Sunday, August 28, 2016


by Lee Seese

in the driest season
anyone around here can remember

embers under fallen cedars
inch up needle-bedded rills

on the cusp of conflagration as
a chiggering itch in all of us

half-despairs half-hopes
to find release


by Diane Lee Moomey

You could, fed up
with red and blue flashing lights
and sickened by the siren howls
of human misery that never stop, could
slip through any window and follow
the thread back to Narnia.

You could
backtrack your own trail
and know that, had you turned north
in 1981 instead of west, she might
have said “yes” and you might now
be sitting in a different chair.

Or not.
Or you could, reflecting upon lawns
and empty lakes and on the vanishings
of certain birds, either slide into a glass
with ice, or, ranting, take to the streets
and by now, both those roads will lead
to the same place.

It’s been such a long drought. So many
things were never born.

The Summer of Heat

by Michael H. Brownstein

A shallot of cloud
silver gray
braised oyster

What happened
to the rain?
The liner notes
of cloud?
The hiding place
for wind and weather?

the moon onion shaped
the darkening sky
silverback and empty.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


by Stephen A. Rozwenc

through the open temple door
a jade Buddha glints
like an emerald jelly fish
swimming the ocean
of benign munificence

the intrepid rapscallion
peers down
down down
all the way down
to where foolish attachment
lets go
of its chattering monkey self


by Carl Mayfield

a line in the sand--
       whip snake
  easing under the gate

A Golden Thread

by Julie Ramon

Only the people that live on the outskirts
of town, down long roads littered with
shadows and cows understand when you’re
mid-recipe and need an egg, you can’t leave
to buy one. Instead, you walk through fields
and listen to the sound of drought crunch and notice
the way grasshoppers lead the way. And, neighbors
know the squeak of their gate opening at the end
of the drive. They meet you half way and ask
what you’re making, and you return home
egg in fist, following the step you made before,
the parts through grass. You, the thread
that weaves from one place to another
always headed home to finish what you started.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Dry Spell
(Northern Territory: Australia)

by Stefanie Bennett

Waiting on the inevitable...
The purple plain
Recycles its dust
Into the Sky Spirit’s
Blue-firestar starlight –and
The Summertime
Cut-out whirlwind.

There are no crop circles
Here. No stone-washed
Galaxy. Just
Gondwanaland’s nomadic
Electrons gathering
(I warn you!) The oldest
Of Old Souls.


by Joyce Lorenson

ending drought
rivulets running
between corn rows

The Drought Close to Home

by Marianne Szlyk

So close to the sea, the Scituate reservoir
contracts to shards of clouds and sky.
Smashed on thick mud, these shards
shrink from the tree trunks and stones
rising where water once flowed.
Humid air promises rain but does not
release it.  Blue sky persists
though towering clouds form.
No storms arise,
even rumors of thunder
off the coast.
Afternoon sun
grinds the shards to dust.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016


by Joanna M. Weston

dry grass
in the river-bed
summer wind

In the clouds

by Martha Landman

See that woman, lying on her back
chin up, dressed in grey-white fluff.
Long slow strands of mist float upwards
from underneath her,
changes her shape,
arches her back.
Now she’s Freud,
looking in the opposite
direction, stone-faced.
A baby sitting on his forehead
softens his Hitler nose and moustache.
Now his arms drift away from his body.
The silver-blue halo looks out of place.
His laughter, thick and thundery,
drones through the sky.

Native Climate

by Karla Linn Merrifield

On Dominica rain proves
rainforest abundance.
Giant tree ferns bow with weight
of sheets of rainfall.
Fringe of moss gathers rain droplets to one by one
drop into rain rivulets running
leaf litter routes to rain-full streams
streaming into gullies through volcanic
valleys gorging on rain flowing
into the island’s rivers of rain,
one rain-swollen river for year’s each day.

Rain for farm fields. Rain for ships’ holds.
Rain.  Raining.  Rainbow. Rain again.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

August Journal: Monday, August 5, 2013

by Donald Mager

Afternoon pants uncontrollably.
Scummed over with mosquito larvae,
its water dish is low.  As okras’
spear-tipped fingers stiffly beckon to
monarchs and chameleons, heat hangs in
harsh layers.  The stream is almost dry.
Sluggish pools, shadowed below tree roots
dangling their thick calves over the bank,
swarm with black darts of frog spawn.  The heat
paw-pads around and around the dirt
radius of its ten foot rusty
chain.  It thirsts for shade and whimpers a
somnolent dirge.  Dirt’s baked adobe
wears thin cracks of fine heirloom china.

We Came Back

by Tammy Stone

A prior world of raucous sounds we
Made, riots of clanging bells but also

Hushed caress.  Where each tenderness
Melted like snow a river gone by, anger

Whipped loud, and everything that could,
Happened.  But it still wasn’t enough, so

Here we are, marking our cold re-entry in
Soundless, everlasting space, coursing

Through the warring bits, all of it a kind
Of alchemy we’re not here to understand.

We’re here to listen, though we don’t.
It can only start from here, the beating

Heart. The rhythm of palpation, how we
Wandered for years to get here.  Times

I rest in that pause, shivering, bone dry,
Waiting for an outstretched hand. This is

How I learned music can be touched. The
Sweet sounds that have made us and the

Ache of memories trailing through Time.
We are ruffled and ravaged. The world as

Sonorous Remembrance, reverberating in a
Thousand ways a feared, desired emptiness.

I try as hard as I can to listen to each note,
Devastating, beautiful, inchoate and true.

Gray Hope

by Tricia Knoll

I fold back our bed sheets this morning
to match the rolls of cloud billows
sliding like pillows into the naked hot sky.

My feet slip to the tuck at the mattress
to test the cool slickness that may be rain
on a horizon of gray hope

this drought might end.