A writer, poet, and educator, Sterling Warner’s poetry and fiction have appeared in dozens of international literary magazines, journals, and anthologies, including In the Grove, the Flatbush Review,Street Lit: Representing the Urban Landscape,American Mustard,Chaffey Review,Leaf by Leaf, The Atherton Review, Metamorphoses, and The Scarlet Leaf Review. Warner also has published four collections of poetry: Without Wheels, ShadowCat, Edges, and Rags and Feathers—as well as a chapbook: Memento Mori Redux. Warner currently lives and writes in Union, WA and is working on a collection of fiction.
Notre Dame 2019 —Remembering the Notre Dame Fire
Circular rose windows refract light, Frame intricate stain glass patterns, People, pageants and passion plays; Webbed, multiple compartments border, Link, reinforce elegant arched ribs, as Flying buttresses support the main vault.
8,000 organ pipes silently scream an alarm; Fiercely, flickering flames engulf the Medieval Catholic Cathedral, vulnerable sanctuary, Spire, oak frame, and lead roof collapse while Solemn Gargoyle rainspouts glare through smoke, Powerless to squelch the architectural inferno. Victor Hugo acclaimed Notre Dame’sa “symphony in stone;” The regal, resilient, religious fortress defiantly endured when French Revolutionaries desecrated, defaced and destroyed Holy icons, replacing idolatry with “Liberty’s Altar,” The Cult of Reason’s depraved, licentious aesthetic, Doomed to devote Christian imagery rising from history’s ashes.
The Gothic inspired, spiritual domicile—a popular Poor people’s book—depicted vivid sculptures illustrating Biblical tales for illiterate parishioners—witnessed Joan of Arc canonized, saw Napoleon crowned Emperor. Notre Dame’s scorched glass windows subsist, its 13th century charred façade stands, Quasimodo’s bell towers remain intact, the Crown of Thornes sits safely.
Vanguard Reverse —Boulder Creek Recollection
Crawling along the manzanita bush pathway Stiff, twisting branches tearing, torturing Blisters shaped like Scandinavian ruins, My back, bloody and bleached by the sun As I slither into a shaded solace, greeted by Grove upon grove of grand redwood trees Traversing the hillside, bypassing burls, moving Down the forest’s face, leading to a road where Row after row of iridescent ear abalone Their convex armor housing inner layers of Mother-of pearl reflecting and refracting tinted sunrays, Dull exterior shells rounded with three spirals Clutch the silicate sandstone grade where lonely winds Whisper, ghostly voices emerge, and the soothing sound of Crashing waves along with drifting tides seem to surge Back and forth, softly then loudly, dusk through dawn.
Breakwater: Santa Cruz
Beleaguered, Mother Nature Silently sits before Opening languid lungs, Confessing an Empty heart to All who will listen, Fulfilling her unbridled Appetite for life and love-- Tinged with penitent remorse Words passing through Thick, pouty lips even Angelina Jolie would envy Sing “on and on, on and on,” Under brilliant celestial bodies That appear as if they’d been Drawn and quartered Every half hour, each Twinkle turning into itself, fast Becoming pressed crystal, then Simply cosmic dust that Falls between moonlit, Granite crags where Hermit crabs scramble over Summer’s barnacle blankets.
Lion & Dragon Dancers
Chinese New Year, Traditional celebration, Lion dancers blink eyes As large as beach balls Expose furry jaws, Accept Red Envelopes and Various other gifts, Make way for the Dragon Dancers—a dozen plus Legs shaking Lung’s yellow Bold back arching Acrobatic arms raising Majestically Lifting a torso on poles; Dragon head Animated cranium nodding, Mouth opening, Speaking in cryptic voices While skilled acrobats Twist and turn its long Segmented, serpentine body, Adorned in spark throwing fireworks, Tail keeping time to strong, Steady drum beats, Encircling the pillar with Angular, rhythmic movements, Cavorting, Gamboling, Capering Mixing Cloud Cave, Whirlpool, and Threading the Money dance patterns, Projecting dignity, fertility, and power, Leaving me a spectator rather than a Participant as my sweetheart teases The dragon seeking wisdom by Chasing a pearl—symbolic Ball on a stick-- Zig-zagging Out of emotion, Out of reach, Out of love, Out of luck.
Tangled mass of diverse, commingling manes Liberated from a baroque maze of