Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Lines

by Hifsa Ashraf

water lily
drifts slowly...
summer moon

Octopus

by Joe Cottonwood

Swimming bullet
No—

Now legs, a flower
curling

Kicking—
Pow!

So smart, I’m told
wisdom waterborne

Odd old soul
of grace…

Cycle

by Denny E. Marshall

floods clean up land
wildfire scrubs forest floors
sun washes planets
galaxies space time fabric
wipe away solar systems

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Brown Pelican

by Andrea Wyatt

these days, stretched like desert,
sun-blinded.
abandoned earth, its gray fruit, winter.

animals leave the dead ground,
torn mountain, for the sea;
dead deer in the leaves,
fish heads on rock,
hundreds of small, dying animals
on the edge of the sea, in a glare
of light and dark and light and
dark.

your fingers too clumsy to heal,
your fingers moving too slowly
over the brown bodies, the black
bodies, the soft wings.

rainbow—
in dark oils.

we lie in the sun together,
reading about the buffalo,

Beachcombing the Great Plains

by Maureen Kingston

“I love forms beyond my own and regret the borders between us” -- Loren Eiseley

She’s out pilgrimaging again, searching for a peaceful place to kneel, to take stock. The wind blows her to a familiar dent in the Sandhills, a trove of ruin hidden by tallgrass and dune. Blood-and-flesh folk lived here once, a settlement of clay houses and lean-tos. Only a stand of graves remains: larger than a family plot, smaller than a cemetery.

She steps around the fading slabs, steers to the misfit, the object of her obsession. The first time she saw it she thought it was a Christmas ham studded with cloves. She wanted to tear off a piece of crackle, let its juice run down her chin. Later, in a different mood, she imagined the blob to be the petrified remains of a dinosaur sneeze. A science pal eventually set her straight, identified the errant rock as chondrite, a spongy meteorite.

Mystery solved. And not solved. She still doesn’t know why the chunk of char brings comfort; why stroking its alien Braille calms her mind. The settlers must’ve been comforted by it, too, or why bury their dead around it?

summertime reading . . .
alone, never alone
stone rubbing

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Saturn on Steroids

by Eliza Mimski

(Scientists first announced in 2012 that a disk resembling Saturn's rings was found positioned around an object 420 light-years from Earth. They believed it may have been the first alien planet with rings actually found. They referred to it as the Winged Creature.)

Up there with the endearing stars and the black pool of the sky
Up there with gravity and mystery and the sun and the moon
Up there beyond the sighs of earth, the chokes of earth
Past the pockets of rain and the
Clouds that are slow white syllables
Is the winged creature

Light years away, it peers down on us
Its red face brought forward
To penetrate microscopes
Pumping away with the red blood of celestial force 
It defies our laboratories,
Astronomy, astrophysics 

We are waking up to it
It is waking up to us
We are looking up at it
It is looking down at us
We sum it up
It sums us down
We study it
It studies us

We call it the ringed object
Saturn on steroids
It thinks of us as the trash steroid of earth and
Cradles us in its warm red hands
Covers us with the red blanket of anti gravity
We are the warm pot of pollution
The fumes of money and wealth

We study its rings
It searches for our soul
We study its size, its retrograde spinning
A possible catastrophic collision
We are lost, it declares
Our banks like gleaming objects
Our freeways like kings and queens
White boys at the white table of economy

We try to understand it
It tries to understand us
Some scientists think
It is only our heart

Our disembodied heart
Spinning out of control

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Anonymous Papyrus Fragment, Ancient Messene, Date Unknown but Later Than You Think

by Vassilis Zambaras

Fields we had
[        ]
[        ]

[perforated]

[ now?]
[        ]
[        ]
[        ]

[shredded wheat]

Ely[sian?] with honey
[        ]
[        ]
[        ]
[        ]

Bees combing long
[        ] [flaxen?]    

Hair [       ]

[         ]
[         ]
[         ]
[down?]

To your knees    

[the rest wholly eaten away by moths]

Barred Owl

by John Grey

Just beyond
a late spring day,
the darkness
its pedestal

hooked head,
talons splayed,
brown dappled wings wide,
it cruises the feathery lace
of fluttering dragonflies
blown across the marsh
then over black-smoked brush,
the inky ponds,
and up onto an oak branch

where round night-eyes
scour the night for fear,
ears track screams
about to burst...
a mouse,
a vole,
a chipmunk...

somewhere in the dark,
he stares at
what he later eats.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Petroglyph

by Stefanie Bennett

Still life
With forked
Tongue:

The mustard-
Seed torches
Into
     Flower.

