Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Slivers of Silver River

by Satvika Menon

The hum of the river
Spills into the dark green of the mountains
Petrichor plunging into the paper-thin air
The ground cracks its broken back
As carp weave swirls in the silver water

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Mission Bells for Sex

by Jake Sheff

Earth’s deficient light, devoid
of devotion. Full of loving
isotopes to fill the night. Bridge
of fire, sunlight through shy
curtains on a bed of hours.
Polymers of prayer ring. The wet
weight of entrepreneurial
white against a field of green.

Fly Agaric

by Jonathan K. Rice

the brook dawdles
over rocks and fallen limbs

pine needles blanket the trail
through the quiet forest

dark red mushrooms with white flecks
appear among the roots of trees

gift of shamans
an owl croons at dusk

12.8.18
6.17 p.m.
21 degrees

by John Stanizzi

--Yesterday the pond was frozen. 
This evening it has thawed. 
But it is 21 degrees,
so that tomorrow…
…yes, winter’s changeability has arrived…


Prodigious conversion from that which we may peer through,
opening our vision to a strangeness like Frost’s,
nuanced and misshapen, to this glazed and shifting surface,
damascene transformation more closely related to stone than to water.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

A Tree-Book

by Susie Gharib

Sitting between the toes of a fir-tree,
D. H. Lawrence penned his psychoanalytic theories
of states and plexus.

He could almost hear the sap,
the tree-blood,
pulsating in those round, faceless presences.

Among those silent beings of earth and air,
he began to intuit tree-worship
and wished he could be a tree
to possess root-lust and be thought-free,
a blood-conscious entity.

That haven of Lady Chatterley
was Lawrence’s own sanctuary
on whose altar he could sacrifice
his self-conscious personality
and make his intuited tree-book
the arboreal lore of centuries.

Monday, March 11, 2019

12.1.18
1.34 p.m.
41 degrees

by John Stanizzi

Proposals of clouds in an otherwise 9/11 sky;
overnight squall’s remnants resemble Queen Anne’s Lace,
nighttime blossoms in the grass.   The geometry of an island of ice is
drawn toward the middle of the pond, its shoreline thawing.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Look Up, Slowly

by M.J. Iuppa

Exhausted: the clump-drag of horse hooves striking
the pocked dirt road. Yellow dust eddies— small clouds.
Mountains rise in their encampment. The wide desert sky
palls purple and pink:

by nightfall
earth exhales
                         a cache of stars 

After the Winter Storm, the Clouds Melted into Rain

by Michael H. Brownstein

The slipshod ice of clarity,
Daylight dripping snow into pellets
Opaque and clear, off white with an essence
Of ash tree, clouds, a spirit within wind.
On the dunes, scrub brush, sand thorn,
And stacked on the piles of crusted ice,
Herring gulls each with a piece of fish
Waiting patiently for the long spray of spring.

Yggdrasil

by Bill Arnott

Yggdrasil – the world tree, mother ash
stands astride a Nordic knoll
beyond Uppsala’s temples
where every god – the real ones
take meat and mead amongst the Norns
Wyrd, Verðandi, Skuld

atop the tree the eagle with no name resides
witness to our lives and spindle whorls of fate
an eyrie shared with a hawk called Veðrfölnir
witherer of wind

from a drifting wooden ark I saw the eagle
through looming crags of crystal leaded ice
“Nattoralik,” whispered the Greenlander
aurora eyes squinting into cloudless Arctic sky
following the nameless one in flight

high overhead the giant sailed
across a canvas of calcium blue
the hawk invisible to us
its presence though we felt
in the eagle’s sweeping gaze
removing every trace of wind
breath sucked silent from our lungs
a contour feather whoosh the only sound

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Carved in Red Bryce Canyon
Utah, 2007

by Amy Uyematsu

Delicate arches, spires, and castles
giant robed goddesses of stone
await our arrival

~ ~ ~

Unimagined,
this stark red beauty -
almost cruel

~ ~ ~

Mountaintop arch - where
stone, raven, lovers
touch sky

~ ~ ~

Endless walls of red -
now pink then orange -
whose sly paintbrush

~ ~ ~

One more juniper -
desert sandstone gives birth
to evergreen

~ ~ ~

Just enough hardness,
just enough balance -
local secret for survival

~ ~ ~

Stone keeps asking
whose voice will sing
our stories

Monday, March 4, 2019

11.13.2018
2.46 p.m.
39 degrees

by John Stanizzi

Piety arrives with a female evening grosbeak.
Offed by chill wind, the leaves cover the wet forest ground.
Nearby, the look of running water
dazzles like a miniature Topajos, miniature Amazon.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Winterwoods

by Carl Parsons

The doe and fawn have lost their hiding place.
Swept clean by wind and rain, the forest now
is bare and bears no fruit for famished mouths.
No trace of summer dalliance here remains
where bee and blossom kissed above the humid                 
garden ground.  The chance not seized now is lost.
Summer’s cost, the recompense for that warm
sweetness that we knew, now in full is due.

