While filling the seeder I thought I spied
the god of Juncos hiding
in the canthus of my eye.
He winked, made the thumbs-up sign
and disappeared in a copse of maple fire.
The god of Cabbage Moths
tatted a message in pidgin Braille.
I read it through the eyelet of Sandrina leaves.
My life grew huge as the Super Moon’s face
though my verdant supper turned to lace.
I keep my own small gods for times
when fog surrounds my heart or brain
and words die birthing on my tongue.
They comfort me in simple ways
as I weave the fabric of my days.
There's nothing wrong with modest gods
I trust them more than bloated fools
who say, "obey me" from on high
then kick you, broken, from the womb.
I keep my own small gods close by
believe me, they'll believe in you.
© Sandra Anfang 2018
Gary Snyder Will Die Someday
Gary Snyder will die someday
and the world will be a poorer place.
As a tremulous teenager
standing on the precipice of my life,
I smelled danger in every direction.
From him I learned how to ford the riprap
on the roof of my mouth.
Cold Mountain bore its way under my skin
anesthetized my pain.
Everywhere I wandered--
the American's North Fork
Yuba's sanded boulders
Yosemite's emerald pools--
I heard him whistling through a deer bone
whittled in elegance,
scissored legs a blur of flight
in the rear-view mirror of my mind.
Turkeys gabble in the background,
feathers explode like buckshot.
His spoor is everywhere:
tucked in Redwood's knotholes
etched in Lichen's green mandala
muffling Manzanita's murmur.
The breath of rain-doused charcoal
from an abandoned fire
whispers his name
up on Humbug Mountain.
© Sandra Anfang
(from Xylem Highway, 2019)