Maya Khosla is a wildlife biologist and served as the Poet Laureate of Sonoma County from 2018 to 2020. Her Legacies Project brought Sonoma poets and students together in film. Her poems have been featured in documentary films, nominated for Pushcart Prizes and featured in The Literary Review, River Teeth, Poem, and other journals. Her books are All the Fires of Wind and Light, new from Sixteen Rivers Press, Web of Water: Life in Redwood Creek, a guide book, Keel Bone, which won the Dorothy Brunsman Poetry Prize, and a chapbook, Heart of the Tearing, from Red Dust Press.
*Maya featured at the Bay Area Poets Laureate Gathering & Public Reading on September 21, 2019, hosted by the San Mateo County Arts Commission and the San Mateo County Libraries, and at “Empower Women, Empower Earth: Poetry Reading & Panel Discussion” hosted by Skyline College.
For the Bay Area Poets Laureate To take you all along a path to the hairy suncup, the pink clarkia the sweet-seeking, underground dwelling, solitary bee, to the youngest, most independent bear of spring, who surprises a Sierra fox into a canter. To take you all where the undersides of stones are still wet from last year’s rains, where subterranean tunnels, full of glow-in-the-dark fungus, are where the rootwads burned all the way down, down, and the oak tissue underneath lies asleep, lies awake, half-dreaming sending messages to the beginnings of leaves in their nodes, sending chemical announcements to their neighbors, the buckeyes, and the manzanita, who are also rising from the ashes, unfurling like fists all their facets admitting light into microscopic corridors of water running new leaves. To take you all into the quiet, into the small hours of regeneration.
Copyright © 2019 by Maya Khosla. This poem was first presented at the 2019 Bay Area Poets Laureate Gathering & Public Reading at Millbrae Library. Used with permission of the author.