BIO: Amy MacLennan conducts workshops for all age groups, (fees negotiable). Travel reimbursement for readings is for economy travel. She has been published or has work forthcoming in Hayden's Ferry Review, River Styx, Cimarron Review, Linebreak, New Plains Review, Rattle, Pearl, and Folio. Her poems will be included in Eating Her Wedding Dress: A Collection of Clothing Poems (Ragged Sky Press) and Not a Muse (Haven Books). Amy has appeared at the Petaluma Poetry Walk, the San Luis Obispo Poetry Festival, the Art & Soul Festival's Oakland Literature Expo, the Sacramento Poetry Center and Cody's Books. She was awarded a 2005 Devils Tower National Monument Writer's Residency.


I don't write nature poetry.
If I open my drapes and watch
the sun dip behind sage hills,
how can I say the sun is like something,
or something else is like a sunset?
Even when I'm out in it, nature,
walking in the wetlands, maybe,
I don't feel the need.
There might be throngs of ducks
biting at water, chattering their bills,
and the sound is rain, or
from a distance, I notice
drab pelicans stock-still in the marsh,
their hulking shapes like Viking ships,
and it doesn't matter. That is no
metaphor. But sometimes
I must admit, when I'm home
and the news is on, I learn the oddity,
a mean truth. Early rains of winter
bring mushrooms, and every year two
or five or nine people (bored cooks,
amateur botanists) eat
a deathcap by mistake. It takes days,
but the toxin often wrecks the liver
before any symptoms hit.
One kind looks very like another.
This I understand.

—Amy MacLennan

first published in Gingko Tree Review