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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Chaco Canyon

by Elizabeth Hykes
 
Drummers pound sound down the ancient palisade
behind the busy market announcing arrival
of persons of stature bearing high quality goods
or perhaps they drum in a time of spirits.
A sun-browned hand raises the beater high
then bangs it down and the feet of all the shoppers,
of all the merchants tap, and their shoulders rise
in unison one with the sound.
Reds and golds, browns and greens of woven blankets
Brighten the breeze as we
turn our heads just enough
for air to move our hair back and kiss our ears.
We shade our eyes with our hands as we look
across the fields along the road to mysterious places
we have only heard about from travelers.
There, way off in the distance is something large, shiny,
fast, followed closely by a huge, roiling cloud.
No animal pulls the odd contraption.
As the shiny thing approaches, Sun seems to grow,
Seems to scar all-that-is with flames.
Overheated, we watch the apparition get too, too close
then slowly disappear as the signal pulse
crescendo echoes down the rocky palisades.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Spring Moon

by Deborah A. Bennett

grave stone 
over which a white moth passes -
spring moon

 
the thing that falls away
is myself -
spring moon
 

forgetting the world 
is only a drop of water -
spring moon


picture of the wind 
the grief it belongs to -
spring moon

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Basalt Princess

by Stephanie V Sears
 
Pacific reaches for the valley. 
In side glances        see-throughs 
in fuchsia dawns and hell fire dusks 
                                       with a latent thrust of impudence: 
outer space beckons to the sea trench. 
 
This once was her isle -  
with quenching guava scrub, 
manioc, taro fields, mango orchards, 
decorous breadfruit trees - 
glugging the sky   
between Capricorn and Equator. 
 
She opens the shadows of her house to me. 
Looks me up and down until  
I ebb into remoteness. 
Ninety years have streamlined  
her down to timelessness. 
 
Crowned with island rose and ivory.  
Porpoise teeth inter-woven with buds 
gleaming like mortuary relics. 
Glory still nestles in the furrows  
of her face smoked in tattoos, 
a Brueghel blue of soot and thunder 
from head to toe. 
 
Her voice, a blast of surf, 
a dark inclusion in a storm’s crystal. 
I can see her as then, 
draped in royal tapa,  
one splendid smooth arm 
fanning the dormant air. 
  
Then my own time topples 
when, suddenly clairvoyant, 
she predicts that money 
will devastate the world. 

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Lines

by Ram Chandran

morning mist
slowly gathers itself
from the lake side

Friday, May 13, 2022

LInes

by Susan N Aassahde 

bough clouds gallop
yawn foothill
canary clasp stream

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Lines

by Nancy Scott McBride

buzzards
float on air
soft as gauze

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Lines

by Deborah A. Bennett

hanging the wash at dawn -
not the grief
I expected

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Mutually Assured Destruction in a Mad World

by Chris Butler

The world can change
with the breeze
from a butterfly's
single flutter
of atomic pollen,
spreading radiating
sunflower rays
when they were first
crushed and kicked
by their fathers'
war worn boots,
now marched over again
as their sons still
duck and cover
from all of the
invisible bullets
in Chernobyl.

Monday, May 9, 2022

Lines

by Gregory Lanzo

staring into the abyss
mudskipper slips
into pond-heron’s throat

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Watermelon Snow

by Adrienne Pilon
 
Here are blooms, a cake frosting-pink spray of flowers
on a spring day, clustering over meadows of white.
Not an alpine meadow, and not flowers at all. Come closer,
 
and the icing pink goes steak red, the way blood runs
from raw meat sitting on a white plate, stabbed by
a sharp knife. How a bloody wound fans liquid out
 
on cotton bandages, or here, on snow, spot by spreading
spot. This is a glacier river run red: glacier blood, blood snow,
the color of defenseless ice, melting, giving up its buried
 
poisons. The sun so hot now, clotting out the cold,
breaking the whiteness of ice, shining for days without
cease, this shivering heat making red blooms out of hidden green.
 
Watermelon Snow, the words conjuring sweet, a summer confection.
A flowery appellation: chlamydomonas nivalis. The earth bleeds,
and we make beautiful names from our wretched failings.

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Desert Borders

by Frank Modica

Metal flowers 30 feet tall 
bloom in the Sonoran desert.
Sharp petals and branches,
a deep patina of rust 
claw the sky.

And at night stadium lighting
like the Berlin Wall,
like the Iron Curtain
shine in the darkness, 
to protect our border crossings,
to preserve our graves, our mausoleums
while ripping through 
ancient burial grounds.

