Sierra Songs & Descants:
In this collection the editors collected the strongest voices which express the two essential qualities of Sierra writers: the quirky independence of spirit, and the deep identification with the broad vistas and ever rushing waters of the mountain landscape. The anthology includes poetry, short stories, and excerpts from novels and memoirs by some of the finest contemporary writers of the West. Many of them have read in Nevada City, California, at Listening to the Wild or Wordslingers, two annual events sponsored by the non-profit organization Literature Alive, to whom profits from the anthology will be donated.
Authors whose work appears in the anthology include:
What Is the Wild Love That Leads Us?
urging us onto this trail,
weve waded into the iron cold snow
the hunt forgotten in the autumn air
beyond the prints of the small brown bear
For awhile it was two by two
Some of the first words came with a little
They hadnt been uttered yet
Their colors, some stark, like the yellows,
I would be ignorant as the dawn, Yeats said.
Not like rain, though it was raining,
in a rush
by Doc Dachtler
We stacked each other
They were light
from Magdalena in the Doorway
Magdalena in the woods, sleeping.Magdalena at the gate, laughing. Magdalena in the bath. One huge eye, Magdalenas, staring with characteristic fury. The canvases are propped at various heights before him.Reginald backs up until his heel hits the far wall of the studio and leans there, defeated. The late afternoon is thick with heat. Theres nothing to be done. He takes the thin path to the house, unbuttoning his blue shirt, letting it fly behind him in the breeze.
Magdalena is talking to a friend on the phone. She cackles and throws back her mane of black hair, but when she hears Reginald clink the glasses in the kitchen cabinet for his wine, she lowers her voice and hangs up. She appears at the doorway between the sunroom and the kitchen and watches him drink a full glass standing up, then pour another and walk to the table with the bottle, where he sits, all without looking at her.She sweeps into the dining nook and stands above him, spreads both hands face down on the table very close to his glass, his arm.He doesnt look up.
Shall we get drunk? she says in her throaty sharp voice, never any softness, any indecision. She has taught him to speak this way, too. He finally lifts his head ? she wont sit; he cranes back to meet her eyes. He looks for something in them, a smile perhaps, danger, pity. There are no secrets in her irises. She is flesh and hair and alarming beauty and open, obvious cruelty. He rises, gets another goblet, sits back down, and pours her a full glass. He pushes it across to her slowly, then raises his cup.