Lisa Creech Bledsoe: “Some Revelation is at Hand”



Some Revelation is at Hand

“We didn’t believe it ourselves at first. We took 10 years to confirm through experiments that the animals were really actually living without oxygen.” — Roberto Danovaro, deep-sea biologist


What lives in me craves light. I close my eyes
and my arms are almost tree. This is a trick
I’ve only recently learned. My skin ticks
with sugars, sighs and swells toward sky.

Crow cups the air and mounts up—
the forest takes flight below.

I am working my way up the west ridge to sun,
hard going. The mountain forgives few missteps
and the consequences are dire up here, unwinged.


Deep in the sea, miles beneath waves
lie dead zones of immense pressure, salt,
and airlessness. Also: tiny fringed cups, alive.
Making eggs, molting, tentacled.
A millimeter of lace in the anoxic dark.

Something like these also lived before
our atmosphere filled with oxygen.
Circles complete themselves.


Emerging from woods to the exposed ridge
Crow stands on a branch, back to the light, wings
extended, warming.

I grab the next buckeye sapling and pull myself
one deer trail higher, laboring to breathe.

How fire rises in the lungs! Life labors toward
origin: to branch and flame and breath, or
sulphides and sediment and delicate waving fronds
built for the solace of crushing deeps.


Crow’s shadow wavers on the forest floor
crosswhipped with shadows of twigs stripped
bare for winter.

I may never be bird. I study the path to wings
but don’t know what comes before. Yet once
we both swam and cleaved to darkness, forsaking air,
unknown to the blessing of sun and thermal, caught
in the widening gyre.



About the Author: Watched by crows and friend to salamanders, Lisa Creech Bledsoe is a hiker, beekeeper, and writer living in the mountains of Western North Carolina. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee and the author of two full-length books of poetry, Appalachian Ground (2019), and Wolf Laundry (2020). She has new poems out or forthcoming in The Blue Mountain Review, American Writers Review, Sky Island Journal, Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, Red Fez, and River Heron Review, among others.


Image Credit: Chase Dimock “Sunset in Klamath Falls” 2020

John Macker: “Abundance “



                 – For Stewart Warren

An 80 year old woman in New Mexico
does tai chi in the dog park
in an abundance of presence
shares the rhythms of her age
gathers in and then releases the
shiftless summer air.     
In Iceland activists hold a funeral for a famous
glacier, on the permanent plaque they 
placed, in English and Icelandic, 
is written to the children:

Only you know if we did it.

In Auden’s memorial poem to Yeats
he wrote: Mad Ireland hurt you into poetry.
Out the window a police car siren’s
pulsating shriek cleaves the morning
into two organic halves, one an act of faith
the other, not so much. We were instructed
by the nuns to say a prayer or cross
ourselves every time we heard one 
until the danger became
innocent whispered echo.

As if nobody had been hurt.

Ireland will plant 400 million trees in the
next 20 years to combat climate change.
So many more will recognize El Degűello
when they hear it than those who’ve
memorized “The Second Coming”. 
A poet friend in New Mexico 
in his last days of hospice
always traveled his own rivers
now they change course, fill him
with their own abundance, tell him
we have all the time in the world.

The purple morning uplifted cosmos petals
a day after rain and the land which has withstood
the emancipation of all these latest hells

never stops singing.


About the Author: John Macker’s latest books are Atlas of Wolves (Stubborn Mule Press, 2019) and The Blues Drink Your Dreams Away: Selected Poems 1983-2018 (Stubborn Mule Press, 2018 and a finalist for a New Mexico/Arizona Book Award.) Macker has lived in Northern New Mexico for 24 years.


More By John Macker:

Last Riff For Chet


Image Credit: William Henry Jackson “Embudo, New Mexico” (1882) Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.