Bears Ears National Monument is located in southeastern Utah. (U.S. Bureau of Land Management)

Defense of Earth
by James Coburn

Land grabbers of sacred earth,
purity contaminated by lustful greed.
Beauty defiled.
Eighty-five percent of Bears Ears public land
about to open for consumption by capitalism
at its worst,
desecrating a pristine canvas.
Cancer spreads across oceans, rivers,
canyons, wetlands, prairies, mountains, deserts,
rain forests, sky, species and habitat
to silence Earth with mass extinction,
because governments decay life,
cause rot in global cesspools conspiring
against souls of men, women and children
in generational divides raping earth never more.
Eons of creation destroyed by a president.
A simple order reinforced by egos of the day
who will, too, die leaving a legacy of pain.

Phoenix Light
by James Coburn

If my spring rose does not bloom,
Press it in pages written in June.
Hide not its promise of summer air
Or shade muting color on its path.
If my rose does not bloom
Unfurling soft infusion of the sky,
Onto a land of thorns spreading high,
I will rise above the prick of my hand.
Knowing my promise of another land
And if my pages are stained with dust,
Know it pressed gently on hearts of rust.
And time is no longer a presence here;
Matter leaped over yesteryear.
Wild roses scatter into the sea
Touching all hemispheres and lands that be.
The first drop of sky landed as rain,
But rose again traversing pain.

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James Coburn is an Oklahoma poet, photographer and journalist. His first book of poetry, "Words of Rain," was a 2015 finalist for the Oklahoma Book Awards. His work has appeared numerous anthologies. A long­time journalist for The Edmond Sun, Coburn is a 2013 inductee of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame.