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Rikki Santer

Dew Point in Big Sur 


At sunrise a condor soars above us,

wind courses past its wingtips, a dozen

swords swinging through the air, said

the wildlife photographer—a bird’s ancient

job to clean the carcass. Pearly gems 

of dew glisten atop my camp tent, another

hymn for fleeting, and the fresh grammar

of deer hoofprints along with low growls 

of thunder. Through my ear buds defiance 

and sorrow swells from handwritten scores 

composed by inmates of Terezin—their

symphonic will to live now breathes into

these moments of dew point, accompanied

by a first quarter moon still lingering.

Dew Point in Big SurRikki Santer
00:00 / 01:01

Rikki Santer’s poetry has received many honors including several Pushcart and Ohioana book award nominations, a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and in 2023 she was designated as Ohio Poet of the Year. Her twelfth poetry collection, Resurrection Letter: Leonora, Her Tarot, and Me, is a sequence in tribute to the surrealist artist Leonora Carrington. Please contact her through her website,

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