Thursday, June 02, 2011

Into The Great, Dark Forest

Ann Wehrman
—Photo by Deana Ehlen

—Ann Wehrman, Sacramento

Bony and sharp,
flint eyes blazing,
he powers his scooter
to the corner,
halts for the light.
Smoke between his fingers,
does he feel my disapproval
through the bus windows between us?
Turning his squint
toward my invisible stare,
he raises his smoke, drags,
strokes his chin like a philosopher.
In a corridor buffeted by wind
from cars, busses, freight trucks,
he waits, baking
in his sweat-stained Stetson,
determined to suck the poison
smoke to its end—it’s his right.
What if this dried grasshopper
instead would break apart,
freeing the youth trapped inside,
buried alive
by time, violence, and loss?
What if he stood,
walked away from the scooter,
ran into the great, dark forest,


Thanks to Ann Wehrman for today's poetry. Ann earned a MA in English (Creative Writing) and a Second BA in Music (Flute), both at CSU, Sacramento. She has published in college literary journals and small presses including Rattlesnake Review, The Ophidian, and Poetry Now. Rattlesnake Press published her broadside, Notes from the Ivory Tower, in 2007.

Next Wednesday, June 8, Rattlesnake Press will release Inside (love poems), a new chapbook of poetry and sketches from Ann Wehrman, at The Book Collector, 1008 24th St., Sacramento, plus a littlesnake broadside from Michelle Kunert, If Trees Could Talk. That's at 7:30pm. Be there! (And see below for the cover sketch from Ann's new book!)


—Ann Wehrman

the world shines
bright in primary colors
today, blue sky in my face
blue water and gold sunlight feed
trees’ tight buds that open to
spring green leaves
just half of summer’s breadth
like debutantes blooming
tottering on heels
in their long prom gowns
slim hips like stems of April’s
new green leaves


—Ann Wehrman

Pale gray February afternoon,
warm spell opens
the pear blossoms,
petals dance in stiff breeze,

A crimson shape darts,
probes a creamy tuft.
Wind-battered, grips and drinks
from the liquid core,
beak stabbing voraciously.

For a second, I doubt,
think it must be a leaf clinging
as gusts pound white-tipped branches.

Then the bird turns,
flashes its scarlet breast,
the green backbone rises,
vanishing ruby,
as it sucks with abandon.


—Ann Wehrman

Fluid, sonorous,
from deep within
hide drums,
waves of power roll forth.
My blood thrills
as voices scream
in ritual song

His moccasins poise, stomp;
his feet never touch the floor.
Ribs, arms
undulate like water, fire—
snap back at
the beat of the drum.
His dance,
at the dawn of the world,
ecstatic renewal of spring.

(Previously published in The Matrix, Humboldt State University 2000)


Today's LittleNip: 

Try to find your deepest issue in every confusion and abide by that.

—D.H. Lawrence

     Confusion is a writer's asset. Your search for clarity can blaze a path for others. In working to express what you do not understand—and long to understand—you create the kind of writing that readers are searching for.
     But don't linger on the edges. Small confusions are easy to clear up and can lull you into thinking you've addressed your subject in a comprehensive way.
     What is the deepest issue in this confusion?
     How does it feel to explore it, define it, and then sit with it in patience until your ideas flow?

—Susan Shaughnessy, Walking on Alligators: A Book of Meditations For Writers, HarperSanFrancisco, 1993



—Sketch by Ann Wehrman