While I’ll take life in any season, the transition from summer to fall is bumpy for me. This year, the melancholy I often feel during these pre-winter months has been accented by various family crises. Still, as the song goes, How can I keep from singing? Continue reading Autumn 2014 haiku chain by Patricia K.
Polar fleece. One of the best. Inventions. Ever.
My admiration for this virtuous fabric prompted me to do a bit of research on it. On Wikipedia, I came across this: “Aaron Feuerstein [inventor] intentionally declined to patent polar fleece, allowing the material to be produced cheaply and widely by many vendors, leading to the material’s quick and wide acceptance.”
What a lovely man for doing this for us.
Until recently, my polar fleece jacket has been out of commission, in need of repair. I’ve been wearing an uncomfortable coat—the shell, actually, from my husband’s coat—made of polyester. The coat is much bigger, heavier, and longer than my fleece jacket but nowhere near as warm. Continue reading Field Notes #13 : Spider in the hand of a goodly snow
Glancing at Belle, I can tell she needs water, and soon. I lead her away from the beaver ponds before she’s tempted beyond her ability to resist to drink from its giardia-laced teapots. I hurry her to the shade of a big juniper, another of my stops, and sit down in the dirt beneath a broken branch that hangs across the trail. Obviously, Belle needs more water than I can provide by cupping my hand. I relent and pour her a drink in the canteen lid. She laps four or five lids full then lies down in the shade without my prompting, her shoulder pressing against my knee. She pants rapidly but seems to have gotten enough to drink, refusing another offered lid.
Looking around inside the juniper’s shadow, I notice a single penstemon blossom, looking like a wind sock on a pole, glowing red against the litter. Its color leaps to the eye from a backdrop of live blue-green and dead brown juniper stubble; last year’s curled, tawny oak leaves; green wisps of grass growing in a clump; spider webs clouded with dirt and other debris; and round, purplish-blue juniper berries dropped into grey-toned soil speckled with blacker grains, probably of decayed organic material. From somewhere up-canyon, a canyon wren’s laugh pipes its downward-falling scale. Continue reading Field Notes #12: Who Has Seen the Wind? (Pt.3) by Patricia Karamesines
The orchard offered fruit,
And I did eat.
The field imparted grain,
And I did graze.
The farm gave up the calf,
And I consumed.
Her mother furnished milk
To quench my thirst.
The market tendered goods
Both fair and fine,
To tempt my tongue
And fill my eyes and ears
With vague desires.
The bending world laid bait,
And I did eat.
Jonathon has taught literature on two continents, and has read, written, and conversed about it on three. He has published poetry, fiction, and reviews in Dialogue, Sunstone, Victorian Violet Press, Gangway Magazine, Mormon Artist, Mormon Midrashim, Mormon Review, Switchback, and WIZ, and was anthologized in Tyler Chadwick’s (Ed.) Fire in the Pasture.
Illustrating painting: Pieter Cornelisz van Rijck (1558?1628), Still Life with Two Figures (1622). Oil on canvas (123.8 cm × 148.6 cm).
He was the stream and she the underbrush,
The rain that fell upon his upturned face.
She was the shadowed glade in evening’s hush
That, blotting out the sun, absorbed its grace.
She was the sea, and he the wavering shore—
The harvest moon that hung above her door.
A thousand stars crowded to hold one thought
When similes, comparisons were all
That she was left with after she was taught
That streams dry up, butt up against a wall
Where tangled roots are tripped upon in haste.
Sweet woodruff, poison ivy, interlaced.
For more from Sally Cook, and a bio, go here.
The painting, “White Garden, Emily Dickinson,” was created by the poet while a Wilbur Fellow in 1986.
We are the Day Society:
See how we skirt surefooted as goats
the Crevasse of Desire.
God is in the well-placed step that bears us above Death,
while Beauty weeps for us beyond the goat paths.
By day, the way is clear, so complete,
the ground floor and ceiling blue.
We see where we are and name it alone and only.
On our tongue, world settles into a few words—
unanswered, unanswerable shouting.
Then sunset’s splinters—orange, mauve—
fade to night’s raw transparency
and the first call of a star.
Perfect, calling silence, star following star
like deer stepping from shadow or heavy forest
into the dark’s open, stream-curled meadows.
Now we’re in sterner metaphor,
the embrace of the abyss,
brought by goat paths
to the brink of wilderness.
Patricia Karamesines has won numerous awards for her poetry, essays, and fiction, including awards from the University of Arizona, the Utah Arts Council, and the Utah Wilderness Association. She is the author of The Pictograph Murders (Signature Books 2004), an award-winning mystery novel set in the Four Corners area. Her poetry appears in the anthology Fire in the Pasture (Peculiar Pages 2011). She writes for the Mormon arts and culture blog A Motley Vision and runs the nature writing blog Wilderness Interface Zone that advocates for the “greening of human language”. She has taught English classes at USU-Eastern off and on since 2006 and now tutors English students for the NASNTI Grant program–a job she dearly loves. She lives with her husband and three children a stone’s throw from beleaguered Recapture Canyon, has put in plenty of foot-time in the canyon, and is currently completing a work of creative nonfiction about her strange and wonderful experiences there.
