Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Fall

by Mark Danowsky

Up mountain
sky quickens

Clouds gather

O moon

Long days

Color drains
maple veins

Only a Yew Tree

by Elena Croitoru

The rivers are turning
into bronze clay carcasses
with shrivelled lips which stretch
like the horizon.

The sky is a
mosaic of broken blue glass,
slicing chiffon clouds
with no water to give.

No movement on the flatland.
No snails to drink
colourless blood.
No daffodils to pierce
the Romanian plain.

Only a barren yew tree clings to the earth.

In the Quapaw Quarter

by Kenneth Salzmann

This redbud sears
and steams when ice
white as an older world
slips over the Quapaw
in new spring.

It is an ember cupped in the verdant
bed of March and smoldering,
spattering promises while poised
to answer anticipated needs
for heat and light.

At flashpoint a cardinal skims across
its purpled fingers, sipping vapor.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Ten-Kilowatt Sun

by Taylor Graham

Unshaven Winter goes nattering
the fields and creek-bottoms,
leaving muddy prints; checks his
shadow by the weathercock’s skeleton
that whines to everlasting wind.
Late sun angles down on the single
color-spot, a yellow wheelbarrow
missing its wheel.
The woodpile diminishes.
Only coyote-bush rejoices,
white blossoms buoyant with seed.

Lines

by Dawn Bruce

under the wharf
a seething of eels ...
summer heat

Heat Advisory

by Susan Summers

bleached skull rises in the east
to a morning of lifeless grey
too depleted for rosy hues
to exhausted for blue
only the white hot
of heat advisories
ozone alerts
bakes bones
to dust

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Ancient Ash

by Terrence Sykes

ancient ash
along the banks
silent Loire
brambled blackberries
greenbriars

fortress of solitude
hedgehog
peers contentedly
having never
visited Paris

Climate Change

by Gary Beck

Summer days ended,
battered trees lose their green,
supplanted by urban drear
until life blooms again,
surviving suffocating winter.
Bare skin covered
by confining garments,
curious paradox;
leaves fall off,
clothing goes on,
reversed in springtime;
leaves sprout,
clothing's removed,
unless disaster
alters the cycle.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Earth Day 2015

by Sarah Frances Moran

Calbuco decided it was past time to make love to the sky
and with a violence reserved for Gods,  she did.

How the clouds matured for her.
How they responded with an equal fury.
How the crackle of that spark lit up the world.

Illuminating eyes with a blanket of ash,
she stroked out a picture and put on a dance
for all us devils below.

Calbuco decided it was time to show off the Heavens

How the Earth can reach up to kiss the atmosphere
How the lightning soaked offspring of dueling lovers toss in the wind
How commanding love can be

Distributing glory over a multitude of medias,
She woke and she warned us.

Calbuco decided
It was time for this awakening.

Lines

by Dawn Bruce

winter dusk
a lone kookaburra
in the blue gum

Lines

bu Susan Summers

rain and steam
form refinery fog
stink of money

Prelude To Darkness

by Bruce Mundhenke

Bridge of light
Upon Illinois water,
Pathway to the setting sun,
A murder of crows in a maple,
Fly to the east one by one,
Winging their way
To a winter roost,
Before the darkness comes.

Before Dawn

by Taylor Graham

It’s dark as oak woods
before junco unravels jitty-song
out of underbush, scrabbing
tangles of new          
grass that push up
through the dead.        
Morning turns on its axis
at its own good pace.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Where

by Tom Montag

the cardinal
flies,

fire.

Mallards on the Washington Channel

by Andrea Wyatt

In the winter light the drakes
sail through the drink,
green heads, yellow beaks,
scoop slugs and snails
caught in the shoreline grass,

river water rushes through the gates
of the inlet bridge, first in,
and when the tide turns, out
and sends the sord* into the air to join the gulls
that sweep the gray December skies.


