Ann Arbor Review


Chris Lord
Joseph McNair
Karyn M. Wolven
Geoffrey Philp
Paul B. Roth
Duane Locke
Silvia Scheibli
Shutta Crum
Felino Soriano
Steve Beaulieu
Donald Hewlett
Alan Britt
Joanie Freeman
Mervyn M. Solomon
Jerry Blanton
Marilyn Churchill
Running Cub
Mukul Dahal
Alice Paris

Helen Losse
Fred Wolven


Imagine a postcard landscape:
Yellow buttes, red mesas
Dotted with pinon pines
And the sky swallowing the earth
In a shifting kaleidoscope
Of light and clouds and shadows
Under a bullet-bright sun.

Next imagine highways:
Dark ribbons weaving through green valleys,
Coursing around the stoic faces of cliffs,
Cresting pine-clutched heights,
Falling exuberantly into sere troughs,
Or flushed under torrential sheets of rain.

Then imagine dots along the roads,
Transforming into dark-haired, red-skinned people
Moving in a slow walk,
Their backs to the traffic,
Sometimes a thumb lifted,
Sometimes a dollar flag flapping from loose fingers--
But without expectation.

These are the Indians
Pacing the pace of centuries gone
Before horses, before the caging
Of horses in monstrous machines,
Before human flew
Into the devouring sky.



Glides he in, lands at the lip of the lake, steps in--folds cloaking white wings
Regally; he stretches his full length, his neck and head rising like a watchtower,
Eyes the finned shadows in the water, his beacon head turning left, then right,
And with deft feet moves stately, impelling no ripple to disturb the dawning     
The fish are feeding, gobbling and gilling, and see only reeds rising from surface.
Whiteness permeates--salty sand, blanched feathers, spackling sunlight.
Heroes stand as tall and proud as he, as a regent waiting to be served.
In intense observation, I watch him watching, taut interest strung tight.
The imperial bird holds still, his prey near, his auroral prayer answered.
Every muscled instinct compels him downward, descending cottony cloud.
His neck coils into an S, and he looks askance at his unwary breakfast.
Energy springs his beak into the liquid; it returns laden with flopping, wriggling
Repeatedly he dabs the water with his victim, inducing exhaustion and stillness.
Over his beak he flips his meal, so headfirst it plummets down his strait gullet.
Now he stretches, settles and glances about his realm, lord of the morning lake.



There you were,
Flitting your lives
From generation to generation
And we didn't know
That you had alighted
With us on Earth.

How does it feel
To have the limelight
Shining on you,
So now we know
Your equipage--
Your black hat,
Your yellow rouge,
Your red and yellow sleeves
Ruffling in the wind,
Your black tail,
Your ivory boots--
And your song
That you sing
For the dawn?

Soon we'll know
How you
Dip into the bowl,
Drink and swallow.
We'll finally know
How you choose a mate,
And how you mate,
Hooking up for a frisson of desire.

Of course, why
You live and why
I write, why
These words, why
I cry, why
This world, wisely
Remain a mystery.


Jerry Blanton
, Homestead, Florida


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