gulls and eagles
To the ground.

Moments of muteness
When no sight or sound but what comes with us
Dawdles in the glade,
The sounds sucked outward by the space
Between the grains of grounded firmament.
The chance of quiet in the grove,
The roads mere motions over rise
And so no more a measure of the world
Or its slow paces in the searing wind
Than pulse or breath,
Which also slow and still.

It is the restless resting revving up
Between the quick flags of the chase,
The soulless solace sloping to a rage
Of curled up crimsons
Bleeding green;
The ice cube cooling in the fire,
The cold cup sweating by the sea.

_______________________________________________
For more by Mark, and additional links, go here.

Photo “Winter Landscape 3” via Wikimedia Commons.