Cynthia Anderson

A Tale of the Pleiades

On the longest night

they glow in the east,


a glittering diamond clasp—

sisters who flee their father


who decide to die together,

who escape to the heavens


to find a new home,

who shine from there


on Coyote. Found out,

they let him prevail,


let him ride to the stars

on the back of the youngest


who throws him off

when he cannot keep


his hands or his penis

to himself—


And though he falls

to earth and dies,


that does not stop him.

Bird songs tell


how the sisters rise

in their diadem of safety


while Coyote howls,



and immortal.

Cynthia Anderson lives in the Mojave Desert near Joshua Tree National Park. Her award-winning poems have appeared in journals such as Askew, Dark Matter, Apercus Quarterly, Whale Road, Knot Magazine, and Origami Poems Project. She is the author of five collections—”In the Mojave,” “Desert Dweller,” “Mythic Rockscapes,” and “Shared Visions I” and “Shared Visions II.” She frequently collaborates with her husband, photographer Bill Dahl. Cynthia co-edited the anthology A Bird Black As the Sun: California Poets on Crows & Ravens.