Trail Center logo

Theme: Trails and the ADA

Trails and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The Universal Trails Assessment Process

A Man with a Handcycle

Building Access

Other Features

Trail Center and Wilderness Press Join Efforts

A Short Hike with a Great View

Wild Lit

Note from the Literary Editor

Violet-Green Swallows - Maya Khosla

Autumn - Brenda Gunn

Haiku - Patricia Dove Miller


Park News

Trail Center Notes

Upcoming Events

Volunteer Opportunities with the Trail Center

The Trail Companion

Fall 1999

Wild Lit

Violet-Green Swallows

     by Maya Khosla

Swallow, the word like a pebble
dropped straight into water.
Yet their shapes fit to taste insects, sleep,
and each others' high gurgling,
all mid-glide.
One streak of white like a star
on the night of their bodies,
they are otherwise too fast for color,
swooping to weft dwellings,
their homemade bags of earthen pulp
woven in stringy glue.

Not having stitched for a long time,
one of my silk shirts stays ripped,
half done-
so I can only be stunned
by their urgent, needle precision:

plunging, the thready winds pulled after them
to gather slush-packed mud, pond-reed, more mud.
I know this one thing about diligence
about its gloss turned into speed
where wings wipe the fledgling air currents
with a warmth, closer to the bones
than hope is.

Mouths stuffed
the swallows hover the attic's outer face
to sew up their dark, muddy grips
squeezing out the chill, the stiff light-
enough space to fit a whole season of yearlings
cracked shells and all.

     Maya Khosla is currently a writer-in-residence with the California Poets in the Schools program. Trained as an ecologist, Maya is interested in the interdisciplinary interaction between restoration, ecology, creativity, and art. Her poems have appeared in Raw Seed Review, Freshwater Poems, and Wild Duck Review, as well as a new poetry manuscript, Edge Effects.

© 1999 Maya Khosla. Reprinted by permission.

Trail Center logo
Copyright © Trail Center. All rights reserved.

Please contact the Web Manager for corrections or comments.