Clade Song 5 Banner
Clade Song Left

Clade Song 5

Not Alone

Late night glancing from an old book
arguing the universe is kind I noticed

nearly slanting sideways and flaring
out above a roof a shooting star and

sensed from farthest planet one ship
receiving a dire command rocketed

through 10,000 galaxies to reach us.
Three falling yellow leaves suggest

in darkness underground our distant
first relatives keep tunneling to save

evolved mankind. In an ocean trench
deep as Alps are high a once perfect

drowned city decays while survivors
breathing with aqualung or gradually

adapted gills ascend to tell the story
of lost Atlantis. Hourly we decipher

from literature, shedding maple trees,
comber breaking, pure trumpet notes

of Louis Armstrong an angel’s secret
code, brave order to abandon heaven.
Just as soldiers descend rope ladders
to rocking shore-bound landing craft

spirits ride light waves from a worried
sun. Their armies rush to relieve Red

Cross and serve the seven continents’
hurt and failing in tents of houses and

apartment towers. That sudden chorus
of crickets sings the animals converse

in a pale meadow, the forest clearing
where wounded deer lay down white

bones. They listen, nod, speak in turn
as all divine one desperate daring plan

with odds of rescue like soaring spire
of swaying Babel and dip wide antler,

beak and fang, feathered crest, scaled
brow to close inhuman eyes in prayer.

Clade Song 5 Right

Nels Hanson grew up on a small farm south of Fresno in the San Joaquin Valley of California, before there was smog and each day the High Sierras appeared within a hand’s reach at the end of Mountain View Avenue. He earned degrees from UC Santa Cruz and the U of Montana and has worked as a farmer, teacher and contract writer/editor. His fiction received the San Francisco Foundation’s James D. Phelan Award and Pushcart Prize nominations in 2010, 12, and 2014. Stories have appeared in Antioch Review, Black Warrior Review, Southeast Review and other journals, and poems in Word Riot, Oklahoma Review, Pacific Review and other magazines. Poems were nominated for 2014 Pushcart Prizes and awarded the Sharkpack Review Annual's 2014 Prospero Prize.




deer moth sparrow sparrow sparrow frog spider spider spider spider spider rat rat rat rat