Ann Arbor Review


Chris Lord
Joseph McNair
Duane Locke
Lazlo Slomovits
Alan Britt
Shutta Crum
Tolu Ogunlesi
Jerry Blanton
Paul B. Roth
Fred Wolven
Felino Soriano
Sharon E. Boyd
Joanie Freeman
Jumoke Verissimo
Running Cub
Jeanpaul Ferro
S. P. Flannery
Kristina Marie Darling
Gary Beck
Dike Okoro
Karyn M. Wolven


I take a morning hike after sleeping in our tent
Comforted by the wonders of a vast forest
Walking a dirt road lined with thickets of spruce trees
Sneaking random peeks at mountain vistas

Two mule deer stand and stare
With equal curiosity, I stare back
We move and exchange looks
Wondering what each is going to do next

My path is steep and rocky
My companions are the wildflowers
And the beckoning from the mountain top,
Calling to me, whispers in my mind

The morning sun is rising, giving view
To the array of colors spread out before me
Catching now the flittering of insects gathering
Nectar while spreading the pollen, doing their
Vital role helping to create this beauty

I'm in the land of the cowboy poets
How easy it is to see how their creativity can flow
From moment to moment the scene
Grows before one's eyes while
The land keeps telling it's wonderful tales



The old gnarly trees lying on the forest floor
Must have stories to tell of years gone by
Of changes of seasons and years
As they sit without the usual signs of decay
Because of the dry arid air
In this land out west

New comers and old creatures
All sit with those old grands as they give
Presence to the natural history
Without words, with a spiritual element
Beyond one man talking to the next
Here I stand in their presence and listen.


Walking off onto a dirt side road in Wyoming
Up in the mountains of the Bighorn National Forest
Gazing out on the vast fields of wildflowers
Alternating with a broad array of healthy spruce trees
And a backdrop of ice tipped mountains

I meander slowly as memories flood in
Of almost forty years prior
Walking hills as a newly wed
Crossing the country as I do now
Realizing deep in my being my nomadic nature
My need to wander this country
Seeking experiences far from the familiar
Wanting, needing diversity of people and place
To get first hand knowledge of my country.

Now kindling with my soul's spirit
After almost forty years
Finally walking in 'my own skin'
Not regretting my life lived
Raising two powerful sons
Teaching and advocacy work
Deepening a yoga practice
Creating special friendships

My heart having this pause, soars and marvels
With the last heat of day warming my cheeks
As my lover walks down the hillside to greet me
With a smile and a loving embrace
We hug knowing the rightness of this moment.


Joanie Freeman, Virginia


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