Prophesies & Fire and Rain


The white blossoms fallen to the furrow
rise again and swirl on March breeze past
branches bearing the green buds of plums.
The high egret circling beats an angel’s

ivory wings. Wind or morsel dropped by
passing bird planted the seed sprouting
the mulberry – purple berries and dense
shadow paint darkly the house’s green

roof. Solitude made a sculpture, cobweb
a shroud for the silent doorbell. After rain
among the mock orange’s emerald leaves
suspended gauze sheets of spiders’ silk

dip, nets below a circus high wire. Spiral
of entangled shadows – attack and retreat.
A crow fends off blackbirds, fighters and
lone bomber in the courtyard’s stone sky.



Fire and Rain

The April green hills have disappeared,
only a pilot with radar can find their slopes
and crests through blue rain clouds settled
just above the city’s rooftops. I imagine

waves are brown where clay soil washes
to the sea. Fifty years ago chains of great
storms scoured creeks and banks, six miles
of fallen trees and limbs lined the crescent

bay. Yellow caterpillars piled driftwood
high as the Chinese Wall until men started
flames to clear the beaches, the night air
for a week hot with red coals. The scarlet

curve etched under black sky and old stars
from Morro Rock to Cayucos whispered
Troy was burning, soon our world would
end in ash, but it was just the fire and rain.


Projected Letters is a literary magazine dedicated to publishing the best new and established writing from around the world.


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 nominations in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016. His poems received a 2014 Pushcart nomination, Sharkpack Review’s 2014 Prospero Prize, and 2015 and 2016 Best of the Net nominations.