The Hullabaloo of Fruit

Art by Nancy Ramsey
Words by KJ Hannah Greenberg

The hullabaloo of fruit, evidenced in souks, by sinks, on trees,
Glistens purple, red, gold, chartreuse, maybe supplements
Employment when eyes evidence matters of cults’ excuses.

There exist entomophobic iconoclasts, who faint in sighting
Bugs or elsewise experience horrible fasciculation following
Molecular crowding’s acceleration of accidental conformities.

Whenever our world: truly attempts to appreciate events
(Like pregnancy losses), honors light not thew, or revels
‘cause of alembic smarts, certainty gets demoted to dust.

After all, impacting the amount and kind of efforts mice
Endeavor to expend, especially for measly sherricks of élan,
Builds up socially sustained, very awkward physiognomies.

See, each time nasty human beasts try to usurp castle doctrine,
They’re better off rejoicing in life imprisonment, otherwise,
Fleeing continents of conurbations, and paying taxes on time.

Lapland Gestalt

by Karla Linn Merrifield

Overhead rowan-golden foliage
eye-level evergreen-fir river reflection
underfoot silvering reindeer lichen
blushing leaves—bunchberry

If I cross the border
through a tumble of granite boulders,
I will become the imaginary line.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Strength

by Michael H. Brownstein

Hike with me through this field of prayer,
through mudflats and iron foot,
the eulogy deep and dried passion fruit,
the salt of columbine, a terrain of frenzy,
lacewing and the yellow mollies of spring,
milk and milk thistle, a porcelain of words.

Hike with me past the girth of oak,
the prayer tree of Cambodia, the field of glories
behind the back forty no one touches.
Share with me wild onion, mint,
dandelion leaves and acorn meat,
the edible leaves of the Acacia.

The storm will pass. The forest will replenish.
Rivers will not run dry. Nor will they shrink.
Hike with me five years from now. Share
my bounty anytime. The eulogy premature,
prayer alive in flower and grass, blossom
and honey bee, a porcelain of words.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Climate Change

by Tricia Knoll

Hold my hand to the cold fire,
dream fire, though I wince, dance
or run to the ice creek.

Hold me to the cold fire
that feeds on flames of questions
ignored as ash and wind-blow.

Old frozen thoughts
melt, drip, seep
toward that cave fire.

Demanding attention
how they go to earth
soaking half-hearted shadows.

Pretend at your peril the cold fire
is not always burning,
crackling done and overdone.

The Pearl

Sarah Henry                                                                            
 
Sand seeps through
the tight lips of an oyster
in an unguarded moment.
The world of the oyster
becomes the world
in a grain of sand.
Sometimes the world
is gray and misshapen.
Sometimes it’s the earring
landing in your soup.

Real Places

by M.J. Iuppa

                         Driving country roads
 in rain that re-aligns itself with every

 turn, I find myself completely lost
 in fog’s lifting veil.

 I talk myself into taking
another direction until I happen upon

the outskirts of town— ramble-shack huts,
salvaged cars & parts, day old bread outlets

& a single blinking red light . . .

                           I pause long enough
to see what’s ahead of me is nothing

more than an one-way street.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Black Wash

by Miriam Sagan

maybe the watercolor
has smeared
because it is raining outside
and the river
is rising
by the abandoned
hydroelectric dam
which now is just
picturesque

in the cement hut
a table is still set with teacups,
and the window has been perfectly filled
with volcanic stones

black lines on paper
imitate the serpentine
curve of water,
or some part of the body
we prefer to hold on to

the pregnant woman
has set a bit of sheep's vertebra
on a pile of dirt
and hung the whole thing on the wall
with an imaginary painting
of snow and darkness

in the rain, the sheep
take shelter
in old shacks and machinery
when you speak Icelandic
to the ram
his ears perk back and his eyes shine.

