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.

Drink.

Hairline to navel (ignore sunburn tenderness) unzip skin.

Wait
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.

Lines

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

Fall

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.

Aleppo

by Laughing Waters

temperature
suddenly drops
red camelia's flowers
covering ground
fresh snow


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Lines

by Carl Mayfield

two roadrunners
in the orchard--
one less peach

Reflections

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
Forgotten

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.

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
Irises
Hydrangeas

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.