POETRY by LAUREN MARTINI
Hummingbirds at the Feeder
Tiny airborne Errol Flynns , sabers drawn , come winging in . Jealous guardians ? Ardent lovers ? Frantic warriors feint and hover , mad , possessive battle joined lest territory be purloined , hold airspace and a privileged perch inviolate as if a church guarded from the infidel , red sugar-water in the well . What energy each wee bird burns because he will not just take turns !
Dante ' s View
We both saw the desert , and in looking , saw the future lying there before us , mountains become pebbles , become grit and even smaller , washed and crushed and moving , always losing ground and yet we know them by their names , as I am known to you , as you are known to me . Torrents can submerge us , lift us and then crush us , yet we get our feet beneath us . We are clean , but we are lost ; we are found , but then we ' re gone . Come let ' s walk up in the mountains , our hearts louder than our thoughts , striding longer than our legs , let ' s get as close to prayer as sunlight . The sands are always waiting .
Dust Devil *
For moments it is visible , a twisted , tenuous thread frayed at both ends . How it writhes like an angry bright vein , pulses and bends , touches down and snaps back in an instant , while we whirl away free , yet engulfed in an ocean of currents and heat , breathing tides we canʼt see .
* after a photograph by James Evans , 2007
Rock House ( The Fire This Time )
Up from friendly fire rise an exuberant few , just giddy sparks of heat in bits of orange and light , thoughtless wanderers on the April wind , carried north and sparkling bright , frightening in their heedless flight . At touchdown comes a swift surprise that grows from squirming lines to awful wall of blistering flame , a roiling storm completely deaf to all who pray for time to run , for open gates , for a sudden turn back over ground already burned . But fire is a mindless thing , goes where it must , and shows itself with smoking sky and ashen dust . Starved , it falls to a plasma glow through waves of heat , hissing threat in a dying breeze . Then back they come , on two feet and four , bereft neighbors , to claim what remains between fencelines and mountains and cottonwood trees .
Cenizo Winter 2021