Chaparral Fragments

Hello friends,

I’m excited to announce that I’ve got some poems up just today, in the October 2018 issue of Mojave Heart Review!

Loosely, MHR seeks a desert theme. No desert-dweller, I’m surprised how perennially fascinated I am by spare and arid landscapes, how much I’ve begun to seek them out. I suppose it’s not a bad thing to surprise yourself now and then.

All of the poems they selected lean toward a metaphorical interpretation. But one is also very literal, very much rooted in such a landscape: not a desert, precisely, but a dry coastal region of low mountains and chaparral, between the Pacific Ocean and the warm interior valleys of Southern California. Against any inclination I ever desired, that liminal region has become one of the homes of my heart.

Here’s the poem I wrote from a particular early morning encounter there in the month of May, as the last of the spring’s wildflowers bloomed toward summer. This is patterned after the poetry of Thomas A. Clark, one of my favorite writers. Clark writes about his home in the wilder reaches of Scotland, another region that feels stripped to its essentials. I turned a similar spareness of style on “my” California mountains:

Chaparral Fragments

mustard flowers flash

in fleeting mizzle

mountains move at midground

in the mist

sea crept up from coast as cloud

concealed sky and stone

succulents catalyze themselves

in spirals sent forth singing

scales carefully covered in silver caul

prickly pears present

peachy blossoms

pausing in their pink

before becoming

prickly pears

rushing wheels

rend the remnant wild

find rest in wandering where

and while you may

One thought on “Chaparral Fragments

  1. Wildwood! I’ve stood in that gap in the trail up the cliffs (or one very like it) with you, overlooking Santa Rosa Valley, the coastal plain I currently call home, and far off in the distance the Pacific with floating peaks of islands off shore. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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