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[Poetry] Two Poems by John Hansen

Solitary in Des Moines County


Early spring, a copper swallows

the outlines of clouds,

horizontal light plunges

amid boughs of splayed douglas fir

and engulfs its trunk.

Starlings chatter in trees above

flutter in and out of smoky heights

of hickories and cypresses, fen smells

of sodden forest, undergrowth

dulled black by runoff:

the waste that feeds the fern.





March at last wakes up

Like a lazy leopard,


itching for motion,


and arching its back

before it strives over the winter.





John Hansen received a BA in English from the University of Iowa and an MA in English literature from Oklahoma State University. His work has appeared in The Summerset Review, Schuylkill Valley Journal, Litro Magazine, Wild Roof Journal, The Banyan Review, Drunk Monkeys, Midway Journal, Cathexis Northwest Press, and elsewhere. He has presented on a variety of topics at The Modern Language Association, The National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development, The Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC—Regional), The American Comparative Literature Association, The Midwest Conference on British Studies, The Symposium on Medieval and Renaissance Studies, and others. He is English faculty at Mohave Community College in Arizona. Read more at


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