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Near Day's End: The Apache Trail    by Eleanor Dominek    ArtPoems 2017
Bury the Garmin
    Inspired by Eleanor Dominek’s “Near Day’s End: The Apache Trail”
One step, two steps, five hundred-two miles,
a roadmap of footprints without satellite guidance.
A trail of tears, sweat, scorched scenarios,
only an Apache can recount its oral history.

Have you pondered these round rocks,
there to tell us, here to remind us? 
They did not endure one bad storm, but thousands.
Winds etched every inch, prevailing and random,
searing and solemn.

If you were privileged to sculpt with the hands of time,
would you shave off every moment with such precision?
Mark the trail, mile after mile, considering the survival of the fittest,
icons of stone, landmarks of lessons learned.

The Apache never stopped to ask for direction.
The shadows of miniature monoliths controlled their compass point. 
These weathered wonders speak volumes 
in full-throated tribal translation.

Have you pondered the jagged rock?
Jutting out, sharp enough to keep your distance,
far enough to marvel the magnificence,
close enough to hear words spread ‘round the world.

So where are you headed?
Is it a long journey or weekend jaunt, 
a rendezvous with a recluse,
a Twittered reunion with an old friend?

Take time to sit and listen, not one step further.
When the rains soak you to the bone,
feel the moisture fill your jaundiced joints.
Connect tribal translation with tormented tissue.

Tears, sweat, the tongues that set the trail
speak volumes when you listen with your heart.
Reach, recount, and remember a million steps,
without a Fitbit. Now kneel and bury the Garmin.


    - Doug MacGregor

In Our Garden
     Inspiration for Paul David Adamick's "In Our Garden"
Our native plant garden hums with moths, birds,
bees, dragonflies that create excitement
from pink powderpuff trees canopied overhead
to sweet mimosa, carpet beneath our feet.

Blue spiderwort blooms clear as a baby’s eyes
but only mornings when it grows in shade;
afternoons blossoms fold themselves
as hands do in prayer, turn green, or drop.

White blossoms--plumbago, lantana, viburnum--
pure as newborn souls, fill us with sweet scent,
light the night, bring moon’s shine
as in a mirror or crystal flute.

Red, love of hummers and numbers of butterflies
makes cats wild; no matter where red firebush
and honeysuckle bloom, they seduce baby tigers.
Shadows flicker through Bahama cassia.
Tiny gold petals drift on air, echoes of coins in water
undersea. Pieces of eight, sunflowers sprawl.

Invasive, non-natives grow like spiteful children,
push in wherever, cause harm to pools, roofs.

Natives planted where happy, dance. Contrapuntal
leaf texture--shiny wild coffee, velvety necklace pod,
sharp grasses and any art--film, paint, dance--
may be a fugue. We didn’t build our life to be better
than others but to be better than we used to be.



   - Mary Beth Lundgren
In Our Garden    by Paul David Adamick    ArtPoems 2017
Wistful Glance   by Maria Bouloux    ArtPoems 2017
Aquila, divine
    Inspired by Maria Bouloux's "Wistful Glance"

Like the two pinnacles of a westwork piercing the grey sky,
       The gleam of the potentate of Nyx, of misplaced motherhood
—A blacksmith in birthright: her eyes the hammer, the fire, the stone
       A burnished, branding stare, a predator through roseate glass, a kiss through glassine.

She’s a mess of didactic peckings from catechism and eschatology
       And cosmo and a scorpionic stellium dripping with illicit sovereignty,
Dripping with liquid onyx, slipping from her jaw, down from her eyes,
       Bleeding from her scalp, spilling onto her coxal.

But she dreams of sweeping the mountains aside
       Skimming the oldest water with her fingers and licking off the salt,
Finding herself in tartarus just to chance a look at her daughter,
       But she finds she’s always searching in her wake, her eyes twisted behind.


    - Marissa Douglass
Museum: After Hours
     Inspiration for Beth Everhart's "Athena Awakens"
When the lights go dim
In Olympia,
The gods remember
They are human.

Apollo lowers his sculpted arm
Uncurls sensuously curved fingers
Leans lithe but lazy.

Athena, after a full day of serious intent
Championing eternal wisdom,
Sighs relief, flexes forehead,
Neck, even one
Exquisitely cramped foot.

While Poseidon, dry as marble dust,
Casts for water, here, there,
Anywhere,
Even in those battered bottles
From tourist trash.
One thousand echoes—
“no flash, please!”—
Later, the Sphinx,
That weighty presence,
Actually turns his ear this way
And that
In the cool silent air.

And a hoard of satyrs, ‘til now
Frozen in mid-temptation,
Slide to the polished floor
And
Dance, baby, dance.





  - Chris Godwin
Athena Awakens    by Beth Everhart    ArtPoems 2017
Oliver    by Terry Lynn    ArtPoems 2017
Your Looking Glass
    Inspired by Terry Lynn's "Oliver"

Yeah, I get it

You think I’m watching you watch me play in blue blossoms

A grasshopper giant of the bug species

Your wise-ass kid teasing the hue out of you 


What do you think I think of you

squinting scorn 

sputtering spittle 

Who do you think you are, judging who you think I am


Father, I’ve spied into your looking glass, all the way to where

day’s end ravages the light 

Where flower gardens worm into compost 

making soil fertile for your burial


You stand forever in a garden of cement

betrayed by your pride

This son swims through dreams of blue roses

deaf to cries blooming from the dark


     - Gary McLouth

Flowers at a Farmers' Market    by Dennis Church    ArtPoems 2017
Roses
    Inspiration for artist Dennis Church’s "Flowers at a Farmer's Market"

If I could give you roses,
the scent of bloom in June,
I’d risk the prick of thorn
petaled in perfume.

If I could give you roses,
buds unfolding in sun’s glaze,
I’d kneel on dampened earth
and gather summer days.

If I could give you roses,
cut fresh with morning dew,
I’d place them in a vase,
each pink and crimson hue.

Yet seasons change 
and petals lose their place. 
So I will give you roses,
in lines that words can trace.

You can hold them in your hand,
taste and touch their bloom.
These are roses that will last
beyond the bonds of June.


   -Lorraine Walker Williams