Sunday, April 22, 2018

The Cranium is Crammed

by Randall Rogers

Full of
nonsense lies
wit that spies
subterfuge
in guise
of truth.

That lays
bare remorse
upon redress
old wounds
sharp healing
knowing
no quarter
no loss
unfounded
non-grounded
none-the-less
cocksure
farm working
the Earth.

Persevering
naturally
pesticide-free
low-input
no till
soil microbe
menagerie
'til the end.

Lunar eclipse, Adelaide 2001

by EJ Shu

beckon the penumbra
keel with a practised lean
into the graving dock

imitate delay

hang the tidal thesis
on the lowlight blocks
between spring and neap

flush iodine to redden the reaped fields
sing the willie wagtail
into the rare hot night

      that ever-weathering silks the fine fraction
      that ions drape the old surface
      that dark mantling stains
      the face of the regolith
      like dogs’ tears

Standing in the Woods Full of Winter

by M.J. Iuppa

Hard to forget the past when you
find yourself standing in a clearing
cribbed by black walnut trees
and fresh snow.

Cold air wakes trivial matters
lodged in your mind.

How strange— the sift of snow
caught between bars of light
ignites what you were so eager
to keep to yourself—

the unspooling of horses
galloping across an open pasture . . .

Gone, again.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Crow and Goose

by Linda Gamble

Sentinel crow, caws
into the March air
from atop a towering
naked oak.

Winter - spring sun
reflects its promise
off the lake below,
a lone goose paddles
against the wind through
shimmering ripples.

Crow caws
            goose honks
crow caws
            goose honks
crow caws
            goose honks

Double Suns

by Heather Saunders Estes

Another smoke-filled sunrise,
the ball, fuchsia red.
Below, a trick reflection in the Bay,

another sun,
squat like a lump of red bean paste
but hot-eyed and wavering.

New Hampshire Morning

by John Grey

Black bear snug in tree fork,
morning sun gilds its fur tips,
turns a fluttering nose to amber.
Crows line the upper oak branch.
Blue jays spread the word -
corvids present - such as they are themselves
chickadee awareness descends in notes.
A solitary cooper's hawk
scours the waking trails for meadow mice.
A groundhog stands on granite soap box.
His mate nibbles the grass nearby.
A rabbit, the whole world to fear,
skitters into nearby brush.
It's spring. Rivers bulge with snowmelt.
Current flings fish into the air.
A great blue heron stalks
the outskirts of a beaver pond.
A chipmunk squeaks, red squirrel chatters.
Maple, poplar, blush with new green.
A vulture keeps a quiet watch for death.
Wart-headed turkeys sway their chest beards.
Nature, unattended, embraces dawn.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Lines

by Denny E. Marshall

streams and rivers black
forest dark barren wasteland
dressed for funeral

Lines

by Carl Mayfield

orange hollyhocks
        drooping
     towards sundown

Friday Morning
—for Ryllis of St. Kitts

by Michael H. Brownstein

Come. Today, clear fishing and day bright,
morning sun  strong breath and fresh light.
My friend, here's a paw paw and water nut for you.
Morning comes in crowing. Milky milky. Love vine. Bamboo.
Everything a ripe breadfruit and sugar cane together,
lime, palm leaf, a shadow of heather.
Silence in the ocean with large birds of prey,
one by one the lamps tickle out across the bay.
Now is the time, my love, time for waking,
time for praying, time for telling, time for baking.
Come. Today, a clear start and day bright,
early o’clock, strong breath and fresh light.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Drought

by Carl Mayfield

Brittle locust leaves
bitten by frost, taking on
uneven shades of gray, rust,
black and brown, assembling
where the wind lays down,
the smallest breeze bringing
the voice of decay to life.

Road To Thimpu

by Jagari Mukherjee

Cherry trees on the road
To Thimpu
In Himalaya spring
Lose count of the syllables
In uphill rocks
Under the moon
Colored scotch.

Fanfare and Ballyhoo

by Lynda Lambert

final snowfall
advises slow-moving changes
floating, spiralling, dancing
whispering progression
hardy wet quiescent branches
undressed false acacia
fast-growing tree
black locust takes
a long nap
in rural woodlands
anticipating sunshine
after final snowfall
soft warm rain, new growth
fragrant clusters swagger
spring blossoms flourish
white, pink or purple attire
welcome the new season of
fanfare and ballyhoo.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Watching the Skies

by Juliet Wilson

Every summer
swifts
silhouette the sky

swoop-soaring
dance-diving

but now
the sky is emptying.

I'm getting older.
Maybe it's just my eyes.

That's right.