*a flight of mallards,
from Middle English sorden, or, to surge

Lines

by Theresa A. Cancro

moonrise --
courting owls quiver
the hollow air

Sunday, January 17, 2016

What I Hear
Late Summer 2014

by Maury Grimm

I hear the mockingbirds scolding
the dart of hummingbirds, a whir
the engine revving, a horses’ snort
Robins returned for ripening fruit

I hear the ripening of currants
a buzz of bees
the horses’ hoof hitting ground
I hear the shift of clouds

I hear the shift of clouds, that high murmur
broken mare’s tails adrift
the cumulus foaming
against the Sangres

I hear the pattern of leaves
the quelites flowering
the earth holding roots of parsnips
daucus and salsify

I hear the wings of butterflies
the hummingbird moth
lighting on the radish blooms
I hear the long probe

The sand moves when I walk
I hear it like doves
I hear the limbs of trees
these old Salix nigra finger
the summer sky

Not only do the bird songs vary
I almost know each one.
I hear how each wing resonates
species to species
I hear their spectacle in flight

Like wasps do not sound like bees
nor even the pesky fly
not one has a similar buzz
even the broad bumble bee has its singular sound

I hear the truck going by
laden with bee hives
an airplane overhead
and the sheep nestling
into the afternoon shade

I hear the yellow roses fading
pentstemons and jump-ups now overtaken
by hollyhocks, rudbeckias
I hear the rain settling into the dry earth

I hear the red-tail hawks, all ways on time, circling above
a fly bumps into the screen, another train
passes through town
I hear my neighbor return
gravel bitten by tires

I hear my heart
my pen across this paper
my eyes struggle to see and make
heeded the words I hear

I hear the follicles of skin the wind raises
that stand on my arms, my face
the truck with its hitch rattling
the distant wanting dog

I hear the heart wanting
the heart, if it could be overheard
with its stories of loss
with stories of hope, the dreams

Wanting to hear the birds
the soft shuffle of hooves
that do not want to eat the milkweed
I hear the jasmine-scented blossoms fading
pods forming seeds

The seeds of shepherd’s purse and amaranth
that come up all summer if I let them
I hear them in places
bursting the ground

A siren, I hear the crows
a conversation between the magpies
and in the night, sometimes a yelp
coyotes or dogs or both

I hear the heat on my toes
when my blood flows too hard
when the heart is quiet
I hear the heart when it pounds

I hear the click of a grasshopper
in the afternoon heat, clatters
grass breaking underfoot
or on the teeth of the sheep

I hear the flies
more restless in this late afternoon
I hear the manure and smell its sweetness
the hay being cut

I hear the sheep
watching me through the fence
and the thunder coming
in this afternoon’s storm

And now the rain
in all its blessings
beating on the windows
my skin, onto leaves
I hear it through nostrils
the leaves sucking this sparse moisture

I hear the smell of ripening currants
the amaranth and purslane winding around old bricks
and the old church, not far
its old bricks empty, decomposing
into the old and overgrown yard
I hear the rust of the old Studebaker
where it rests

I hear the well pump click on
the measure of time like clicks
the hearts’ desire denied
the many times leaving, the many times returning

I hear the presence of the beloved
the child, the lover, the parent
gone, but never gone, I hear them
voices that fill memory

I hear the dust
the demise of rock
ground by water
air and time

And I hear the water
a roar, a pounding over rocks
the crash and then thin vapor
when it returns to cloud

And clouds, I hear the air
its sky colors
from white to black
azure to crimson

I hear the wind in a breeze, the howl

And time
I hear its muffled drive from then to now
to where
to all that is my history

I hear my legs split apart
the birth of my children
my mother’s last breath
my father’s stern voice
grandmothers' lessons

And I hear nothing
only my body moving
through the water
through air, through time

And this morning I hear the poet
breathe then gone voiceless
a hole in the wind
where words once stood.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Sooty Oystercatcher

by Ion Corcos

Stout feet at low tide
grip an outcrop,
washed by wind and sea.

Long red bill under a limpet,
pries shell off rock,
exposes flesh.

Next, a mussel
probed, stabbed, pierced,
carried to an anvil.

Hammers the crust,
swallows the body,
drinks sea water.

