A vernal equinox literary mix presented by Eve West Bessier, Poet Laureate of Silver City and Grant County, New Mexico
Happy spring equinox! It’s been a long winter! This month, I’m pleased to feature a poem by Grant County writer, Lynne Zotalis. I’m also offering a spring poem of my own which I feel creates a resonant pairing.
Flight of Fancy
by Lynne Zotalis
I took a flight of fancy into the quail brood’s milieu only to discover
they can fly but oddly prefer to dart across the ground.
My quail family hatched ten tiny offspring
holding a daily promenade through my yard. Mama, Papa and fledglings
only flying when startled, flushed out of my carport
hearing the heavy tread of my approach.
I want to warn them,
“listen feathery friends, you’ll lose your ability to fly completely
if you don’t practice it more often. Spread those wings,
flap and sail off into yonder clouds. You’re easy pickins for the coyotes
as you scrounge down there among the weeds.
your sustenance is on the ground
but wouldn’t you rather be cruising around
up there in the atmosphere
with such a freedom, at least a few hours a day?”
I tried so hard to imagine flight, me, actually flying,
breaking free, above it all. I pondered
with fits and starts what that freedom might look like,
but am so mired in the clay, so tethered, bogged in muck
that I can barely walk, let along fly.
I’m on a downward spiral,
sinking into the mattress buttressing my ears with pillows.
Blessed sleep. Still
I drag myself to my desk where I am faced with birds
and butterflies flitting out the window, a few yards away
landing in the pinon branches,
singing the lilting melodies and I watch,
wondering how to shake off the heaviness,
to be grateful for the smattering of rain last night. I will.
Then a stunning swallowtail glided through my field of vision.
Inspire me with your vigor,
those papery wings fluttering to find your mate.
Delighting in the five inch striped wonder,
their sole objective to propagate, can I take heart
in the bright yellow glimmer of hope?
The swallowtail isn’t worried
by coronavirus, or corrupt law enforcement,
global warming or Southern border walls.
Unencumbered, they escape barriers on gentle air currents.
Here am I
a flightless ostrich who evolved,
relegated to the earthbound, human condition
but still I dream of release, transcending
like the mythical phoenix
to soar once again.
What I Perceive
by Eve West Bessier
by evidence of the senses
I know what I perceive
is but a weak phosphorescence
in the deep unknowable
my ears perceive the succulent
sounds of creek eddies
silt-filled and receding
from flood stages
muddy water lapping at banks
rusty rapid water slapping at stones
my skin perceives moist soils
with bare soles
chilled toes feel the growing
undertow in the river’s spring flow
that teases twigs and tadpoles
my eyes perceive mauve shawls
of soft bloom on eroded
glistening in raw umber
my cheeks perceive hot sun
on taut muscles
my mind perceives time
as specific, numerical
while the motion of water
knows time as fluid, immeasurable
my heart perceives
my need to end
with the pen
with the meditation
For more about Eve West Bessier, see About The Author below or go to www.jazzpoeteve.com