Death lights heavy

Hummingbird mama —
abandons her nonviable eggs
but keeps checking back
a few more times, just to be sure.

Arms fall off a saguaro,
break open on the ground
like fragile eggshells —
after years of desert still-life
a few seconds of death-motion.

But the night breeze is so beautiful
those breezes are — so beautiful,
it’s hard not to get swept away.

—Terri Guillemets

Galactic gathering

Standing in a silent still-dark February morning
Cool dewy grass grazes half-bare sandaled feet
Lo! Saturn arrives as Jupiter saddles Sagittarius
Mars burns red near the glowing crescent moon
Serpens slithers against a vaporous galaxy border
Antares winks green and gold, crimson and rust
As Scorpius swings its tail at the southern horizon
Libra starboard and upward of the crowded scene
Balancing askew over the poor impaled lone wolf
Ophiuchus a bystander in the busy celestial show

—Terri Guillemets

Fantastic shores

In bed at night his mind had a ferocious imagination
reality and unreality haunted his turbulent brain
the years ticked, an infinite clock of destiny
searching moonlight for the promise of a future
his reveries of heart were coasting on a fairy’s wing
as the world and universe drifted by fantastic shores.
But the sea, work, and women — physical outlets —
were his anchor — something old, hard, and soft.

—Terri Guillemets

scrambled blackout poetry created from F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, 1925, Scribner 2004 trade paperback, pages 98–99

City-desert nightwalk

Early summer, late at night
Pleasant sweet-smelling air
Clouds veiling a half-lit moon
Scorpius crawling up the sky
Tree-hid birds awake chirping
Lone dog barking in its yard
Startled stray cats darting
Crickets playing insistent songs
Quiet of people gone to bed
Mellow breezes gently stirring
Damp-grass lawns subtly cooling
Street lights too brightly illuming
Saguaro blooms softly glowing

—Terri Guillemets