Damn, what the hell?
I shuffle upstream, rod
in hand, just outside the
rhododendron line, and
am struck by flying needles
forearm, ankle and neck.
effing yellow jackets.
Mother drove poorly
cigarettes or radio.
until her ‘65
Karmann Ghia vaulted
a 30 foot embankment
on the road cleaving
the sage-shrouded hills
between Tecate and
Tijuana – DOA—
this story is true, not
artistic license. I
was orphaned at eighteen,
no sibs, no dad.
And so life is an
a Hurricane Katrina,
an unexpected disturbance,
and yellow jackets,
till the chips are cashed.
Rhododendrons Blooming in the Smokies
In Summer’s rumpled heat, the blue
Scent of hemlocks slides upwards,
Spreading comfort across the ridgetops.
Stooped shoulders the ridges, remainders
Of pinnacles, scoured by centuries
Then slowly cloaked in oak and maple.
Just below the ridgetops, an emerald
Sea, sharp pines weaving winds
That unfurl through the hollers.
From the top of a ridge I can almost
Touch them, reach down through wet air,
To green-bedded pink blossoms.
The fluttering hearts of a slow-rolling valley.
Gary Grossman is Professor Emeritus of Animal Ecology at University of Georgia. His poetry is published or forthcoming in 30 reviews including: Verse-Virtual, Your Daily Poem, MacQueen’s Quinterly, Poetry Superhighway, and Delta Poetry Review. Short fiction in MacQueen’s Quinterly and creative non-fiction in Tamarind Literary Magazine. For 10 years he wrote the “Ask Dr. Trout” column for American Angler. Gary’s first book of poems, Lyrical Years is forthcoming in 2023 from Kelsay Press, and his graphic novel My Life in Fish: One Scientist’s Journey is forthcoming. Hobbies include running, music, fishing, and gardening. Website: https://www.garygrossman.net/ Writing: Blog: https://garydavidgrossman.medium.com/ .
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)