Maya Khosla

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 ReviewRiver TeethPoem, 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.

Ecopoem

CAMISSONIA RISING

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.