Sedona (A Rhupunt) Deep shadows fade Red rock cascade To purpled jade— Sun sparks ignite. Stone sentries stare Sightless through air At treadless stair Spanning the height. No mortals dare Enter the lair Or linger where Spirit meets sprite. This shrine of stone And bleached white bone Hides secrets shown In the moonlight. Tiananmen Square (A Clogyrnach) Youthful zeal fans sparks of unrest To flames as the jaded protest. They throng to the square To challenge the chair With a stare To the West. Unarmed, undeterred, they dare bring To light fervent hopes for the spring. The peaceful crusade Designed to persuade Draws the blade Of Beijing. Red tide swallows the dead and maimed, Drowns voices, erases those named. Unmoved by their fate, Cold eyes of the State Watch and wait, Unashamed. Hell’s Gate (A Clogyrnach) Restless seas of molten metal Probe for weakness in earth’s fettle. Entombed in fire dust, Tongues lick the cool crust. Liquid lust Stokes nettle. Enchantments ring the demons’ cage. A vault of ice sealed by a sage Binds chaos within, But the ice grows thin— Cracks begin Their rampage. As heedless mortals desecrate The frozen lands that guard Hell’s gate The thawing ice drips And kisses parched lips. The scale tips, But too late. Polar Night (A Rannaigheacht Ghairid) Robed in white, Specters dance with northern light. Lumbering with silent gait, A great ice bear haunts the night. Ghostly growls Ride the air with snowy owls. Shamans say she swam the sound— Her cubs drowned; her spirit prowls. Melted floes— Weariness and hunger’s throes Clawed her offspring from her paws. Her jaws snapped at faceless foes. Black of night— No ice glows in Arctic light. No titans roam this dark and Lonely land, bereft of white. Gemstones of the Desert (A Rannaigheacht Ghairid) Sun-fired stone Frames a shattered bison bone Pinned to earth by ancient lance. Diamonds dance their warning tone. Slumber’s shores— Glittering eyes close their doors. On cloudless sea, heat waves crest— Ringtails rest in cactus cores. Breathless, still— No breeze stirs the dust until Burned-out sun slides into bed, Bleeding, red, in twilight’s chill. Tongues unknown Call the moon to hold the throne. Though men search for gems to steal, Shades conceal the sun-fired stone. Elizabeth Spencer Spragins is a linguist and editor who taught in the North Carolina Community College System for more than a decade. Her academic work has been published by Edwin Mellen Press and the Association for Computing Machinery. Her reviews and articles have appeared in Ninnau and the Moravian.