M. Stone is a bookworm, birdwatcher, and stargazer who writes poetry while living in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in San Pedro River Review, SOFTBLOW, Calamus Journal, and numerous other print and online journals. She can be reached at writermstone.wordpress.com.
Humanity cut its milk teeth
on rotting dinosaur bones.
Millions of miles of pipelines,
veins and arteries crisscrossed
beneath earthen flesh, now bleed
the teat dry. From our parched lips
tumble words only mouthed before:
Rising oceans nibble at the coastline.
Refugees flee inland, seek sustenance
from the Midwest. Our melting pot
becomes a pressure cooker, everyone
fighting for elbow room, for the last
can of beans or gallon of water.
Suburbia, with its sprawling
subdivisions and dearth of stores,
will be the first to kneel. Survival
of the fittest: you keep only
what you manage to defend.
Love your neighbor as yourself.
That Great Commandment:
the one remaining steadfast law
as faithful multitudes despair
of a promised Second Coming.
-This poem was featured in the first issue.
Early Sunday, I flee the suburbs and drive
toward the mountains. I pass that deserted house
near Lizard Ridge, the one with a screened porch
piled high with busted furniture. I swear I see
a light glowing in the front room, and I think
of those ancient bulbs that used to burn for a century.
I avert my eyes from a tawny retriever lying broken
by the roadside, unclaimed and decomposing.
As I reach the first overlook, I slow to a stop
for a wild turkey that will not yield. On the trail,
I begin to hike and notice a tree dropping apples
like lopped doll heads. Nearby, a fresh mound
of bear scat, tarry dark and embedded with seeds.
A stray Eastern Tiger Swallowtail mingles
with falling hickory leaves. The cloud cover
is a damp palm smeared across my face. Up here
alone, I encounter no judgment and little purpose
in the journey of living and dying.