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 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.