Two Poems by Gwendolyn Morgan

A Note to Spotted Towhee:

Listen, the clouds move slowly, sun-lit
Black-tailed deer with wild bird seed on their noses
translate hoof prints, Western red cedar and stories of opossum
perhaps an artist dips her horsehair brush into a palette of fluorescent paint
salmon-pink, mandarin orange sunrise, feathers the color of musical notes
Listen, the deer stand with you, near the wild roses
What stories are you going to tell?


She was once a rainforest

underpinned with understory
crowned with a dense canopy
the golden-crowned kinglets spoke to her
before the white-breasted nuthatch returned

chi-chi-chi     watch your chi
kwi kwi kwi    they repeated

seven years in the wilderness
below the swollen lymph nodes
nodules    she thinks she can’t breathe
when breath    wind    spirit 

ruach    πνεῦμα     prana    qi    aliento   
the same word in hundreds of languages
she has forgotten her language of rain
rain wind indweller

szfo ndz 
txxt tzzt

sky-holder and the humans remind her tzzt
just let it hum in your throat

mi alma      azul    turquoise     aquamarine
cerulaean  cierto     cobalt       cyna   skyway

hummingbird blue is the color of love she said
stellar jay said blue is the new black
cancer round in her belly in her throat in her thyroid
a tumor like a coelenterate     soft mucinous

she drinks in Pacific Yew trees
plants them around her yard taxol taxotere
moss green    forest green    healing green
the birds are speaking a language of under story

the ground shifts beneath her
earth heart beat rattle hum 
it is raining somewhere 
in the Amazon, the Tongass and Patagonia

the immense blue-grey     al fin del mundo 
filled with stories
of community 
a canopy of rain.

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