The lavender sky turns. Soundless.
Its silvered breath falls,
sliding slowly over veined silk.
The tiny bud ruptures. Bending
backwards (in time) it beads
the ground with miniscule reflections,
iridescent images bursting the same ideal:
a perfect mirror of every dawn’s bloom.
A.J. Huffman is a poet and freelance writer in Daytona Beach, Florida. She has previously published six collections of poetry all available on Amazon.com. She has also published her work in numerous national and international literary journals. Most recently, she has accepted the position as editor for four online poetry journals published by Kind of a Hurricane Press. You can read more about A.J. Huffman, including additional information and links to her work. Huffman has published with WIZ previously.
Photo by Audrey of Central Pennsylvania via Wikimedia Commons.
Space exhaled a puff of air.
Caught in its stream
pathless terrene thought it well
to cleave a fresh path
form a new road
unzip the miles-thin protective layer.
Aeriform meteoric hand punched through.
Glass jugs exploded in a cosmic grand plie
crystalline light show
celestial chaff in its random wind.
Chimes clinking in twenty-part dissonance.
Cataclysm in its whimsical wake until
the bagmen scavenge bits to sell on eBay.
He rides in and then canters out. Oftentimes, head bowed by reality; other times, proud to have said something noteworthy. Retired after forty-two years as teacher/school administrator, Sy Roth now resides in Mount Sinai, far from Moses and the tablets. This has led him to find solace in words.Â He spends his time writing and playing his guitar. He has published in many online publications such as Red Ochre, Bong is Bard, Danse Macabre, Mel BrakE Press, Larks Fiction Magazine, Exercise Bowler, Otoliths, BlogNostics, Every Day Poets, en brief. One of his poems, â€œForsaken Manâ€, was selected for Best of 2012 poems in Storm Cycle.Â Sy was also selected Poet of the Month in Poetry Super Highway, September 2012.Â His work was also read at Palimpsest Poetry Festival in December 2012. He was named Poet of the Month for the month of February in BlogNostics. His work was also included in Poised in Flight anthology published by Kind of Hurricane Press, March 2013.
This is a rewrite of a post published here on WIZ that I’m including in my book Crossfire Canyon. I’m posting the rewrite today in response to finding a bounty-killed coyote on this morning’s walk.
April 8, 2009. As I walked out of a nearby canyon last week along a trail where I had previously encountered a curious coyote, my nose detected gases given off by putrefaction. Somewhere nearby, bacteria were at work breaking down formerly living tissue to simpler matter, dispersing an organism’s worldly good to its biological heritors.
To this we must all come. But who has come to it now, and where?
Walking deeper into the field of decomposition gases, I searched the ground, guessing what I would find. I was approaching the gravel pit, a dumping ground for domestic and wild animal carcasses and the scene of occasional war crimes of the sort some people commit against animals. It’s common to find coyote remains around the pit, along with elk and deer carcasses, tree prunings, the ashes of bonfires, articles of clothing, and aerosol cans–the residue of “huffing” parties.
My eyes had difficulty picking out the body of the coyote because his full winter regalia of desert-soils-hued fur blended in well where he had been dumped against the weathered juniper barricade a rancher erected decades ago to prevent cattle from wandering. I’m guessing the coyote was an adult male because of the animal’s size. Wind ruffled the luxuriant fur, and my own hand felt drawn to touch. But I didn’t. Touching the coyote might spark a response that under the circumstances I wasn’t prepared to support. Continue reading Degrees of Coyoteness by Patricia Karamesines
In my quest for perhaps a wrongly-remembered story about beavers in Yellowstone National Park, I’ve watched several national parks shows, including Ken Burns’ America’s National Parks series. Since we finished that show–worth the watch, by the way–I’ve looked for other, nature-toned documentaries. We saw that Amazon Prime would let us view PBS’s Nature series for free, so we’ve tried settling into the 2012 season. The only time I watch television/movies is when I’m feeding my special needs daughter. Watching narrative takes parade across the electrified cave wall of our flat screen TV helps pass the half hour to hour thrice daily that I’m tethered to one spot while I get food into my daughter.
I haven’t watched Nature for 15 years, in part because I’m up to my neck in nature. Every day I’m at it–the struggles of helping my highly challenged family get through an hour, a day, a night, a week–hopefully, without losing anyone. When I watch TV, I really, really, really prefer something that engages me. Hard to find, me being the narrative maven than I am. We’ve watched maybe 6 episodes of Nature’s 2012 season now, and I’m pushing it to journey on. The overall poor quality of narrative in these episodes stuns me. The constant rhapsodizing on the more spiritually nourishing qualities of wilderness, even as we take in scene after scene of death and violence, is so lopsided that I think it does nature a profound disservice, forcing the behavior of other species into zoos of human thought. Not only does such captivating language do wild nature a disservice, I believe it’s doing human nature wrong. Continue reading Better and better by Patricia Karamesines