Poets’ Brew – March

March’s prompt from YCP is, “Tell a Hard Story.”

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Jeff Thompson

Psalm 104, Localized

God, I thank you 
For these hills that ring our valley, 
     gently sloping
     silent sentinels, 
     sculpted with primordial chisel
     of bypassing glacial shards
     rushing to the sea.
Your sun volleyed seasonally
     Between the Yakima and Rattlesnake ridges. 
     In the spring you clothe them emerald 
     in summer terra cotta 
           against the azure sky. 
     Then at last you send them to hibernate
          Wrapped securely in cotton.
Always they are here, Lord, 
     seasonally attired, 
     silent messengers 
     declaring your grandeur. 

God, I thank you 
For the rivers that water our valley, 
     playground of deer and bighorn sheep
     home of rattlesnake and eagle. 
     In the spring their waters rise, 
          swollen, joyful 
          with mountain snowmelt, 
     In the summer they relax, 
          contemplating town, freeway, farm, ranch
          gently winding toward the Columbia, 
          to be swallowed by your great ocean. 

God, I thank you 
For homing me here.
     Help me to see always and anew
     These icons of their Maker,

Ed Stover


Ages ago, they called it
the Month of Purity,
or the Month of Mud,
even, for god’s sake,
the Month of Cabbage!
Mostly, it’s the Month of Ice—
ice and snow shrouded 
in a fog of uncertainty,
a condition I understand
since I’ve never been certain
of anything except putting
one foot in front of the other,
knowing that is
what it will take
to scale the next mountain.

Terry E. Lockett

Bachelor Creek
     for Annette

Along Bachelor Creek
At the end of November

You slip between thin bars
Of willow cages contorted to catch

The last starved rays of sun;
Past huge yellow webs

Of poison ivy thrown over stumps,
Streaming from trees

Riveted by woodpeckers.
Sparrows puff and huddle,

Dot the wires above you.
You’ve stirred leaves in your path

Revealed a pocket below
Where a cottontail curls in warm darkness.

Up the stream, underneath a jumble of bulrushes and mud,
muskrats roll tight in their bunker.

In the bare field beside you,
A blur of cattle, horses hunched in shaggy coats;

One liver chestnut draws close.
You stick your stiff red hands in your pockets.

He flares his nostrils, tosses, bolts away
Having nosed you out—

God’s only wayward creature
That must have fire to survive.

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