Danielle Hanson

Building a Mountain


Piling rocks isn’t so hard.  You do the same thing

One wheelbarrow after another.

The dirt comes for free as the rocks settle.

Maybe jump on them a few times to be certain.

The paths are there from the wheelbarrow tracks.

Simple, really.  And once it’s tall enough,

By God, some creature will start to live on it.

I mean, something has to decide

This side is as good as the other.

And the birds, trying to make it over the crest,

Will occasionally drop a fruit, or at least a seed

Of something.  Clouds will get caught on the edges

And tear.  Wa-la—springs and streams!  Really,

The only difficulty is finding the wheelbarrow.


A Charm


Gather up the cobwebs in your hands;

Throw them in the pile.  The wind

Is full of men today, even though it feels

We’re alone.  Strike a match

To burn off the fog, turn it

Into smoke, enlist all the senses.

The wind will turn and march away.




Days so hot even the earth seems

To turn away from the sun and say enough.

Nights that proposition you for something

Indecent, then stalk you day after day,

Hot breath in the shadows.  We are in the ruins

Of Heaven, the pillaged home of cast-off gods.

Only the wind holds its breath.




Danielle Hanson received her MFA from Arizona State University.  She is author of Fraying Edge of Sky (Codhill Press Poetry Prize, 2018) and Ambushing Water (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2017).  Her work has appeared in over 50 journals.  She is Poetry Editor for Doubleback Books, and has edited Loose Change Magazine and Hayden’s Ferry ReviewDaniellejhanson.com.

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