Monday, March 10, 2014

Two Poems by Emily Strauss

"Night Driving"
imagining buffalo herds grazing
under the moon's white haze
the grasses dipping to the rifling
breeze, or stars behind the drifting
clouds after the last glow disappears
quiet— motor humming on straight
lines of roads shining under
occasional lamps, a lighted rest
stop, chicken shack, late open bar
flashes out to the black asphalt
country music stations appear
quiet— they fade over the next
rise, static passing through keeps
you awake sitting still, counting
each exit, billboard, distant
farm house down its dirt lane
but you drive on unnoticed, mere
headlights sweeping the barn
quiet— a momentary glare, cows
blink half asleep, a fox stands still
in the ditch, waiting, you stare
stiff, shoulders hunched, dark
beyond the margins, the hills waver
and settle again, imagining
their own shadows and the outline
of your truck as you blow past
throbbing pistons against them
"The Old Road: Footprints"

Lost among the tall sage
two bare ruts separated
by bitterbrush and poppies
ground into fine beige dust:

at sunrise appear small tracks
footprints of pocket mouse,
coyote, deer— tiny rises
and hollows arranged just so.

When the quick rain arrives
big drops throw themselves
into the dirt, erase the five-
spotted prints with an urgency

of their own, pelting the road
until the sand forms ridges—
afterward the signs erased
as if the night never was

shrews and woodrats
didn't venture out, stand
a moment motionless, cross
the old road in the moon.

Emily Strauss has an M.A. in English, but is self-taught in poetry. Over 130 of her poems appear in dozens of online venues and in anthologies. The natural world is generally her framework; she often focuses on the tension between nature and humanity, using concrete images to illuminate the loss of meaning between them. She is a semi-retired teacher living in California.

No comments:

Post a Comment