“Fireweed in Autumn,” “Night Falls,” an “High Desert Nightfall”

“Fireweed in Autumn,” “Night Falls,” an “High Desert Nightfall”

Photo by John Nakata on Adobe Stock

Fireweed in Autumn

A sentinel for three seasons,

The fireweed stands unsteady

In the freshening breeze.

A phoenix of the scorched earth,

Its seeds break out in gossamer clouds,

Seeking newly ravaged lands to restore.

What flowers remain from

Their long journey up the stem,

Pause, as if in silent reflection.

Do the petals recall –

The rush of spring?

The storms of summer?

Like old men nodding in the sun,

Do they bask in remembrance, or

Fear the coming clutch of winter.

Night Air

The pines are half-asleep,

Nodding off in the late afternoon sun.

Dusk creeps along the lower ridges

Sneaking into every ditch and gully.

As the shadows ascend the ridges,

The slack mountain air begins to stir,

Ready to return to the valley floor

Where it spent the previous night.

The morning sun propelled it

Up the slopes, and held it all day.

Now the sun has lost its grip,

And the air begins its gentle,

But inexorable, descent.

As the trees slumber the coyotes arise

To the opportunities of darkness.

In a lone pine on a windswept ridge

The owl’s eyes come into focus.

It spreads its wings and soars.

Night arrives in a feathered whisper.

High Desert Nightfall

The knife edge shadows cast by the brilliant western sky

                    recede into the recesses of the low benches and ridges.

Sage and bitterbrush merge into a tapestry of shadows,

                    as the rose hued shards of sunset fade behind the horizon.

The hills darken from luminous periwinkle to indigo and gray,

                   and night slowly advances over the high desert basin.

From the pinion-juniper woodland covering the upper ridges

                   a coyote yips in anticipation of the rising hunter’s moon.

His call is answered by a cacophony of high-pitched yips and yelps

                   from adjacent ridges and the now dark valley floor below.

In the deep recess of the valley a single, forlorn light, marks

                   the melancholy presence of man’s tenuous intrusion.

About the Author

Francis Flavin

Francis Flavin draws upon his experience as an educator, public interest lawyer and observer on four continents. He was the Winner of the 2021 Poetry Quarterly Rebecca Lard Award. In the Soul-Making Keats Literary Competition, Flavin placed first in the Memoir/Vignette category (2022), and in prior years received recognition for humor and flash fiction (2), short story (2), novel excerpt (3), creative nonfiction and personal essay categories. He also received recognition in the social impact category of the Chicagoland Poetry Contest, the Partisan Press Working People’s Poetry Competition (first place) and the personal essay and rhymed poetry categories of the 2020 Writer’s Digest awards. His work has been published in Poetry Quarterly, Moonstone Arts Center, NOVUS Literary Journal, Inwood Indiana, Blueline, Pacific Review, Beyond Words – International Literary Magazine, Vallum: Contemporary Poetry, Blue Collar Review, La Piccioletta Barca, Three Line Poetry, The Closed Eye Open and Tempered Runes, among others.

Read more work by Francis Flavin.