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Cynthia Anderson

Cynthia Anderson has published 11 poetry books, most recently a collection of haiku and senryu titled Full Circle (Cholla Needles Press, 2022) and Arrival (Sheila-Na-Gig Editions, 2023). Her poems appear frequently in journals and anthologies, and her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. She has lived in California for over 40 years.

The Book of Living and Dying

—Big Bear, California

It’s a volume with no secrets,
left open on the mountainside
for all to read—young firs
push through undergrowth
of ferns and weeds, parents
tower over progeny, downed
ancestors slowly vanish among
crumbling piles of granite.
It’s a manuscript illuminated
with brilliant color—the green
of the just-born, ruddy bark
of prime movers, bleached white
of stripped trunks, backsides
of boulders rife with lime and
orange lichens. It’s a legend
the wind knows by heart,
told through upright branches
in the oral tradition. We hear
but crave a different ending—
one where we might prevail,
or dare say to the sky, Not yet.

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