Muir Woods


A Steller’s jay, its crest by darkness

singed, led the way from oak to oak up

trail to a sequoia filled valley

where shadows slowly gave way to detail.


A creek glistened faintly. Unstilled

by shade, insects droned, birds cawed.

A banana slug shimmered as it

crossed the narrow hillside path.


Everywhere, fire’s char and burn—a long slash

of black scabbed bark, a hollowed out

trunk base, a ring of redwoods sprung from roots

that survived some lightning blasted tree’s


fiery end. No wonder they twist

and writhe as they climb skyward; sway and lunge

into dusk’s waves of mist, the cool,

damp fog intoxicating them so.


Nick Conrad’s poetry has appeared widely in literary journals, including Alaska Quarterly Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, Blueline, Borderlands, Crab Creek Review, Kansas Quarterly, The Literary Review, Pacific Review, Potomac Review, Seattle Review, Southern Poetry Review, Tar River Poetry, Texas Literary Review, The Times Literary Supplement, Wisconsin Review, and others.

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