Sunday, December 18, 2016


by Sneha Subramanian Kanta

how you eat the fallen figs
your body full of soil scents –
arm clutched to my side,
bare bodies of autumn’s pride.

your fingers, opening a map –
nail pointing eastward
moving subtly, then all at once
over the body of the large Pacific.

how your mouth, partly open
devours my mouth, in exploration –
then, like ancient forest-dwellers
sing ourselves to sleep, meditating.

how chants, escape your tongue,
lick my senses into molten clay –
how, in a world of immigrants,
we find – a land unknown, to stay.


by Denny E. Marshall

Dust bowl of the 30’s
After hundred years
Of raping Nebraska aquifer
Dust bowl of the 30’s

Nightly Eye Shine

by Suzanne Cottrell

cold grass
green eye shine,
Carolina Wolf Spiders
hunting crickets.

a small end
(for Martha Landman)

by James Bell

see the red click beetle
crawl over a log      choose
that one for the wood stove
instead of others on the stack
sit to feel some heat
with a modicum of guilt
about what made you make
that choice      listen for a pop
some kind of     cry
only the regular    click
of  the stove as it warms
the log bursts into flames

Wednesday, December 14, 2016


by Subhra Bhattacharya

The school of fish
feed on the dead baby octopus
one leg at a time
in bites and chunks
till all that is left
is a gelatinous blob
shaking in the water.

You didn't get there on time
to grill it
serve it on a platter.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Listening to a Crow Lecture

by Don Thompson

Clinging to the old oak
as if tenured, a crow
has been holding a seminar.

Three or four students listen,
compelled, powerless to resist
nihilism: Nothing is good,

according to that harsh caw,
not at all hard to translate
into human sentiments.

I’d take notes myself,
but keep being distracted by
how eager the leaves seem,

motionless in dead air, to dance
as soon as the breeze comes up.
And it will.

Sunday, December 4, 2016


by Marilyn Ward

in the orange orange pyracantha


by Nancy Scott McBride

glow behind the mountain
full moon rising

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Droughtland Smoothie

by Elizabeth Kuelbs

Beat sun up. Blend 2 cups fresh
ash, 1 billow smoke, 1/4 manzanita
bone, 1 heat-scarred flight feather, hawk
or owl, 2 tablespoons doomy noon
twilight, 1 chlorinated
bee, ice.


Hairline to navel (ignore sunburn tenderness) unzip skin.

for lush tumble
of mist, of river, of willow, wait
for singing oak canopy, for poppy, for mallow, for
coyote mint. Wait in the dark
for rain.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Old Gods

by Ed Hack

The old gods of the fields, of wheat and corn,
of rye, of vegetables, are dying back
into the earth. The autumn's silver horn
of knife-edge light rings out the time of lack,
of ice as pitiless as life can be,
of frozen ground entombing old spent earth
that sleeps exhausted as the naked trees
that wait, like ice-bound earth, for their spring birth.
The shriveled tassels of the corn are brown
and limp, tied to the bridge to celebrate
the harvesting of Time. The river sounds
like all that crashes to its end to sate
the hungers of its life. A rush. A roar.
And then an evening as it spreads out
and leaves the falls behind. Now less is more
as water calms, a mind without a doubt.
The old gods do not say a thing. They wait.
They know that Time's another word for Fate.


by Deborah P Kolodji

morning gray
the black and white flash
of a willet’s wings

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Spare a thought for the red click beetle
(for James Bell)

by Martha Landman

by nightfall there is stillness in the forest
of beetle-larva-beetle-larva
extend their lifecycle in a relay
lying limp in the dirt
groove along sunbeams
high-jump off their backs
their way through a rotten log
blood-red beetles click-click
winter at its edge
the pine trees are down

Sunday, November 20, 2016


by Ed Hack

Late in the day the falls look like alum-
inum, sun blazing out a sheen like shields
upon an ancient field where men are numb
with bloody death, yet all refuse to yield.
Odd thought this autumn day with summer heat
as couples chat outside a coffee bar
at tables right across the way and treat
themselves to ease. The river travels far
to plunge with its low roar and glow
like metal tempered by the sun. Old folk
who're bent with Time amid the leaves that blow
and tumble in the silver light like hope
deferred as yellow shines from inside out.
This world is falling down--just look about.


by Laughing Waters

suddenly drops
red camelia's flowers
covering ground
fresh snow

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


by Carl Mayfield

two roadrunners
in the orchard--
one less peach


by Ginny Short

Uncertainty riding west
The sky clear
The ridge         the south side of lightning
Find and gather self    before noon

Red earth rocks branding the intersection
Of sun, sky and earth  Time moves slowly

Long wet trails up Wolf Creek Canyon
An eternity      Urging the distance

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Mask of Rain

by Tim Staley

There is a mask of rain
over the canyon
and over the sun.

