My poem, “My Wishing Star on a Long Ride,” which appeared in Eclectica’s July/August 2015 issue, will soon appear in one of their four forthcoming 20th anniversary anthologies! It’s nice to have a poem make several appearances, and not just one or two. Eclectica is running a Kickstarter campaign to sponsor the anthology, so if you feel inclined to make a contribution, follow the link — every donation helps!
Here’s the poem — it makes me long for summer. Summer and horses. Stars and long stretches of mountain time and that pure, thin air.
That last summer we sat
in creaking saddles on day trips
in the High Sierra, inhaling petrichor
and lichened bedrock.
Nudged cattle through tall grass.
I had all I ever wanted, at thirteen:
my own horse and a long August.
Above the cabin, stars buzzing
like mosquitoes. I knew the seasons
to come wouldn’t have horses and those stars.
This morning above my town trees gallop
in the wind, flexing thin branches,
gold leaves whipping around
themselves like a horse
that bucks when backing up.
I have hooked my star
to dawn’s grapefruit moon.
Boughs creak like saddles
in the wind. My wishing star, gone
on a long ride, vanished in a meteor shower.
The news said a chance of more
showers later. That made me buck
and back up at a sudden call
from lost mountains. At sixty-five,
I spun around, pranced downhill
in a last sweet lope to the valley
of lost things, where a new trail starts
and the underground river cuts
deeper, flashing its dark lights.