Poem Up at The Field Guide

Thanks to Editor Amanda Marrero, The Field Guide has published my poem “A Wash is Not a Riverbed.” This poem is about the wash that runs right past my house. I think this poem would have fit in Rooted and Winged.

The poem is in six sections. Here is the first one:

From overhead see a route
on an intuitive map. Scriven in earth, etched with blood and spoor.
The route is wash.
The wash is map.

A kingsnake slides its stripes
across the arroyo
in the way that a T is crossed to finish the planet. It tastes the chemical scent of its prey.

The stubbling of grasses amid stones optimistic in the hollow. We wish for custom monsoons
a steady large-drop rain and little wind.


These photos of our wash show the gates we had to put up (with permission) because the javelinas were too destructive and dangerous. But all the other animals get through.

Happy Passover if you celebrate. Happy Easter if you celebrate. Ramadan Mubarak if you celebrate.

My zoom solo poetry reading is Saturday at 5PM eastern and you are invited! https://writersite.org/2023/03/27/an-invitation-to-my-first-zoom-solo-poetry-reading-and-other-stuff/


Filed under #poetrycommunity, art journaling, Literary Journals, Poetry, Publishing

29 responses to “Poem Up at The Field Guide

  1. Congratulations! I had to look up a few things. I didn’t know what a wash or a javelina was. You have a different environment there. Interesting (at least while they are not ravishing my stuff!). We have deer here that eat a lot.

    • So different from where I come from, too, in Michigan. I love deer! We do not have deer, at least not near us. We have bobcats and coyotes, rabbits, lizards, snakes, and lots of birds, both songbirds and predators like hawks and owls. But the javelinas eat every newish cactus, all the flowers, etc. Very expensive! And they get more and more bold. They can really hurt a person in certain cases, but they just hate dogs. So if you have a dog it’s very dangerous. Son and DIL and their dog are living with us right now . . . .

  2. Congratulations, Luanne! I’ve seen the wash doing its job during your monsoon season. The volume and force of the rainwater is frightening.

  3. Luanne, I am stealing your Happy greetings – I wasn’t sure what was appropriate to use. Thanks!!

  4. Congratulations, Luanne! Your poem is beautiful. I didn’t have a clear picture about washes so I looked it up. It’s a shallow river, or a dry creek and may have water for a few hours in a long while. In Arizona, a wash is linear. It’s lovely there’s a wash next door to you.

  5. It looks like a fascinating habitat!

  6. Congratulations, Luanne! I understood “wash,” but it’s not a context I’d ever think of, and no one around here would understand it.

    • I had no idea of what a wash was before Arizona either.Not even when I lived in California.

      • I feel like maybe I’d read it long ago in some Tony Hillerman novels. Certainly the concept.

        • Have you read many of those? Many years ago, I delivered a paper at a popular culture conference in Albuquerque (an animal rights perspective on animals in children’s literature) and Tony Hillerman was the keynote speaker. That was really fun! I was still in grad school so you know it was a long time ago haha.

          • I read them a long time ago, too. I thought of the books recently because there was a TV series based on them. My dad really loved the books, and once wrote a letter to Tony Hillerman–and he wrote back. I have the letter somewhere . . .
            I think maybe his daughter took over writing the series, which seemed strange to me.

  7. I love the pictures and the start of your poem! I would love to write more, but I need to go see the rest of the poem…… 🏃

  8. I am not on FB, but would like to attend your Zoom reading, Luanne.

    Congratulations on the acceptance! I enjoyed the poem very much.

  9. Congratulations on your publication! I just read the poem in its entirety. It gave me a real “feel” for the wash. I attended a Zoom presention on field guild poetry a while back given by physician poet Kelley Jean White. Her book is A Field Guide to Northern Tatoos. (I bought the book, and now I need to read it!)

  10. Wonderful imagery.

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