Poems “Feel” and “Tempest” accepted in the forthcoming anthology, Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California from Scarlet Tanager Books.
The collective contributions to this anthology come together to weave a braid of voices examining and celebrating the dazzling variety of California’s unique biological zones.
This anthology will provide an arguably much-needed platform for the ecologies of California—from Sierra to Mojave Desert; valleys and streams; coast and forest—and will hopefully take its place in the canon of the finest writing and writers of our state
Like every other summer afternoon
the sails unfurl in the blue spoon of bay,
white-capped but not enough to rouse
the silty sand. A pale half moon is
held up in the sky, coerced by those laws
we cannot see. A cattle egret flies east
from the lagoon, caring little for the
shrieking company of the terns,
in from the north and sheltering in the
marshes. A plover cries from the mudflat,
thrumming of waves heaving themselves
at the shoreline. Were you here I’d point out
the coyote’s tracks through the sand,
the distance between where each paw fell,
tell you he was running. I’d reveal the place
where, beneath the dune grass, the gull’s
body lay torn open and hollowed, say
to you, This, this is how I feel.
Through the night the trees rocked
to and from, boughs bucked and pitched
against one another and I remember
thinking it sounded like weeping.
At first light I left the hilltop for
the shadows of the canyon. The river
was frenzied, filled with leaves
and waves and mud. I stood for a time
at that tempest, where it boils as it greets
the sea. When I turned to leave
I found the owl’s nest had fallen
from the branch that embraced it,
torn away from the old fir in the storm,
the knot of it resting at its roots.
Tonight the moon is full. I trace
its course through the sky beyond
the window in my sleeplessness, a square
of moonlight at the foot of the bed, later
waking to find it has shifted and I
am bathed in it. I am imagining the owl
in the tall four hundred-year-old Douglas fir,
standing sentinel in the black of the night
beneath a smattering of bright stars.
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