Scarlet light
sprays from the eyes
and teeth.

The liquid tongue
laps up the canyon
and the sun.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Daughter of Atlas,

by Ben Naka-Hasebe Kingsley

a brown dwarf squats rising as a dowser
from amidst deep frost in the lotus pond
a constellation of bats ignite
in her fanged maw gasping
look down
The Pleiades in your palm

the naked eidolon of your eye sailing
the path of a fired meteorite sutured
to the black paper cuffs of a night
shirt dovetailed by nursing doe in derivations of brightest
indigo the whirr of a lenticular moon-
bow now a discus plumbing downward now a wink
of green plates atop a table tossing now a skimmer
of hats on a full street of bustling
ladies suppering in sunburst tops

the southern chains gone alit to
be with comets belled and ringing
slipping like dirt from an old shoe
of cosmic distance up to a ladder reaching
atop a suite of starred and obscured
parallaxes of sea anemones suckling
eyes like tandem centroids beneath a great galactic
brow bending under a high tide of supernumerary
blue caught in a casting arc of symmetry
spooling out like long bucktail
catching fingerling in a fishbowl full
of hackled lures latching the raised mole
beneath the dark circlet of hair clove
to the sides of your head coupling
another on the inside of your index finger

beyond a bedlam of paling light
parceled from the darkness
a whirling ocean of Kelvin in a boat
kilned in key hole clusters
spiraled arms of low ignition atop
rinds of tidal binaries lost in eddies of giant
blue leeches bound between the toes
of spindly trolls the Mountain King
with a compass sewn into his side made small
clothed only in clouds and snowflake’s
shadow bumbling through an ache
of hewn trees now jagged signposts
sticking to his feet light dripping from his heel
sprinkling the jade-meated hearts of trees
as he sets down his bug-jeweled crown to sweep four-
knuckled fingers across a partial corona
of sprayed light between musk
ox horns while she tills a white field

Do Not Turn Away
from fierce eels writhing inside
the ragged tunnels and dark wires
rookeries of rain rifling down the light
of some great fire at the end of your nose
before your cotton eyes are mullioned
by painted bobtails and dug up bird bones
by a mother bear at her burrow
going out to the bowl of a deep
sea to catch a fish and keep it under
the backside of her knotted tongued
thought of this moment
of cobbled moments between waking
and forgetting

that the dwarf is dead. the night is sputtering. the ladies bored. the fishbowl broken. the troll tethered stone. rancid eel is for lunch. the bear is caged. go inside and wake

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Arrival & Ascent of Autumn Immigrants

by Terrence Sykes

I am an immigrant
I am not from here
I don't own this piece of land
This small piece of Quartz
Grasped from the sandy soil
Taken in my hand
From beneath this canopy of
These PawPaw trees
These were not here
When I discovered & claimed
This as my own solitude
This enclaved fifty acres or more
Have kept my sanity from urban chaos
Who or What brought the first seed for
This clonal gathering must be content
A late frost prevented progenies
That pungent aroma of fallen ripened
Fruit upon the forest floor

Those silent shiso plants
Seeding again to scatter ascendants
Remind me of the Korean women who
Were at odds with me when gathering
Wild greens that grew
Upon the banks of this creek
Bitter greens of their own where rooted
Flourished in the swamp
Waxed then waned
Like a lunar eclipse
Their departure
Before the arrival of this shiso
Reluctantly then revealing
Established itself amongst
Others unlike themselves

These touch-me-nots
They too were not here when I came
Gems of orange fleck with gold
Emigrate me home
Remembrance of my hometown
Memories of my grandmother
I always think of her
A rose herself
Her garden of

Amongst flora & fauna
Here I have seen women
From all over the world
From where and when
In their native garments
Colorful & brilliant
As autumnal flowers
Today I walk alone
Along these paths
Who will  scatter the next seed
I am not from here
I am an immigrant

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

November in Rattlesnake Valley

by Jesse Bier

Cold fog is thick but mobile, streaming long coils
in draws, raveling gulches, strangling clumps
of young dim fir trees: moils
the air, heaves and slumps
over unseen ground, boils
spooky comfort, wallows ravines, clamps
bare corn fields, thins to mist, congeals,
smothering home and hill, with no reason spares a camp.
Where it goes is hap and hazard. Hit or miss,
this is no longer fall but winter’s start,
the drear of it, and almost the hiss
where it moves of slithercloud, gripping hearth and heart,
only easing, letting swiftly and helplessly go,
under the instant scatter magic—of first snow.