The 2River View 24.2 (Winter 2020)

Travis Stephens


to the west a
glow on the horizon,
deep indigo
and royal at the edges of sky
except that sudden lightening of hue.
It isn't a late sunset;
it can't be.
Chalk it up to a brush of snow
a moon
full of woodsmoke.
The dog is delighted at snow
but she also
delights in mud sloughs,
haybales &
blackberry cane breaks.
This pickup is our earthship,
sage strewn in the bed,
pinon and gasoline,
Seattle three days past.
Later a cup of coffee,
studios closed until ten
but Kit Carson’s shiny spurs
on display &
on sale.

This Conspiracy of Ravens

My brother the Trickster
washes his sleek, black feathers
in the pool, splashing and ducking
while we watch. We follow him
to the pool and find delicious guts
of salmon, egg sacs, eyes.

There are still a few fish
stranded, the tide has retreated back
to its lair. Last night the bears came.
Fish parts everywhere plus a heaping
steaming grassy pile of bear shit and
packed circles of grass.

This morning we left our home fir,
the five of us, circling like leaves.
In the morning we own the sky.

My brother the Trickster has seen the moon
and where she hides. He has taken the
taste of salt from the rain, has left it
stinking of clouds.
My Brother watches from a branch.
He is making a new song. It has the
growl of an engine, the sobbing of the
drowned, the crackle of a fire. We

laugh and sing along.

Travis Stephens is a tugboat captain in California. His recent credits include Crosswinds Poetry Journal, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Gravitas, Gyroscope Review, and Raw Art Review.

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