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Soterion Garden 2008
63”x 63”
by John Babcock

Photo by Linda Babcock

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Gary Young


She stared at the old woman staggering across the street, and said, don’t ever let me get like that; put a pillow over my face. She turned to her daughter, and said, oh, you’d never do it. Then her eyes lit up, and she said, your husband might.


Deer fern and bracken rise from the scorched earth where last year’s fire raged, a green tide lapping at the charred remains of the pines and manzanita. It’s promise and renewal, but in the moonlight, all a ghostly ash.



One day past the solstice, trees obscured by mist, today shorter than yesterday, tomorrow shorter than today, gnats are in a frenzy above the hollyhocks, woodpeckers pound at the redwood’s dusty bark, and new fruit swells on the persimmon tree.



Tiny moths appear and vanish, reappear, and vanish a moment later. There is a shaft of light striking them from above, or the moths have found a way to travel between worlds.

Gary Young is a poet and artist whose honors include grants from the NEH, the California Arts Council, and two fellowship grants from the NEA. He’s received a Pushcart Prize, and his book, The Dream of a Moral Life, won the James D. Phelan Award. He is the author of Hands, Days, Braver Deeds, (Peregrine Smith Poetry Prize), No Other Life, (William Carlos Williams Award), Pleasure, and Even So: New and Selected Poems. His print work is represented in collections including the Museum of Modern Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum and The Getty Center for the Arts. In 2009 he received the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America. He teaches creative writing, and directs the Cowell Press at UC Santa Cruz.

Wallace J Nichols
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Gary Young
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John Babcock

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