Sunrise Tea Kitchen Table
What call’st thou solitude, is not the Earth
With various living creatures, and the Aire
Replenisht, and all those at thy command
To come and play before thee?
—from the on-line journal of John Maestro Beloved
All night it seemed quiet
until just before the dawn
a cricket chir-chirruped
a cicada thrumsisked
a kangaroo mouse scuttled
from the cupboard across the kitchen
its tiny feet thricking on saltillo
the ceiling stretched and crackled
the wall creaked its contrapuntal answer
the saucepan boiled a bobolick bod dob
the water sisished into the mug
the teabag paflumped its belly out
the dog sasdalloped the insides
of his bowl and it claklitit the floor
the mahogany leaves rasheeted the wind
the dry leaves kashie kashied
then a jay cursed and a crow
clacked and khawed and a robin
said donde and a hummingbird
phummed its invisible wings by the feeder
and a lost goose awked above the house
a meadowlark tee tee weefee teewhee teeewheed
the rosefinches and sparrows djueed teedleeted
around the grainbowl all their songs
growing wings and flapflapping their way
into a sky stuffed already cramfull wih sound
Fugue Sunrise Tea Kitchen Table – published in Stone Wind Water, 2010, by the Black Rock Press, University of Nevada, Reno. Reprinted by permission.
David Lee was Utah’s first poet laureate. In 2001, he was the finalist-runner up for United States Poet Laureate. He is the author of two dozen volumes of poetry, including The Porcine Canticles, A Legacy of Shadows, So Quietly the Earth, Last Call and Mine Tailings.
A former seminary student and semi-pro baseball player (the only white player to ever play in the Texas Negro Leagues for the Post, Texas Blue Stars) and hog farmer, he has a PhD. with a concentration in John Milton. He taught at Southern Utah University for over three decades where he received every teaching award given by the university, including being named Professor of the Year on three occasions.
His awards include multiple fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, Western States Book Award, Mountain and Plains States Booksellers Award, Critics Choice Award, Utah Book Awards, Elkhorn Poetry Prize, Evolutionary Poem of the Year, Utah Governor’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts, Utah Governor’s Merit Award in the Humanities and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters.
The Utah Humanities Council and Utah Education Association named him one of the top 12 writers in Utah literary history and he was the 5th academic in Utah higher education to be named a Lifetime Fellow by the Utah Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retired, he scribbles and wanders rural roads and byways, all at about the same rate and pace, and maintains his intense training schedule to achieve his goal of becoming a World Class Piddler.
Founded in 2020, the Sierra Nevada Ally is a self-reliant 501c3 nonprofit publication with no paywall, a member of the Institute for Nonprofit News, offering unique, differentiated reporting, factual news, and explanatory journalism on the environment, conservation, and public policy, while giving voice to writers, filmmakers, visual artists, and performers. We rely on the generosity of our readers and aligned partners.
The Sierra Nevada Ally has been selected to receive $15,000 in matching funds from NewsMatch 2022 for our dedication to serving our residents with local news about issues that impact their lives and support civic engagement.
NewsMatch 2022 is a fundraising initiative sponsored by The Institute for Nonprofit News (INN). We are a full member of INN, one of only two such publishers in Nevada. Between November 1, 2022, and December 31, 2022, your gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar.
As an added bonus, we were also recently selected to receive additional partner matching funds to add to the 1:1 match provided by NewsMatch 2022. The Loud Hound Partner Fund awarded us these additional 1:1 matching funds to cover important civic, environmental, cultural, and political issues that impact our citizens’ lives.
Join us and triple your support of the Sierra Nevada with a gift today.
We are on a journey of steady growth and innovation. In 2023, we will expand our newsroom and launch new creative partnerships to amplify our residents’ voices and surface community members’ stories, questions, and concerns. Our goal – provide information relevant to our readers’ needs.
Support for The Sierra Nevada Ally with a gift anytime between November 1st and December 31st. Donate here.
On behalf of all of us at the Sierra Nevada Ally, thank you for your generous support.