Seed Pot

Seed corn, broodmare, hen:
Half the earth is green,
half brown. Man must plan

for planting in spring
to live    off the land,
must harvest the rain

to nurture his young,
must save enough grain
to reap what is sown

from pots shaped like cones
with holes, held in hand
to shake kernels one

at a time till done.
For some seeds are blown,
some wither,     some drown,

some fields go barren,
some vines bear no beans,
some squash never crown.

Half the earth is born,
half lies underground.
For life to go on

we parse what is grown
or raised on our land.
Hen, broodmare, seed corn


Years That Ask Questions

      “There are years that ask questions

      and years that answer.”

            -Zora Neale Hurston  

What do I want at the start of the year?
Frozen crab apples clinging to the tree.
Everything I wish for is right here—

fresh snow on the ground, sky crisp and clear
as my dog and I walk the property.
What I want at the start of the new year

is yellow cholla blossoms to appear
as tiny suns among the greenery.
Everything I wish for is right here,

like the coyote pup that knows no fear
as he sits and watches my dog and me.
This is what I want to start the new year—

common ravens squawking as they swoop near,
scrub jays feeding on juniper berries—
everything I wish for is right here.

I don’t care if the weather is severe,
at home I’ll warm myself with hot green tea.
All that I want at the start of the year—
everything I wish for—is right here.


Wayne Lee ( is a Canadian/American who lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he works as an educator and journalist. Lee’s poems have appeared in Tupelo Press, The New Guard, Sliver of Stone, Slipstream, The Floating Bridge Anthology, Conversations Across Borders and other publications. He won the 2012 Mark Fischer Poetry Prize and the 2012 SICA Poems for Peace Award, has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and three Best of the Net awards.

These poems are among the entries for the Society of Classical Poets’ 2012 Poetry Competition.


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