This is just to say thanks for Patriarchs
and peregrines, for rock-carved skies
and angels landing in your clouds;
for hanging gardens climbing through
Navajo sandstone, for maidenhair
wreathing through your river’s writhe;
for staircases stepping down from Bryce:
a paradox of deserts, floods, droughts,
and terraces that end without a thought;
for prince’s plumes and penstemon,
for the checkerboard I scaled as aspen
jittered gold in this early frost;
and, most of all, for straightening my bent –
the hazard of my poet’s mind – to wrest
a narrative from your lyrical intent.
After forty years in the academic and business worlds, Carolyn Martin is blissfully retired in Clackamas, OR, where she gardens, writes, and plays with creative friends. Her poems have appeared in publications through the US and UK and her second collection, The Way a Woman Knows, was released by The Poetry Box, Portland, OR, in 2015. Since the only poem she wrote in high school was red-penciled “extremely maudlin,” she is still amazed she has continued to write.