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The Secret of Birds

THE SECRET OF BIRDS Phyllis Cole-Dai  Outside the window, an hour before dawn, when night weighs heaviest on the neck of the world, one bird with pluck begins to sing I’m here   I’m here   I’m…

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Names Will Carry

NAMES WILL CARRY Phyllis Cole-Dai                         for Wanda and Tom I carry your names into the mountains you loved, though mountains have no need of names— they know each pilgrim that passes through by scent…

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Reminders to Remember

A friend shows me a beautiful potted mum. Its rich orange-red buds have burst open with vibrant sprays of sun-yellow at their center. The plant—of a variety called “Autumn Sunset”—is simply gorgeous. “The garden center…

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Hiking Through Poetry

I’ve been out of studio this week. No worries, I’m fully recovered from last week’s kidney stone attack (thanks for your well wishes). But with Jihong’s university on spring break, we’ve headed for the hills—the Black Hills, that is, on the western side of South Dakota. 

The Black Hills are in the middle of a March thaw. They still have enough snow for Jihong to ski, but the season will likely end next week.

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Random Notes from a River Raft

After a long, strenuous hike, you happen upon a river. A crude raft is beached on the sandy shore. Tacked to it is a paper that reads: “Take me downstream.” The handwriting strangely resembles your own.

You don’t know who made the raft, or why they’ve left it here. You don’t know how well it’s constructed. Does it even float?

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