. Night Verses The airy rush of thoughts today The evening breeze has whisked away. The wind that spoke to me in wings Has flown and left old, scattered things. Some small and faint discarded words Remain like fragile bones of birds. I gather letters from the ground, Recall their lofty flight and sound. I turn their verses rune by rune To lines beneath the harvest moon. Revived, deciphered bird I know I’ll hold a moment, then let go. . . The Hills and Hours Hills in layers. Hills upon the hills In grays and blues that overlap, broad strokes Of paint. The hum of depth and distance fills This world of roses, granite, herons, oaks. ____The need for pressed, accustomed places kills ____In time. Nostalgia smolders. Memory smokes. ____Our thoughts drift up, away, and dissipate. ____In quiet kitchens we sit, still, and wait. The language of the hills is heard in grass, And spoken, too, by leaves, owls, ferns, and toads. It’s scrawled on streams, wind-etched on lakes of glass, And found engraved in rock as land erodes. ____And while these living phrases pass ____In lotic, lentic, and tectonic codes ____We might decipher if we’d travel deep, ____We tilt our heads to silent dreams, and sleep. Palimpsestic—as the old for new gives way— The hills in folds provide a place to learn That things emerge as even some decay, As do the flames from ash when seasons burn. ____Yet we in kitchens of each passing day ____Ignore those landscapes we can’t quite discern. ____And sit, and wait, for hours upon the hours, ____Flat, still lifes: small vases of cut flowers. . . Brian Palmer is managing editor of the literary journal, THINK. He earned his MFA in Creative Writing-Poetry Concentration at Western Colorado University. He lives in Grand Junction, Colorado.