Poems by Nels Hanson

Author Bio: Nels Hanson grew up on a small farm in the San Joaquin Valley of California 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. Poems appeared in Word Riot, Oklahoma Review, Pacific Review, and other magazines and received Sharkpack Review Annual’s 2014 Prospero Prize and a 2014 Pushcart nomination.



The girl who played the cloud

turned grey and flew on a fierce

wind to block the yellow sun.

She thundered, gold bolts shot

from her shoulders. With falling

hands and moving fingers she

rained until she was pure fleece

in a blue sky. Flowers sprouted

and bloomed at her feet, robins

sang now as she bowed within

a rainbow’s arch, the audience

wild for an encore of weather.

The Pasture

The child bid kind goodnight

to ragged animals beside his

pillow, careful to offer equal

love – two bears, small panda

oldest, gold lion, spotted dog –

so all in sleep knew they were

safe and made a ring of justice

for stars with flashing manes

circling a green roof as Earth

turned on its silver pole rising

from dark pasture where vast

herds of dreams were grazing.



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