Hobble Creek Review
northeast corner of Arkansas during the New Madrid earthquakes of 1811
and 1812, and a century later
The land heaved like enraged waves,
swelling and falling in successive furrows,
as mud, sand, and water rushed
higher than innumerable treetops.
The ground opened and slapped shut,
leaving gaping holes which overnight
became lakes and deep pools. In rare places
a few trunks of trees poked above water,
the way cottonmouths disclose nothing
but their heads as they swim, unperturbed.
In its afterlife, while vines and mosses hang
from branches like veils of the bereaved,
this is not a country of sorrow.
Rearranged into a chain of cypress
and gum swamps strung together
along a river: here, the beaver,
otter and mink are at home,
along with massive catfish, black bass,
rainbow trout, walleye and bluegill
that slip through the same purling
water where the wood duck and
wintering teal and geese feed.
From pockets of bottomland forest,
flycatchers buzz and whistle
like insects, indifferent
to easy-going breezes, fine gestures
that signal another tranquil season
here, where renewal’s a natural thing.
Lenny Lianne holds an MFA in Creative Writing from George
Mason University. Her most recent book of poetry is The
Gospel According to the Seven Dwarfs (San Francisco Bay
Press). Another, The ABC of Memory, is forthcoming from
ScriptWorks Press. She lives in Peoria, AZ, with her husband,
but travels quite frequently.