she found a scrap of shadow
left under her table from making the panther.
She wound the shadow around a couple of sparks
from the forge of her fire and dusted the bundle with
a bit of tarnished silver from the far side of a new moon.
She made a pair of keen ears; and she had
just enough bone left over to fashion a slender nose.
This small wild creature needed an advantage
in the world of wolves and puma, so the old woman
gave it stealth and balance. She gave it the agility
of a cat, wariness of a deer, and the ability
to dematerialize like a phantom.
This she breathed on, naming it Fox.
—Katy Brown, Davis
—Taylor Graham, Placerville
“Go out,” he said, “and find your
fortune. Everyone is begging for candy.”
The girl had no disguise. In almost-
dark she listened. She sniffed
a ghost-breeze, felt it lift her hair
and sneak under her collar. Tingle-taste
of air. Her nose twitched sleek
and eager; quick-listening pricked
her ears bright upright. She could see
in the dark.
Fox slipped from hedge
to backyard. Twisted vines, left-
over tomatoes, split squash. Grapes
overripe and changeling as,
on this one night, all things do.
What could she take back home
in her empty paper-bag? A dark mask.
Fox-light, the eye of a spirit-moon.
UNDER A HUNTER'S MOON
Rock-poems chiseled to shark's teeth,
skeleton, dream. Hunker
among the chipped words till Cougar
comes, yawning hunger.
Tension and angle of shoulder
and haunch; retractable claws. Tawny,
Are we quarry or quest?
Lying down beside us, its throat
full of killing and purr.
Above us, raw moonlight.
They've given up their leaves. Oak
and maple, sycamore and elm—dead-drift
on the winds, a willowing of twig
and light. In an alcove of the abbey, fine
leaf-parchment veined as words,
illuminations in aureolin, gold, vermilion,
colors of fall. We could read our own
in those leaves. The trees won't leaf out
again, they say. They're going
underground, into their roots, fleeing
ozone, asphalt, axes. How shall we
find words for a world without trees?
—Walter Dean Myers
I am a tree
Strong limbed and deeply rooted
My fruit is bittersweet
I am your mother
You are a tree
A sapling by the river
With buds straining for the winter sun
You are my child
Together we are a forest
Against the wind
—Medusa (and don't forget that today is the deadline for WTF! See the blue board for details)