Origin Stories – Yvonne Zipter

Origin Stories
    by Yvonne Zipter

    Across the world, there’s a war going on,
    the latest in a long line of self-important
    potentates who believe the world
    belongs to them, destroying what they
    mean to keep, taking lives like pennies
    at the convenience store register.

    But life is as hungry as death. Lupine
    flowers, cunningly wolfish, sprout
    from fissures in rocks and patches
    of thin soil. The tender pennons tremble
    in the breeze but do not give way.

    Woolly bear caterpillars will find green
    however harsh the terrain, red crust
    lichen secure themselves to the most barren
    of rocks, and even scallops, gone for billions
    of years, seem to want to fly, their fluted
    fossilized shells embedded in scabrous rock
    and looking very much like feathered wings.

    And I—when my body was at war
    with my body—I let them carve
    a trail, red as any red crust lichen,
    up and over the sloping foothill
    of my belly for some brass ring—
    a chance to win a few more years.

Origin Stories – Tenacity

When I first heard of the video anthology Tales from the Trail, whose mission is to use poetry combined with nature videos to inspire folks to have their own encounters with nature, I was immediately intrigued. I’ve always had a love of nature, which has only grown stronger over the years. In addition, the challenge of writing a poem inspired by footage of a particular landscape captivated me. On viewing images of the Caliente Mountain Trail in California, I was struck by the fact that, even though the landscape seemed harsh, life continued to flourish there. With the war in Ukraine having recently started, connecting this kind of perseverance to the Ukrainian people seemed an obvious choice. The poem quickly flowed from there. When I had completed it, the editors at Tales from the Trail adapted video of the landscape to coincide with my poem, which was then read by an actor.

Website – yvonne-zipter.com

Gyroscope Review Spring 2023 Issue Now Available

Previous Origin Stories

April 1 – Wanda Praisner

April 2 – Howard Lieberman

April 3 – L. Shapley Bassen

April 4 – Sharon Scholl

April 5 – Stellasue Lee

April 6 – Jeanne DeLarm

April 7 – Virginia Smith

April 8 – Patricia Ware

April 9 – Mary Makofske

April 10 – Ann Wallace

April 11 – Jessica Purdy

April 12 – Lakshman Bulusu

April 13 – Kim Malinowski

April 14 – Anita Pulier

April 15 – Martha Bordwell

April 16 – Anastasia Walker

April 17 – Annette Sisson

April 18 – Shaheen Dil

April 19 – Claudia Reder

April 20 – Cathy Thwing

April 21 – Sarah Snyder

April 22 – Susan Barry-Schultz

April 23 – Laurie Kuntz

April 24 – Maryann Hurtt

Previous NPM celebrations from Gyroscope Review

Let the Poet Speak! 2022

Promopalooza 2021

Poet of the Day 2020

Poets Read 2019

National Poetry Month Interview Series 2018

Book Links Party 2017

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About National Poetry Month

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