Poems by Julie L. Moore

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Coming Close

by Julie L. Moore

From Canary Summer 2016

Julie lives in the Little Miami Watershed in southwestern Ohio.

Mule deer gather
in the Strawberry Valley,
feeding as the moon
in its white robe
nudges the sun, drowsing
along the horizon, to bed.

The animals allow
my daughter and me
to come close,
one snorting, yes,
but the other five
looking up, nerves mute,

sounding no senseless
alarm, then lowering
their mouths to the meadow,
the grass’s old familiar tune
fading in, humming
on all our tongues.

First appeared in The Midwest Quarterly

Hells Angels

by Julie L. Moore

From Canary Spring 2010

Ablaze with buzz like the motors that drone
As cycles pass by,

Bumblebees, in their striped jackets,
Black helmets, and snug gloves,

Cruise through the coreopsis
While their pollen passengers hug them tight.

And when my water splashes the blooms,
They rev their engines and peel out—

The sun perfuming their necks,
The wind flying in their faces—

And they guzzle like Hells Angels
The nectar of an open road.

Originally published in Blue Earth Review

Out Here

by Julie L. Moore

From Canary Summer 2010

It’s possible to forget
out here, twenty miles from the base,
watching cinnamon-hued horses, smooth
as suede, grazing in their field,
foal at her mother’s teat,
brook noisy as a boy
sloshing in last night’s rainwater,
morning still steam-tinged—

when three F-16’s shoot by,
raking the landscape, pulling
up my eyes. And while the mare
simply bows, tugging
at a tuft of grass, my tongue
becomes dry as gauze,
tasting war
not so far away.

Previously published in the author’s book, Slipping Out of Bloom (WordTech Editions, 2010) & Greensilk Journal.


by Julie L. Moore

From Canary Summer 2016

We drove through Yellowstone,
      winding through its burnt edges,
blackened trees on one side,
      lush hills on the other,
in the middle of June.
      The traffic was heavy,
engines burning up serenity
      like fire consumes aspen
and pine, exhaust casting
      its dark shadow onto the road.
We slowed to a stop
      beside a buffalo
lounging like a Lab
      within the short length
of my arm. They have rules
      in the park, and this proximity
broke one. I could’ve touched
      its mane, full as a huckleberry bush,
brown as the earth itself.
      I could’ve fingered
the sharp tips of its horns.
      And while my kids tried to enforce
the law from the back seat,
      my husband nervous at the wheel,
I did what anyone does
      when she looks into the eyes
of endurance, crosses the border
      beyond belief. I rolled down
my window, zoomed in close,
      and snapped the picture.

From Particular Scandals by Julie L. Moore. Used by permission of Wipf and Stock Publishers. www.wipfandstock.com


by Julie L. Moore

From Canary Fall 2010

This maple like a skull
split open stands strangely
symmetrical—east and west
branches verdant and voluminous—
yet straight north
nothing but telephone cables
lancing the center of its cranium.
How practical.
                          They strung the wires
without cutting down the trees
so all along Ohio roads, on the edges
of fields and front yards, these strange heads
                I'd like to know whose pragmatic
brainchild this one was,
whose scalpel did the lobotomy,
and who forgot
first, do no harm.

First appeared in Confluence, then in Slipping Out of Bloom (WordTech Editions).

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