© Leslye Layne Russell
the-hold.com July 2001


    Highway 49 east of Bassett’s Station, elevation 6600

    flash fuchsia—
    stop the car
    walk back

    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
    hummingbird green and yellow
              hovers in sun
                      looks me right in the eyes

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

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

    half moon
    above trees and gray curves
                    of highway 49


    solstice cherries

    deep red
    held in high

    squirrel jumps
            tree     to     tree

    you climb down
            your silver ladder
                   to the sky

    with a bag of red
    delicious summer


    third period

    crows fly into
      bright green

          early June maples

                  tall pine shadows
                    fall on empty benches

                   high school

             quiet now
           but for black

      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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