Maxine Landis is a Los Angeles poet. She wrote this poem on a ski trip to Mammoth, California. Her poems have been published in over 100 anthologies: ONTHEBUS, San Fernando Poetry Journal, Voices,Volno, Sure, Earthbound, Earthwords, Retooling for the Renaissance in the Third Millennium, Spillway, Blood Pudding, Struggle, Calif Poets in the Schools, Women Writer's West, Satori Press, National Library of Poetry, Editor's Award, Quill, Sparrowgrass, and many others. She is a Veteran California Poet in the Schools, a member of the American Academy of Poets, PSA, SCBWI, L.A. Collective, California State Poetry Society, Southwest Manuscripters, and others. B.A. Antioch, Grad Work CSULB & Davis. When not teaching she operates a part time business called HIRE A POET. She writes original poems for any occasion, including weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, love poems, retirement, and corporate poems. She recently wrote a poem for the Manhattan Beach Chamber which was published in their newspaper.
Here in Bishop one can see for miles the green hills
and the snow covered slopes of the Sierras
on one side, and Panamints, Death Valley range on the other.
It is countrified here,
Old towns reflect the days of early California.
where Native Americans once roamed the hills
on horseback, women wove baskets.
Today, only the indian museum remains.
Later, the Alabama hills in Lone Pine,
were where old cowboy western
films were made, now ghost towns.
Mary Austin's house still sits quietly
surrounded by a white picket fence
a garden of blooms in Independence.
Landmark old Winnamuck Hotel still stands.
Once dignitaries of fame and fortune came,
now wrestling to survive the ninnies nineties as a B & B.
The old buildings reflect the cultures
of Native Americans and the "Old West."
One can still see cows, sheep, mules,
horses and ranches. Peaceful acres,
but underneath these Mammoth mountains and valleys
where people ski, camp, fish, and hunt lies
philosophies of the red necks, the gun shops,
the old isolationist theories of Americans,
who came here and are born of the blood and sweat
of other ancestries as farm labor from Mexico or Asia.
They who build up this country, European roots,
own and tend the land, now want to keep out,
deport, and send home their own ancestors.
Hybrids as mixed as the wildflowers.
There are fissures, cracks, where old glaciers
and volcanic ash lie, not as dormant as they appear.
For it is this dichotomy of both man and nature
that seethe under these mountains
and valleys between the Sierra Nevada's
eastern ranges and the Panamints
wildflowers, dunes, minerals and salts
that causes arid deserts and fertile fields
to grow both weeds and wildflowers.
All text and images in The Central California Poetry Journal are copyrighted. Copyright by © by Scott Galloway 1996. All rights are reserved. See main Journal page for
Authors and poets submitting original materials to this journal retain all rights to their original work, except those rights specifically assigned in writing to Solo Publications including the right to publish the submitted work in The Central California Poetry Journal. The poems on this page are copyrighted by the author.
Copyright © Maxine Landis 1996.
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