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Sunday, April 15, 2018


by Pepper Trail


How often the tyranny is revealed in the out-of-doors
The trodden muddy road, the lichen-knit walls of stone
Torn apart, the sodden sky pelting with rooks
Brambles, lost sheep, broken-limbed trees
These things happened in a place, they say
Our land is the container of our struggle
Here, blood was shed, just here
And the generations walk past, and do not forget

How to make such art out of a twittering fool?
As true a tyrant as any, but
No more tangible than the pixels on a screen
Existing only because we believe he does
Which is enough, we find, to blight the trees
To break the walls, to set the dogs loose
Running frenzied through the panicked flock
Their eyes wild, their jaws stained with slaver

Pepper Trail is a conservation biologist, poet, and photographer living in Ashland, Oregon.  His poems have appeared in TheNewVerse.News, Rattle, Atlanta Review, Spillway, Kyoto Journal, Pedestal, and other publications, and have been nominated for Pushcart and Best of the Net Awards. His collection Cascade-Siskiyou was a finalist for the 2016 Oregon Book Award in Poetry.