Remnants

Ponderosa pine and Juniper shroud
Jemez Mountains of New Mexico
Vestiges of ancient volcanic eruption

Rito de los Frijoles, Bean Creek,
Meanders on the canyon floor
Once lined by garden plots
Maize, beans, and squash

Now displaced by prickly pear and cholla cacti
Zone-tailed hawk soars overhead
Rutting elk bugle shrills pierce the silence

Ancestral chants ride on arid winds
Between towering sandstone canyon walls
Ancient ones, a colony of worker bees

Constructed stacked adobe pueblos
Honeycomb ruins tucked within red rock caves
Cliff-side dwellings accessible by
Propped wooden ladders

Masterful sandstone masonry
Once disguised by mud plaster,
Now revealed

By Suzanne Cottrell

Pueblo ruins in New Mexico


Suzanne Cottrell, an Ohio Buckeye by birth, lives with her husband and three rescue dogs in rural Piedmont North Carolina. An outdoor enthusiast and retired teacher, she enjoys hiking, biking, gardening, and Pilates. She loves nature and its sensory stimuli and particularly enjoys writing and experimenting with poetry and flash fiction. Her work has appeared in The Avocet, The Weekly Avocet, The Remembered Arts Journal, Plum Tree Tavern, The Skinny Poetry Journal, Three Line Poetry, Haiku Journal, Tanka Journal, Poetry Quarterly, Women’s Voices Anthology (These Fragile Lilacs Literary Journal), The Pop Machine (Inwood Indiana Press), and Nailpolish Stories, A Tiny and Colorful Literary Journal.

Photo of Pueblo Ruins in Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico by William Silver.

Pretentious Flair

Sturdy stalks emanate among
Sword-shaped leaves
Ascending to five feet,
Dwarfing surrounding plants

Spires topped with tubular florets
Blazing, ombre torches of
Reddish-orange, coral, and canary blooms
Torch lilies, red hot poker plants, Kniphofia

Usher butterflies, bees, hummingbirds
To their safe harbor and delectable nectar
A flower bed’s ostentatious focal point
Dominating from spring to fall

By Suzanne Cottrell

torch lily plant in garden
A mysterious plant appeared in one of our raised flower beds, perhaps a seed gift delivered by a bird. Calling upon my father’s gardening knowledge, I learned that it was a Kniphofia, better known as a torch lily or red hot poker plant. It continues to be the show stopper of our flower bed.


photo of authorSuzanne Cottrell, an Ohio Buckeye by birth, lives with her husband and three rescue dogs in rural Piedmont North Carolina. An outdoor enthusiast and retired teacher, she enjoys hiking, biking, gardening, and Pilates. She loves nature and its sensory stimuli and particularly enjoys writing and experimenting with poetry and flash fiction. Her work has appeared in The Avocet, The Weekly Avocet, The Remembered Arts Journal, Plum Tree Tavern, The Skinny Poetry Journal, Three Line Poetry, Haiku Journal, Tanka Journal, Poetry Quarterly, Women’s Voices Anthology (These Fragile Lilacs Literary Journal), The Pop Machine (Inwood Indiana Press), and Nailpolish Stories, A Tiny and Colorful Literary Journal.

Triple Falls Portrait

Bare rock protrudes
Extends the mountain side
Moss, lichen cling
Little River cascades
Down three rocky tiers
Waterfalls churn
Pummel granite slabs
Thunder reverberates
Through the valley
Mist, spray permeates
Prism droplets sparkle
Water grinds stone
Forms shallow pools
Tree limbs overhang
Provide shade
Wind sprinkles leaves
Float on the surface
River meanders
Dodges boulders
Black racer glides
Startles wading bathers
Rainbow trout hide
Elude fishermen’s flies
Eastern sweet shrub blooms
Fruity fragrance drifts
Arouses hikers’ senses

By Suzanne Cottrell

Author at Triple Falls


Suzanne Cottrell, an Ohio Buckeye by birth, lives with her husband and three rescue dogs in rural Piedmont North Carolina. An outdoor enthusiast and retired teacher, she enjoys hiking, biking, gardening, and Pilates. She loves nature and its sensory stimuli and particularly enjoys writing and experimenting with poetry and flash fiction. Her work has appeared in The Avocet, The Weekly Avocet, The Remembered Arts Journal, Plum Tree Tavern, The Skinny Poetry Journal, Three Line Poetry, Haiku Journal, Tanka Journal, Poetry Quarterly, Women’s Voices Anthology (These Fragile Lilacs Literary Journal), The Pop Machine (Inwood Indiana Press), and Nailpolish Stories, A Tiny and Colorful Literary Journal.

Photo is a portrait of the author at Triple Falls in DuPont State Forest in North Carolina, USA.