Manzano Mountain Review is an online New Mexico literary journal affiliated with UNM-Valencia.

         Two Poems

by Karen Petersen


Once fixed by the land's wide embrace
of softening dunes
and gritty sea shrubs,
we now drift amid a watery prairie
of kelp and weed
as our boat slowly parts
the rolling curve of a wave.
Lost in the rhythm,
an old man drifts off to sleep
as laughing voices and crying gulls
haunt the grey-misted air of his dreams.

Dazed by the sun's relentless glare
we hopefully watch
the white, glittering horizon,
the far billowing clouds.
So restless, we are suddenly released
as birds circle overhead,
pointing the way
towards the feel of the steady brown earth,
waiting to mound and surrender
beneath the curve
of our fragile, uneasy step.

Dragon Lily

In the garden like floating ghosts
lilies sway in the breeze
scent drifting
like a promised dream of seduction.

Honey-laden rich narcotic
redolent of smokey Burmese temples
this lily arches from the vase
white petals unfolding.

A thousand yearnings
come to me in the evening’s dark,
lit with fireflies crossing the rising moon,
impermanent and lovely.
Karen Petersen, adventurer, photojournalist and writer, has traveled the world extensively, publishing both nationally and internationally in a variety of publications. Most recently, she was published in Pilgrimage Magazine and The Saranac Review in the USA, Antiphon in the UK and A New Ulster in Northern Ireland. In 2015, she read "In Memory of W.B. Yeats" at the Yeats Festival in Santa Fe, New Mexico and the KGB Bar in NYC. Her poems have been translated into Persian and Spanish. She holds a B.A. in Philosophy and Classics from Vassar College and an M.S. from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.