Unexpected Disturbances 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 always fiddling, 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 erupting Krakatoa, a Hurricane Katrina, an unexpected disturbance, COVID-19, recession cancer, bipolarity 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)