Western tanager

Two Poems by Kathryn Hunt

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The pale-yellow blossoms
of the hellebores remind us
of winter’s long resolve.

In the south, the Western tanager
is aflame with nectar. Wasps,
cicadas, love. Bird camouflaged as

guitar lick, a zodiacal sunrise.
Smoke from smoldering tires
in the valley of Oaxaca.

Come, ungovernable blaze.
Little god. Summon us.
Torch the naked branches.



The Old Country

You went like this, without a map,
apart, seeing what was there.
The grass humming with glad
apian hunger, a single cloud
appearing and drifting away.
Over there, it said.

No one says, though sometimes
their eyes tell of it. A hand
circling blue cloth on china plates,
a skater on ice. How could they
help but sing of the geese in
the meadows and marshes each spring,
white feathers dipped in black
like a pen in its ink well.
Wings above the floating
snowfields of the mountains,
those years before even
the gods walked there.



Kathryn HuntKathryn Hunt’s poetry has appeared in Radar, Orion, Missouri Review, Writer’s Almanac, and Narrative. Her poetry collection Seed Wheel will be published by Lost Horse Press in the fall 2021. She’s worked as a waitress, shipscaler, short-order cook, bookseller, printer, food bank coordinator, filmmaker, and freelance writer. Find her at

Header photo by PublicDomainImages, courtesy Pixabay. Photo of Kathryn Hunt by Brian Hunt. is the first online literary journal of place, publishing award-winning literature, art, editorials, and community case studies since 1998.