Weasel

 by Taylor Graham

A shadow moves over earth below your
notice, on your perch of logs as you purse
your lips in squeaks of animal distress,
to call the birds, add them to your master-
list. You’re not looking for weasel, you’ve
set your eye for birds – your wingless
dreams of sky. At night, weasel finds those
birds asleep, and makes her den of bones
and feathers. She’s undertow of daylight
into dark, its living killing stream. And you –
awkward in boots, vest, birdlist. Check
your watch, your schedule. It’s time to go.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Lines

by Laughing Waters

paulownia petals
floating in the puddles
storm clouds

Lines

by Laughing Waters

snake skin
weaved into the tall grass
field pea blooms

Lines

by Martha Magenta

dunnock song
the newness
of the world

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Night Sky

by Tom Montag

In this moment,
wind and emptiness.

In the next, moon's
light and nothing.

All things in balance.
Love, and loss,

this desire to be
what the stars are.

Underneath Us

by Taylor Graham

Our fractured kingdom – Melones fault zone,
volcanic rock of the Mesozoic, late Jurassic
granite, slate, serpentine, and gold-bearing
quartz. We humans are involved in all this
disruption – digging into bedrock along Main
Street for yellow treasure. Just look in darker
corners of coffee shop and book store: adits
and shafts. Sinkholes open unexpectedly
around town and country. Old rock walls try
to hold up hillsides with an interweave
of periwinkle, ivy, native nameless weeds.
We live in proximity to so many not-yet
interpreted forces at work over so long,
an ancient, unseen river underneath us all.

Pure Greed

by Catfish McDaris

Pollution melts ice
Death of fish birds animals

Human greed poison.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Salute to a New Day's Dawn

by Tom Sheehan

Out of the edge of earth, out of choice darkness mixed with silt and angry acids that form of fire, out of secret caverns rocking in the deep, out of stone moving liquefied which is but a sea we float on, out of distance, out of death-wracking night, out of fear of child-hood, out of nightmares and terror shrieks, out of our ignorance, out of shame of thoughts sitting like pebbles on the soul, dark black pebbles, out of the songs of frenzied air, out of the mouths of monster birds cast from an angry god's hands, freed from moon at endless wait, escaping debtor's prison partly in rags and partly in pain, heaved upwards like a mason's block to the next tier of gray waiting, on the hilltop comes the sun at its widest broadcast.

Before it, pell-mell fleeing, scudding down alleyways, across corners, stoops, half granite walls where houses used to be, through windows and mirrors and the wiliest of laces where night collects itself in a host of aromas, the shadows go quickly before seven miracles hunting them down, at chase, at wild pursuit, leaping one wall to the next, one huge lunge across barriers, time, as if breath will expire too quickly again, the tightest lungs thrown into athletic surprises.

At Earth edge worms shudder, recoil, go gelatin. Earth shakes with a robin's sprint across a tympanic lawn, as if drummers' batons beat on. He spears the tubed, eyeless thing, soft telescopic escapee just now plowing into loam. The warning signs are warm where wonder makes its way across all the universe.

In the morning mountains, a sundae piled high with sweet textures, explode. I catch the mouthy shrapnel they throw into the battle dawn wages. It is one rare beauty on the fly, beams and sunshine flares and streams and colossal stripes of golden air coming through clouds hanging loose as line-hung blankets. Far out mountains are the first to get this sun, heaving upward whiter cones of snow as brilliant as stars, as sure and as steady as old men who know all the answers and give off such illumination in the phantom measure some gods themselves allow.

But you there, at the crossroads of this day, looking across the inviolate stretch of gray light we suddenly find between us yet joining us, must also find ignition as spectacle born in the rigors of yesterday's soul. You, too, know the upshot of this new coming, the bird, the fire, the breath deeper than stone. You, also, must linger where the sun warms first, the first warm spot of the day, the bay window broad as an ax sweep, a piece of porch tilted under a pine, a front door stoop as white as first thoughts, a path between corrupt oaks and sleek birches, a blanket where your hand falls to rest,  odd place in your eyes sudden starts have earned when you think all about your being is still dark and the nightmare is the bark of wild dogs crawling down the banners of your mind, spiders of light on the move.

When it all goes down, when the bet is paid off and all markers set straight, our sun comes with singular entry, warm shot, two fingers of life into the glass, just as every alley and each dark space we know wait out the mercies found in light.

Friday, June 2, 2017

The Environment

by Randall Rogers

I guess is
stronger than
we think,
and more
delicate, too.
But when it
enters into
the determination
of the
cash nexus
and a cost
benefit analysis
the hope
of creatures
in time
and eternity
become
“disorderly
affections”.