Flies off,
a high pitched call

tleepa
tleepa

Lines

by Nancy Scott McBride

global warning-
the quince bush blooming
in December

An Offering

by Rodney Nelson

the crab tree in an untended yard
held out a weight of ready apples
for what hand or tooth or beak might want
to take
and for nothing if none did

around that crab tree now in the snow
the whole crop fades into entropy
where none has been to want and take it
as if
the end were come already

Sunday, January 10, 2016

White Cove

by Ion Corcos

The sea, held in the mountain coast.

At night, swallows from rocks
sweep over water, an orange moon.

Whiteout Report

by Patricia Williams

Whiteouts arise
when snow falls dense and fast.  
Wind gusts blind, push bodies off course,
cause confusion.

Inner bearings scrambled,
pathways indistinct,
can’t tell sky from ground –
adrift in motion-filled, velvety curtains
impossible to penetrate –
lost a few feet from safety.

Whiteouts can happen
on summer days with minimal wind,
they come in many guises –
all of them dangerous.

White

by Tim Duffy

First, an explosion of white tail fur—
the backwards eye of a deer
as it turns away.

There is no ice yet
but they know it is not far away
from the horizon
where bullets and flurries
once flew.

Early Fall

by Alejandro Escudé

Blustery, the moon
like a piece of
white gauze stuck
on a thorny tree.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Lines

by Richard D. Hartwell

Interrogation
Tree echoes the woodpecker
Reverberation

Lines

by Theresa A. Cancro

marsh pond --
a flock of snow geese wraps
around the horizon

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Blue Marble

by Bruce Harris

ours for the taking,
foolishly,
we took

Watching the Wind

by Michael H. Brownstein

A frontier of lightning,
a train whistle of cloud,
the thick court of wind
combs brush, limb and leaf
and the rain that was to come
does not.

Hidden Madness

by David Subacchi

In Wales a hundred years back
They mined lead
Beneath mountain pasture
With summer sunlight kissing
The farm animals
Of scattered holdings
Or wintry snow coverings
During the cold months
The shining, lively water
Dancing in streams.

And they made pipes
To carry the water
To homes far and near
Spreading the hidden madness.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

North Kaibab

by Rodney Nelson

the mountain in recline had old woods
on it and under the tanglement
of fir and spruce hung a green so thick
it wanted kneading and modeling

the needles’ odor might have been gum
for the tongue and the quiet had room
to make the chuffing of an elk seem
right here at a rock one mile away

Black-headed Ibis

by Ion Corcos

Stands on a ridge
in a sodden rice field,
its long, downcurved bill
probes into mud

sifts out
worms,
frogs,
insects

staunch body
soft like a cloud
black legs anchored
in the bog.

At dusk it flies
to roost
flaps its wings
white against the blue-black sky.

Rengetsu (7)

by Ed Hack

The freezing wind
Along the shore
Has frozen the lake:
The ferry boats have
Been captured by ice.

The freezing wind along the shore, she writes,
has seized the lake and captured ferry boats.
There is no place, she knows, that one can hide
from ice. The sleet assaults her hut. No hope
or fear assails her now--death's changed all that.
With nothing left to lose she did not kill
herself but cut her hair to walk the path
the Buddha chose, surrendered to the will
of life, accepted all that is. The cold
blows through her tattered screen, and keeps
her up all night. She ages, she grows old
in life, and in the end it's life she reaps.
Those ferries stuck in ice--they're not what she
became. She chose the hard way to be free.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Cosmology

by Stefanie Bennett

My old companion
Takes
Giant steps
To see
         That
I am never
Set upon
By mercy’s
Dust
For diamonds.

The Word Nursery at New Year’s

by Tricia Knoll

Five words she scratches
in a dusting of snow-frost
below the gorge waterfall
pointing shards of ice –
 
    breath
    patience
    compassion
    endurance
    merging

One word the old woman
will choose as her touchstone
for next year, to notice, grab onto
each instance it appears before her,
repeat before sleep.
Past choices – simplicity, love,
witness, and resilience –
guided her bones.

The cold canyon wind
pulls tears and teases silver strands
from her green knit hat.
Sun floods
the low rock bowl
of the canyon,
edges toward her.  

She steadies
her scuffed boot
above the frosted cedar duff.
She decides.
Leaning, her fingertip erases
four possibles,
her slate melting, merging.