I change from sleep into hiking gear, slide into day.
Around me, mist erases pygmy oaks, drifts across a dirt street.
It’s an uphill struggle, failing knees versus gravity.
Beyond well-known terrain lies a new headlands trail.
Red paintbrush and golden poppies flaunt vivid blooms.
Chaparral clusters between broken shards of volcanic stone.
Tiny garter snakes wriggle from summer’s mummified thistles
into this year’s lupine enclaves, traverse a bare road.
Fog shreds glide from ocean to canyon, above rounded hills.
I discover land’s finite edge, contemplate choppy seas.
Eye of the Storm
High surf casts ashore seaweed fragments.
Passing rain ruffles the familiar lagoon.
Granite bones from a hidden river
peek through compacted sand.
Pelicans shelter among brackish pools,
the protected estuary’s tule blockade.
High above Palo Colorado, mist flows;
a sullen, new front emerges.
Sunrise reveals what’s to come:
mild spring ripped to shreds,
tepid light, a raw wind,
Jennifer Lagier’s books are Coyote Dream Cantos (Iota Press, 1992), Where We Grew Up (Small Poetry Press, 1999), Second-Class Citizen (Voices in Italian Americana Folio Series, 2000), The Mangia Syndrome (Pudding House Publications, 2004), Fishing for Portents (Pudding House Publications, 2008) and Agent Provocateur (Paisano Presss, 2012). She was nominated for a Pushcart Poetry Award in 2012 and is a member of the Rockford Writers Guild, the Santa Cruz Front Street Poets, the Italian American Writers Association and helps coordinate monthly Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium readings.