The photos you took that evening
went yellow or red, depending.
The voice we must use is uncertain.
Perhaps we should scatter dead leaves.
Let’s leave our bones as a signal,
trust the map, and ignore the clouds.
Some places moon paths don’t matter
and trees can keep needles forever.
From inside the tree roots, our fingers
reach for the ghosts of the children.
TESTING GROUND, HIGH DESERT
High on the rim sunlight is starting
hassling morning chivvying day
Around us the land is stretched like a hand
trying to grasp what’s happening next
Remnants of birdsong clog up the frequencies
bats always know when sound is unsound
Whispers of water flickers of thought
trickle down deeper the harder we look
Tricks of perspective play through the canyon
daylight won’t show us what’s starting to grow
Mary Cresswell is from Los Angeles and lives on New Zealand’s Kapiti Coast. Her most recent book, Fish Stories, was published by Canterbury University Press in 2015; it is nature poetry based on the ghazal and glosa forms. For more info: bookcouncil