Friday, January 30, 2015

Chiricahua December

by David Chorlton

Sparrows flash
between the junipers
while towhees rummage
in grass turned dry
and pale through which
a trail leads
up the slope. Snow
clings to the crevices
on canyon walls
above the jays
and sapsuckers busy
tapping and calling,
oak into oak; red cap;
blue wing; low sun
shining cool
through the evergreens.


A chill stands up
straight and runs
from an agave's root
through the stalk
to the gray light
carried on the morning
wind across level
ground that flows
into the foothills
to where a shrike
looks out from
a shiver
at the tip of a mesquite.


Winter's crooked bones
rise from the creek banks,
white against the oaks
and junipers filling
slowly with night. It begins
with the stream turning
water to sound
and moves up the mountain
until the peak fades,
the juncos have gone
from the leaves in the yard,
and the forest closes around
the white patch
on a flicker's back.


A woodpecker's tap
carries between the trees
with their arms full
of overnight snow
while conversation soaks
into the clouds
pressing low and cold
onto the road
and the ice
lining each stalk of grass.


by Simon Anton Nino Diego Baena

Everything becomes a painting of memories
as the vineyards tremble in the conflict
of song and silence. It seems I yearn
for the pearls of my lost archipelago—
the temple is a window of the mosque
and a door of the cathedral. Still I see
no horseman on the hill, not even the phantom
of Frederico, but Azahara exists
in my dreams, at least. Since I speak
for myself, I remain drunk in my own narrative
of loss. There in the east lies the river
of grief and in the west lies the garden
of Bacchanalian feasts. Here I became
more aware of the potential of death
and what it means to life. But of course
I hear the music of water coming
from the Gothic fountain, if only
it could cure my longing of maya birds
flying over a forest of bamboo trees.

The Prize

by Kelsey Bryan-Zwick

I had to explain to the surgeon
that I wanted to keep the metal
after it had been removed

It’s not that I wanted it
just knew that somehow
I had earned it, and couldn’t bare
to have it buried as biohazard waste
or in the ground before
and without me

This metal
bolts and washers
two thin rods
odd machined sculpture
bent to the curves
in the lean and slouch
of my posture
scaffolding to keep me
up-right, assembled
into and now out of
my muscled ribs

This collection of titanium bling
I will keep it with the other set
the stainless steel from the first surgery
that metal that I am allergic to, that
boiled and blistered
I have saved these             things
keep them in                      odd drawer

There are other relics
the neck braces, the x-rays
the wrist bands, cotton balls

It is the metal though that I must
clean methodically, soak in bleach
scrub with old toothbrush and rag
in my latex gloves, hold each piece
to the sun, see how it shines
in the light

I examine them
read the little
letters and numbers
imprinted in each
I will keep them
and maybe one day
melt them down

into a chalice                       for ceremony
into a vase                               for flowers
into an urn                                  for ashes
into a teapot                         for company

a paper weight                                charm
a music box                                   lullaby
a pair of scissors                               craft
a trophy                                            wins
counterfeit coins                             trade
a crown                                      glorifies

If like metals spill the same amount of water
from a filled container, the body must transcend
its own internal displacement in order to maintain
a sense of wholeness, the hard immovable part
of the self that will in all ways needs every spare caress

The metal that appears the contents
of junk-drawer, through process of osmosis
has absorbed an intrinsic quality, has become
something precious, to me the metal, now
externalized, clutched to my chest, creates
a kind of pressure, reversing its alchemy
until I am only grasping straw