MJ blathers

dark poet who loves to laugh

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slowed action

a flash of black tail

and time slows

to primal

does lift slender heads

from grazing, to look

not afraid, but alert

to door i’d opened

i freeze

caught in their time

part of them

for now

N  6-4-17


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stories told in simple sketches:

stick figures distinctly human

hand prints

paw prints

prey and weapon, atlatl

big horn sheep, lizard

hare and tortoise

short, parallel lines capped by single longer line

short, wavy lines capped by single longer line

what do they mean? why were they etched

on black, desert-varnished rock face

at times high above, reached only

by perilous climb


warnings? maps?

celebration of successful hunt?

prayer to the great unknown?

we know only that humans

were here – this desert place –

eons before

felt this heat, squinted against this glare

worked to feed themselves and family

huddled together against night’s sudden cold

anxious, relieved, joyful, fearful, mournful


reaching out over thousands of years

to us, who barely comprehend,

but feel their common humanity

Valley of Fire, Nevada

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‘the wave’

banded rock in Valley of Fire, Nevada



captured in sedimentary rock


of months, decades, centuries


with rusting iron



gouged then by

desert torrent from distant rain

flooded under azure cloudless sky


minute by minute

grains of sand borne on screeching wind


suicidal drops of water leeching minerals

to surface, to die immediately by sun’s evaporation


cementing ancient seafloors


band on band of captured millennia


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call for submissions

Writers in the Grove will host their 8th annual LEND an EAR, COME and HEAR juried reading event on Saturday, July 8, 2017. We will be at the lovely rural setting of PLUM HILL WINERY in Gaston, OR from 10:30 to just after noon. Family friendly, and free admission. Submission is also free — please see writersinthegrove.com for information and forms to submit four minutes of prose, poetry, music, art…