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Embrace the pure life, part one

One morning last summer I came up out of Crossfire carrying two objects I wasn’t carrying when I entered the canyon.  The first was a fully intact turkey tail feather that I plucked from the trail.  As I admired it, I noticed an oily sheen on the dark-brown barbs near the feather’s tip.  I stopped in the shade of an oak tree and raised the feather into a shaft of light filtering through the leaves. When the sunlight struck the feather, chevrons of rainbow colors appeared in the vane, very rich and vibrant in hue—a bit peacock-esque.  Who would have thought a turkey could produce such a gem?

The feather was a natural object, shed by a canyon resident.  My second found object was in a way the feather’s counterpoint: a container of commercially produced bottled water, over three-quarters full, dropped along a steep part of the illegal ATV trail that has caused such a ruckus in these parts. Continue reading Embrace the pure life, part one

“Naming Spring” by Sandra Skouson

Today the secret names of everything
come back, the ancient names.
Tribe-of-the-morning names
call to me from the wind, which I know
as shut-your-eyes-breath,
hands-over-your-ears, gone-with-the-ice-song,
Smell-of-dogwood; it is called,

Daffodil has become again

This morning has its own name,
separate from all other mornings,

And now spring has brought
to make soft soil in the garden
where I kneel for the first time
on the almost-warm-gift-to-growing
and work my spade toward summer.


For Sandra’s bio and other poems submitted to WIZ’s Spring Poetry Runoff, click here and here.

*Contest entry*

Winter haiku

[Post edited 12/17.]  Since this haiku chain launched itself before I had a chance to lay groundwork, I thought I’d backtrack and provide some perhaps useful information.

A haiku is a classical Japanese poetical form, usually 17 syllables all in a single line in Japanese, but I understand that there are longer and shorter forms.  In English, haiku usually take the form of one short line of 5 syllables, a long line of 7 syllables, and a short line of 5 syllables.  I’ve misplaced all my haiku notes, but you can find out more here or here.

Here’s my beginning haiku:

Colorful beads drape
Desert grasses–frost parsing
Light’s long white sentence.

Guest post: Little windowsill of horrors, by Val

During fall of 2008, I was perusing a field guide of medicinal plants when a picture caught my eye. It was a small yellow leaf, round and stalked, with hairs rising from the top. On each hair was a small drop of glue. Continue reading Guest post: Little windowsill of horrors, by Val

Thank you, POBPF participants

WIZ would like to thank all who participated in Poems of Bibilical Proportions Fortnight.  The list includes:

Mark Bennion
William Morris
Eric Jepson
Danny Nelson
Tyler Chadwick
Arwen Taylor
Nani Lii S. Furse

It was a lovely two weeks, thanks to all of you.  Also thanks to Tyler Chadwick and Karen Kelsay for poems they contributed prior to POBPF–those made for fine lead-ins.   Life’s been good here at WIZ.  I appreciate everyone who contributes and drops by to read and comment.


Guest Post: “Creation,” by Danny Nelson

The sun’s ten fingers came unfurled.
He gathered struts and made a world.
With careful breath the sphere was blown:
a hollow ball of molten stone.
And with the glass-sharp stars in thrall,
he spun the geodesic ball.

The moon stretched out her oyster hand
and on the struts she lifted land.
In mercury streams the valleys bled:
the mountain shook its hoary head.
She set the rain in silver sheets
upon the ocean’s stormy streets.

The sun shook out his golden beard
and with its heat the land was seared.
The gold-gray ash, ’neath greening rain,
bristled up in heads of grain.
The trees grew up at his approach,
and closed their gowns with emerald brooch.

The moon unbound her swelling womb
and scattered the world with ruby bloom.
She shrouded its eyes with birds in flight
and veiled its face with silky night.
Then balanced the sphere on a silver scale
and lined the seas with fishes’ mail.

Then the sun and the moon
set the world in a swoon
and clothed it in meadow and wood.

And with bashful glance
began to dance

. . . and called it good.


Danny Nelson’s “Creation” appears in Plain and Precious Parts of the Fob Bible ( and in the complete Fob Bible ( Nelson studies literature at the University of Washington where he has developed an interest in the many ways of spelling phoenix.