Fields of Gold

For the summer solstice, I thought it appropriate to revisit a dreamy Californian day trip my sister and I took in April. Taking advantage of the mild spring weather, we drove about an hour out to Antelope Valley, through winding mountain paths and past flat, rural fields.

Our destination? The Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve, where our state flower was in super bloom. We’d missed the height of the bloom, but it was lovely walking through the hills and seeing the subtle colors revealed with each wind-ripple through the grasses and wildflowers. Poppy orange, of course, but also shades of green and silvery-whites, ashy-purples, the cheerful yellows of tickseed and goldfields.

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We hadn’t been since we were children, but I remember it had been so windy, my ears hurt. It was very windy this time, too, but seeing the golden poppies was worth it. (But I would highly recommend bringing a jacket, sunglasses, and maybe a bandanna or scarf to cover your face. Also, hang on to your hats.)

 

BLOOM

A gray winter, wet and fresh with
the wound of leaving, clung
damp to my shoulders.

I needed to shed it like old skin,
to awaken from cold slumber.

The snakes wrote the way into the hills
in the warm dirt, in the secret tongue of
the Mother murmured in the wind.

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I planted my heart in the long grasses,
soft against my bare calves,

watered it with joy and sorrow.
Let it steep in sunlight.

The earth returned to me
fields of gold.

Processed with VSCO with a5 preset

 


Supplements:
(Music) Stay Away | Rooney

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The closeness of the sky

At the beginning of March, my family bundled up and flew to Iceland. I experienced some of the most magical moments of my life and some of the most evocative naturescapes in the world. (This is one 30 Before 35 trip I’d like to repeat!)

I’ll write more about it all in the future, but for now, enjoy this wander verse.

I’ve traded the closeness of the city for the
closeness of the sky,
blurred, electric midnights for
soft, smudged sunsets.
In the quiet, my every breath sings.

P.S. SKIN was nominated for the SFPA’s Rhysling Award, and I recently received my comp copy of the anthology. I’m grateful for the support and honored.


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Bite-sized Love Poems

I was reminded yesterday, Valentine’s Day, that I used to write itty bitty love poems. A few years ago, I got back into poetry by writing bite-sized poems on Twitter with two author-friends. We came up with the hashtag #twtpoem for the micro-tales we created.

On Valentine’s Day in 2014, it turns out I wrote a few Twitter poems. One of them I remember writing because it’s still one of my favorite micro-poems. The other I rediscovered when I dove back into the tag.

Since we all need a little more love and beauty in the world these days, I present them here for your enjoyment. May your month be brimming with joy.

These sinews hum,
this red drum beats
These lips form words to speak.
Fill these pipes
For you, they’ll sing.

You linger there
at the edges like
dust dancing in the beams
Quiet breath, soft caress in my
dispersing dreams.

P.S. My poet-sister Tehlor Kay Mejia posted a new poem yesterday as well, and I think it is just beautiful. Check it out here: love in the borderlands

 


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Awards Eligibility 2016

Still weird to me that this is something I get to do. I had 2 poems published in 2016 that are eligible to be nominated for awards (like the SFPA’s Rhysling Award) if that’s something you do.

1. SUSURRUS in Through the Gate, September 2016

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The poem is linked above, but I wrote a little bit about the inspiration for it here: Of Sand and Stardust.

 

2. SKIN in Liminality Issue No. 10 – Winter 2016/2017

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Again, the poem is linked above, but I wrote about the inspiration and aesthetics here: Shift.

 

Thank you for your consideration and for reading!

Shift

It seems fitting that as the strange, tumultuous year that was 2016 closed, the first poem I wrote in 2016 should step into the fading light of December.

I wrote SKIN in February 2016, out of the gray depths of winter. Perhaps it was a response to a nameless restlessness inside me or the unconsciously absorbed rumblings warning of a fraught time to come, but a very specific story came to me about a being who is constantly searching for something, who loses and finds themselves, who isn’t afraid to change. A shapeshifter.

SKIN” was published in Liminality, a speculative poetry magazine, Issue #10 Winter 2016/17.

I feel so honored to have this poem included in an issue of Liminality that includes so much gorgeous poetry about transformation and fierce determination. I hope you’ll take your time and go through the entire issue. It’s so worth it.

Some poem aesthetics for “Skin.”

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I wrote this poem all at once, and it spurred a creative burst for me early in 2016. It led to my connecting more meaningfully with a few of my writer friends too. I often think of “Skin” as paired with “Susurrus,” which sold right after I found out that “Skin” had been accepted. These 2 poems were my favorites of everything I’d written last year.

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I hope you enjoyed “Skin” and any of my poetry from 2016! I’m still coming out of my shell when it comes to sharing my work, and it’s been scary but worth it. Thank you for sticking around.

There will be more words in this new year! I hope it moves you.

 

*Images in the collages are from my pins on Pinterest. They are not mine.
**Thanks SJM for your feedback & early enthusiasm/encouragement.
***Thanks Alz, Tracey, Sarah G, and Eva always for your feedback & help.

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