Photograph by Retura Claar


by t.m. thomson

My garden glows with poppy
dahlia     sweet pea   a shock
of frosted lilies that wait
by the pond
red tongues singing twilight.

Petals furl and unfurl
tendrils hanging down
curling up and over
each other like a mob
under a scarce sun.

Between stems spider webs
bloom and gleam
fine white tips to center.

Here I am sovereign and servant—
I tend flowers    dig     plant     water
sweat for their sweetness
so that I may sit among them
on a loamy throne
dreaming skyward
having left room for gossamer skeins
to spin and stretch
up to the budding moon.


About the photographer: Retura Claar is a designer, visual artist, and emerging writer based in the beautiful Eastern Sierra. In her free time she explores remote peaks and canyons across the West. Through poetry and photography she captures the impact of climate change on these wild places. Retura has shown illustrations in Denver, and her poetry has appeared in Humana Obscura. Her photograph also is the cover photo on the Fall/Winter 2021 issue of Humana Obscura. Retura took the photo above, “Blue Aura” on a Holga 120 film camera, during a winter stroll in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco; the blue light leak above new blooms resembled a portal to another world. (Find Retura on Instagram @returaclaar and on the web at