© Leslye Layne Russell
the-hold.com July 2001

 

    Highway 49 east of Bassett’s Station, elevation 6600


    flash fuchsia—
    stop the car
    walk back
                   slowly

    wild sweet pea
          deep pink brilliant
          by the road
                   edge of fir and pine

    come up carefully
              breathe color
    black bumble bee works
              walks on fragile petals

    in the air above pink
                     zip
    hummingbird green and yellow
              hovers in sun
                      looks me right in the eyes
                                                            zip

    dragonflies
            wings in evening gold
                    rest on fir boughs
                           two side by side
                    tilt
            balance
    narrow North Yuba
                    over boulders
                           rushes behind

    spider web shimmers
                    liquid light
            dark forest backdrop
    tiny filaments stretch
            silver
                  tree to tree

    half moon
                         suspended
    above trees and gray curves
                    of highway 49

                                            stillness




    solstice cherries


    deep red
    held in high
            branches

    squirrel jumps
            tree     to     tree
                   black
                              to
                                     bing—

    you climb down
            your silver ladder
                   to the sky

    with a bag of red
    delicious summer

                                 begins




    third period


    crows fly into
      bright green

          early June maples
             shimmer

                  tall pine shadows
                    fall on empty benches

                   high school
                 courtyard

             quiet now
           but for black

         iridescence
      in morning sun


       Piner High School, Santa Rosa, California




 

Layne in the Sierra
Leslye Layne Russell, northern California poet, is also a performing singer and guitarist, and experienced minimalist dancer. In 1969 Layne received her degree in English from Chico State where she studied poetry and writing with George Keithley. She did post-graduate work in Religious Studies at CSU, Chico, and in the Arts and Religious Studies at Naropa Institute, Boulder, Colorado. Layne's poetry has appeared in many poetry journals since she began publishing her work in 1996. After living in Sonoma County for twenty-six years where she raised her two daughters and stepson, Layne recently moved to Redding with her husband, guitarist James Russell, and their blue-eyed Lynx Point Siamese, Sky. Layne's extensive poetry web site, A Quiet Place, can be found at http://whiteowlweb.com.

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