Bulldozers scape 
the landscape bare,   
to prepare the ground 
for this new monument.
Saguaro cacti lie in heaps,
stacked like corpses.

Friday, May 6, 2022

Shapeless

by Al Fournier
 
There is no mouth to form the shape
of our sorrow, the shame of our loss.
No lips but the fallen petals of remembered
childhood. No lids to blind these eyes
to storms of war and angered Earth.
 
We danced our energy dance, our towers
rising on the backs of enslaved brothers.
Every cell and snake and sparrow danced too,
since the first algal bloom, each harvested
their daily meal of sun, enough to move
their forms across lighted fields, scattering
seeds of other beings along their trails,
giving back their bodies to the soil.
 
We learned too much, mastered everything
but our own hunger. Left a hollow ache
in place of beauty. Left our children
cursing songs of praise, wringing their hands
in empty air. 

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Lines

by Alex Lanzo

floor of seaweed 
begins to swim
Cassiopeia 

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

contractions

by  Geoffrey Aitken
 
despite its failings
it’s long been popular
to be open for business
 
its ongoing need for support
lost in the triumph
of economic growth
 
where it operates
as usual
though not without collateral
 
and it’s not until
the damage is obvious
do we call
 
our thinkers
our cleaners
and our undertakers
 
when we finally realise
how badly cyclic
we always let this become

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

The prime minister called an election

 by Alex Hand
 
The prime minister called an election, six weeks later
he called and he called but not a soul shook his hand
ignored by passers-by with matured visceral disdain
Babies withdrew their puffy plump cheeks from kisses.
 
Nationwide indifference for the opposition leader too
with hundreds of palm card prompts but no solitary ear.
No one attended his photo-ops, or indifferently listened,
factory workers in hi vis vests gave him no background.
 
Election teams set up carboard booths and laptop cables,
for voters who never came, and the crosses were nought
there was no number crunching, there were no numbers;
the electorate disregarded the entire campaign entirely.
 
Pollsters failed to detect anything unusual in responses
predicting instead a hung parliament full of independents.
Without armbands or roadblocks citizens had rebelled,
and simply opted out, quietly emptying all the benches.
 
The constitution contains nothing to deal with this,
an election where no party wins or opposition loses.
Voting is compulsory and each fine remains unpaid.
At every table you hear ‘I served my country well’.

Monday, May 2, 2022

Lines

by Carl Mayfield

cooper's hawk--
       silent mouse
      learning to fly

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Signs of Spring

by Juliet Wilson

Blackbird-song at first light
when the world feels like winter.

Crocuses glow brightly
in the snow by the farmhouse wall.

Squirrels, drinking melting snow, rest
high in the old ash tree

and bluebells return to the forest
where deer are quietly grazing.

Here’s to the Gardeners

by Todd Mercer
 
It’s only going to hurt during our precipitous decline.
After the bombs drop, when most to all people are gone,
though we will miss seeing it, nature’s coming back.
 
Weeds, then trees will sprout through asphalt of unused highways.
Towers tumble sooner than they would with basic maintenance.
These monuments to human greatness were always temporary.
 
A countdown clock was ticking since construction finished. Rust
and wear from the elements don’t quit. They do fast demolition work,
when no one’s fighting back by laboring to borrow more years.
 
It won’t hurt for long if the measure’s geologic time. One thin layer
in the sandstone’s rings will stand for what we’ll suffer through.
 
Those alive when we are down to the last of each of everything
might feel angry at their dire fates, but they’ll be plenty busy
coping with immediate concerns. Surviving and not surviving.
 
Impotent grudges aimed at forbearers won’t produce a tangible reprieve,
won’t augment a shrinking food supply. The pain will pass, sure as each age ends.
 
After so much grief and panic, expect an extended stretch of peace,
almost as if no one passed through this living place. Almost good as new.

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Koi Pond Daze

by Sam Dixon

At the edge of a koi pond in Taipei
I am sitting on a large rock
staring at what lurks in calm water,

only a mother and child are across the way,
chatting on their rocks

pulling pellets from my pocket
I toss one into the pond
several koi levitate to the surface
their brilliant orange patterns as if painted on with Day-Glo

the most agile snaps up the morsel
so I pelt the ripples with more
when a hundred dazzling fish materialize
as the peace becomes a frenzy.

Leaning over, a flowering plum tree
blushes fragrant in a breeze,
it releases a succession of blossoms
the beauty of petals
fluttering like Taiwanese girls,

some of the flowers land simply on stone
some reach the pond to float among the grandiloquence.