It must be
just my eyes.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Nevada Mind

by Karla Linn Merrifield

I flick sere judgment on horned lizard tongue
wildness uncoils across great white basins.

I rattle a snake’s great desert tail
in the great ranges of sagebrush lines.

I, reptile, speak, coil the wild greatly.

Lines

by Lynda Lambert

crisp light at high noon
motionless blue spruce branches
soundless feathered wings

Drought Wren

by David Chorlton

In the stopped breath after rain
a mountain pushes back
against the clouds
and a Red-tailed hawk is hanging
from the lowest one.
Among the clusters rooted in a wash
a gnatcatcher’s call
is an itch in the air, while the gloss
covering the ground
soaks slowly back
into a darkness shared
with all that lives beneath
the surface. Here, now, on this
last slope before the next
dry weeks, a Cactus wren
displays himself in light
that sprays from his feathers
as he fluffs them dry.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Traffic

by Juliet Wilson

The sky is pink with sunrise.

Headlights glare from cars
nose to tail in an endless traffic jam
known as the morning 'rush' hour.

On the Lagoons, oystercatchers gather,
pressed long red beak to white and black tail
calling and jumping then take off in a rush.

The sky is still pink with sunrise.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Monet Paints the Blues

by Ben Rasnic

Smears of cloud
Blot the birdless
Canvas, splotches

Of cerulean, azure
Hover the suffering earth
& its indelible scars;

An old man
Crowned in a white
Straw hat
Barely discernible

In the high grass
Among the poplars.

Shallow Roots

by Lisa M. Hase-Jackson

An Eastern Fox Squirrel
comes to visit the rogue sunflower
that popped up beneath the bird
feeder in my mother’s back yard,
picking out seeds to cache in his
cheeks, chattering at neighborhood
cats and black birds perching
in uncomfortable proximity.

They swoop down from the sky,
those birds, stirring up the Missouri
sky into a roiling summer storm,
their zephyr wings a vortex
of torrents and fulminations.

Florid Taos Haibun

by Karla Linn Merrifield

The hollyhocks are exuberant in their heliotropism
in Taos this June morning. Face on, eyeing in sun-warmed return,
the flagrant Bent St. botanicals— those papery blushing hussies,
those native Alcea setosa species in a chorus line of desire—
before my June yes; Mio sol turns morning a flower warmer.

Thunderclouds promise storm;
shadow disappears— I bloom
desert in pink.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Blackwater Giants

by Suzanne Cottrell

Southern Bald Cypress, Redwood and Sequoia cousins
Towering 100 feet above black water swamp
Submerged roots outstretched, anchors secured
Bulbous trunks, buttressed for stability

Tree tops battered, flattened by Atlantic storms
Slow growth survivors draped in Spanish moss
Eastern mud turtles sunbathe on
Protruding gnarly knees

Warblers, wrens perched, hidden by
Vibrant cinnamon, bittersweet hued
Fronds of needle-like leaves
Shed in early autumn, deciduous conifers

Bared gray to rufous, ridged bark
Natural oils, repelled insects and decay                 
Hardy wood for Native American dugout canoes
Colonial planks, fences, furniture, shingles

Overharvested, few old growth stands remain
Sentinels along the Black Water River

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Southwest Pointillism

by Karla Linn Merrifield

This is the thorny issue. Pointed.
Everything is not a question, rude, cactus-pointy.
Destiny appears to keep our appointment
in New Mexico on U.S. Rt. 412 East at the Point
of Rocks’ turn-off, NMDOT sign pointing
north. This is the proper junction, pointless
to ignore at the noon-hour appointed
to sandstone, juniper, sage, pointedly
painted to reveal landscape’s point
of view, imprint of spirit, fossilized pinpoint

of relief.

decades of bitter winds

by Lynda Lambert

decades of bitter winds
whipped and thrashed
flagellated and whisked
the row of red barberry bushes
grasping thorny spines
blown towards the west
search the twilight for
last rays of winter light
dangling crimson berries quiver
thin branches poke out upwards
from buried roots
anchored deeply in cold-hardened soil
saturated with ruddy
frost-ravished leaves.

Springtime

by Holly Day                             
     
the river cracks awake in the middle of the night, sounds like something
falling inside the house, sounds like the dog/kid broke something. I get up
so that my husband doesn’t have to, stomp out into the living room
bathed in bright moonlight, see
the dog curled up by the front door, oblivious to whatever woke us up.

From the living room, I can hear more ice breaking off, feel the river waking up
pushing trapped branches and dead deer off to the side banks, determined
to become an unhindered body once more. From the bedroom, my husband asks
What’s going on, I don’t know where to start.