Category Archives: Poetry

Father-Daughter Dance by Patricia Karamesines

baroque staircase Amsterdam

(For Clinton F. Larson)

How long did I look in that face, admit
that voice? He left his door unlocked to me,
kept ice cream money in a drawer. He fit
his office to my urchin company.

Those years I spent his foundling, each day waking,
I toyed on his baroque and spiraled stair.
“Look, here is Milton. See this sentence snaking?
These coils bend on forever. Do you dare?”
Continue reading Father-Daughter Dance by Patricia Karamesines

Valentine Haiku Chain by Patricia K.

Swans Valentine

As part of Wilderness Interface Zone’s Love of Nature Nature of Love Month, we thought it would be fun to run a Valentine haiku chain. This is a just for fun song and dance event for many voices and dancing levels.

A haiku is a classical Japanese poetical form, usually 17 syllables all in a single line in Japanese, but there are longer and shorter forms. In English, haiku often take the form of one short line of 5 syllables, a long line of 7 syllables, and a short line of 5 syllables, but there are many ways–take your pick. If you’re interested, you can find out more about haiku here or here. (For fun, check out the “annoying haiku” at the first website.)

There’s no deadline for this activity and the only requirement is that you focus your feeling in a nature-oriented haiku. You can link your haiku to an image in a preceding one or simply forge a link out of new images altogether.  The chain runs as long as participants continue to forge links in the smithies of their minds.

Considered a mindfulness practice, writing haiku requires discipline–even if you’re writing effectively annoying haiku. So if you like the challenge of cramming your deepest feelings and most perceptive insights (or your silliest ones) into 17 syllables, this activity is for you.

Ready? Here is my opening Valentine haiku:

Tart flowers have shaped
bee’s dance; bee, flowers’ bouquet.
Almost, this is love.

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Patricia Karamesines1Patricia Karamesines {p.karamesines@gmail.com} 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 landmark anthology Fire in the Pasture (Peculiar Pages 2011) and has also been published in Dialogue and Irreantum. A long time ago, she was the founding editor of BYU’s literary journal Inscape, a feat she remains satisfied with. She has won numerous awards for her poetry and essays. She writes for A Motley Vision and runs the nature writing blog Wilderness Interface Zone that advocates for the greening of human language. Currently, she is an English tutor and adjunct at Utah State University-Eastern Blanding where she works closely with the university extension’s Native American student population.

The Trees in River Country by Sarah Dunster

Maple leaves on grass by Rosendahl

The trees in river country know the wind,
and how to bend  in winter blasts. They hold
snow and take the water. They change color—
as the leaves of maples turn, so too
a sister to her brother.

There are deep roots in a certain field, grown up
on our name past—fed by ashes of Cedar.
What wounds we’ve had will bear true grain,
but you and I will not be felled
by spade or tractor chain.

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To read another LONNOL Month poem by Sarah Dunster, go here.

Spooky by Sarah Dunster

blue eye art

You watched her pass, the woman you
were with while you learned Poetry.
Black hair—she smiled with such grey eyes—
you watched  her pass without goodbyes,
and these hills blind me, golden; fierce
with bristling grass, smoking in the sun:
a cloud kicked up, an offering
to sanctify our suffering.

She lay down for a minute
to allow that one to come. Only
think, while holding him, a child
once held in warmth and now, exiled:
blue eyes, all. And hair like lightning.
That’s us, our full cheeks swelling,
full eyes dripping with questions still,
bellies and hearts and arms to fill.

That’s us. Black hair—she smiled with such
grey eyes. You watched her pass without
heart-ill goodbyes, at least in words.
And summer passed, and autumn turned
to place her in the pines, in heaps
of needles, sharp with what you felt
but did not say. We found her there:
ponderosas, pitch-dark like her hair.

We sang you out one icy night,
with half-shy notes of grief you would
have quickly silenced. We stood there
by your bed and sang the trio, though
you were joking when you asked; how
truly black she was beside you—
Tongue lolling, and that spooky eye
watching even as we said goodbye.

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Sarah Dunster picSarah Dunster is wife to one, mother to seven, and an author of fiction and poetry. Her
poems have appeared on the online LDS poetry blog Wilderness Interface Zone as well as in
Victorian Violet Press, Segullah Magazine, Dialogue: Journal of Mormon Thought, Psaltery
& Lyre and Sunstone Magazine. She has published two novels with Cedar Fort under their
Bonneville Books imprint: the award winning historical fiction novel Lightning Tree, and Mile
21, which is a contemporary fiction/romance novel. When she is not writing Sarah can often
be found cleaning, cooking vegetarian or international meals, holding small people in her lap,
driving kids to soccer and piano lessons, singing in local musical productions with her family
or taking long walks after dark, especially in thunderstorms.

