mountains

Independence Day (1996) by Greg Lehman

Name something good
about a place where nobody dies,
some endless beach of a world,
temperate, well-lit, so calm
the ennui has room to grow solid
on the air,

and the people you’re with
will never go anywhere else, every
bit of them, inelegant,
prone to bumbling
the weight of balance I need
to be who I am, their pact
against composure
unbreakable, keeping peace
from ever hovering down
to find you again.

I can’t see it either.
The way things are
there just isn’t a way
around moving from one spigot
to another, draining worlds
into our hands and the hands
of our young. Come on. You
do it, too.

Still, like anyone,
we could be mistaken,
so if you can do better
we’ll hear you out.

But do not expect us
to not be proactive
in the meantime.

 

 

About Greg LehmanGREGGGGGGY_B&W-25

Greg Lehman earned an MFA in creative writing from Lindenwood University and a BA in journalism from California State University at Fullerton. He has published and edited as a professional journalist, and continues to pursue the field through his website loudowl.org. He also enjoys writing short fiction and novels, as well as poetry, sometimes

  

Ghosted by Greg Lehman

I never saw the poet again,
leaving things hanging
is far from silent, quiet
like a needle’s pain

around a sound
that must be there
between skin
and the finest of points, I

can’t name its pitch, maybe
she heard it, but would not
lend her volume, unwilling
to lend a clear medium

as this puncture sank, pulling
a knot that caught nothing, not
one word, graceless or the limit
she put on grace,

but what better reply
than the one that tells you
which timbre
lacks credence?

What is more graceful
than the clarity of pain
as explicit as skin
and a needle? Poise

is a gift, a plunge,
a finely cut form for knowing
where rhythms will land
before the first stanza
can end.

 

About Greg LehmanGREGGGGGGY_B&W-25

Greg Lehman earned an MFA in creative writing from Lindenwood University and a BA in journalism from California State University at Fullerton. He has published and edited as a professional journalist, and continues to pursue the field through his website loudowl.org. He also enjoys writing short fiction and novels, as well as poetry, sometimes.   

Running in Santa Ynez Mountains by Greg Lehman

1. I told myself
I went left at the river,
that taking the sound
of water
would bring me back home.

2. The bobcat glared
at the edge where asphalt
meets earth, until
she looked my way,
took her time disappearing
long before
I was anywhere close.

3. No matter where
a raptor might find you,
or which one it is,
osprey, owl,
hawk, harrier, kite,
vulture, eagle,
or caracara, they are always
above where they are,
even the trail
we share for a moment,
the steps I take
are worlds below eyes
that see everything
and see through it, decide
what to take
with talons as hooked as fate,
just as sharp, sparing nothing.

4. The downgrade gentles impact,
robs the brunt of each footfall
in tandem with how much restraint
I let go, trades
prudence out, it’s scary,
this is steep, this
can fuck me up
riding legs
that have never been
more my own.

 

 

About Greg LehmanGREGGGGGGY_B&W-25

Greg Lehman earned an MFA in creative writing from Lindenwood University and a BA in journalism from California State University at Fullerton. He has published and edited as a professional journalist, and continues to pursue the field through his website loudowl.org. He also enjoys writing short fiction and novels, as well as poetry, sometimes.