Now the roaring cold has come again;
we cluster about repentant fires and wrap
ourselves in shawls and shrouds while we
tell ourselves again the holy days.
We praise the orchard apples that we saved                       
and hang them in the snow-filled garden where
the doe and fawn may browse.  Yesterday
at nightfall we thought we saw them moving,
faint and brown, rousing the winterwoods.

Awaiting Aesop

by John Grey

Jackrabbit’s scat is nothing much but,
under the circumstances, it’s the best that he can do.
But it invokes all kind of activity.
Like the dung-beetle that appears from nowhere.
rolls the crap into a little ball,
gets it moving with the power
of its feathery hind legs.

The pride-bound hare has no appetite for dung,
boasts long ears instead of a hard carapace,
flutters whiskers like a lord at high tea
while his stomach hungers like the living for the dead.
Meanwhile, the ball forces the beetle vertical,
threatens to roll back, crush its body,
but tenacious, unyielding, it nudges the treasure forward,
over pebble, in and out of small ditch,   
until both insect and ball disappear from the jackrabbit’s view
into its underground den..

Dung-beetle no longer of interest, reader and hare
dart off into ribbons of heat, fur like stubble,
chest made slender by the lack of good grasses,
the tough dry chew of the few that survive the oppressiveness,
No succulent carrots. No celery. No apples fallen from a tree.
And all the while, his crap is fueling who knows
how many of these insignificant creatures.
As if being outrun by a tortoise wasn’t enough.
Now, as far as the desert is concerned,
Leporidae has been out-evolved by the dung-beetle.
He rests by a rock, salivating on better times.
His sensitive hearing can almost hear the fable being written.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Boats at Sunrise

by Wesley D. Sims

First light unveils two empty
round-a-bout boats, nuzzling
the shore, tethered like horses
to their hitching posts,
sweet gum trees standing watch.
Fiberglass hulls sparkle
and glint as they bob and rock
in the low-slapping waves.
Shroud of fog cataracts the scene
light gray and velvety smooth,
the pale orange orb of sun
flashlights through the cove
to illuminate beginnings
of a new day on Watts Bar Lake,
and fresh possibilities
of the open water.

Monday, February 25, 2019

11.11.2018
3.11 p.m.
39 degrees

by John Stanizzi

Ponds’ conflux – run-off from Fowler’s pond
overflows the small stone wall along with street run-off;
nozzling, they warble a crystal duet in the birdless
dusk beginning to bear down on the half-buried bullheads sleeping.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

At Artist's Point
Yellowstone Park

by Amy Uyematsu

A pine tree breaks through the hard red surface -
in what hidden places did the granite body
receive pine’s unexpected seed?

And how long the reach
of unseen roots

bearing so much green
inside stone?

Muir Woods - California

by Alisha Ahmed

Scents of spring dew, earth.
Trees that graze the clouds with their
thick rings of wisdom.

"Dried remains in the garden. Incisors protrude from"

by Nicholas Alexander Hayes

Dried remains in the garden. Incisors protrude from
a gapping jaw, barely covered by red-grey fur. Grave goods revealed
as snow melts. Purple crocus pierce the earth’s dampness.

"Smoke stacks"

by Shelly Sitzer

Smoke stacks
And oil rigs color the views
Pigs are getting fatter
But not the animal kind.

Not the pretty pink pigs
With curly tails
But the ones with pink skins
And short hair

They work near the oil rigs
Some work to extract gold
They all take, take, take
Depleting mother nature's soil.

What do they give back,
Gold coins at the market place
Where some cannot buy
Because the good things are scarce.

Things like sweet apples
Are disappearing from trees
Too hot for their blossoms
They wither and die.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Not Enough, Too Much

by Joan Hofmann

hot
dry
drought
insect infestation
timberland damage

clear cut acres   scrub
grasslands expand
ignite

aquifer dropping
battles: urban versus farming
rationing   limits

people   more   spreading
so much to protect
wildfire   more   burning
burning

Monday, February 18, 2019

11.10.2018
10.06 a.m.
34 degrees

by John Stanizzi

Pitchy dark where winter has just this moment arrived
out of the north hills; it crawls up under my shirt,
naturally and unfazed, as if it were trying to warm itself --
daguerrean-downstream rush of the brook gossips with its cold voice.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Summer Danger (Triolet)

by Joanna M. Weston

the air tastes of wood smoke
fires burning on the hills
making asthmatics choke
on drifts of dangerous smoke
an ember then the fire awoke
to bring on our breathing ills
with inhaling ash-laden smoke
drifting from blackened hills

Lines

by Maria DePaul

Abandoned Pueblo
Dust storms sweep arroyo
Cactus flowers bloom