The Innisfree Poetry Journal

by Leonore Wilson

The Spring-Bringers

                 Are vanishing; take for instance the turtle dove

unable to breed as it once did

                  principally due to the weed seeds'

diminishment; and the cuckoo

                                                 whose calamity continues

                    as a tide of pesticides skiffles across the fields



                    the wooly caterpillar

decline . . . .

Try to imagine a world without wood warbler,

                  flycatcher, wrentit, jay;

no longer a stubborn rustling in the underbrush,

                                                   that unfailing pleasing semitone

akin to flickering bereavement and regret.

And when our soundscape disappears . . .

                                                   what of further loss:


              rivers, running water;

              and what will be 


the demise of skinks, chicory,  or

dusky wings,

                    when promised seasons  have no boundaries,

when budbursts

begin too early, when wild landscapes shrink

                                       to islands and  when

darkness covers light;

                          will that mean there is no privacy,

 and every residence


                                               a nest exposed . . . .


Force and Beauty


If a woman hadn't been out walking her dog, they might never have found the body


             among the miner's lettuce and jimson weed, the young nurse



 may have lain at the base of the creek invisible to the naked eye for months, years


            unfolded thing becoming a part of the hypothetical West,



her blue-violet flesh cleaving like roots to soil, disappearing into the unconscious season


            when lovers wait for the cleansing rains to pass like a row




of low-lying goldfinches over the reborn lavender . . . .



But nothing is quite transparent in these California hills where the mist gathers


             and vanishes, where one still finds toothed obsidian flakes,



beads and bones of those long ago who knew the trails exquisitely well,


              for here we all walk over burial-grounds without




hesitation or reverence like ravening swine in a slippery mire




knocking down the prevailing trees in our wake, mangling the grasses, branding


              everything mine as that girl was branded, the one who had been



stabbed twice through the heart, whose probable killer is still on the loose;


              how the blood shudders knowing he looks up and sees the same paternal heaven,




the same cardinal clouds, that he journeys here and there



with the living sun on his back, someone like us created in the likeness of God


           defined by his own piercing, his own unbearable shape.


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