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Travis Stephens


Travis Stephens is a tugboat captain who resides with his family in California. A graduate of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, recent credits include: Gyroscope Review, 2river, Prime Number Magazine, Sheila-Na-Gig, Hole In The Head Review, Miletus, and The Dead Mule School Of Southern Literature.



There is little mystery
in the dark cold of late
Even in California
cold rises from the earth.
Three days of rain have
encamped for the mountains.
There is a hope
of sunshine tomorrow
longer days ahead
and patience
always patience.
Geese have landed
in pools within fields
to snap at left grain like
misers set loose in a vault.
Vees of others pass over,
exchange insults or pleasantries
or both while a footsore
young coyote measures
the growing shore.
This is an artificial lake;
it will not last through summer.
Her hunger, though, is real.
The errant breeze regales
her with the scent of geese,
tadpole and distance between.

Sky breaks open,
a cloud grazes, ambles on…
In the pasture of sky
from Sonoma Mountain
to the headlands
a roundup has begun.
No branding irons needed
no horses to ride
just watch
the cloud hands gather
tally, corral grey mares.
They mill,
flick tails in annoyance.

Restless, dangerous
All is on pause,
the rain falling
and more to come.
Roots break from the
mud to catch a breath.
An egret stands at the edge,
patient, poking
into the blanket silence
so easily broken.

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