D.E. Steward

Amber white is a pale yellow green stronger than smoke gray
Or Nile and lighter than oyster gray in a lighter shade of pale
In Mexico’s 1600s viceregal court Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
Argued spectacularly for the freedom to be left alone to write 
Unsaid that ordinary people seek the company of their fellows
Her Redondillas contra-cleric for all women”Yo, la peor de todas
The reasoning goes that tales have always been told that plot
Feeds the existential maw with wads of intense lyrical narrative     
Privet a grayish olive green greener and weaker than ivy green
Indigo blue roller map vines of the Congo the Niger the Nile
Chalk dust felt erasers cloakroom outhouses potbellied stove 
One teacher for all start with first move serially to the eighth
After the Pledge and the lower-forty-eight and the world map
Point them out capital of Idaho capital of Norway the Rhine
One ol’ cat in recess teasing learning dirty words grabbing girls
Automatically sexist patriotic imperial inculcatory lessons
Sor Juana Inés suffered them before there were alternatives
The Red Sea at Massawa to Lake Manyara the Masai Steppe
Now almost within the normal ken familiar as say Baltimore
Almost terra incognita on our big linen world map before    


D. E. Steward writes serial month-to-month “months” in a project, Chroma, now in its twenty-fifth year. Nearly two hundred of the months are out in literary magazines. Shorter poetry appears in the same manner. A literary magazine writer with one trade paperback novel, Contact Inhibition, and one poetry collection, Torque, he plans to continue Chroma ad infinitum.  Google or Bing “d e steward poetry” for more than you want to know. 

“The front porch of Chilao Hotshot Camp headquarters in California’s San Gabriel Range, talking with the camp boss, Pete Trujillo, a Taos Pueblo chief, whose name is now on a memorial at the entrance to Chilao with two other US Forest Service people I worked with there. Pete was a genius on wildfires. A few of us would sit there in the dusks of many evenings listening to the poorwills and an occasional whoop-whoop from a long-eared owl while Pete talked on in English, some Spanish, and a bit of Tiwa about fires past, life, and people who’d come and gone.”