Earthflow, by W.F. Lantry

The land subsides with rain: we all have seen
hillsides descending slowly, bearing trees
and other gifts towards the valley’s creek,
blocking the course’s flow, forming a lake
or pond upstream whose waters mirror sleek
trunks of migrated aspens twelve degrees
off vertical, their quaking stillness wise

since they must root before the waters rise
again. But here, we haven’t had such rain:
the earth recedes: depleted, cracked and torn,
shrinking from fenceposts, letting dry wind shake
the leaves of sycamores whose limbs forewarn,
by their slight variations from the plane,
some future fall, uphill, or down the side

near our cleft slope, uncovered by the slide
of dry earth cracked and levered by the weight
of now discentered trees. I know a storm
will come after the equinox and take
whatever’s leaning with them, and the form,
soon lost, will leave an opening, create
a rough landscape of blossoms unforeseen.


W.F. Lantry’s poetry collections are The Terraced Mountain (Little Red Tree 2015), The Structure of Desire (Little Red Tree 2012), winner of a 2013 Nautilus Award in Poetry, and a chapbook, The Language of Birds (2011). He received his PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Houston. Honors include the National Hackney Literary Award in Poetry, Patricia Goedicke Prize, Crucible Editors’ Prize, Lindberg Foundation International Poetry for Peace Prize (Israel), the Paris Lake Poetry Prize and Potomac Review Prize. His work appears widely online and in print. He currently works in Washington, DC. and is editor of Peacock Journal.


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