Shadowed by These Mountains: Two Poems

Midnight Moon

Nearing midnight, the moon, from up here in San Mateo Mountain,
lords over the stoic streetlamp right across the crossroad
(from where I stand waiting for the passenger jeep
that will take me down, back home). In half an hour,
down at another crossroad, at the lonely city highway
which has decided to rid itself of traffic,
the moon glowers, chastens…

By Karlo Silverio Sevilla

Traveling Through Mountain Province

Early morning, a breezy ride high up along winding
mountain road. Encircled by her sierra, I am
torn between reading and just gazing outside
the open window of this ordinary bus.

A comfort, shadowed by these mountains.
It’s as if nature encloses with
its protective earthen walls;
formidable shelter
from harm.

By Karlo Silverio Sevilla

town surrounded by green mountains

K.-Sevilla-author photoKarlo Sevilla is a freelance writer who lives in Quezon City, Philippines. His poems have appeared of are forthcoming in Philippines Graphic, Indiana Voice Journal, Outcast Poetry, Anti-Heroin Chic, Eunoia, Kitaab, Wraith Infirmity Muses, an Origami Poems Project microchap, in the respective first anthologies of Peacock Journal, Riverfeet Press, and Eternal Remedy, and elsewhere. Click here to read his blog: Karlo Sevilla of Quezon City

Photo of the town of Banaue in the Philippines by Alan Kraft

Moki Creek, Utah

Rills at the stream’s edge repeat thought.
I think of the many animal tracks covering
the continent, can’t step anywhere without
hoof, paw, claw or flipper, hair-thin touch
of a water-strider or a spider landing
there before my booted, five-toed foot.

If I put out feelers, I can sense, not a foot
away from any skin cell on my body, the thought
(or actual presence?) of the past that covers
or hovers around me. I breathe without
hesitation, each breath inhales a touch
of past exhalations, floating, landing.

Things live beyond themselves, the very land
is made of rocks that have risen, a foot-
long branch scatters needles like thoughts
from a purposeless daydream where I discover,
again, how mercilessly quickly time goes, without
a by-your-leave, without a parting touch

so I could feel I’ve been present, have touched
at least the stream’s rills or smelled the land’s
damp scent. I want the imprint of my foot
to be more conscious, want my thoughts
to last, as memories I’ll later discover,
palpable parts of day I needn’t do without.

Sit down here with the invisible, without
conscience’s scolding chatter, free to touch
almost unbearably cold water. Over land
infected with risen rocks, places where foot
after foot has passed and tracks, like thought,
wash down over the course the stream covers.

Look across where trees’ reflection covers
water, one existence layering another without
the need to ask permission or excuse the touch
it lays imperceptibly, surely, as it lands
on water’s surface and changes the passing, foot
by foot, down this slope into my thoughts.

Not to take without giving, not to measure, foot
upon foot, each thought by its ‘profound discovery.’
To land in the midst of myself, to be touched.

By Grace Marie Grafton

hiker under giant stone arch in desert

Grace Marie Grafton is the author of six collections of poetry, which can be reviewed on Amazon’s site. Grafton_Whimsey_CoverShe lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, with a redwood tree outside her kitchen door and a native live oak next to her deck. Nearby are red squirrels, raccoons, salamanders, and (never seen) mountain lions. Other of her nature poems can be found in Canary (online), Peacock Journal (online), Third Wednesday, Poecology and The Common Ground Review. Her book, Whimsy, Reticence and Laud: unruly sonnets, is rooted in her love of nature. She has taught for decades with CA Poets in the Schools, frequently taking her grade school students outdoors for their poetry lessons.

Photo of A hiker at Jacob Hamblin Arch in Coyote Gulch, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah, United States by Koji Hirano.

The Loss of Small Things

She cries at the drop of a hat,
my mother once told a therapist,
as if already knowing the diagnosis:
easily upset by insignificant things.

I remember this while weeping,
knees damp in the mower’s wake
hands cupping the shimmering frenzy
of an owlet moth with shredded wings.

How do we measure the loss
of something so small – a moth wing,
woodland snail, bruised peppermint leaf?
To reconcile, do we spare one moth

or two, continue to look away, wonder
why the world lashes back?

By Mary Katherine Creel

small snail near dead leaf

M K Creel Author PhotoMary Katherine Creel lives in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, where she has worked as a journalist, family counselor and copywriter. Her poems have been published in Paper Rabbit, Tar River Poetry, Pittsburgh Poetry Review and Avocet.

Photo by the author


It is on everything.
I mean everything.
Nothing goes untouched;
it is that powerful,

that silent,
that large,
the enormity of its
presence is incalculable.

Yet, I have never noticed
anything else so humble,
so pure, that I want to
press my lips

to its slippery beauty.
Though it’s not my tongue
that thirsts for this,
but the dry soul of

my inner being,
needing heaven’s pure
tears that daily flood
this waiting ground.

So, there it is, world-
wide every morning
for any of us to see;
this smooth sea

of clear pearls
that sweeps over
our dry lives…
the immense miracle of dew.

By Ruth Rehberg

morning dew drops on the mountain grass

Ruth Lives in Alma Center, Wisconsin, USA

Photo by Leonid Tit

Marina Dunes Preserve

Morning surf levitates, pleats upon itself,
collapses to crash ashore,
scatter dismembered kelp clues
against freshened etch-a-sketch sands.

Ground squirrels stretch,
bask atop fallen cypress.
Gliding hawks survey chaparral.
Shredded fog drifts overhead.

Cottontails shelter beneath white sage
as field mice forage among golden dunes.
I meditate, scribble poetic musings,
as blue jays frisk brittle grass.

By Jennifer Lagier

Marina Dunes Preserve

The author, Jennifer LagierJennifer Lagier has published ten books and in literary magazines. She taught with California Poets in the Schools, co-edits the Homestead Review, helps coordinate monthly Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium Second Sunday readings. Forthcoming books: Harbingers (Blue Light Press), Scene of the Crime (Evening Street Press), Camille Abroad (FutureCycle), Forthcoming: Like a B Movie (FutureCycle Press, 2018).Click here to visit her website. Photo by the author.