Friday, April 29, 2022

Patrons of the Arts

by Emily Polson
 
We hiked to the Crow’s Nest
where my father told stories
of his unfinished art degree,
while my mother and I created
a Goldsworthy circle for the sparrows
made of twigs, rocks, and bark 

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Lent in the Desert

by David Chorlton
 
One wing brushes morning light
from the rocks along the high trail
and the other reaches
for a hold in the air
as he flies through Lent,
coming daily to the mountain
which exists beyond faith and fasting.
The hawk follows
                          paths as invisible as God.
He doesn’t know the way to Heaven.
It never rains there.
And seldom in this desert
where the brittlebush is blooming and
the portals of the Earth
are open.
              They offer just
a narrow space through which
to pass, appearing as the entrance to
an arroyo where the thorns shine
and stones speak to each other
of their long and arduous
journeys through high tide
and flood
               to their own
tiny portion of eternity. They are just
the beginning; one day
they will rise on  thermals
to the height where nothing is impossible.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Unwelcome Visit

 by Jonathan Acampora

A silent trek up West Mountain until
birds. A crow's call, then masses
squawking, shouting, raging
against the intruder on the path.

The wind stirs

by Mathieu Debic 

Sunlight muffles speech
at noon - even birdsong stops.
Only the wind stirs.

Red Protest, the Natural Condition of People

by Maid Čorbić
 
Everything is still wrong in this world
In this natural state of this nature
It’s so strange for my sense
Where this world came from today
It’s getting worse and worser than ever
We are sinking more and more
From garbage, from pollution, the axis of our lives
it’s late in the end for everyone
when we one day die
with suffer and big pain
which kills next generations
and also for me, young boy

I want to give peace and not dismissal
Since peace gives me a strive
That I am still majesty beautifull
And I always wants to say that
I still believe I have a say in all of this
I want to be stronger more than ever
All we build is nature for next generation
I am still in the majesty flow of hope
that everything will be fine if all work together
because working is a best place
to be endless happy in this world
which deservs only goodness for humans

I’m just a decent man again in everything
I still believe
I have faith
I don’t think I’m a pure man
I am the greatest culprit in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Because I serve justice and freedom
I always want to share issue with the people
Because red protest is alarmating zone
And I want to change in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Thinking that pollution and big people behaviour
Can be good; I want freedom and new hope
That my country can be cleaned again
From hell which young and adults makes
I am best 22 year old boy in Bosnia because I am saver

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Lines

by Mona Bedi

forest trek
the sound of whitewater 
from each tree

Lines

by Deborah A. Bennett

war news -
whenever i pass 
the crow on the ledge 

Lines

by Veronika Zora Novak

the sadness
of cormorant fishing . . .
Nagara River

Monday, April 25, 2022

Horizon

by David Chorlton
 
Along a late sunbeam
crossing where the tall trees stand
with a wing for the left
and one
leaning right, the Cooper’s Hawk
stirs apart the flock
of pigeons gathered for protection
against the sky.
                         The west
is a blush spread wide
and the east
is open to receive the shadows
passing over the land with nowhere
to rest. This is how
the day glides with the knife blade
drawn, to its
concluding ring when
the bell swings one
last time
against the steel horizon.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Lines

by Veronika Zora Novak

burdened
with a dark dew . . .
plum blossoms

Bean Creek

 by Jeff Burt
 
They belong as one life,
water, rock--
one is not one
if one is another--
for a water’s swirl, an eddy,
requires a boulder’s resistance--
without backwater, no crawdad,
no steelhead, no kingfisher,
no egret, no dragonfly,
no frog.

LInes

by Deborah A. Bennett 

the moon tonight 
over george floyd square -
light of the yellow mums

Two Photographs by Morgen John

Snake River, Idaho
Sunset from Sunspot, New Mexico

Saturday, April 23, 2022

A Call to Arms

by Michael H. Lester
 
His uniform festooned with ribbons, medals, awards
four small bronze stars on his epaulets
the ghost of General Armii Nikolai Nikolaiovich Prespelnikov
more bone than skin
wafts into the auditorium
of the Mariupol Donetsk Academic Regional Drama Theatre
up to the podium like a stiff breeze
from the remote Siberian tundra
 
His throat parched from the dry, acrid air
he puts his bony hands on either side of the lectern
pauses for effect before bellowing
in his sweet undulating baritone
the oath of allegiance to the recruits
occupying one-hundred, or so, seats
at the rear of the auditorium
 
