In Santa Barbara County

In a field stolen between those mountains, poppies,
flaming in dusk, beg to be worshipped.

The mountains bristle, egos too fragile in all this heavy light,
this light tactile, full as a peony pregnant with color
and about to break open.

The mountains hang in a picture over the bed—no, a window—
and rosemary in the garden, a prickly kind of grace.

I hardly know how to name it all—the high water mark etched into shale,
the scrub on the mountain, that sweet-faced little flower
crowding the road north—

oxalis, it’s called—there—oxalis.
It is a stone I roll in my mouth to ease the sensation of thirst.

Ellene Glenn Moore is a writer living in sunny South Florida. Her poetry and prose have appeared or are forthcoming in Best New PoetsPoetry NorthwestFjords ReviewCaliban, and elsewhere, and her chapbook The Dark Edge of the Bluff is forthcoming from Green Writer’s Press. Find her at

Photo credit: Luke Eshleman

Photo credit: Luke Eshleman