Spring 2024


By E.R. Lutken

Lamium amplexicaule

disturbed ground
it grows there
only noticed
where it isn’t
pocked fields’ first clothes
darker than grass
visited by long-tongued bees
dots of purple-red blossoms
like drooping trumpets
suck away lingering whispers
once brash mortar roars
gnashing groans now
more than silent
drowned in leafy baffles
Henbit – awkward ally
of the hopeless
blood’s antimatter
square-stemmed rover
fused couplet tufts
of lobed leaves burble
over earth’s fresh wounds
wild tangles dismantle the wake
of carefully ordered massacres
opening beyond green
a void of dreamless sleep

Grieved by the Wind

Stagnant southern bayous –
somber, rust-bearded cypress trees
tower over crowds of spindly knees,
sleepless egret and alligator statues,
idle turtles stacked on snags
suspended above umber mirrors.
Half a nation’s dreams, bones of soldiers,
bereft throngs lost in milky fog.
A counterfeit stillness, ambrotype denial
of time, masks the seethe of nature. Thin-
legged striders scatter over water’s skin,
shiners flash in shallows, mosquito wings wail,
as if the Jurassic enclave anticipates its fate:
the roar of winds, upheaval of eons in a day.

E. R. Lutken, a retired family physician, worked on the Navajo Nation for many years, then taught science and math in rural Colorado for a few more. Her poems have appeared in Cagibi, Mezzo Cammin, Think, Prime Number and other journals and anthologies. Her poetry collection, “Manifold: poetry of mathematics” (3: A Taos Press, 2021) won the New Mexico First Book Award for 2022. Recently she edited her father’s memoir A Thousand Places Left Behind (University Press of Mississippi, 2023). https://www.erlutkenpoetry.com

Spring 2024