Ahem! General Nikolai coughs
in a bid to gain the attention of the nervously rattling skeletons
whose murmurings cause a devilish din
throughout the cobwebbed expanse
of the once grand but now dilapidated and musty auditorium
which murmuring, melancholy and morose
echoes off the walls and ceiling and through the rubble
like the screeching of so many startled belfry bats
bursting comatose into the harsh light of day
 
a war hero
a martyr and a saint
General Nikolai
leads the legions of dead
in their battle for survival

Friday, April 22, 2022

sunset

by Carol Farnsworth

fiery light streaks east
two cardinals fly
aglow in the dark.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Lake Avenue Brook

by Jeff Burt
 
August warm
wild blackberries,
fragile, falling
apart, a gift
from a brook, sun,
and seclusion.
Some wasps hang
adhered to the berries
nibbling the juice
thick as jam.                     
Others swarm.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Lines

by Susan Bonk Plumridge

trout lily sprouts
poking through
dry maple leaves

Spring Evening, Sunrise Drive, Garden Valley, ID

by Yash Seyedbagheri

Waxing gibbous in a slate-blue sky
shines on muddy roads
Ponderosas blackened in shadow
leaning

Lines

by Ram Chandran

morning mist
a flock of herons 
lifts slowly

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Night Fishing

by Terrence Sykes

planted by the sun
watered by the moon
ancient tea trees
cling to the steep
craggy mountains
that confine this
meandering tributary
amidst silent waters
night fishing with
cormorants & lantern
in the shallow Li Jing River

Monday, April 18, 2022

I, Theologian

by Randall Rogers

I would rather
a beautiful soul
extol
the glories within
when reasoning
beyond description
fueling fires of
kaleidoscopic
emerald, sapphire,
ruby, and diamond
swirl
worthless among
the brilliance
of be-knighted Being
though I’ll parley
what I am able
into reasonable
facsimile of
eternity’s Paradise
dangling by each
comic
thread connecting
me to earthly life.

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Lines

by C.X. Turner

fallen apples
fast disappearing
muntjac deer

the sacred white elephant

by Stephen A. Rozwenc

the sacred white elephant
charges up
the tousled green mountainside
with a tiny sliver
of Buddha relic bone
tightly clutched
in his trunk tip
 
his sole purpose
to collapse
and die on the sheerest cliff
to signify
where a temple should be built
 
fashioned
from the millions of voices
in the world
crying out for peace

Lines

by Roberta Beach Jacobson

lakeside
early morning cries
of a loon

Friday, April 15, 2022

Four photographs by G. Tod Slone

New Brunswick, Back Bay


Newfoundland, Indian Burial Ground 

 
New Brunswick, Grand Mahan 


Newfoundland, Seal Cove

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Lines

by Marilyn Dancing Deer Ward

morning sun 
yet the sparrows peck
at frozen puddles

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

The Oak Grove in April

by Pepper Trail
 
Beginning spring, too early for the songbirds
but the oaks are humming, inhaling the sun
through the warming earth, up their coiling
passageways to the vibrating buds, green
swelling with the sound and the soil itself
is bursting, the sandy brown gopher mounds
patterning the ground, pushing aside the new
grasses that vibrate in the breeze like strings
of guitars, as the dusky skippers dart, black-furred
against cold mornings, now warmed by the afternoon
sun working the petals of the lilies too fast to follow
as they dash, leaving the yellow drumheads
of the buttercups to the heavy-footed flies
and all this silence is so full of sound
I just don’t know what will be left for the birds
when they finally get around to getting here, to say.

Lines

by Doug Lanzo

bluejay cries
below circling osprey
scanning for brook trout

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Lines

by Marilyn Dancing Deer Ward

heavy rain 
twisting the river bend 
a kingfisher 

Monday, April 11, 2022

One Earth, One Life

by Darrell Petska

Even to zoos come wars:
blaring sirens, bursting bombs,
bullets and shells that savage
the woven fabric of life—

Kiyv’s western gorilla, Tony, is depressed,
Horace the Asian elephant must be sedated,
Juto the giraffe has lost his appetite,
Christina the Asian lion is a bundle of nerves
and baby lemur Bayraktar must be hand fed
because his mother deserted him.

Fear, stress, loneliness—
provoking the pelicans to destroy their eggs,
the zebras to crash their fences,
and the remaining 4,000 innocents to endure
food shortage, daily disruptions of living
and the constant, debilitating awareness

of war’s clangor
tearing from Earth breath-filled throats
that trumpet, roar, and bray their right
to exist beside their human compatriots.

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Lines

by Christina Chin

a rush of harmony 
the catbird song 
in a chorus of frogs