LONNOL Events

WIZ Valentine9

WIZ’s heart and LONNOL Month is officially open.

We’ve received a few tokens of affection but are longing for more. Please search your files for poems, short fiction, short essays, mp3s of readings of your work or of other work that’s in public domain, your original artwork, etc. and send them winging our way.

Along with submissions from our readers, we’ll have a winter wonderland/fond feelings haiku chain, to be initiated soon.

Also, February 24th is WIZ’s birthday. We’ll be four years old. To celebrate, we’ll be offering one or more of WIZ’s old movie giveaways. Giving our readers presents on our birthday is something we really enjoy doing. To “win” an old movie, all you’ll have to do is read each movie’s review and comment in the comment section. WIZ will contact you with further instructions about how to receive your free DVD.

It has been a hard, difficult, overlong (some would say interminable) winter. Let’s use February to warm things up.

2014 LONNOL Month begins on WIZ

WIZ Valentine1b

It’s another LONNOL Month, WIZ’s traditional month-long celebration of love and the natural world.

We’re issuing an open call for nature-themed, love-laced writing and visual arts: original poetry, essays, blocks of fiction, art, music (mp3s), videos or other media that address the subject of love while referencing nature, even if lightly. By the same token, we’re interested in nature writing raveled up with themes of love.

If you’ve written artsy Valentine wishes to someone beloved—or perhaps created a video Valentine or made a live reading of a sonnet or lyric poem that’s original to you—or if you’ve written a short essay avowing your love for people, critters, or spaces that make you feel alive, please consider sending it to WIZ. Click here for submissions guidelines.

We hope you’ll join our month-long celebration combining two of the most potent natural forces on the face of the planet–love and language.

The Pressure of Procrastination by Enoch Thompson

439px-Face_in_the_Pool-Knight_Fighting_Dragon

My teeth sting in my face, the gums feel like they could bleed,
but I don’t brush them, no, why do such a simple thing,
it would be a waste of time.  Instead I loaf,
waiting for the brilliance that’s rightfully mine,
waiting for a smell of joy, a salty tear running down to my nostril,
waiting for love as obvious as the warm hour of day when I’m out in the sun.
Maybe I’ll discover a new color when it happens merely by chance,
but I wait for greatness.

I could never be content with just a toothbrush in my hand.
Let that invisible sting at the bottoms of my gums, deep in my veins,
turn into a green tinge of growth, climbing up, climbing out.
Let me cry out in pain and rage when I eat.
Then with a scalpel, with rough-studded tools,
let me slay that dragon, and I’ll smile easier.

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Want to read more of Enoch’s poetry? Go here, here, and here.

Me at 18 by Enoch Thompson

800px-US_Restroom

At first the hard tile floor beneath the sink
was relief from mounds of powder and frost
feet and feet deep

The silver pipes above my head
felt like distant blankets, not soft, or even felt by me
but as a sense of found security

Whose thin crust shattered in the night
when fathers, sons, or truck drivers
stopped to piss and be my guest

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To see more poetry by Enoch, go here and here.

Attention Deficit by Enoch Thompson

Milkweed_Follicle_releasing_its_Seeds

There is a tornado’s ghost of filth on the floor.
A harrowing neglect slinks in through the pores of my legs.
Pumping faster, I run off the bend and into the bush.
While branches close in, I hunch, curling up,
becoming the trees, the soils, a seed,
until I never knew any one thing before.

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Enoch ThompsonEnoch Thompson is an aspiring poet and storyteller. He was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. He is a former student at Utah State University-Eastern in southeastern Utah. He has been homeless off and on since he turned 18, and is at present living with a long time family friend. He spent his first years of grade school being home-schooled and was illiterate until the fourth grade. He taught himself how to read, which is why he has a passion for reading and writing. He is too young, too unsure of himself, too ready to soak up the dramatic.  He says that the written word has affected him by opening his mind to various new perspectives and possibilities. He dreams of one day going to college at the University of California, Berkley.

And I Did Eat by Jonathon Penny

Journal_of_Emerging_Infectious_Diseases_Jan_2013 pic2

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,

Encumbrances unique
To tempt my tongue

And fill my eyes and ears
With vague desires.

The bending world laid bait,
And I did eat.

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WIZ Profile-1 Jonathon PennyJonathon 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).