The Outdoor Poet: Monika Rose

From the Gold Country poet Monika Rose, "Deer in The Road" and "Lizard."

Deer in the Road

A doe flashes through the brush
stops, ears raised, and
point blank stares at me

I brake and stop dead
only a few feet away,
engine off,
—a cord

I call out her deer name
through the open window
addressing that verdant desire
to speak in animal tongue
and meld into lush overgrowth

She listens intently
her ears flicker
eyes darken
nostrils flare

She resumes nibble
of scrub oak shoots
for what must be
my benefit, to put me at ease
as if to say, “I forgive you
your trespasses.”

I start the car and she nimbly
shows off her back side
blends into brush
without a backward glance at the place
where near-accident and nature join



I am ready for the solitude
the peace of the forest
I, alone,
on a rock.

Bring back my lizard self,
in this world of move.

My stillness is also
the rock against the wind
flung in abandon.

I land, now,
a rock.

I could become
a bird.


Giving myself to
the stone
I am a lost lizard

The blink becomes
a forgotten art.

My tail moves round
the circle
of still.

About the Writer Monika Rose, writing in the Mother Lode foothill region of Calaveras County, California, edits the Manzanita: Poetry and Prose of the Mother Lode and Sierra series of anthologies with a new anthology due out in Spring 2014 called Wine, Cheese and Chocolate: A Taste of Literary Elegance from Manzanita Writers Press, a nonprofit literary publisher, which she founded, serving as director and editor. She teaches high school and college English in the Central Valley, with a Masters Degree in English, and lives in the foothills of Calaveras County on a small cattle ranch. She has been published in Tule Review, Rattlesnake Review, Poetry Now, Mindprint Review, Squaw Valley Review, The Journal, Refrigerate After Opening, Mokehillion Review, Your Daily Poem, and Yosemite Poets, among other publications. Her collection of poems, River by the Glass, by GlenHill Publications, is available from her web site and from Small Press Distribution, and from Amazon as a print book and an eBook, as well as from the publisher. Currently, she is writing a humorous thriller—a novel about surveillance and voyeurism—and working on a historical novel based on her parents’ WWII stories in Europe. Contact her at or at her web site

The Outdoor Poet is edited by Robert Sward, author of numerous books of poetry including, most recently, New and Selected Poems: 1957-2011 (Red Hen Press). He lives on the Westside with his wife, the artist Gloria Alford, and a poodle mix named Cosette. Participation in The Outdoor Poet is by invitation.

Photo by Dwight Burdette

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