Desert Names by Mark Penny

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 … Continue reading Desert Names by Mark Penny

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

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

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

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

What the Winter Means by Mark Penny

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 … Continue reading What the Winter Means by Mark Penny

Ice Walking by Mark Penny

A nameless beaver sprang the trap. Must have swum through it on his way up shore. The two dogs, Jax and Cleo, crouched in their winter coats, Gripped and pulled, But the snare held, Jealous of its prey. I found them: Red paw prints in the savaged snow, Scrabbling blindly at the brink. They parted … Continue reading Ice Walking by Mark Penny

Open on the Plain by Mark Penny

The plain stretched tritely left and right, Flat as the sky it laughed at, Which was gray And rolled like prairie, but less wild. Bands of rain scented the slow wind with their sweat, Stalking through grass as yellow as a sun Ripe on the lowest branch of waning time. They’d be here soon, but … Continue reading Open on the Plain by Mark Penny

Deer Skull on Giant Stump by Mark Penny

I’m locked and loaded on a night of curtailed sleep Curtailed at starting end The movie was too good to sleep through What was it called? About? That paragraph I wrote for English-with-Foreigner 1-15 Is in my head like the aftershock of a bad-apple head-on with a truck It gongs and dongs with it So … Continue reading Deer Skull on Giant Stump by Mark Penny

There’s Nothing Like an Apple by Mark Penny

There’s nothing like an apple Not a thing In summer, fall, millenium or spring The crisp, collapsing clutter in the mouth Wet sugar squirting east, west, north and south _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ To read Mark’s other Spring Poetry Runoff Competition entries, go here and here. *Competition entry*

I Miss That Time of Year I Know as Spring by Mark Penny

I miss that time of year I know as Spring: The rain-chaffed ions on the air, the air Breathed by the shrew and hawk, the wheat and tare, Stirred by the green-leafed lyre and the wing. I miss the swift, infant quaking of the grass In the first stumbling steps of cloud-licked wind, The boastful … Continue reading I Miss That Time of Year I Know as Spring by Mark Penny

Boneyard Song by Mark Penny

Down to the boneyard went the child to play Rake-a-long snake-a-long Laughing all the day Laughing in the ashes Leaping on the stones Hiding in the graveholes, building with the bones Down to the stickyard came the sun to play Break-a-long ache-a-long Shining all the day Shining on the ashes Shouting on the stones Peeking … Continue reading Boneyard Song by Mark Penny