The marshland is a mirror
where pelicans mark lazy progress
from jetties to the open bay.
The eastern mountains pose in sharp relief
against a sapphire sky.

Amid this natural wonder, two young women
speaking rapid French ignore park signage
to parade their yapping terriers off-leash.

Wary shrikes fly elsewhere
to perform their swooping tricks.
Tall herons sadly vacate
their beloved fishing spots.
Stilts venture farther from mudflats
that house their hidden meals.

The music of the wind
reminds us that we too
would forfeit tasty minnows
to elude some canine’s
snapping jaws.

And I no longer dance barefoot
among the breaking waves
for fear of getting globs of tar
between my joyful toes.

By Barbara Saxton

Although once introduced (at an English department meeting) as a “Renaissance Woman,” Barbara recoils at such hyperbole, yet admits to engaging in a wide — and somewhat weird — variety of interests and activities. She enjoys listening to and performing classical and Balkan music and dance, hiking or biking in California’s mountains and foothills, traveling the world, and (of course) writing poetry. Despite being a writer for almost sixty years, she only recently began sharing her work with wider audiences. Her chapbook, Dual Exposure, was published by Blue Light Press in 2015. She has also been published in a number of anthologies and journals, among them River of Earth and Sky: Poems for the Twenty-first Century, Willow Glen Poetry Project compilations (among them No Ordinary Language (2014), Third Thursdays (2016), the Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, and Uncharted Frontier Ezine. Barbara lives in Mountain View with her husband, a cat named Kolo, and myriad possessions she hopes their two beloved adult sons will someday remove.

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