Evening drive

by P. G. Karamesines

Mountains and evening: aspen leaves
Pale as moth wings,
Reclaiming the wood.
The car clove spring.
A flock of yellow petals, heads hung €”
I wanted to stop,
But seeing you, said nothing.
You were not much in your face,
Your words, better remembering
Some breathtaken childhood
On this exalted road.
On the peaks, winds blew
Clouds to dust
In parching cold.
We rode through green flush below,
Windows pleasantly rolled down.

With dusk, winter came a little down.
On the road above the gorge
I sat in the window.
Raindrops broke across my face,
Burned off in the wind.
You turned the wheel
As if you held the reins
Of a mare, a bold girl
Standing on the saddle.
Beside us like a hound
The river ran panting.

The last brightness came down
Cascades branching like ivy.
Your mountains, losing
Their faces like sleepers,
Slumped out of the light.
The car went always
Toward the edge of that small clearing
The headlights cut.
Inside, your face,
Your chest, glowing faintly
From dashlights
As if you stood in a room
With a fire.

When I came in at last,
Breezes still running
Over my skin,
My hair cool as grass,
I had no warm words.
You had no cold,
So we sat like two birds
On the same wire.
I thought,
Language is an odd thing:
We  can get no further
Than  what we have words for.


First published in Irreantum: A Review of Mormon Literature and Film;   Volume 8,   Number 1 (2006), pp. 100-101

Watching the Sunrise in St. George, Utah

10 May 2008

by Tyler Chadwick

I wish I knew the names
of all these birds: I’m sure that’s a sparrow,

wings wound tight against the wind,
dropping to the tip of a cypress

before re-mounting the sky; and
two more there, circling the birdfeeder,

vying for seed. And there, a robin, breast flared
even at this hour,

sifting the xeriscape for a meal,
prouding its head to swallow, then

vanishing down a nearby bluff.
And there, scrambling from beneath

a tuft of backyard sage, what must be a mourning dove
throws dust and air at my presence. And yesterday,

as we came into town, I’m sure it was a raven
that arced across the road, tilting its wings

against the updraft from our car
to gather sky around its violet-

blue gloss. But that brooding coo,
too long and low

for the dove, covering the crickets’ trill,
charming light from its clay vessel €”

did Adam, at first,
even really know that name?


Originally published in Irreantum 9.2 (2007)/10.1 (2008): 206-7.

Tyler’s personal blog:  Chasing the Long White Cloud.

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day!*

In honor of spring’s arrival, Wilderness Interface Zone will over the next two weeks post poems celebrating the arrival of “the boyhood of the year” (Tennyson).  

If you have a favorite poem  about spring or one in which spring figures prominently  or have written one that fits WIZ’s themes and content,  e-mail it to us at wilderness@motleyvision.org.   Please review our submissions guide before submitting.  

*From “A Prayer in Spring” by Robert Frost