(to Masefield, Jeffers, Hass, and Snyder)Poets trap nature under bell jars,
fence daffodils in words,
when we need to pull yellow and innocence
from our January pockets.
They salt and soak metaphors
until our fishy selves long for surf.
Even in Iowa
we may go down to the sea in ships
twist our faces into the whetted-knife wind,
smell salt spray rattling the sail.
Here in Texas, riding west
over hardpan expanse,
in the ragged heat of the Trans Pecos flats,
its eternal haze-gripped miles
of juniper and scrub oak,
monochrome dust and scattered pinyon pines,
my eyes close, my head tilts back
and I peer into my bell jar:
Jam my hands in my pockets like Jeffers,
teetering in the chill wind on Big Sur's granite cliffs,
shouting over the ocean's crashing.
Feel tender and tempted to take Hass's hand
on the foggy Marin headlands as we stoop
over a squat succulent whose name he knows.
Scramble up the steep gorge glacier-slick rattlesnake country,
through High Sierra lodge pole pine
with Gary Snyder, inhaling the sharp resin.
In the dust whirl of prairies,
I long for coastal cypress, bent and whipped west
on the continent's edge.
Wild water. Flannel fog. Ancient redwoods.
Too immense for bell jars
yet gratefully ensnared in words.
Hallie Moore, raised in Washington State and educated in California (Stanford University, BS, MA; Antioch University Los Angeles, MFA), now calls the Texas Gulf Coast home. Most recently she is the winner of the 2013 Blue Light Press Chapbook contest . Her poetry is currently on display in Houston on an 84 foot photo wall on Main Street . Other work has appeared in The Texas Review, Borderlands, Spillway, Blue Mesa Review, Calyx, Moondance, The Adirondack Review, Suddenly, etc. A teacher and workshop leader, she has taught English in California, Brazil, Singapore, and Texas.