After Ten Days Away
By Linda M Robertson
Return to a world roused – so much desire
in the wind. Meadowlarks betray our yearning.
Small birds gift mullein with deepest sky,
wear rivers on their wings. This morning
I believe nothing has been lost. Blossoms
on serviceberry shrubs thread mountain light
down nearby swales. One redtail hawk—
a compass above us: there is no going
By Naomie Peasley
Silence scared me.
Fear of thoughts.
Demons taking advantage of the empty space created by my quiet.
Their busy hands freely constructing a world inside.
A world, I, unable to escape-Unable to forget.
I filled the silence with chaos. Outside stimulation to deafen the demons-
To dim their dance.
Words spit from others mouths stifling their creations.
Turn up the volume,
Plan another meeting,
Say “yes” to yet another deadline.
My attempt to drown my demons…
I was only feeding their frenzy.
Adding pastels to their palettes.
Providing pleasure for their pain.
Helping create craziness.
Silence is different.
I no longer fear it.
Desire its company.
My demons no longer able to destroy
Community of Rocks
By Twisp poet Subhaga Crystal Bacon
Rocks hold a kind of communion;
each one welcomed its various parts,
gray or glinting, basalt or quartz.
And lichen—raised or smooth; a mosaic
of sprawling shapes. When I pass by
with nothing to do but walk in the changing day,
they hum a quiet song, irresistible.
One a daybed, another a couch. An altar,
two loaves of bread for giants. They shift in light
beneath the passing clouds. If you stay a while
you, too, will become large—at least your thoughts.
Your tiny human legs can stride, fast or slow.
You’ll not come soon to the end of them.
One way the ocean, another the far north
that drops eventually south. One way, only more
of the continent with its cities and roads.
But that’s further than you want to go.
Fields of bluebells humbly hang their heads,
run in clusters along the arid soil,
dry and crumbly to the touch. And yellow bells
with their radiance hidden in thatch. Purple
star-shaped flowers the size of a tack.
If you don’t look, you’ll tread on them.
Look at the ground that rises right up
to the sky.
You will see it all at once.
By Anne Young
The day she left her captive tower was not the day she was truly free.
No, for years she roamed the castle halls in turmoil wondering how her past could be.
Among jewels and banquets, smiling faces, and her devoted parents two,
She was imprisoned within her own tangled mind where regrets and fears wildly flew.
She shouldn’t have been captured as a baby so innocent and shy.
Why did it happen and could it happen again she would think and think, then cry.
Her loving prince was always patiently at her beck and call,
but her mind kept her within far off captive tower walls.
Her body was free but her mind was not until that joyous day,
when she questioned her mind, in bliss she would forever stay.
The thoughts started coming in the dim of night, she should have been a sleep.
She took a deep breath and looked around at all within her keep.
The strong floor beneath her feet had always firmly supported her weight,
She had plenty to eat, wear, and her own little daughter growing up with haste.
She boldly soaked in each feeling her thoughts brought on and didn’t hesitate.
She bravely felt them without judgment and began to meditate.
She began to see her trauma as though it had happened to someone else she loved.
She felt sorry for that little girl whose past was keeping her from the affection of her beloved.
“I shouldn’t have been locked away for my hair.” Did she know it to be true?
She didn’t know, for it had happened. Reality proved what confused people can do.
She realized that her disoriented capture was shroud with innocents.
The same faultless befuddlement that had been causing her to flash back the incidents.
She learned she could dismiss her story if she wanted to let go of it.
Without avoiding, or coping her new identity became the present moment.
In love with literal reality, she let down her hair that day.
For she no longer needed to avoid herself to escape her past dismay.
She knew that she was healing when she could recount her past without a tear.
Her healing spring ran deep when she could help others choose love instead of fear.
It doesn’t really matter if she was rescued from or escaped her tower,
Her true freedom came from deep within, the means was her own power.
With radiant energy, her joy overflowed, her feet she seemed almost afloat.
Her loved ones rejoiced in her beautiful example, the glowing lanterns – a brave guiding post.
You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. Please remember that your difficulties do not define you. They simply strengthen your ability to overcome.
COVID-19 DAYS MARCH 24, 2020
By Twisp poet Christine M. Kendall
Killdeer are back. I walk across stubble
in the alfalfa field, startle a pair that flushes
to my left and loudly calls their own name.
They take flight instead of their broken
wing ruse with zigzag staggering to lead
me away from their nest.
Still, I was led to thoughts of the ocean:
wet sand, a roar of breaking waves, a walk
from Arch Cape to Hug Point in Oregon.
How soothing it would be to be there, to see
plovers run along the tideline, but if we must
shelter in place, this is the place to be, at home.
We’ll watch birds nest this ominous spring, see
their young fledge, and how life in nature goes
on undisturbed by this pandemic. I’ll be careful
to watch my steps in the fields, looking out for
a scrape of nest with mottled eggs.
Naming What is Lost
By Winthrop poet Sam Owen
We give our fires names,
park our trucks beside the road
to watch them bloom spectacular
as fireworks crackling down
on innocent, but willing, viewers
ashamed of the unlit matches
warming their pockets.
We name our rivers
to honor the first people
shunted back onto slack
prairies to thread turquoise beads
for those who believe
they purchase understanding
We name floods for the city
and year the water gushed
past corner stores of bobbing
apples and cereal boxes,
a sorry flotilla of debris
and dead mice, tree roots
clawing at sunlight.
We name our planet Earth
though it is mostly water
clogged as the fair flooded city,
the plains stripped of nutrients,
forests heaped with tinder,
the ice floes shrinking
from the white bear’s clenched paws
Naomi Shihab Nye – 1952-
Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.
Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to gaze at bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere like a shadow or a friend.