thankful for the bend
without the break
the branch beneath the weight of the finch
lightboned they be
the shake of a fir to alight a sky
for the earth
still having not released us
from their embrace
their rivers that peak
on clear nights
swimming through both
for the crows
consistent in their caw
as if saying wake
the morning lies in the street
wanting of me to be bronzed with its kiss
that every day in my city
the people strengthen together
for something unseen and powerful
for somewhere in the distance
the ocean calling
like an answer
lifting towards a grace
spoken for someone else
coming back to that which had tossed it
from where it had been thrown
— Anis Mojgani, poet laureate of Oregon
In Fire Season, Rain
The soft smoke of hard rain
drilling down through tree bones.
The hiss and steam of quenched fire —
rain nipping flame’s root, gray mud of ash.
Rain tap slapping your hat. Rain gloves.
Rain making your coat heavy, your neck cold.
Rain washing what was seared, culled, fallen, lost.
Where fire fed, rain offering rest, restoration.
Rain turning eye-salt to rivulets, rivulets
to rivers wheresoever many weep as one.
Rain thrust deep in earth, seeking seeds.
Rain taking its own sweet time.
Earth’s thirst for first rain —
never to be cursed again.
— Kim Stafford, former poet laureate of Oregon